Quartz countertops are popular in many modern kitchens and bathrooms because of their durability, aesthetics, and ease of maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz countertops require regular cleaning to keep them looking their best. Here is a detailed guide on the best practices for cleaning quartz countertops.
Quartz countertops, made from engineered stone, are an increasingly popular choice for home renovations. Compared to natural stone like granite or marble, quartz is non-porous, making it resistant to stains and mildew. It’s also durable, scratch-resistant, and available in a wide range of colors and patterns.
However, quartz still requires proper maintenance and cleaning to prevent buildup of dirt, grime, and bacteria. Using the wrong cleaners can also degrade the surface over time. Following best practices allows you to safely clean quartz and maintain its beautiful appearance for years.
Best Cleaners for Routine Maintenance
For routine cleaning and upkeep of quartz countertops, simple mild cleaners are recommended:
- Warm water – Use a soft cloth dipped in warm water to wipe down quartz after everyday use. The heat helps loosen and dissolve dirt and oils.
- PH-neutral stone soap – Specialty stone soaps gently clean without stripping away protective coatings. Look for brands safe for engineered stone.
- Dish soap – A few drops of mild dish washing liquid like Dawn mixed with warm water can be used to clean quartz. Avoid more caustic detergents.
- Hydrogen peroxide – As a mild disinfectant, a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution can sanitize quartz surfaces.
- Vinegar – For hard water spots, a 50/50 vinegar and water mixture helps dissolve mineral deposits. Rinse thoroughly after.
Avoid abrasive cleaners like scouring pads, powders, or anything acidic or alkaline which can scratch, pit, or etch the surface.
Deep Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Over time, quartz can develop darker stains in high traffic areas near sinks or stovetops. For a deeper clean, try:
- Baking soda paste – Make a paste with baking soda and water and apply to stained areas. Let sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing and rinsing. The abrasiveness lifts stains.
- Glass cleaner – Spray a vinegar-based glass cleaner onto tough spots. Wipe down thoroughly with a soft cloth.
- Steam clean – A handheld steamer held close to the quartz surface helps loosen dried-on grime. Wipe away with a paper towel.
- Sanitizing wipes – Look for wipes made specifically for stone that disinfect and brighten quartz.
- Polishing paste – Rub a polishing paste designated for engineered stone in a circular motion using a soft cloth. Avoid over-polishing.
Any deep scratches or etching on quartz will require professional resurfacing. Avoid using strongly alkaline or acidic cleaners which degrade quartz.
What to Avoid Using on Quartz
Because quartz is vulnerable to damage from chemicals, avoid:
- Abrasive cleaners – Anything gritty like Comet powder, Magic Erasers, etc can scratch.
- Vinegar or lemon – Full strength acids etch and pit quartz over time. Always dilute with water.
- Bleach – Chlorine degrades sealants and discolors quartz. Use hydrogen peroxide instead.
- Ammonia – Found in many glass cleaners, ammonia erodes the resin binding quartz particles.
- Alcohol – Chemicals like isopropyl alcohol can dull the polished finish.
- Acetone – Nail polish remover and cleaners with acetone strip sealants off quartz.
- Abrasive pads – Scouring pads, brushes, and sponges mar the surface. Use soft cloths only.
Any product label that specifies not to use on stone or quartz should be avoided. Test new cleaners in an inconspicuous spot first.
Tips for Keeping Quartz Countertops Looking Their Best
Follow these tips to maintain the appearance and integrity of your quartz:
- Wipe up spills immediately to prevent stains setting in cracks.
- Regularly clean quartz surfaces 1-2 times per week.
- Use trivets, hot pads, and cutting boards to minimize direct heat and scratching.
- Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a stone sealer made for engineered stone.
- Avoid sitting or placing heavy loads on countertops to prevent stress cracks.
- Have countertops professionally refinished if etching or scratches become severe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is quartz really stain proof?
While resistant, quartz can be stained by spills like wine or oil if left for prolonged periods. Wipe up messes quickly to avoid permanent discoloration in the surface pores.
Can I use bleach or ammonia?
No, avoid cleaners containing chlorine bleach or ammonia as they will degrade and discolor the quartz surface over time.
How can I get rid of hard water marks?
Hard water deposits can be removed by spraying with vinegar and wiping clean. For stubborn spots, cover with poultice made of baking soda and water before scrubbing.
What’s the best way to sanitize quartz?
To safely disinfect quartz, use a sanitizing wipe made for stone or a dilute hydrogen peroxide solution. This kills germs without damaging sealants.
How do I get rid of dull cloudy spots?
A buildup of mineral deposits, grime, and soap scum can leave cloudy spots. Use a granite polish or glass cleaner specifically formulated for quartz.
Can you repair chips or cracks in quartz?
Small chips can be sanded and polished down by a professional. However, deep cracks require a full quartz countertop replacement. Prevent cracks by avoiding standing on it.
With the right routine cleaning and maintenance, quartz countertops can stay looking fresh, hygienic, and damage-free for years after installation. Be sure to use only recommended mild cleaners and immediately wipe up spills to prevent stains. Avoid abrasive pads or anything acidic or alkaline. Professional refinishing may be needed if etching or scratches occur. Following these best practices will keep your quartz surfaces in excellent condition.