Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for modern kitchens and bathrooms 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 pristine. Here is an in-depth look at the best practices for cleaning quartz countertops.
Why Quartz Needs Regular Cleaning
While quartz is touted as a low-maintenance material, it does require routine cleaning to maintain its beauty and function. Here are some key reasons to regularly clean quartz:
- Prevent Buildup of Grime & Residue – Like any surface, quartz can accumulate dirt, dust, oil, soap scum, and other debris that can dull its appearance over time. Regular cleaning prevents buildup.
- Reduce Stains – Quartz is non-porous, so stains have a hard time setting in. But given time, stains from spills like wine, coffee, and juices can seep in and discolor the surface. Frequent cleaning prevents this.
- Eliminate Bacteria – Kitchen counters see a lot of food prep, which can leave traces of bacteria behind. Disinfecting quartz regularly keeps bacteria at bay.
- Avoid Etching – While quartz is resistant to acids, frequent exposure to things like lemon juice and vinegar can eventually etch the surface. Cleaning up spills quickly prevents etching damage.
- Maintain Shine – With time and use, quartz can lose its glossy just-installed shine. Regular cleaning restores the quartz sheen.
Supplies Needed for Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Cleaning quartz does not require specialized products – simple mild dish soap and water can effectively clean quartz in many cases. Here are the basic supplies needed:
- Mild liquid dish soap – Steer clear of anything too harsh or abrasive. Stick to mild, pH-balanced dish soaps.
- Warm water – Warm, soapy water is sufficient for most cleaning. Avoid extremely hot water.
- Soft sponge or cloth – Use a soft sponge, microfiber cloth or paper towels to gently wipe the quartz. Avoid scrubbing pads.
- Damp microfiber cloth – For final wipedown and removing residue. Microfiber picks up dust well.
- Glass cleaner – Optional ammonia-free glass cleaner can add shine.
- **Disinfecting wipes or spray **- Look for ones safe for stone. Useful for sanitizing quartz occasionally.
Having these basic cleaning supplies readily available under the sink or in a drawer keeps quartz cleaning easy.
Step-By-Step Guide for Cleaning Quartz Countertops
Cleaning quartz countertops is a quick and simple process. Here is a step-by-step guide:
1. Remove Surface Clutter
Clear counters of movable items like small appliances, dishes, jars, etc. This gives full access to the quartz surface and prevents spraying water on items.
2. Mix Warm Water and Dish Soap
Fill a bowl or spray bottle with warm water. Add a small squirt of mild, pH-balanced dish soap and stir or shake briefly to mix. The soap helps lift dirt and grease.
3. Wipe Down the Entire Surface
Dip a soft sponge or cloth in the soapy water and wring out excess. Wipe down the entire quartz surface using light, circular motions. Clean any dirty spots.
4. Rinse Thoroughly
Take a clean damp cloth or sponge and wipe away all soapy residue. Ensure no soap streaks remain on the quartz. Rinse any cloth used as needed.
5. Dry Completely
Use a dry microfiber towel or paper towels to dry the quartz thoroughly. A squeaky clean surface ensures no water marks.
6. Finish with Glass Cleaner (Optional)
For added shine and smudge removal, spray a small amount of ammonia-free glass cleaner onto a microfiber cloth and wipe the surface. Polish dry with a fresh cloth.
And that’s it! Just 6 simple steps to refresh quartz countertops using basic supplies. With regular weekly cleaning, quartz maintains its beauty with little effort.
Tips for Effective Quartz Cleaning
Follow these handy tips for the best results when cleaning quartz:
- Quartz can be cleaned immediately after install – no need to wait after installation.
- Inspect quartz under light to identify any problem areas in need of extra cleaning.
- Dampen rather than soak cloths and sponges so quartz is not dripping wet.
- Apply cleaners sparingly – a light solution works better than heavy, concentrated cleaner.
- Blot spills quickly with a paper towel or cloth rather than letting them sit.
- For dried spills, let warm soapy water sit for several minutes before wiping.
- Work in sections for large countertops so cleaner does not dry out as you wipe.
- Rinse thoroughly after cleaning to eliminate streaks and residue.
- Change rinse water frequently as it will pick up dirt – keeping it clean maximizes results.
- Finish by rubbing a dry cloth to buff out any remaining water droplets.
Adhering to these tips when cleaning quartz makes the process fast, effective, and hassle-free.
How Often Should You Clean Quartz Countertops?
A regular weekly cleaning is ideal for quartz countertops in most kitchens. High traffic kitchens may need more frequent cleaning 2-3 times per week. Bathroom vanity tops with less use only need cleaning every 2-3 weeks. Here are some situations that call for more frequent quartz cleaning:
- After Heavy Food Prep – Disinfect and clean quartz after heavy food prep days involving meat, poultry, fish, eggs etc. to keep bacteria at bay.
