How to clean white quartz countertops – an expert guide for good-as-new results
Protect the beauty of your white quartz countertops by using the right methods, and products, for cleaning
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- What can damage or stain quartz?
- How to clean white quartz countertops
- Cleaning white quartz with white vinegar
- Cleaning white quartz with glass cleaner
- Can you clean white quartz countertops with Bar Keeper’s Friend?
- Can you clean white quartz countertops with bleach?
- How to remove hard water stains from white quartz countertops
- When to call in the professionals
- How to remove dried on food from white quartz countertops
Q: My white quartz countertops are probably the single most successful addition to my kitchen. They look pristine – nine years on – they’re tough, bacteria-resistant, and need next to no upkeep nor maintenance. For a long time, I have used a solution of dish soap and warm water alone to clean my white quartz countertops, but I've noticed they're dulling and yellowing a little. How can I bring them back?
A: Quartz is made of around 90% natural quartz mixed with around 5 to 10% polymer resin; the quartz is non-porous, which means it’s stain-resistant and usually easy to clean. However, the polymer can absorb stains. Over time, you may have noticed that your countertop has yellowed in places – and hard water stains may be a problem, too.
However, with the right approach and products, you can clean white quartz countertops effectively, and even restore their shine. Here's how.
What can damage or stain quartz?
As tough as quartz is, it can be damaged by prolonged contact with harsh chemicals, such as bleach. All cleaners that aren't made for purpose should be applied to your countertops on a damp cloth, not poured directly on to the surface.
Oil-based cleaners, paint remover, nail polish, permanent markers and food dyes can also leave stains behind, as can turmeric. You should also be careful, day-to-day, not to place and leave hot pans on quartz countertops.
How to clean white quartz countertops
The best way to keep white quartz countertops as good as new is to wipe up stains immediately. To clean white quartz countertops, simply wipe them with a soft cloth (non-abrasive) dipped in warm soapy water, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. For continued upkeep, and to help them keep their shine, it's recommended to use specialist cleaners, with Weiman's Quartz Countertop Cleaner Polish being a top-rated buy.
Weiman's Quartz Countertop Cleaner Polish, $13.98 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
The pH neutral formula of this cleaner means it will safely remove grease, soil, surface stains, and watermarks from quartz. It's also widely praised by users for protecting quartz from fading or darkening, and for the shine it can restore to dull countertops. We love its fresh scent, too.
Cleaning white quartz with white vinegar
We are big fans of cleaning with white vinegar, mixed in equal parts with water. Apply it to white quartz countertops with a soft cloth, allow it to soak for 15 minutes, then wipe away and rinse.
‘For stubborn stains, leave the solution to soak overnight,’ say the experts at stone countertop experts Caesarstone (opens in new tab).
Cleaning white quartz with glass cleaner
If you use Windex to clean windows without streaks, you’ll be happy to know that you can also use it to give white quartz countertops a shine.
‘Products such as Windex, are not likely to damage bonds between quartz and the resin,’ say Caesarstone’s quartz experts. ‘Some also dissolve grease, and lift dirt from the surface.’
Windex Original Glass and Window Cleaner Bundle, $8.30 at Amazon (opens in new tab)
You may already have Windex at home; it's a marvel at cleaning windows and can also be used on white quartz countertops to remove smudges and grease, leaving behind that streak-free shine.
Can you clean white quartz countertops with Bar Keeper’s Friend?
We’ve talked about items you can successfully clean with Bar Keeper’s Friend before and, with caution, this includes white quartz countertops. To apply it, simply wet the countertop, sprinkle it on and then rub to remove it with a soft cloth. Do not leave it to soak or use it too often - this is an ‘in case of stubborn stains’ application, not an every day one.
As Bar Keepers Friend is largely made of the chemical oxalic acid, it is advisable to wear cleaning gloves (like these from Amazon) (opens in new tab) and open windows or doors to help with ventilation when using it around your home.
Bar Keepers Friend Original Powder | $11.41 at Walmart (opens in new tab)
This multi-surface cleaner can be used for cleaning white quartz countertops, though you need to do so with caution: do not rub excessively, do not use routinely, and do not allow to soak.
Can you clean white quartz countertops with bleach?
It’s better to use a Soft Scrub Gel with Bleach rather than neat bleach, though you can use the latter in an emergency. However, in both cases, do not leave it to soak into your countertop as it will cause discoloration.
Soft Scrub Gel with Bleach, $18.63 for a pack of two at Amazon (opens in new tab)
Generally used as an all-round disinfectant, this cleaner can be used on white quartz countertops, although again, with caution. Do not let it sit on the countertops as the harsh chemicals can cause yellow staining over time. Instead, wipe, then rinse and buff dry.
How to remove hard water stains from white quartz countertops
Hard water stains on quartz are best removed regularly. We recommend using Weiman's Quartz Countertop Cleaner (opens in new tab), but you can also use Soft Scrub Liquid Gel (opens in new tab), which should be applied with a damp cloth (not directly on to the countertop) then immediately rinsed and wiped.
When to call in the professionals
If you can’t remove stains from your white quartz countertops, it may be time to call in a trusted professional. The best place to start is with the manufacturer of your countertop, who will be able to advise the best course of action.
How to remove dried on food from white quartz countertops
Rather than using an abrasive cloth, tackled dried on food by wetting a dishcloth and laying it over the surface. Once the food has become wet, it will loosen and you can simply wipe it off.
How do you get stains out of white quartz countertops?
The best way to get stains out of white quartz is to use regular dish soap and warm water, working the solution into the stain before rinsing it off. However, if you want to keep your quartz countertops in top condition, it pays to use a for-purpose product, such as Weiman's Quartz Countertop Cleaner (opens in new tab), which will also leave a nice shine.
How do you make white quartz countertops white again?
To make white quartz countertops white again, the best option is to clean it regularly with dish soap dissolved in warm water. If this doesn’t work, use a quartz restorer, such as Weiman's Quartz Countertop Cleaner (opens in new tab), then rinse thoroughly with warm clean water. Do not let harsh chemicals soak in as they can yellow the countertops. If you have damaged your countertops more than just superficially, speak to the manufacturer for the best solution, depending on your needs.
Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens since 1990, working her way around the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-nineties. She was Associate Editor on Ideal Home, and Launch Editor of 4Homes magazine, before moving into digital in 2007, launching Channel 4's flagship website, Channel4.com/4homes. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for Realhomes.com, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she has also taken on the editorship of the magazine.
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