Quartz Countertops Cleaning . . . Beware of Bad Advice!

Quartz countertops cleaning is much easier than granite or marble.  However, here’s the bad advice NOT to follow for quartz tops.  I bought a new home in 2020 and I chose granite counters for some rooms and quartz for other rooms, including the kitchen countertops.  I made a big mistake early on.

For routine maintenance of your quartz counters, clean daily with glass cleaner – see Cleaning Quartz & Engineered Stone Video for best way to clean quartz.

The big mistake?  I decided to de-grease the new quartz tops with acetone (which I’ve used for years on natural stone tops like granite (not marble).  Sadly, the quick bath of acetone left permanent streaks on my quartz.

Quartz Countertops vs. Granite

Choosing indoor countertops, quartz and granite are both good choices.  Each has its benefits and its drawbacks.  Quartz countertops are made from natural quartz, one of the hardest minerals found on our planet, along with binders.  The manufacturing process produces a non-porous slab of material that not only looks good, but also performs exceptionally well as kitchen countertops.

Sealing Quartz Countertops, Is It Necessary?

Quartz resists stains & bacteria growth, with much less maintenance than granite, marble, or limestone counters.  Stains on quartz are superficial or else actual damage to the finish caused by caustic substances.  Unlike stone, quartz countertops do not need to be sealed.  In fact, sealer will not be absorbed and will just sit on the surface.

quartz countertops cleaningQuartz Countertop Precautions

Although quartz has a high resistance to acids, oils, and food stains like wine, here are several things not to subject your quartz tops to:

Do not use water repellents or sealants to bring out the shine

Stay away from paint strippers (chlorine-based) or caustic soda

Avoid alkaline products with pH greater than 10

Try not to use bleach or solvents like acetone (if left on the surface, you can lose the shine)

Never use oven cleaner on quartz countertops

Do not try to repolish the surface with sanding pads or polishing pads

Quartz Countertops Maintenance & Stain Removal

Best Way To Clean Quartz Countertops Like Silestone and Caesarstone

how to clean quartz countertopsThe simplest means of cleaning quartz tops is to wipe them down with a wet rag.  However, you can do better than this and keep your quartz shining with some tweaks to routine maintenance and daily cleaning.

I’ve studied the care guides from multiple quartz countertop material manufacturers such as Silestone, Caesarstone, and Cambria.  And, as usual, the recommendations are confusing and contradictory.  Also, many of the product recommendations for cleaning quartz are not available in the US!  So I’ve used trial and error on my own brand new quartz tops to see what really works.

Now, you can clean quartz easily with Windex or Dawn dish soap.  Both are pH neutral.  The Windex will evaporate and leave a better finish.

Clean Quartz Countertops With Stone Cleaner

The products I recommend for quartz routine cleaning are MB-15 and MB-5 from MB Stone.  The MB-15 product works best on my own quartz tops especially since they are a very dark color.  MB-15 Stone Glow has optical brighteners which, I think, makes the quartz shine better after cleaning.  To clean, you simply spray the counters and let the product sit for a minute or two.  Then wipe the counter with an absorbent cloth.  I sometimes buff the countertops with another dry cloth for extra shine.

For real convenience cleaning granite or quartz counters, try some wipes.  MB-17 Stone Wipes are specially made for natural stone but work great on quartz.  Wipe the counter and throw it away.

By the way, my relationship with MB Stone Care and their products developed through many years experience installing and sealing granite and quartz countertops, literally thousands of installations in my career.  And quartz countertops maintenance and fabrication is a topic I’m very close to.  In fact, I have both quartz tops and granite tops in my own home.  I also have several marble tables that need cleaning and sealing.

Best Way I’ve Found To Clean Quartz Countertops

How To Get Stains Out Of Quartz Countertops

Quartz counters like Silestone have low porosity.  So they resist household stains rather well.  But contrary to popular belief, you can actually stain quartz countertops.  However, the stains are usually not permanent, maybe grease stains, silicone, or lime scale.  Here are stain removal instructions for simple stains in quartz counters:

Food & Grease Stains: Common household cleaners will work on these stains, as long as they are not any cleaners found in the precautions section of this article.  Formula 409 and Windex work well on these stains.  From MB Stone, try Easy Oxy, an oxygenated non-bleach stain remover.  Spray product on the stain and use a non-scratch pad like Scotch Brite to help loosen the stain.  Rinse with water.

Lime Scale & Hard Water Stains: Stains from hardwater buildup are best treated with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and baking soda.  Apply the mixture to the stain and let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes.  Then scrub the area with a non-scratch pad and rinse with cold water.  You may need to perform multiple applications to get the whole stain out.

How To Remove Really Difficult Stains in Quartz Counters

remove stains from quartz topsNow for difficult stains, you need some modifications or something more powerful.  The first line of offense is Formula 409 or Easy Oxy.  Spray either cleaner on the stain and let it soak for 2 minutes.  Then scrub with a non-scratch pad.  Again, rinse the area with water.  And for the really stubborn stains, try the following:

Ink – Ethyl alcohol.  Apply first to a paper towel and then to the stain.

Rust or metal stains – Hydrochloric Acid.   Apply first to a paper towel and then to the stain.

Wine or Food Coloring – Diluted bleach

Be careful with these products and don’t leave them on the surface.  Always rinse the area with water afterwards.

Recommended Quartz Countertops Maintenance & Cleaning Products

granite wipes


MB-15 Stone Glow

MB-5 Cleaner

MB-17 Stone Wipes

Easy Oxy Cleaner


Dawn Dishwashing Soap

Formula 409

VIM® Actifizz® fizzes away dirt with effervescent technology.  It’s the recommended cleaner for Silestone tops.

Q-Action Q-Action is formulated to work well on quartz.  It deep cleans your counters and removes stains such as wine, juice, oil, and markers.  It contains self-drying components for a streak free shine.

Disinfect Quartz Countertops

You can disinfect your kitchen countertops with EPA registered disinfectant that is safe for food prep areas.  AIRx Spray N Go is made to disinfect kitchen countertops and work areas.  It’s easy to use, just spray the disinfectant on granite and quartz countertops and let it sit for a couple of minutes.  This product kills both bacteria and viruses.  You can disinfect other surfaces in your home or office with Spray N Go including fabrics.

Can You Replace the Sheen On Quartz

Once installed, the sheen on quartz countertops is actually the natural shiny surface of the product itself.  Trying to bring the shine back with spray polish or wax will make your quartz tops look worse. Even worse, trying to remove scratches with polishing or sanding pads will definitely ruin the surface.

I’ve seen professional installers ruin the quartz countertop finish in a new home by trying superficial “mechanical” polishing.  Most times, the homeowner doesn’t notice the area until long after the installation is done.  Quartz countertops maintenance should not include any actions to restore shine.

Can I Put A Hot Pan On Quartz Countertops

Hot objects such as frying pans, hot sauce pans, deep fat fryers, and utensils should never be placed on quartz counters.  It’s recommended to always use a trivet or pad (something that will not transfer heat to your countertop).  It’s true that quartz is very heat resistant, but there is a risk.

Is Quartz A Good Material For Outdoor Kitchens?

Although quartz is resistant to most stains and is easy to maintain, it is sensitive to UV light (the sun).  Sunshine may fade and discolor quartz.  For that reason, quartz is not a good choice for outdoor kitchens and work tops.

Backlit Onyx Bar Delta Sky Club SLC

Quartz Countertop Resources

Support requirements for quartz countertops is not the same as granite

Silestone Use & Care Guide

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