How NOT to Clean Quartz Countertops (& What You Should Do Instead!)

Quartz has become a popular stone choice for many homeowners looking to add a trendy appeal to their homes. Not only is quartz highly durable and beautiful, but the manufactured stone process makes it easy to customize and personalize for your kitchen, bathroom, or bar.

One of the main benefits of quartz countertops is that they are easier to clean than other stones. The non-porous property of quartz means that it can more easily resist stains and the build-up of mold and bacteria. However, even though quartz countertops require less maintenance and upkeep, there are ways to potentially damage the stone if you’re cleaning it improperly.

Rock Doctor has some advice for the dos and don’ts of cleaning quartz countertops so you can avoid making common mistakes and prevent long-term damage.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Quartz

You want to keep your quartz countertops looking new, smooth, and vibrant. Unfortunately, some products will cause more harm than good if they come in contact with the countertop surface. To prevent damage—and avoid the expense of replacing the stone—steer clear of using these detrimental products.

  • Bleach Cleaners: Concentrated cleaners that contain bleach shouldn’t be used to clean quartz. Even if the cleaner is diluted, the bleach can potentially damage the countertop because of its highly abrasive properties. Harsh chemicals in powerful cleaners break down the bonds between the quartz and the resins, affecting the color and design of the countertop.
  • Acidic Cleaners: Cleaners with lemon or vinegar are highly acidic and will weaken the surface of quartz countertops over time, leaving them more prone to easy staining.
  • Chemicals and Solvents: Like products containing bleach, powerful chemicals like furniture strippers, paint removers, nail polish removers, and oven cleaners will damage the surface and makeup of the stone. If any of these products come in contact with your countertop, immediately rinse the exposed area with water.
  • Scouring Pads: Although this cleaning tool is great for other bathroom and kitchen surfaces, it should be avoided when cleaning quartz. Scrubbing with pads can dull the countertop surface, taking away its shine and luster.
  • Disinfectant Wipes: These wipes also contain high amounts of acidity and should be avoided. Disinfectant wipes will weaken the countertop surface, making it easier for the quartz to experience staining or discoloration.

No matter what you spill on quartz countertops, it’s important to wipe up the mess as soon as possible. If the spill sits too long on the countertop surface, it’s more likely to stain the quartz. Quartz may be stain-resistant, but it’s not necessarily stain-proof—especially when colored liquids, like red wine or makeup, are left on its surface for too long.

cleaning quartz countertops

Proper Quartz Countertop Care

The best way to preserve your quartz countertops is with general upkeep and cleaning them regularly. Fortunately, quartz countertops are easy to maintain with proper cleaning and care techniques.

General Maintenance

You should clean your quartz countertops daily with a mild soap or detergent, warm water, and a soft cloth. The soap you use must be non-abrasive and contain no bleach to avoid damaging the surface of the quartz.

Sometimes you may have to clean dried-on food or other items like gum, paint, or grease off the countertop surface. Do not use sharp metal objects or a metal scraper to do this; instead, use a plastic putty knife and be very gentle to avoid scratching the quartz. If you use a degreaser cleaner, use one that’s made specifically for quartz to avoid any potential damage.

Remember to only use safe cleaning products. The best cleaner for quartz countertops is one made specifically for quartz, like Rock Doctor’s Granite & Quartz Cleaner.

Fortunately, homeowners who choose quartz don’t have to worry about sealing their countertops as others do with natural stones like granite. Because quartz is non-porous, no sealant is necessary to maintain its natural shine.

Deep Cleaning and Tough Stains

Daily wiping with soap and water is usually sufficient for maintaining your quartz countertops. However, it’s also recommended that you perform a deeper cleaning regularly with a non-abrasive surface cleaner.

Windex is another common household cleaning product that works great for tough or dried-on stains. When deep cleaning quartz, spray on a generous amount of Windex, let it sit for at least ten minutes, and then wipe it away with a non-scratch sponge. Because Windex is a mild cleaner, it’s safe to use on non-porous surfaces like quartz. This is one of the few cleaning products you can use on quartz but not other stone countertops like granite.

You can also use a mixture of water and isopropyl rubbing alcohol for tougher stains. Make sure to rub the stain with a soft, wet rag, and then wipe away the cleaner immediately after with warm water. Rubbing alcohol is also great for disinfecting quartz countertops of harmful bacteria from raw food or illnesses.

You may also consider polishing your quartz countertops periodically to maintain their smooth surface. Remember to use a polish product specifically designed for quartz.

Preventing Damage

One of the many reasons homeowners choose quartz countertops is because of their durability. However, it’s still possible to damage these countertops if you aren’t careful. Preventing damage is easy!

  • Hot Pots and Pans: Quartz is more heat-resistant than other stone countertop options, but it can still be damaged from quick temperature changes. Heat damage to quartz can cause surface cracks and discoloration, which are not easily fixed unless you replace the whole slab of stone. To avoid any damage, always use hot pads and trivets for pots and pans.
  • Cutting and Slicing: Never slice anything directly on top of your quartz countertops. Knives and other sharp objects can easily cause scratches and dents. Also, the excessive force from dropping heavy objects on quartz can chip or crack the stone. When chopping food, always use a cutting board and use extra caution around corners and sink cutouts. These places with thinner pieces of quartz are more prone to cracking if you aren’t careful.
  • Permanent Markers: Avoid using any sort of permanent marker directly on top of your quartz countertops. If you happen to mark up the quartz, you can use an oil-based cleaner to remove the mark. Rub the cleanser gently into the stain and thoroughly rinse with warm water as soon as possible.
  • Outdoor Use: Quartz countertops are not ideal for use on patios or outdoor kitchen areas. If quartz is exposed to direct sunlight, its colors will fade over time, and it could split and warp.

With the right cleaner, you can keep your quartz countertops looking as good as new. If you’re looking for a quartz countertop cleaner and polish, Rock Doctor is here for you. We offer a complete line of natural stone products and can answer any questions about your stone countertop options. Visit our website or contact us at 913-894-0288.