- Visibility of Spills/Stains – Clean as soon as spills are visible to prevent stains setting in. Don’t leave spills longer than a day or two.
- Lots of Daily Use – High traffic kitchens used heavily each day need more frequent cleaning to counter heavy usage.
- Between Guests or Events – Cleaning after visitors or parties helps keep quartz pristine for next guests.
- Routine Disinfecting – Consider doing an occasional deep clean using a stone-safe disinfectant to kill germs.
Unless quartz is brand new, you will likely need to do spot cleaning daily as well to keep spills in check in between weekly cleanings.
What NOT to Do When Cleaning Quartz
While quartz is durable, there are still some things to avoid when cleaning:
- No Bleach – Bleach can discolor and damage the quartz surface. Always avoid bleach-based cleaners.
- No Abrasive Pads – Never use abrasive scrubbing pads, sponges, or brushes that can scratch the surface.
- No Acidic Cleaners – Avoid vinegar, lemon juice, or cleaners containing acids. Acids can etch quartz over time.
- No Harsh Chemicals – Do not use strong degreasing chemicals, oven cleaners, etc. Mild dish soap diluted in water is best.
- No Dumping Grease – Never dump grease, oil, or fat directly onto quartz – clean up immediately. Hot grease can damage.
- No Prolonged Exposure to Cleaners – Don’t allow cleaners or spills to sit long. Wipe up quickly.
Following the manufacturer’s care and cleaning guidelines helps avoid damage. When in doubt, reach for the mild dish soap and warm water first.
How to Remove Difficult Stains from Quartz
While quartz resists stains, some stubborn spots may require additional effort. Here are tips for specific stains:
Dried Food, Grease, or Oil Stains: Allow warm, soapy water to sit directly on the stain for 5-10 minutes to loosen, then wipe clean. For tough grease, apply a degreasing cleaner designed for stone and let sit briefly before wiping up.
Wine, Coffee, Fruit Juice Stains: Lightly sprinkle some baking soda over the stain and dampen with water to make a paste. Allow to sit 10-15 minutes then scrub gently and rinse. The baking soda will pull out the stain.
Mold or Mildew Stains: Mix together equal parts hydrogen peroxide and warm water. Apply to the stain and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes before wiping clean. Repeat as needed for stubborn mildew.
Hard Water Stains: Use a small amount of vinegar diluted in water. Apply to the stain and allow to sit before wiping and rinsing thoroughly. Finish with a glass cleaner.
Ink or Hair Dye: Dab denatured alcohol on the stain gently using a cloth. Take care not to spread the stain. The alcohol will break down the color.
For best results addressing stubborn quartz stains, act quickly and use targeted approaches safe for quartz. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.
How to Sanitize and Disinfect Quartz Countertops
Disinfecting quartz periodically helps eliminate bacteria that inevitably builds up in kitchens. Here are effective approaches:
- Mix white vinegar and water – A 50/50 vinegar water solution kills many germs and viruses. Spray and allow to sit 5 minutes before wiping.
- Use hydrogen peroxide – It naturally kills bacteria and viruses. Spray 3% solution, allow to sit 2 minutes, then wipe.
- Lysol or Clorox disinfecting wipes – Look for one labeled as safe for quartz stone surfaces to disinfect. Avoid bleach-containing wipes.
- 70% Isopropyl alcohol – Works well to sanitize quartz. Spray lightly and wipe with a clean cloth after 1 minute.
When using any disinfectant on quartz, first do a test spot in an inconspicuous area to ensure the quartz surface is not damaged or etched. Never allow a disinfectant to sit too long before wiping up.
Cleaning Quartz Countertop Edges and Backsplashes
In addition to cleaning the top surface, be sure to periodically clean the edges and any backsplashes when cleaning quartz. Give extra attention to these areas:
- Edges – Dirt and grime can collect in tight corners where the countertop edge meets cabinets and walls. Use a small brush dipped in warm, soapy water to gently scrub edges.
- Backsplash – Apply your normal quartz cleaner using a microfiber cloth or sponge. Wipe the entire backsplash area, not just right near the counter.
- Faucet area – Buildup of water spots and grime accumulates around kitchen faucets. Be sure to wipe down faucet fixtures, handles, and the surrounding area as part of cleaning.
- Where counters meet appliances – Splatter, grease, and food debris can collect where counters meet appliances like the stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher. Clean these areas well.
Getting into all the nooks and crannies keeps every part of your quartz surfaces sparkling.
Best Practices When Installing New Quartz Countertops
If you are installing brand new quartz countertops, be sure to follow these best practices related to cleaning:
- Wait 24-48 hours after install before doing initial cleaning. This allows any adhesives and caulk to fully cure first.
- Wipe off any dust or dirt from install using soft cloths. Don’t use liquids until after the full curing time.
- Read the manufacturer’s care instructions for any specific cleaning guidance for new installs.
- Test any cleaning solutions first on an inconspicuous spot before using on the entire surface.
