Homeowners can’t seem to get enough of natural stone surfaces, and many choose quartz for countertops because it’s durable, beautiful, and requires very little maintenance. Because most quartz countertops contain resin, there are no air pockets so the surface is impervious to dents, chips, and cracks. That means you can really put your counters to work and not worry so much about banging around pots and pans. In addition, quartz countertops are stain-resistant and don’t harbor mold and bacteria, giving homeowners a lot of bang for their buck.
Even though quartz is durable and low maintenance, it’s still important to know how to clean quartz countertops to keep them looking newer longer. The best cleaner for quartz countertops is one that’s mild and non-abrasive. While quartz’s solid finish makes it easy to remove grime and dirt, harsh cleaners and abrasive tools can still damage the finish. Most of the time, dish soap and water are going to be the best cleaner for quartz countertops, but when they’re really dirty, you may need a few more ingredients.
Here’s how to clean quartz countertops in 5 easy steps:
Cleaning Quartz Countertops in 5 Steps
What You’ll Need:
- Liquid dish soap
- Rubbing alcohol
- Spray bottle
- Non-abrasive sponge
- Cleaning cloths
Step 1: Clear the Clutter
Cleaning quartz countertops starts with a clean slate. Put fruit bowls, decor, and knick-knacks to the side. Remove any small appliances like mixers and toasters. (If the appliances are dirty, check out this small appliance cleaning guide once you’ve cleaned your counters). Use a paper towel to sweep off crumbs and other debris into a trashcan, and then give the counter a good damp wipe to remove anything left.
Step 2: Scrub Stubborn Dirt
Even after only the first step above, your quartz counters may look relatively clean, but there’s usually some buildup that will take a bit of scrubbing. Dampen a non-abrasive sponge and squirt a couple of drops of dish soap on it. Start at the backsplash and scrub with mild pressure in a zig-zag pattern. For stubborn buildup, saturate the area with soap and water, then scrape it away with a plastic putty knife.
Step 3: Rinse the Residue
When you’re done scrubbing, don’t depend on your eyes to know if the job’s complete. While the counter is still wet, run your hand lightly over the surface. If there’s still buildup or dirt, you’ll feel the unsmooth area, and then you can give it another scrubbing. When you’re satisfied you’ve gotten rid of the dirt and grime, rinse the residue off the counters with a clean, damp sponge. Rinse your sponge as needed to get up all the suds and dirt.
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Step 4: Sanitize the Surface
Whether your counters are in the kitchen or the bathroom, disinfecting after cleaning quartz countertops helps minimize the spread of germs and cross-contamination. Mix ¼ cup rubbing alcohol and two cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray your homemade sanitizer liberally on your quartz countertops and let it sit for five minutes or until it’s almost dry.
Step 5: Buff Dry for a Beautiful Finish
To keep your sanitizer working as it should, don’t finish cleaning your quartz countertops with a damp cloth. Instead, use a dry microfiber cloth to dry up any remaining moisture and buff the quartz to a beautiful shine. Even when you know how to clean quartz countertops the right way, sometimes you’re going to run into some stubborn stains that require a little more cleaning power.
Removing Stains From Quartz Countertops
What You’ll Need:
- Liquid Dish Soap
- Distilled White Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Non-abrasive Sponge
- Cleaning Cloths
Even the most stain-resistant countertops like quartz can still present some stain removal challenges, especially those from grease, ink, and water. As with any stain, it’s essential you address stains on quartz countertops as soon as you discover them.
Most grease spills won’t technically stain your quartz countertops, but they can create a film that dulls the finish and promotes the growth of bacteria. Soak greasy stains with dish soap and water and wait about five minutes for the grease to break down. Pour undiluted distilled white vinegar on the greasy area and wipe away the remaining greasy residue with a clean, dry cloth.
Ink and Paint Stains
Ink and paint stains can find their way onto kitchen counters from kids’ artwork, kitchen remodels, and other projects—ruining the look of quartz countertops. Skip the harsh stain removers and opt for hairspray and toothpaste instead. Soak the paint or ink stain with hairspray and let it sit for five minutes. Gently pat the stain with a clean cloth to absorb as much of the stain as you can, then wipe down the area with a clean, damp cloth. Repeat the process as needed. And if that ink gets on your clothes while you’re cleaning, we’ve got you covered.
Minerals like calcium and lime are often found in regular tap water and can stain quartz and other natural stone countertops when the water evaporates. These chalky stains can be hard to remove with soap and water, but they’re no match for baking soda. Mix a few teaspoons of baking soda with enough water to make a paste and rub it liberally onto the water stain. Gently work the cleaning paste into the stain with a damp cloth, then wipe away the residue with another clean, wet cloth.
Now that you know how to clean quartz countertops and remove everyday stains let’s move on to some routine maintenance and care.
Caring for Quartz Countertops: Damage Control and Routine Cleaning
Learning how to clean quartz countertops is pretty easy when you know the right cleaners and tools to use. Besides deep cleaning quartz countertops, there are a few other things you can do to prevent damage and keep them cleaner longer. Here’s how to care for quartz countertops in between cleanings:
Skip Abrasive Cleaners and Scrubbers
If you’re like most of us, you grab the first cleaner you can get your hands on when you have a spill in the kitchen. If you have quartz countertops, that natural tendency could spell trouble. Remember, quartz is very durable and doesn’t stain easily, so your kitchen accident can wait a minute or so until you get the right cleaner in hand. Not only can harsh cleaners dull or scratch the finish of quartz, but they can also weaken the bond between the resin and the quartz leading to cracks and discoloration.
Turn Down the Heat
Quartz countertops may be super-durable, but they can’t withstand high heat because of the resin composition. Leave a hot pan on the bare surface of a quartz countertop, and you could end up with a cracked finish. The typical resin-based quartz can begin to break down from heat over 300 degrees Fahrenheit so the surface must be protected. Use trivets, hot pads, or even dishcloths, but keep those hot pots and pans off those quartz countertops.
Don’t Treat Counters Like Cutting Boards
Your quartz countertops can take a beating and still look beautiful, but not even this rock-solid surface can stand up to the sharp blades of kitchen knives. While cutting an apple or onion on your counter may not leave visible damage, there are almost always fine cuts and scratches left behind that will eventually ruin the finish. Keep your counters smooth and undamaged by always using a cutting board.
Make Cleaning and Maintenance a Daily Thing
Wipe up spills on quartz immediately to prevent staining and buildup, and use dish soap and water to wipe the counters at the end of the day. Keep a plastic putty knife in a utensil drawer for scraping up gum and sticky messes before they set. And don’t forget to keep your counters dry and disinfected.
By now you’ve probably realized that learning how to clean quartz countertops is as much about what not to do as it is what to do. Like most natural stone counters, quartz doesn’t require much to keep it looking good, but there are quite a few easily avoidable ways they can be damaged. Want more pro tips for keeping your kitchen clean and healthy? Check out our other cleaning guides for kitchens and every other room in your home.
Whether you prefer to DIY using our handy cleaning guides or let The Maids handle the dirty work with our popular house cleaning services, we’re committed to making your home a better place to be. Find out how you can enjoy a clean home as often as you like when you get your free online estimate.