Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homes due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance. However, while quartz is resistant to scratches, stains and heat, it still requires regular cleaning to keep it looking its best. Here is an in-depth look at everything you need to know to properly clean quartz countertops.
Supplies Needed for Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Cleaning quartz countertops doesn’t require anything too fancy, but having the right supplies on hand will make the task easier. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Microfiber cloths – Microfiber cloths are gentle on the quartz surface yet effective at lifting up dirt and debris. They’re also reusable.
- pH-neutral stone cleaner – Look for a stone cleaner specifically formulated for engineered stone/quartz. The pH-neutral formula helps remove dirt without stripping the finish.
- Soft sponge or nonabrasive scrub pad – For tougher dirt or stains, use a soft sponge or scrub pad to gently rub the surface without scratching.
- Dish soap and warm water – For basic everyday cleaning, dish soap and warm water often does the trick. Avoid harsh detergents.
- Clean bucket – Use one bucket for the cleaning solution, and a separate bucket of clean water for rinsing.
- Squeegee – A squeegee helps wipe surfaces dry and prevent spots.
- Sealant (optional) – Resealing your quartz every 1-2 years will add extra protection.
What Not to Use on Quartz
Just as important as using the right cleaners is avoiding the wrong ones. Here are some products to keep away from your quartz countertops:
- Abrasive cleansers – Anything gritty or harsh like Soft Scrub can scratch the surface.
- Bleach-based cleaners – Chemicals like bleach can discolor quartz and strip the finish.
- Vinegar – While fine for cleaning tile or natural stone, vinegar should be avoided for engineered quartz.
- Ammonia – Contained in many window and multi-surface cleaners, ammonia can dull the quartz shine.
- Acidic cleaners – Anything with a low pH like lime or rust removers can etch the surface.
By sticking to pH-neutral stone cleaners and avoiding harsh chemicals, you can safely clean your quartz without damage.
Daily Cleaning Tips for Quartz Countertops
For regular day-to-day cleaning, quartz requires just simple maintenance. Here are some quick tips for keeping countertops tidy:
- Clear clutter and wipe up spills right away to prevent dried on messes.
- Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe up food debris after meal prep, arts and crafts, etc.
- For stuck on dirt, apply a few spritzes of pH-neutral stone cleaner and wipe clean.
- At least once a week, give quartz a thorough cleaning with stone cleaner and a soft scrub pad.
- Rinse well and dry with a squeegee to prevent water spots.
- For best results, sanitize your microfiber cloths and scrub pads regularly.
- Avoid using quartz as a cutting surface to prevent deep scratches. Use a cutting board instead.
- Don’t drag pots, appliances or utensils across the countertop. Always lift them straight up.
- Immediately blot any spills like wine, coffee or juice and clean as soon as possible.
With regular light cleaning, quartz countertops should stay looking like new for years.
How to Deep Clean Quartz Countertops
Over time, quartz can develop harder to remove stains and residue that require more intensive cleaning methods. Here’s how to give your countertops a deep clean:
Step 1 – Remove Everything from Countertops
Clear all items from the countertops – small appliances, knife blocks, fruit bowls, etc. You’ll need full access to the entire surface.
Step 2 – Mix Stone Cleaner Solution
Mix a few teaspoons of pH-neutral stone cleaner into a spray bottle filled with warm water. Check the dilution ratio on the bottle.
Step 3 – Apply Cleaner and Let Sit
Spray the stone cleaner solution generously over the entire countertop surface. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes so it can penetrate and lift stains.
Step 4 – Scrub with Soft Pad
Use a soft scrub pad, sponge or microfiber cloth to gently scrub entire surface. Apply light pressure and work the cleaner over stained areas.
Step 5 – Rinse Thoroughly
Take a clean microfiber cloth and wipe countertops to remove all cleaner residue. Rinse several times with fresh, clean water.
Step 6 – Blot Dry
Blot up all excess moisture using paper towels or a microfiber cloth so no water spots form.
Step 7 – Squeegee and Buff Dry
Finish drying by running a squeegee across the countertops. Then take a dry microfiber cloth and buff the surface to a polished shine.
