Quartz countertops are popular in many homes today due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance. However, like any surface in the kitchen, quartz countertops are prone to accumulating germs and bacteria that can cause illnesses. Disinfecting and sanitizing your quartz countertops regularly is important to eliminate harmful microorganisms. Thankfully, there are several effective options available to disinfect quartz countertops safely.
What is Quartz?
Before looking at how to disinfect quartz counter surfaces, it’s helpful to understand what quartz is exactly. Quartz is an engineered stone made from crushed quartz blended with plastic resins and pigments. The end result is a non-porous, solid surface material that is resistant to scratches, stains, heat, and moisture.
Unlike natural stone countertops like granite or marble, quartz does not need to be sealed. The resins make quartz impervious to liquids. This non-porous nature makes quartz an ideal countertop material for kitchens and bathrooms. However, the solid surface can still harbor bacteria if not cleaned properly.
How to Disinfect Quartz Countertops
When it comes to disinfecting quartz, it’s important to use cleaning solutions that are non-abrasive and specifically formulated for quartz. Here are some of the best options:
1. Dish Soap and Warm Water
One of the simplest ways to disinfect quartz countertops is with warm water and plain dish soap. Apply a small amount of dish soap to a soft sponge or cloth, scrub the surface, then rinse thoroughly with warm water. The soap and water solution will remove dirt and grime to sanitize the countertop. Avoid using abrasive sponges that could scratch the surface.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide
As a mild bleach, hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant for quartz. Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the countertop and let sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping clean with a soft cloth. For tougher stain removal, allow the peroxide solution to sit for longer. Rinse thoroughly after disinfecting.
White household vinegar is a natural antibacterial agent. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. After cleaning with soap and water, spray the vinegar solution onto the quartz countertop and wipe with a clean cloth. Pure undiluted vinegar can also be used for disinfecting, but rinse thoroughly afterwards. Vinegar may help remove residues left behind by hard water stains.
4. Bleach-based Cleaners
Look for cleaners specifically made for quartz that contain bleach, like chlorine or oxalic acid. Carefully follow the product instructions. Avoid excessive scrubbing and immediately rinse the surface after cleaning. Prolonged contact of bleach on the countertop should be avoided. Never use abrasive bleach products.
5. UV sterilizers
For a chemical-free option, UVC sterilizers can sanitize your quartz countertops. These gadgets use UV light to eliminate bacteria. Simply place the sterilizer on the countertop and allow the light to work its disinfecting power.
Tips for Cleaning Quartz Countertops
- Avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners than can damage the surface.
- Use a soft sponge or cloth when scrubbing. Never use abrasive pads.
- Rinse surfaces thoroughly after applying any cleaner.
- Blot up spills immediately to prevent stains.
- Regularly disinfect high traffic areas like around the sink.
- Use trivets or hot pads under hot pans or dishes.
Can You Use Clorox Wipes on Quartz?
Pre-moistened Clorox wipes are safe and effective for disinfecting quartz countertops provided they are formulated for stone surfaces. Avoid using harsh scrubbing pads in conjunction with the wipes. Gently wipe the surface using light circular motions to lift dirt and kill germs. Rinse afterwards with a damp cloth to remove any chemical residue. Don’t let the Clorox solution sit for an extended period.
Deep Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Over time, quartz surfaces can develop a dulled appearance or difficult stains that require a deeper clean. Here are some options:
- Baking soda paste – Make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply to stains and let sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. The abrasive yet gentle baking soda will break down residues.
- Glass cleaner – Spray ammonia-free glass cleaner onto tough spots, allow to sit briefly, then wipe clean with a soft cloth.
- Distilled white vinegar – For hard water stains, saturate a cloth with undiluted white vinegar and place over marks. After an hour, scrub and rinse. Vinegar dissolves mineral deposits.
- Polishing cleanser – Gently rub a specialized quartz polishing cleanser onto dull areas using small circular motions. Avoid applying too much pressure. Rinse the countertop thoroughly afterwards.
How to Sanitize Quartz Countertops After Cleaning
Once your quartz countertops have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, follow these steps to properly sanitize the surface:
- Rinse with clean warm water and wipe dry with a fresh microfiber cloth.
- Spray rubbing alcohol over the entire surface. Rubbing alcohol kills any lingering bacteria.
- Allow the alcohol to sit on the quartz for 5 minutes before wiping dry with a clean cloth.
- Lastly, take a small slice of lemon and rub it over the surface. The acidity in lemon juice provides extra disinfecting power and leaves surfaces streak-free.
- Polish dry using small circular motions with a dry microfiber cloth.
Your quartz countertops are now restored to a sanitary condition!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use lemon juice to clean quartz countertops?
Yes, lemon juice is safe for cleaning quartz. The mild citric acid provides disinfecting benefits and can help remove some stains. Avoid using pure lemon juice long-term, as the acidity may eventually etch the surface. Dilute lemon juice with water before using. Rinse surfaces thoroughly after cleaning.
What should you not use on quartz?
Avoid the following products on quartz countertops:
- Vinegar or lemon juice in high concentrations
- Abrasive cleansers with grit
- Acidic or alkaline drain cleaners
- Oven cleaners
- Abrasive pads or paper towels
Does quartz need to be resealed?
Unlike natural stone, quartz does not require sealing. The resins used to make quartz make it non-porous and impervious to liquids. Sealing quartz is unnecessary and will not provide additional protection. Save your money!
Can you use rubbing alcohol to disinfect quartz?
Yes, rubbing alcohol is safe for disinfecting quartz surfaces. The alcohol will sanitize the countertop and evaporate quickly without leaving a residue. Use a concentration of at least 70% isopropyl alcohol and rinse after disinfecting. Avoid prolonged exposure.
Can I use an all-purpose cleaner on quartz?
It’s best to avoid all-purpose cleaners on quartz countertops. Many contain chemicals like ammonia, bleach or acids that may damage quartz over time. Use only cleaners specifically formulated to be non-abrasive and safe for quartz surfaces.
Regularly disinfecting quartz countertops is vital to eliminate harmful bacteria that can cause illnesses. Thankfully, quartz can be easily cleaned and sanitized with common household products like dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and bleach cleaners. Avoid abrasive chemicals or pads, and always rinse surfaces thoroughly after cleaning. With the proper gentle cleaners and techniques, you can safely keep your beautiful quartz countertops germ-free and sparkling clean.