- Avoid any heavy-duty cleaning or disinfecting until after a few weeks. Let the quartz settle first.
Starting with a pristine clean surface helps quartz stay looking its best long-term.
How to Restore the Shine to Dull Quartz
Over time, daily wear and tear can cause quartz to lose its glossy just-installed shine. Here are some easy remedies to bring back the sparkling shine:
- Use glass cleaner – Use an ammonia-free glass cleaner formulated for stone. Spray and wipe down the full surface with a microfiber cloth.
- Try baking soda – Make a paste of baking soda and water. Gently scrub onto the quartz, then rinse clean for restored sheen.
- Steam clean – Using a handheld steam cleaner to deep clean quartz eliminates built-up grime that dulls the surface.
- Polish – There are some Polishing kits specifically designed to renew quartz shine without damaging the surface.
- Professional refinishing – For severely dulled or etched quartz, professional refinishing services can recreate the original glossy finish.
With some simple solutions applied with care, it is possible to refresh the look of dull quartz over the years. Be cautious about using too much pressure when polishing to avoid damaging the surface.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops After a Remodel
During kitchen or bath remodels, new quartz countertops can collect a lot of dust, debris, paint splatters, and dirt. Here are some cleaning tips for post-remodel:
- Wait at least 24 hours after install before wet cleaning so that adhesives and grout can fully set.
- Remove any dried paint splotches gently with a plastic scraper or putty knife to avoid surface scratches.
- Use tack cloths to wipe up dust and debris before wet cleaning. Tack cloths are designed to attract dust.
- Vacuum up any heavy debris using a soft brush attachment to avoid scratching the surface.
- Mix warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap and wipe down the entire surface.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water on a damp sponge or cloth to eliminate soapy residue.
- Check for any hazy residue in light and re-clean until the surface is squeaky and streak-free.
- Buff dry with a microfiber cloth to prevent water spots.
Taking the time to thoroughly clean quartz post-remodel helps the counters look their absolute best and removes all construction dirt and debris. Be extra thorough along edges and around faucets.
How to Clean a Quartz Kitchen Sink
For kitchens that have quartz sink basins, treat cleaning the same as you would the surrounding countertops:
- Clear sink bottom of any dishes, food scraps, etc. to allow full access.
- Mix warm water and mild soap and use a soft sponge or cloth to gently scrub the bottom, sides, and backsplash. Avoid abrasive pads.
- Take care to scrub the drain area thoroughly – food debris loves to collect here.
- Rinse very thoroughly with clean water to eliminate soap residue.
- Dry completely with a towel – water pools in sinks increasing chance of marks.
- Occasionally disinfect with a quartz-safe disinfecting spray or hydrogen peroxide mix.
- For tough stains, check cleaner labels to confirm suitability for quartz sinks before applying directly.
Quartz sinks clean up just as easily as quartz counters with regular soap and water cleaning. Pay extra attention to the drain area.
How to Get Baked-On Food Off Quartz
Though quartz resists stains, baked-on food that gets burned onto the surface presents a cleaning challenge. Here are some tips for removing:
- First see if the burned residue can be gently scraped off with a plastic scraper or putty knife without damaging the quartz. This works for many cases.
- For stuck-on food, lay a wet dishcloth or paper towel over the spot and let sit for 10-15 minutes. The moisture helps loosen the burned food. Wipe clean.
- Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the spot. Allow to sit briefly before scrubbing in circular motions with a damp cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly.
- Commercial degreasing cleaners designed for stone can help dissolve baked-on grime. Apply per label instructions taking care not to damage quartz.
- For the worst cases, use a razor blade scraper at a 45 degree angle to gently lift off the gunk. This should be done carefully to avoid scratching.
With some patience and the right technique, even the most stubborn baked-on spills on quartz can be remedied. Just take care to not damage the surface in the process.
Does Quartz Need to Be Sealed?
Unlike some natural stone countertops, quartz does not require regular sealing. Here’s why:
- Quartz is non-porous – Liquids do not penetrate the dense material, so sealing is not required. Natural stone is porous and benefits from sealing.
- Spills remain on the surface – Since liquids do not absorb into quartz, sealing would provide no benefit. Sealing aims to prevent absorption.
- Manufacturer warranties often prohibit it – Sealing quartz can actually void warranties by altering the material’s properties.
- Can create a cloudy film – Some sealers leave a hazy film on quartz that is difficult to remove. It damages optical clarity.
- Sealers wear off – Even if applied, sealers would require reapplication every 1-2 years as they wear off, unlike the lifelong non-porosity of quartz.
So save your sealer for natural stone surfaces only! Using it on quartz provides no benefit and can damage and haze the quartz surface over time.
Common Myths and Mistakes About Cleaning Quartz
There are some common misconceptions about cleaning quartz that lead to mistakes:
Myth: Acidic cleaners help clean quartz – Acidic cleaners may etch and damage