Deep cleaning quartz countertops using this simple process every month or two keeps them looking like new.
How to Remove Difficult Stains from Quartz
Quartz resists stains much better than natural stone. But certain spills if left too long can leave a stubborn mark. Here are some tips for removing common quartz stains:
Coffee and Tea Stains
- Spray stain with stone cleaner. Let sit 5 minutes.
- Gently scrub with nonabrasive pad and rinse.
- For stubborn stains, rub with baking soda paste then rinse.
Dried Food Stains
- Soak stain with hot, soapy water for 15-20 minutes.
- Gently scrub residue with a plastic scraper.
- Spray with stone cleaner and scrub with pad.
Grease and Oil Stains
- Apply degreasing dish soap onto stain. Allow to penetrate 5 minutes.
- Scrub with a soft sponge then rinse thoroughly.
- Repeat process if needed for heavy stains.
Marker and Pen Stains
- Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the stain.
- Let sit 1-2 minutes then wipe with cloth.
- Repeat as needed, scrubbing gently with pad.
Hard Water Stains
- Make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply to the stain.
- Let sit for 5 minutes then scrub and rinse.
- For tough stains, use a vinegar-soaked microfiber cloth.
With a little cleaning effort, even dried on stains can typically be removed from quartz surfaces. Just take care not to use anything too harsh or abrasive.
How to Sanitize and Disinfect Quartz Countertops
Regular disinfecting of quartz countertops helps keep germs and bacteria at bay. Here are some safe ways to sanitize:
Using Disinfecting Wipes
- Look for wipes made for stone like Clorox Disinfecting Wipes for Granite and Quartz.
- Wipe down surfaces, allowing the formula to sit wet for 3-5 minutes.
- Rinse afterwards with a damp microfiber cloth.
- Make a 10:1 water to bleach solution.
- Spray over surface and let sit 1-2 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- Mix equal parts water and distilled white vinegar.
- Apply to surface and let solution sit 5 minutes.
- Scrub with a soft sponge and rinse well.
Be sure to avoid harsh disinfectants like ammonia or hydrogen peroxide which can damage the quartz. Also test cleaners in inconspicuous spots first to ensure they don’t discolor the surface.
How to Clean Backsplash and Wall Areas
In addition to countertops, quartz is often used for kitchen backsplashes and feature walls. Clean these vertical surfaces with care:
- Use a diluted stone cleaner in a spray bottle to avoid excessive dripping.
- Spray from the bottom up to prevent streaking. Let solution sit for 5 minutes.
- Use a soft microfiber cloth or sponge mop to gently scrub up the wall.
- Immediately rinse off all cleaner residue with fresh water.
- Dry the surface with a squeegee, holding it vertically.
- Avoid scratching the quartz with abrasives or dragging tools against the wall.
With a gentle touch, quartz backsplashes clean up just as easily as countertops. Just take care to rinse thoroughly and buff dry.
Tips for Cleaning Quartz Sinks
Quartz makes for durable and stylish sink basins. Follow these tips for cleaning:
- Every day – wipe basin with soapy dish cloth or sponge. Rinse and air dry.
- Weekly – spray basin with diluted stone cleaner. Allow to sit 5 minutes then scrub.
- Monthly – scrub with baking soda paste. Helps remove discoloration and odors.
- Avoid abrasive pads which can scratch. Use soft cloth or sponge only.
- For stuck on gunk – fill basin with warm water. Add liquid dish soap. Allow to soak then scrub.
- Never place hot pots or pans directly into a quartz sink basin. Can damage surface.
With regular light scrubbing, a quartz sink stays looking fresh and stain-free.
Can You Use Bleach to Clean Quartz Countertops?
It’s best to avoid using full strength bleach or other harsh chemicals on quartz countertops. However, you can safely use a diluted bleach cleaning solution. Here are some guidelines:
- Only use plain, unscented bleach. No splashless, scented or color-safe formulas.
- Dilute regular bleach 10 parts water to 1 part bleach.
- Limit use to disinfecting and sanitizing. Avoid as an all-purpose cleaner.
- Test solution on an inconspicuous spot first to check for discoloration.
