Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, while quartz is resistant to scratches, stains, and heat, it still requires regular cleaning to keep it looking like new. When cleaning quartz, it’s important to use the right cleaners and techniques to avoid damaging the surface. This article will discuss everything you need to know about how to properly clean quartz countertops.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops Daily
Daily cleaning is essential for preventing dirt and grime buildup on quartz. Here are some tips for cleaning quartz countertops on a daily basis:
Use a Microfiber Cloth
Gently wipe down quartz with a soft microfiber cloth to remove light dust and fingerprints. Microfiber cloths are gentle, lint-free, and ideal for cleaning smooth surfaces like quartz. Avoid using paper towels or abrasive scrubbers which could scratch the surface.
Clean quartz with warm water mixed with a couple drops of mild dish soap. The warm water helps dissolve grease and dirt. Make sure the water isn’t too hot – extreme heat could damage the solid surface. Use a soft cloth dipped in the warm water to wipe the countertop.
After cleaning, dry the surface thoroughly with a clean microfiber towel to prevent water spots and mineral buildup. Quartz is porous, so it’s important to never let moisture linger.
Use a Quartz Cleaner
For routine daily cleaning, a specially formulated quartz cleaner can be used. Look for cleaners made specifically for engineered stone that are non-abrasive. Spray the cleaner onto the surface and wipe clean with a soft cloth.
Avoid Bleach and Vinegar
Never use products containing vinegar, bleach, or harsh chemicals. The acidity in vinegar can dull the surface, while bleach can discolor and corrode quartz over time. Even in diluted amounts, avoid using them.
How to Deep Clean Quartz Countertops
For a more thorough periodic cleaning, quartz may require a deep clean to keep the surface pristine:
Dish Soap and Warm Water
Make a solution of warm water and a small amount of mild dish soap. With a soft microfiber cloth, gently rub the solution over the entire surface using small, circular motions. This helps loosen up built-up grime. Rinse well and dry.
Baking Soda Paste
For tougher stains or grime, make a paste using 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Gently scrub the paste over stained areas using a soft cloth or sponge. Allow to sit for a few minutes before rinsing. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that will lift dirt without scratching.
As a bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide can help clean and disinfect quartz. Mix up a solution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 4 parts water. Apply to the surface with a soft cloth and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing off. This will gently brighten the quartz.
Polishing Stone Cleaner
Specialized stone cleaners and polishers are formulated to deep clean quartz and leave a shiny, streak-free finish. Use a small amount of the cleaner with a damp microfiber cloth. Rub over the surface using circular motions. Avoid cleaners containing acids or bleach.
For sanitizing and removing stubborn stains, a steam cleaner is safe and effective on quartz. The hot steam helps loosen stuck-on grime. Make sure to keep the steam cleaner constantly moving to avoid excessive heat buildup. Wipe the surface dry after steaming.
How to Remove Difficult Stains from Quartz
Quartz is less prone to staining than other countertop materials, but spills can still leave behind stubborn marks if not cleaned promptly. Here are some tips for removing common stains:
For stains caused by oil, grease, tomato sauce, and other oily foods, start by scraping off any excess debris gently with a plastic scraper. Clean the area with a degreasing dish soap and a soft cloth, rinsing thoroughly afterwards. You can also use baking soda or hydrogen peroxide.
To tackle dried-on stains, pour some hot water directly over the stain to moisten it. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes. Use a plastic scraper to gently detach the stain and wipe clean with soapy water. Repeat as needed.
Fruit Juice Stains
Acidic drinks like lemon, orange, or cranberry juice can etch light marks into quartz. To remove, clean with baking soda and water using circular motions. For tough stains, apply some hydrogen peroxide and let sit before wiping away. This will brighten the surface.
Hard Water Marks
Due to minerals in water evaporating on the surface, hard water can leave unsightly spots on quartz. Remove these using undiluted white vinegar applied lightly with a cloth. Let the vinegar sit for 5 minutes before rinsing. Vinegar’s acidity dissolves mineral deposits.
