Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments, quartz offers an attractive, low-maintenance, and durable surface. But while quartz is touted for its resilience, it still requires proper care and cleaning to keep it looking like new. This article will explore everything you need to know about what to use on quartz countertops.
Cleaning Quartz Countertops
The key to keeping quartz counters clean is using the right products and techniques. Here are some do’s and don’ts for cleaning quartz:
Use a pH-neutral Cleaner
- Quartz is sensitive to acidic or alkaline cleaners which can etch or dull the surface. Use a mild pH-neutral cleaner instead.
- Look for cleaners specially formulated for stone and quartz. Simple Green, Method Stone Cleaner, or Mrs. Meyer’s are good options.
Avoid Abrasive Cleansers
- Don’t use cleaning products containing acids, alkalis, or abrasive components like bleach, ammonia, vinegar,etc.
- Stay away from scouring pads, abrasive sponges, and stiff brushes.
Clean Up Spills Quickly
- Immediately wipe up spills, especially oils, vinegars, wines, etc. Acidic liquids can dull the surface.
- For dried on spills, use a non-abrasive cleaning pad with a stone-safe cleaner.
Rinse Well After Cleaning
- Always rinse the surface thoroughly after cleaning to remove residue.
- Residue left behind from cleaners can build up and create streaks.
What to Use Daily
For routine light cleaning and upkeep:
- Warm water – Use a microfiber cloth dampened with warm water. This helps remove dust and fingerprints.
- Glass cleaner – For polishing and making counters streak-free, use a non-ammonia glass cleaner.
- Dish soap – For greasy spots, use a few drops of mild dish soap diluted in warm water. Rinse well after cleaning.
Sanitizing Quartz Counters
To safely disinfect your quartz:
- Rubbing alcohol – Wipe down surfaces with 70% isopropyl alcohol. Rinse afterwards.
- Hydrogen peroxide – Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with four parts water for an effective sanitizing solution.
- Lysol or Clorox disinfectant wipes – Look for options specifically labeled “stone safe.”
Avoid These on Quartz
Steer clear of the following cleaners and chemicals:
- Vinegar, lemon juice, or other acids
- Alkaline cleaners like bleach or ammonia
- Abrasive powders, scouring pads, and scrubbing brushes
- Hard water stain removers
- Solvent-based cleaners like lacquer thinner
- Oil or grease removers like citrus cleaners
- Bar or dish soaps containing additives like lotions
Using these can damage the finish, cause etching, or leave unsightly scratches on quartz counters.
Treating Stains and Etches on Quartz
Quartz is less prone to staining than other countertop materials but not immune. For treating stains:
- Use baking soda and water paste and gently rub with a soft cloth. Rinse afterwards.
- For tougher grease stains, use a degreasing cleaner like Simple Green.
Watermarks and Mineral Deposits
- Soak a cloth in undiluted white vinegar and place over marks for 20 minutes.
- After vinegar treatment, clean as normal. Rinse thoroughly.
- Softened dried spills by covering with a damp paper towel. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Gently scrape residue with a plastic putty knife. Be careful not to scratch.
- Clean as normal afterwards. Use a non-abrasive pad if needed.
- Minor etching can be buffed gently with a 6000 grit wet-dry sandpaper. Limit buffing to the affected area.
- Use a circular polishing motion. Take care not to create uneven spots.
For severe etching or damage, professional repair or resurfacing may be needed. Contact your quartz manufacturer.
Maintenance Tips for Quartz
- Use trivets, hot pads, and coasters under hot pans and heat-generating appliances.
- Don’t cut food directly on quartz counters. Use a cutting board.
- Clean up spills immediately before they have a chance to soak in and stain.
- Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealant made for stone.
- Perform periodic deep cleaning using a non-abrasive degreasing cleanser.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is quartz really maintenance free?
While very low-maintenance, quartz still requires proper care and cleaning to prevent damage. Use the right products and you’ll enjoy a lifetime of beauty.
How often should I clean quartz counters?
For light daily cleaning, just using a microfiber cloth with warm water or a PH-neutral cleaner is sufficient. Regularly clean any grease or spills. Deep clean every 1-2 weeks.
Why avoid vinegar on quartz?
Though a popular cleaning ingredient, vinegar is acidic and can dull, etch, and degrade a quartz finish. Use a non-acidic stone-safe cleaner instead.
What about using bleach or abrasive scrub pads?
Never use abrasive pads or powders, scouring brushes, or harsh chemicals like bleach on quartz. Always stick to non-abrasive, PH-neutral cleaners and pads.
Will quartz stain from red wine or coffee spills?
Quartz is less prone to staining than other surfaces but not impervious. Immediately clean spills before they have a chance to set. For dried-on stains, use a baking soda paste.
With the proper care and maintenance, quartz countertops can stay looking pristine and beautiful for years. Be sure to use the right kinds of cleaning products designed for stone surfaces. Avoid abrasive chemicals or tools that could scratch. And follow a regular cleaning regimen to keep quartz counters spotless. Pay attention to immediate cleanup of spills before they have a chance to stain. With some simple precautions, you’ll enjoy durable, worry-free quartz counters.