How to Clean White Quartz Countertops

Clean White Quartz Countertop

White quartz countertops are a clean and modern choice for any design. The durability, easy maintenance, and variety in texture make quartz an ideal material for countertops that need to look great for a long time. White quartz countertops come in a wide range of different styles, shades, and vein patterns. They can be bright white or soft, have sparkle, or a taupe undertone. And no matter which color you choose for your kitchen, they are all durable, low maintenance, and much easier to care for long-term than either marble or granite. And it is easy to remove stains off your white quartz countertops.

Quartz is a fairly new and modern addition to the family of countertop materials. Quartz countertops are an engineered or man-made material that consists of ground or crushed quartz, the second most common mineral on Earth, and mixes it with polymers, resins, and pigment to create a wide array of textures and colors.

This post will provide information on how to clean and maintain your white quartz countertops.

Is Quartz Stainable?

Quartz countertops continue to gain traction with homeowners because of its style, function, and cleaning ease. If you have a brand-new quartz countertop, then you can rest assured knowing that your pristine white or marble-look quartz won’t damage easily with regular use.

One of the myths surrounding quartz is related to its stain-resistant properties. While quartz does not stain as easily as marble, granite, and other natural-stone surfaces, it’s not completely impervious to staining. In fact, there are a couple of situations that can result in the permanent staining of quartz tiles or slabs. Homeowners who install quartz countertops in their kitchens or bathrooms should pay attention to the following information.

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Why Quartz Is Stain-Resistant, Not Stain-Proof

Quartz is engineered to be a superior alternative to popular countertop choices such as granite. To this effect, one of its advantages is its low rate of absorption, which it owes to the resin binders used during the manufacturing process. Compared to natural stone, quartz is virtually nonporous, hence making it easier to care for than marble, a natural stone known to stain even from water. Nonetheless, up to 10 percent of quartz is made with artificial resins and pigments that are essentially petroleum byproducts, which means they will react when they come in contact with certain substances, and the reaction will be a stubborn stain in the case of permanent marker ink, sodium hydroxide, and some alkaline chemicals.

Your quartz countertops are heat resistant, but again, not heat proof. To maintain their beauty, never place hot items directly on the surface. Also, do not place heat-generating appliances directly on the surface; such as crock-pots or indoor grills. Instead, use a trivet or potholder to keep heat from affecting your countertop’s shine. Excessive heat can lead to thermal shock; which causes deep cracks in the surface of your quartz. Only chop food on a cutting board instead of using your countertop as one.

Sealing Quartz Countertops

Sealing prevents stains on quartz, sealing is one of another way of removing stains from your white quartz countertops beforehand. It’s non-porous so the sealer doesn’t absorb and isn’t effective. It may be necessary to remove a sealer from a quartz surface when mistakenly applied.  While homeowners do not have to worry about sealing their quartz countertops, this does not mean stains will not form from time to time. Hard water and tea stains on quartz surfaces are fairly common, but since they do not penetrate as deep as unsealed natural stone, they are easier to remove. Homeowners who choose quartz slabs that resemble the creamy white look of Carrara marble are more likely to see occasional stains, which is why they should wipe down spills immediately, to keep their white quartz countertops clean.

What Causes Quartz to Stain?

Even though quartz is non-porous, it can still stain. It just does not allow the stain-causing agent to penetrate the material. Rather, it stays on the surface of the stone, till it is cleaned. Even though the substance stays on the surface, it can still cause discoloration by other means. Let’s look at a couple of these stains and how to clean them off your white quartz countertops.

Dried-On Stains

Most of the substances that come in contact with your countertops either are liquids or contain liquids. However, these liquids contain other substances. The substances in liquids can remain on the surface after the liquid evaporates. This leaves a tougher spot to clean up. These kinds of stains are referred to by quartz manufacturers and suppliers as dried on stains and the have a specific recommended treatment process.

Reactionary Stains or Discolorations

Another type of stain that you may come across on your quartz surface is one that happens when a liquid, whether a cleaner or other substance is outside of the approved pH range for quartz surfaces. Quartz countertops vary in the approved pH ranges, but they are not compatible with alkaline cleansers, high pH detergents, or specific kinds of acids. For this reason, quartz manufacturers and suppliers specify certain chemicals that should not be used on quartz. Additionally, they virtually all say to rinse the quartz surface with water after cleaning. This is because the longer the substance stays in contact with the quartz, the longer it can react. Hence, the more damage it can do. So, let’s look at how to remove a stain from quartz.

