White quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, easy maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, some people wonder if white quartz can become stained and how to prevent it. Here is a detailed look at whether white quartz countertops will stain and tips for keeping them looking pristine.
What is White Quartz?
White quartz countertops, sometimes called engineered stone, are made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-94%, making it an extremely hard and durable surface.
While natural quartz crystals come in various colors, white quartz countertops achieve their hue from titanium dioxide, which is added to the slurry mixture during manufacturing. This gives the countertop a bright white background with specks of quartz particles visibly embedded throughout.
Will White Quartz Stain?
The short answer is yes, white quartz can become stained. However, it is much more stain resistant than other countertop materials like marble or granite. Here are some key factors regarding stains and white quartz:
Resistant to Most Household Stains
White quartz countertops are impervious to most everyday food and beverage spills like wine, coffee, tea, juice, and vinegar. The pigments make the countertop non-porous, so these liquids sit on top instead of soaking in. With prompt cleaning, the countertop will look as good as new.
Stain Resistance Depends on Finish
Quartz countertops come in polished and matte finishes. Polished quartz has a glossy shine that enhances the white background. It is slightly more prone to staining than matte. A honed or textured matte finish helps minimize the appearance of marks and fingerprints.
Can Stain from Strong Chemicals
While resistant to regular spills, white quartz can become etched or discolored from prolonged exposure to strong chemicals. Substances like paint removers, drain cleaners, nail polish removers, and bleach can all cause stains. The longer the chemical sits, the more likely it will permeate the surface.
Stains from Food With Color Pigments
Foods and liquids with deep hues and color pigments can sometimes stain white quartz. These include items like berries, beet juice, tomato sauce, mustard, and wine with deep purple shades. The coloring agents can slightly penetrate into the countertop. Prompt cleanup is key to preventing permanent discoloration.
Heat Damage is Permanent
Excessive heat can damage white quartz, especially around the edges. Hot pots and pans can scorch the binding resins, creating brown or yellow marks. Cigarette burns will also stain and scar the countertop permanently. Trivets should always be used.
Tips to Prevent White Quartz Stains
With some care and maintenance, white quartz countertops can stay looking clean and bright for years. Here are some top tips to prevent stains:
Use Sealers and Finishes
Have the quartz sealed with a penetrating sealer every 1-2 years. This makes the surface more impermeable to spills. For polished finishes, a quartz polish adds extra protection.
Clean Spills Quickly
Don’t let spills sit. Always wipe up food, drinks, chemicals, etc immediately to prevent possible absorption into the stone. For dried on messes, use a non-abrasive cleaning pad.
Avoid Abrasive Cleaners
Don’t use harsh cleaners like comet or scouring powders. They can damage the finish. Warm water and a pH-neutral cleaner designed for stone surfaces are best for routine cleaning.
Cut on Designated Boards
Never cut directly on the quartz countertop. Use a cutting board to protect the surface from deep scratches and scoring from knives.
Use Trivets and Hot Pads
Get in the habit of using trivets, hot pads, or mats when setting down hot pots and pans. Leave burners on low heat if stepping away to prevent scorching.
Re-seal After Heavy Cleaning
Reapply sealer if using strong chemicals like paint removers for cleanup. This will renew the protective barrier. Avoid such heavy-duty cleaners if possible.
What If White Quartz Gets Stained?
If stains occur despite preventative care, all is not lost. Here are some possible remedies:
- For stubborn dried-on stains, try a diluted bleach cleaner or baking soda paste.
- Light scratches can be buffed using 00 gauge steel wool and a quartz polish/cleaner.
- A poultice made with hydrogen peroxide may lift some organic stains.
- For scorched marks near cooktops, gently scrape with a plastic putty knife.
- Severely damaged areas may need professional resurfacing or replacement as a last resort.
White quartz countertops may occasionally get light stains from spills if not cleaned promptly. But they generally retain their bright white look with proper care and maintenance. Using sealers, avoiding abrasives, cleaning spills quickly, and using trivets can all help prevent stains and discoloration. With some simple precautions, white quartz countertops will stay looking like new for many years.
FAQs About White Quartz Staining
Will drinking red wine stain a white quartz countertop?
Spilling red wine on white quartz will likely not stain if wiped up promptly. The pigments in quartz make it very resistant to brief exposure from wine. But you still want to clean up the spill as soon as possible.
Do lemon juice and vinegar stain white quartz?
Acids like lemon juice and vinegar have low staining potential on quartz counters. A quick wipe up is still advised. Avoid prolonged exposure to higher concentrations of acid cleaners.
Can oil stains be removed from white quartz?
Oils typically don’t stain quartz since it resists absorption. However, olive oil and cooking oils can leave behind a greasy film that dulls the look of the countertop. Use a degreasing cleaner made for stone to remove.
What removes berry stains from white quartz?
Berries can possibly stain quartz due to natural pigments. For light stains, use baking soda and water paste. For stubborn stains, try diluted bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or ammonia. Test first.
Will cutting limes on a white quartz countertop stain it?
Freshly cut limes likely won’t stain white quartz with prompt cleanup. The acid content is relatively mild. But over time, leaving lime juice on the surface can potentially etch the finish.
How do you remove tomato sauce stains from white quartz?
Tomato sauce may stain if left for prolonged contact. Use warm soapy water for fresh stains. For dried on stains, spray with diluted hydrogen peroxide and let sit before wiping clean.
White quartz countertops are an excellent option for low-maintenance durability while still offering style. While not completely immune to stains, white quartz resists most household spills when promptly cleaned. With some basic care and precautions, white quartz countertops can stay looking bright and beautiful for many years of daily use. Taking steps like using trivets, sealing the surface, and immediately wiping up spills can prevent most staining issues. And even if stains occur, there are often effective techniques to remove them and restore the quartz to like-new condition. With its longevity, striking white appearance, and stain resistance, quartz makes an outstanding and popular countertop choice.