If you have recently acquired a quartz countertop or are considering using it in a remodel, you no doubt have questions about how you can keep it clean without damaging it. While there are several safe options for cleaning a quartz countertop, there are also several commonly used options that you should avoid.
Can you clean a quartz countertop with bleach and vinegar?
The short answer is no. You should not clean your quartz countertop with vinegar or any other highly acidic or bleach-containing cleaners. These cleaners can cause damage and staining to your nice countertops.
Can Vinegar Damage Quartz Countertops?
Yes. While vinegar is a great household cleaner because it can power through dirt, minerals, and even work as a mild disinfectant, it can damage a quartz countertop. Vinegar is very acidic, which is how it kills germs, but this acidity can discolor your quartz countertop as it interacts with the resin in the countertop.
Can you use bleach on quartz?
No. Much like vinegar, bleach can discolor your quartz countertop. You might wish to use bleach to disinfect your countertop, and while that is possible with diluted bleach, it isn’t as good of an option. The good news is that since quartz countertops are non-porous, they are already antimicrobial. Since there are no pores in the countertop there is nowhere for bacteria to hide and grow, so it doesn’t require as much sanitizing. If your counters are in the kitchen where you prepare food, bleach isn’t a good idea anyway since it is harmful for humans to ingest.
Disinfectant on Quartz
If you can’t use the popular options of bleach and vinegar, what can you disinfect your quartz countertop with? Thankfully, there are still options for you out there. Quartz countertops aren’t porous, so they don’t need disinfecting as much as other surfaces do, but it is still a good idea to sanitize your countertops occasionally, once or twice a week is plenty.
When you want to remove all traces of germs from your countertops you can choose to do so with rubbing alcohol or a diluted bleach solution. For either method, clean the countertop with warm water and dish soap first to remove dirt and crumbs, before disinfecting. Alternatively, you could look for a commercial product designed for quartz or even use a disinfecting wipe that doesn’t use bleach.
Get an empty spray bottle and fill it with water. Then add a drop of dish soap and 4 tbsp. of rubbing alcohol for every cup of water. Gently mix together. Spray the mixture on the countertop and allow it to sit for about one minute. Wipe the surface down with a soft cloth. Rinse your cloth, or use a new wet cloth, and wipe the countertop down again to make sure that all the alcohol and soap is removed. Lastly allow the countertop to air-dry.
Bleach can still damage your countertop, so you want to use this method sparingly. When you do use this method, you want to be sure that your bleach is diluted, doesn’t sit too long on your counter, and is completely removed when you finish. To dilute your bleach, add 1-part bleach to 10-parts water. That ratio works out to be adding about 4 teaspoons to every cup of water. Mix and spray on the countertop. Allow to sit for up to 2 minutes and wipe off. Use a new clean wet cloth to wipe the counter again to remove any residual bleach. Let the countertop air-dry.
Proper Care for Quartz Countertops
While it is easy to take care of quartz, you should know what is the right way to keep them clean and what not to do.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops
Quartz countertops look great, but they are also frequently chosen because they are easier to clean and maintain than other stone options.
Seal: The first big difference comes from the fact that quartz countertops do not need to be resealed annually. The resin that they are made with already creates a non-porous seal.
Use Soap and Water: With the non-porous resin seal seal, quartz countertops can be cleaned easily with just a soft cloth and mild soapy water. That may sound too easy, but that’s really all there is to it.
Best Cleaning Option
The best way to keep your quartz countertop looking shiny and new is to clean up spills and messes as soon a they happen. Quartz countertops are stain-resistant and won’t stain immediately, but the longer that a spill sits on the counter the more likely it is to cause a stain. So, clean up spills as quickly as possible. Besides, spills are easier to clean up when they are fresh and not dried on and tough.
While you should try to clean up messes right away, there are bound to be times when you have tougher messes on your countertops. When this happens, you want to clean them off in a way that doesn’t damage your quartz countertop.
You may want to try placing a warm, moist cloth over the mess for ten minutes or so to loosen the grip that it has on your countertop, before you try to wash it away. If that isn’t effective you can use a plastic (not metal) scraper or palette knife to gently pry the mess off.
If neither of these two methods has been successful, you may need to use a slightly more powerful cleaner. Try using rubbing alcohol, or a glass cleaner without bleach. If these still aren’t enough to get the spill off, you should contact a local quartz countertop expert for additional advice, but you almost certainly won’t need to go that far.
Commercial Quartz Countertop Cleaners & Polish
There are many options out there when it comes to commercial cleaners and polishes. You will easily find these products labeled for “natural stone” countertops.
Many of these are safe to use on quartz, but you should check each product carefully, and ideally choose one that is labeled as safe for quartz countertops. Cleaners and polishes that are safe for quartz counters should be non-abrasive, not contain bleach, and have a neutral pH level.
A glass cleaner is a great alternative to commercial quartz countertop polishers. You should be able to find a glass cleaner without bleach at your local store. Windex even has a product specifically designed for use on quartz.
You can use it to polish your countertop and keep it looking shiny and new. This isn’t something that needs done all the time, though. Polishing your quartz countertop once a month should be adequate, but you can always do an extra session if your countertop seems to be losing that attractive sheen.
You can also protect and maintain your quartz countertops by avoiding other potentially harmful actions. Quartz countertops are resistant to heat and scratches, but you are better off avoiding both. Make sure that you use a hot-pad or trivet of some kind when you place hot dishes on your countertops, so they aren’t exposed directly to the heat. Similarly, it is wise to use a cutting board whenever you are using sharp utensils. This protective barrier will keep your countertop from getting scratches that could ruin the seal of the resin and lead to larger cracks overtime.
You should also only use quartz countertops for indoor areas, since they are sensitive to the UV-rays that come from natural sunlight. These rays can cause yellowing and eventually weaken the countertop, so quartz countertops don’t make a good option for outdoor spaces. But as long as you protect them from heat, scratches, and harsh chemicals, your indoor quartz countertops are sure to be a gorgeous feature in your kitchen for years to come.