Preventing Quartz Stains and Discoloration

As with natural stone, the best way to prevent quartz countertops from staining is to prevent direct contact with liquids as much as possible. Quartz countertops should not be used as cutting boards, and spills should be promptly cleaned up. Dark water stains may appear close to the sink if the countertops are constantly wet. In some cases, dark quartz counters exposed to direct heat or sunlight will show discolored spots that look like stains, which can be prevented by using pot holders instead of placing hot cookware on top of quartz surfaces.

Quartz Stain Removal Options

Some of the material you can use to clean your white quartz countertops includes;

  • Bar Keeper’s Friend (our favorite) – It can remove many quartz countertop stains. Scrub with a non-abrasive, nylon pad. It doesn’t always work since sometimes the discoloration is permanent.
  • Glass Cleaner and a non-abrasive nylon scrub pad – This can sometimes work for mild surface stains.
  • Magic Eraser – Be careful and test it first. It may work but also may cause further damage and dulling of the surface as it contains abrasives.
  • Acetone – can work for removing ink stains and gummy things on the surface. Avoid prolonged contact of acetone on quartz countertops. Use only to remove a spot like nail polish, and rinse well.

How to Clean and Maintain Your Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are by far one of the easier types of surfaces to maintain and to clean. While the care is simple, it is important that you perform these necessary steps in order to keep the sheen on your counters bright and get the most out of your investment.

Any spill that leaves a mark after being wiped down will require scrubbing with a non-abrasive cleaning pad and a generous amount of quartz cleaner. If the stain is caused by paint, nail polish, lipstick, wax, or food that has dried and formed a crust, scraping with a plastic knife or spatula should make the stain removal process easier.

Tips for Cleaning Quartz Countertops

  • Quartz comes in a variety of patterns and colors and is extremely durable. Regular upkeep is very simple. While maintaining quartz, it is important to avoid any harsh chemicals. These can weaken the bonds between the resins and quartz crystals. You will also want to avoid abrasive cleansers, because these may dull your finish. A bar of mild dishwashing soap and a damp sponge or soft dishcloth will do the trick. Just wipe, rinse, and you’re done! And because your quartz that looks like marble is non-porous, they won’t harbor bacteria or other germs, and liquids and stains can’t penetrate the surface, either.
  • While cleaning your quartz countertops avoid the following chemicals and cleaners: Bleach, Nail Polish Remover, Turpentine, Drain Cleaner, Oven Cleaner, Dish Washer Rinse Agents and if any of this spills accidentally on your counter, clean right away with a mild detergent.
  • For daily upkeep, all you need is a soft cloth and warm soapy water. No need for bleaching or antimicrobial agents – your quartz has its own antimicrobial layer built in!
  • For a deeper clean, saturate your quartz countertops with a glass cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, wipe it up with a wet cloth.
  • If you need to tackle dried messes that won’t easily come off, then let a damp towel soak over the dirty spot until it loosens. Some cleansers are also safe to use on quartz, such as Bon Ami and Barkeeper’s Friend.

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Steps in Cleaning White Quartz Countertops

  • Wet a washcloth with warm, soapy water – To keep your quartz countertops clean, you usually won’t need anything more sophisticated than a gentle soap solution. Generally, it’s best to use a mild dish detergent that doesn’t contain any astringents or harsh chemicals. These substances can wear down quartz with repeated use. The resins used to seal quartz make the finish resistant to everyday dust, dirt, stains and mold. Warm water is more effective for releasing resilient messes than cold water.
  • Wipe down the affected area – Go over the surface of the countertop using smooth, circular motions. The majority of messes should come right off with little effort. For dried or sticky residue, apply more soap solution as needed. Get in the habit of scrubbing your countertops every time you do any major cooking, baking or meal prep.
  • Rinse the countertop with fresh water. Wring out and rewet the cloth or sponge, then go back over the countertops one more time to clear away any last traces of soap. Soak up standing water with a paper towel and allow the quartz to air dry. Soaps can dry into a scummy residue if they’re not properly washed away. Once your countertop is dry, wipe it down with your hands to make sure that no food remains.
  • Clean up spills as soon as they happen – Commercial quartz is non-porous, which means it won’t absorb and lock in stains. However, it’s still a good idea to address spills, crumbs and other messes before they have a chance to set up. This will save you the trouble of employing more intensive measures later on. The natural grain and color pattern of quartz may cause some messes to go unnoticed. With a modest amount of maintenance, you can keep your quartz countertops looking new for years.