- Limit contact time to 1-2 minutes then immediately rinse surface.
- Never mix bleach solution with vinegar or other acids.
Used sparingly and correctly diluted, bleach can occasionally be used to sanitize quartz surfaces without damage. But for regular cleaning, stick to pH-neutral stone cleaners.
Does Quartz Need to be Sealed?
A common question new quartz owners have is whether the countertops need regular sealing like natural stone. The answer is no:
- Quartz comes pre-sealed by manufacturers with a durable resin coating.
- This man-made sealer prevents stains and damage from penetrating the slab.
- Resealing quartz is purely optional unlike more porous granite, marble, etc.
- If desired, quartz can be resealed every 1-2 years for added protection.
- Use a sealing product specifically designed for engineered stone.
So while sealing agents can provide an added layer of water and stain resistance for quartz countertops, they do not require regular resealing every year.
Quartz Countertop Maintenance Tips
In addition to cleaning, there are a few maintenance tips that help preserve the look and performance of your quartz countertops:
- Avoid excessive heat by using trivets and hot pads under hot pans, appliances, etc.
- Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions regarding chemicals to avoid.
- Immediately clean up spills before they have a chance to soak in.
- Keep quartz looking new by cleaning regularly with pH-neutral stone cleaner.
- Consider resealing every year or two for enhanced stain protection.
- Avoid using quartz as a cutting surface to prevent deep scratches.
- Don’t place recycled glass or shattered clay items on countertops as they can scratch.
With proper care and cleaning, quartz countertops will provide lasting beauty in your kitchen or bath for decades. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance and warranty information. Reach out to the quartz company with any product-specific care recommendations or instructions.
Common Questions About Cleaning Quartz Countertops
There are a few other common questions that come up regarding the proper cleaning and care for quartz countertops:
Can you use vinegar to clean quartz?
It’s best to avoid vinegar and other acidic cleaners on quartz. Always stick to pH-neutral stone cleaners instead.
What removes hard water stains from quartz?
Make a paste with baking soda and water to gently scrub out hard water stains on quartz. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.
Is a magic eraser safe for cleaning quartz?
Yes, magic erasers can be used to remove some tough stains from quartz as long as the pad is completely new and debris-free. Avoid overly aggressive scrubbing.
How do you polish dull quartz countertops?
Restore dull, etched areas of quartz by carefully scrubbing with a baking soda paste. Rinse thoroughly afterwards and dry buff to regain shine. Avoid wax or polish products.
What household items can I use to clean quartz?
Good homemade options are dish soap, baking soda, diluted hydrogen peroxide or mild citrus-based cleaners. Avoid acidic products like vinegar.
How can I remove dull soap scum buildup on my quartz?
Mix equal parts white vinegar and distilled water and scrub with a soft cloth to dissolve soap scum. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.
How often should quartz countertops be professionally cleaned?
For residential kitchens, a professional deep cleaning just once or twice a year is plenty as long as you upkeep daily cleaning yourself.
Always refer to your specific quartz manufacturer’s recommendations for the proper care and maintenance routine. With regular cleaning and caution to avoid damage, quartz countertops can stay looking like new for a lifetime.
There are many good reasons quartz countertops have become such a popular choice for today’s kitchens and baths. When properly cared for, quartz offers unparalleled durability, distinctive style, and resistance to scratches, stains and heat. But no surface is completely maintenance-free. By following these cleaning tips, your beautiful quartz countertops will stay looking flawless for decades to come.
The keys are to clean quartz frequently with a pH-neutral stone cleaner, avoid harsh chemicals that can dull or etch the surface, and immediately clean spills before they have a chance to soak in. Daily maintenance is fast and simple – just a quick wipe down with soapy water followed by a stone cleaner application as needed.
For deeper cleaning, use a soft scrub pad and mild stone cleaner to gently remove built-up grime and restore the quartz to its original shine. With this simple care routine, quartz requires very little maintenance while still looking pristine.
Be sure to refer to your specific brand’s care instructions as well for any additional maintenance tips. With proper cleaning and care, you can enjoy stunning, like-new quartz countertops enhancing your home’s beauty for life.