If stains have dried on, try loosening them up with some WD-40 lubricant sprayed onto a soft cloth. This makes wiping away the spill easier. Then clean as normal with soapy water. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after using any chemical cleaner.
Use a Poultice
For very stubborn stains that resist normal cleaning methods, a poultice may be required. Poultice powder is formulated to draw out deep stains. Mix the powder with water to form a paste, apply over the stain, and cover with plastic wrap. After 24 hours, scrape away the dried poultice and rinse.
How to Sanitize and Disinfect Quartz Countertops
Since quartz is used for food prep, it’s important to properly disinfect the surface to kill germs. Here are effective options:
As mentioned, hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleach that breaks down germs and viruses. After cleaning, use a 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water solution to wipe the entire surface. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing.
Wiping down quartz with 70% isopropyl alcohol kills microbes and sanitizes the surface. Pour some isopropyl alcohol onto a soft cloth and wipe down the entire counter. No need to rinse, the alcohol will evaporate.
Believe it or not, your regular dish soap acts as an effective disinfectant. The soap molecules break down the outer layers of viruses and bacteria. Use warm, soapy water with a clean microfiber cloth.
White vinegar naturally kills bacteria and germs thanks to its acetic acid content. Mix equal parts vinegar and water, and wipe down the counters thoroughly. Let the solution sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing clean.
As mentioned earlier, a steam cleaner can sanitize and disinfect quartz surfaces using the high temperature steam. Make sure to rinse and wipe the surface after steaming.
By routinely disinfecting, you ensure harmful microbes don’t take up residence in cracks and crevices.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops in the Kitchen
As the main surface for food prep and cooking, kitchen countertops need regular cleaning. Here are some kitchen-specific tips for quartz:
Clean Up Spills ASAP
Don’t leave spills sitting on the counters for long periods. Immediately wipe up food prep messes, oils, juices, and other spills so they don’t have a chance to soak in and stain.
Dish Soap and Water
For daily kitchen cleaning, use warm water mixed with a small squirt of dish soap and a soft microfiber cloth. Wipe the counters after each meal prep.
Disinfect After Raw Meat
Be sure to sanitize counters after prepping raw poultry, pork, beef, fish, etc. Use an antibacterial cleaner to prevent any bacteria from contaminating other foods.
Avoid Cutting Food Directly
Don’t cut fruits, veggies, and other foods directly on the counter. Always use a cutting board to protect the surface. Blades can scratch and slice into quartz.
Clean Up Around the Sink
Food particles, water spots, and soap scum can accumulate around the sink area. Give this area extra scrubbing to degrease and remove buildup. Use a toothbrush to clean in crevices.
Address Stains Quickly
Don’t delay cleaning up oil splatters, food spills, grease, and other kitchen stains. Aggressive scrubbing is needed once stains set in and harden, which can damage the finish.
With regular care after each use, your kitchen quartz will stay gleaming and hygienic.
How to Clean Quartz Bathroom Countertops
Cleaning bathroom countertops comes with its own unique challenges. Here are some tips for keeping quartz surfaces in the bathroom pristine:
Remove Toiletries Nightly
Don’t leave toothpaste, soap scum, shaving cream, makeup, and bottles sitting out overnight. Wipe down the counters thoroughly each evening to prevent buildup.
Clean Up After Baths
After showers and baths, make sure to wipe down the entire counter and around the sink to remove splashes of water and traces of soap and body products.
Use disinfecting wipes, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or vinegar solution weekly to kill germs that accumulate in bathrooms. Pay close attention to areas around the sink and toilet.
Scrub Mildew Prone Areas
Mold and mildew thrive in moist bathrooms. Weekly scrub grout lines, caulk seals, and the backsplash with a brush and baking soda paste to remove any mildew.
Soap Scum Remover
Apply a liquid soap scum remover product to bathroom quartz once a month. This will dissolve away built-up residues from soap, shampoo, conditioner and shower products.
Clean Improperly Stored Items
Bobby pins, cotton swabs, and other commonly cluttered items can leave rust stains if left improperly stored on quartz. Wipe down surfaces under these items regularly.