How to Deep-Clean Your White Quartz Countertops

  • Scrape off hardened messes – You may occasionally have difficulty removing crusty, dried-on gunk with just soap and water. In these situations, you can chip away at the spot using a plastic scraper. It will also help to spray the gunk with warm water to soften it and make it easier to lift off with a little elbow grease. Use only flexible plastic scrapers or nonabrasive sponges and be careful not to apply too much pressure. Doing so may create small scratches or abrasions that can worsen over time. Soak paper towels in hot water and use them to cover messes that are spread out over a large area.
  • Break down stubborn residue using a vinegar solution. With time, food particles and mineral deposits from hard water can cause a film to develop on the countertops that a normal wipe-down may just smear around. A little distilled white vinegar can cut right through this film. Combine equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle, mist the entire counter surface and run a soft kitchen sponge over it to leave behind a streak-free shine. If you don’t have any vinegar on hand, you can also use an equivalent amount of hydrogen peroxide. Vinegar is a useful natural cleaner, but its sour smell can be overpowering. Mixing in a few drops of lemon juice or your favorite essential oils will infuse the room with a pleasant scent.

Note

  • Treat tougher stains with speciality cleaning products. Should you ever need to remove more troublesome items like chewing gum, ink or glue, grab an oil-based stain remover like Goo Gone. Apply the cleaner lightly to the countertops and let it sit for a couple of minutes, then rub out the mess and the remaining cleaner using a damp cloth. Ordinary rubbing alcohol may also be useful for loosening unusual substances.
  • Spray the countertops periodically with a glass cleaner. As quartz ages, the clear resin sealant can start to appear cloudy. A spritz of glass cleaner will help reduce some of the murkiness, leaving the finish looking polished and sparkling. Common household products like Windex, Clorox Multi-Surface and 3M Glass Cleaner are all safe to use on quartz. After using a glass cleaner, wipe the countertops with a cloth or sponge rather than a paper towel to avoid leaving behind tiny fibers.

How to Remove Water Stains From Your White Quartz Countertops

To clean your white quartz countertops from water stain, simply follow these steps;

  • Water stains are a different breed. These are from hard water buildup and leave a dull gray film.
  • Don’t use CLR or Lime-Away to clean, as these are too acidic and will damage the resins and stain.
  • Regular cleaning methods won’t work.
  • Use a hard water cleaner safe for quartz to remove hard water stains.
  • It’s also great as a regular shower cleaner to remove soap scum.

How to Remove Lime Scale Stains Off White Quartz Countertops

Another kind of stain on quartz occurs when lime scale builds up on the surface. This kind of stain requires a tough quartz stain remover. In this case, follow these procedures to clean the stain off your white quartz countertops;

  • Test on a small area of the quartz surface at the intended dilution ratio from the ratios below before using on the surface.
  • Dilute the cleaner using the appropriate mix ratio.
  • Apply diluted cleaner to the quartz surface.
  • Leave the diluted cleaner on the quartz for an appropriate time (from 2-3 minutes to 30 minutes).
  • Rinse thoroughly with water.

And just like that your white quartz countertops are clean as new.

How to Keep Your White Quartz Countertop Stain-Free

White kitchens have always been a timeless classic, but they’re also right on trend! Selecting a white quartz countertop for your kitchen is a no-brainer because it’s highly stain-resistant and easy to clean and care for because it’s a non-porous surface. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your countertop is completely indestructible when it comes to those spills and splashes.

Since quartz is a man-made material made up of natural stone mixed with a resin, it won’t stain from the liquid absorbing into the surface. Instead, your favorite drink or sauce might react with the resin itself, which could result in discoloration that might not be easy to remove. If something spills on your white countertop, then you should clean it up right away. Also, using trays, cutting boards, trivets, and coasters will all help to prevent stains from possibly happening in the first place.

Stain resistance refers to a material’s ability to prevent liquid absorption and resist discoloration when coming into contact with things like oil, grease, or other liquids. Stain-proof, on the other hand, means that it prevents stains from happening. Things like coffee, red wine, tea, and tomato sauce make up some of the most common kitchen stains, but with a quartz countertop, they can be averted with a quick clean up. That’s it!

Additionally

Some might notice stains on their white quartz countertop as a result of using the wrong cleaning products. Anything with harsh chemicals, including oil soaps, detergents, paint thinners, and any cleanser containing bleach, could stain or discolor your countertop instead of getting it sparkling clean. Remember that one of the benefits of quartz over marble countertops is its low maintenance. Just a soft sponge or dishcloth and a gentle dishwashing liquid will get the job done on the daily.

Another reason why your marble look quartz might look stained could be as a result of a scorch mark. Just like quartz is stain resistant, it’s also heat resistant,  it’s not heatproof! Similarly, your quartz countertop is vulnerable to heat damage because the resin can get ruined from being exposed to heat. Especially those with marble-like quartz, this could leave a mark that’s not in-line with the consistent veining on your white surface. To avoid this from happening, it’s important to always protect your surface using things like hot pads or trivets under hot pots, pans, or serving trays.

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