Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz countertops are prone to germs and bacteria buildup and require regular disinfecting. Here is a detailed guide on how to properly disinfect quartz countertops.
Quartz countertops, made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments, have become increasingly common in homes and businesses over the last decade. Compared to natural stone and solid surface countertops, quartz is non-porous, making it resistant to stains and microbes. However, quartz is not impervious and does require occasional disinfecting to eliminate germs.
Proper disinfecting helps maintain the beauty of quartz while protecting the health of those using the spaces. When choosing disinfectants for quartz, it is important to select cleaners that are effective germ-killers but not too abrasive or harsh. Strong chemicals like bleach or ammonia can damage or discolor quartz surfaces over time.
This article will discuss recommended techniques and cleaning solutions to safely sanitize quartz countertops without damaging the material.
Why Disinfect Quartz Countertops
Disinfecting quartz countertops on a regular basis serves several important purposes:
- Eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses: Countertops harbor microbes that can cause illnesses. Disinfecting kills dangerous pathogens like Salmonella, E. coli, and norovirus that may be present.
- Prevent growth and spread of mold and mildew: Disinfectants inhibit mold, mildew, and fungus growth on moist countertops.
- Remove stains and residues: Disinfecting cleans up spills, grease, and dirt that can lead to stains over time.
- Extend life of countertops: Regular disinfecting keeps quartz looking like new and prevents damage from buildup.
- Improve air quality: Eliminating bacteria on surfaces reduces odds of contaminants circulating in the air.
Regularly sanitizing with the proper solutions restores counters to a germ-free state and provides peace of mind.
How Often to Disinfect Quartz Countertops
The frequency of disinfecting depends on usage and exposure to spills:
- High traffic kitchen countertops: Disinfect daily or every other day.
- Bathroom vanity countertops: Disinfect 2-3 times per week.
- Dining and bar countertops: Disinfect before and after use or at least weekly.
- Low traffic areas: Disinfect monthly.
Disinfect immediately after exposure to raw meat juices, blood, or other body fluids. It is also smart to disinfect after illnesses and before food preparation or entertaining guests.
Gather these supplies before disinfecting quartz countertops:
- Mild non-abrasive cleaner or disinfectant: Look for options specifically formulated for stone surfaces.
- Soft microfiber cloth, sponge, or paper towels: Avoid abrasive pads or brushes.
- Bucket of warm water: Use to rinse cleaner.
- Drying towel: Absorb water so surfaces air dry streak-free.
- Protective gloves: Guard against irritation from cleaning solutions.
Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach, vinegar, ammonia, abrasive powders, or acidic cleaners which can scratch, pit, and dull quartz over time.
Step-by-Step Disinfecting Process
Follow these steps to safely sanitize quartz countertops:
1. Clear Countertops
Remove everything from the countertop before disinfecting. This prevents cross-contamination and allows access to the entire surface area.
2. Apply Cleaner
Spray or wipe quartz cleaner evenly across the entire countertop surface area. Avoid saturating the area. Read product label and let sit for the recommended contact time to effectively kill germs.
3. Scrub Surface
Gently scrub countertops using a soft cloth, sponge, or paper towel. Apply light pressure and wipe in circular motions to lift dirt and grime. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.
4. Rinse Thoroughly
Wipe away cleaner residue with a clean damp cloth or sponge. Rinsing prevents buildup of cleaning agents.
5. Dry Surface
Wipe away all moisture with a clean microfiber cloth or paper towels. Allow quartz to completely air dry.
6. Reapply as Needed
Reapply disinfectant to any stubborn spots. Let sit before rinsing and drying again.
Discard paper towels after use. Launder microfiber cloths and sponges regularly.
Look for these effective and quartz-safe disinfecting solutions:
- Hydrogen peroxide: Kills germs without harsh fumes or residue.
- Isopropyl alcohol: Removes bacteria, dries fast without streaks. Dilute higher concentrations.
- White vinegar: Contains acetic acid to break down grime and disinfect. Avoid long-term use.
- Tea tree, thyme, clove or lavender oils: Have anti-microbial and antiseptic properties.
- Commercial stone cleaners: Use products specifically labeled for quartz.
Avoid mixing cleaning solutions. Never use abrasive pads, powdered cleansers, bleach, or ammonia which can damage the quartz sealant.
Tips for Proper Disinfecting
Follow these tips for safe, effective quartz countertop disinfection:
- Spot test cleaners on a small inconspicuous area first.
- Apply cleaners sparingly and avoid harsh scrubbing.
- Blot spills quickly to avoid deep staining.
- Install a waterproof silicone sealant between countertops and sinks.
- Disinfect sinks, faucets and backsplashes too to eliminate all germs.
- Allow treated areas to dry completely before use.
- Wear gloves and wash hands after disinfecting.
- Rinse all food contact surfaces thoroughly.
- Replace worn sponges and towels to prevent recontamination.
Avoiding Damage When Disinfecting
To keep quartz pristine when sanitizing:
- Never use scouring powders, abrasive pads, or acidic cleaners.
- Don’t spray cleaners directly on electrical outlets near countertops.
- Ensure cleaner-soaked sponges are thoroughly rinsed and free of grit.
- Blot spills quickly to prevent deep staining.
- Wipe standing water and cleaner residue to prevent buildup.
- Avoid exposing quartz to harsh chemicals like paint removers or oven cleaners.
With the proper techniques and solutions, quartz countertops can be routinely disinfected without worry of deterioration or damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best homemade disinfectant for quartz?
A mix of mild dish soap and warm water can be effective for routine cleansing. For deeper disinfecting, a hydrogen peroxide and water solution is a safe homemade option. Always avoid abrasive ingredients and rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
Can I use rubbing alcohol to disinfect quartz?
Yes, diluted isopropyl rubbing alcohol is generally considered safe for periodic disinfecting of quartz surfaces. Combine it with water at a 1:1 ration and wipe on using a soft cloth. Avoid vigorously scrubbing. Make sure to rinse thoroughly after to avoid residue buildup.
How can you disinfect quartz countertops naturally?
Some effective natural disinfectants for quartz are hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, thyme oil, clove oil, and lavender oil. These solution contain antimicrobial compounds and break down residues. Apply sparingly with a soft cloth and rinse thoroughly after the recommended contact time.
Is Lysol a good disinfectant for quartz?
Lysol brand disinfectant products are approved for use on quartz surfaces provided they are not overused. Stick to the kitchen, bathroom, and granite and stone cleaners and avoid harsh chemicals like bleach. Be sure to dilute concentrated options and limit scrubbing to prevent etching.
Can you use rubbing alcohol on quartz countertops every day?
It’s not recommended to use full-strength rubbing alcohol on quartz daily as it can dull the finish over time. For daily disinfecting, stick to mild soapy water or a diluted alcohol solution. Straight alcohol can be used occasionally for deep cleaning dried spills in conjunction with non-abrasive scrubbing.
Regular disinfecting is key to preserving the look and lifespan of quartz countertops. Using the proper solutions and techniques allows you to kill germs and keep counters looking like new without risk of damage. Focus on frequent gentle cleaning using soft cloths and quartz-safe disinfectants. Proper care will keep quartz countertops sanitary and pristine for years of use.