With extra attention to disinfecting and moisture control, you can keep bathroom quartz fresh and clean.
How to Remove Etching Marks from Quartz
Quartz is impressively scratch resistant, but prolonged exposure to acidic substances can cause etching and dulling of the surface. Here are tips for removing etching damage:
Baking Soda Paste
Make a thick paste using baking soda and water. Use a soft cloth to gently rub the paste over etched areas using circular motions. The baking soda is a fine abrasive that will buff out etching.
Glass Polishing Compound
Specialized polishing compounds designed for glass can work well for removing etched spots on quartz. Apply a small amount of the compound to a soft cloth and rub into affected areas.
Metal Mark Remover
Certain metal mark removers contain mild acids formulated to dissolve etching damage. Test first on an inconspicuous spot to ensure it doesn’t further damage the finish.
For very light etching, extremely fine grit sandpaper (1000+ grit) may reduce the appearance of damage. Gently sand in the direction of the polish lines. Avoid applying too much pressure.
For deep etching and damage, professional quartz refinishing or resurfacing may be required. This involves buffing and polishing the surface to restore the glossy finish.
To help prevent etching, always use cutting boards, trivets, and hot pads. Avoid prolonged contact with very acidic substances.
Does Quartz Need to be Sealed?
Unlike granite or marble, quartz does not require regular sealing. The resins used to make quartz make it non-porous and impervious to stains and damage from spills. Sealing quartz is unnecessary and will not provide any benefit. In fact, sealers could potentially damage the finish. Avoid any products that claim to seal or wax quartz. With proper cleaning methods, quartz will keep its beautiful finish for many years without sealing required.
How to Care for Quartz Long-Term
Caring for your quartz over the long haul involves developing good cleaning habits and taking precautions against damage:
- Clean up spills immediately to prevent stains setting in
- Use cutting boards and hot pads to avoid scratched and burns
- Avoid using abrasive scrubbers and products containing acids or bleach
- Stick to soft microfiber cloths and towels when cleaning
- Deep clean the surface weekly with a stone cleaner
- Reseal any joints or seams if moisture leaks develop
- Inspect for chips or cracks regularly. Small chips can be repaired professionally
- Consider adding a stone treatment product to make cleaning easier
- For cooking tasks, keep cooking oils and temperatures moderate to avoid etching
With proper care, your quartz countertops will stay in excellent shape for the next 10-15 years. Be sure to carefully clean and disinfect the surface before listing your home for sale. Sparkling quartz can help make the right first impression!
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Is it okay to use bleach on quartz?
No, avoid using any cleaners that contain bleach. The harsh chemicals in bleach can discolor, damage, and corrode quartz surfaces over time with repeated use.
What natural cleaners work on quartz?
For an eco-friendly option, try using baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, lemon juice, or a plant-based dish soap. Be sure to test natural cleaners first on a small area.
How can I make my quartz counters shine?
For extra shine and sparkle, use a quartz-safe polishing stone cleaner 1-2 times per month. Rub the polish over the surface using small circular motions. Avoid wax or sealants.
Why does my quartz look cloudy in areas?
Cloudy spots are likely hard water stains and mineral deposits left behind after water evaporates. Remove hard water stains using white vinegar followed by a thorough rinse.
How do I get dried food off my counters?
For sticky dried-on messes, pour some hot water over the area to moisten and lift the food. Then use a plastic scraper to gently dislodge the food spills before wiping up.
Can I use Mr. Clean on my quartz?
Mr. Clean products contain chemicals and fragrances that could damage quartz. Instead use a natural cleaner like baking soda paste or a mild dish soap with warm water.
What are poultices used for on quartz?
Poultice cleaners help draw out deep stains from quartz pores. Mix the poultice powder into a paste, apply to the stain for 24 hours, then scrape off and rinse.
Cleaning quartz properly helps maintain its beauty and durability for the years to come. With the right techniques and avoid harsh chemicals, you can keep your quartz counters spotless. Be sure to wipe spills quickly, disinfect surfaces, and deep clean weekly. Following these quartz cleaning tips will leave you with counters that look positively pristine.