Part of the incentive for going with quartz over natural stone is its durability and lower maintenance than other options such as granite – however, low maintenance doesn’t mean maintenance free! There are some specific things to keep in mind when cleaning and maintaining your quartz to keep them looking shiny and new for years to come.
It’s important to be careful about what cleaner you’re using on your quartz, as many common household products and solutions can damage, stain or haze the surface. Chemicals that are too acidic (low pH, like vinegar) or are too basic (high pH, like bleach) can break down the polymers holding the quartz aggregate in place. At first this can look like watermark, light stain or even a general dulling of the finish, but it is in-fact damage to the surface of the countertop.
Also, while quartz is very tough stuff, it is possible to scratch, scuff or dull the surface by scrubbing too hard with something that is too abrasive.
The Best Quartz-Safe Cleaners and Tools for Keeping Your Stone Looking Great
1) Use pH Balanced, Streak-Free Cleaner
We see all kinds of different information being thrown around about what is best to clean quartz countertops with, but with the heritage of three generations of stone care experts behind us, we know that many of these solutions end up doing more harm than good.
One extremely common tip that we see is to use dish soap to clean your countertops. Most common dish soaps feature organic compounds that tend to leave annoying streaks at best, and end up leaving a clouding and hazing residue over that sleek and shiny surface. Not only does this hinder that gorgeous luster, but it can be a real pain to properly remove down the road.
A better solution is to use a cleaner that has been formulated specifically for use on quartz, is safe on natural stone as well as other nearby fixtures and appliances that the cleaner is bound to touch. Granite Gold Quartz Brite® takes that idea and runs with it, doing you one even better by combining a pH balanced and non-toxic cleaner with a polish all-in-one bottle. That way, you’re cleaning your countertop and polishing it to a streak-free shine all at once.
It’s easy to use, too. Just spray the product onto the quartz surface and buff to a shine with a microfiber cloth or paper towel. With no ammonia or phosphates, Quartz Brite® is 100% non-toxic and completely safe for food-prep surfaces. Tough to beat, right?
2) A Good Microfiber and Stone-Safe Sponge Goes a Long Way
We touched briefly on the fact that quartz isn’t impervious to scratching or marring, which is where a well-made microfiber cloth can come in very handy. Not only is it a soft fabric that won’t dull the surface, but the fine fibers do a great job of not leaving streaks behind. As we well know from cleaning glass, even water can leave behind annoying streaks — something that can be very noticeable on darker shades of quartz.
A microfiber cloth is also handy to have on hand in order to quickly wipe up spills while they are still fresh. This will not only help to prevent stains, but is a good habit to get into in order to avoid allowing acidic fluids from damaging the surface of your quartz. Things like wine, vinegar and citrus should be thoroughly wiped up and rinsed to avoid damage to the countertop.
When you need something a little heavier duty for scrubbing out a stain or getting up soap scum, it might be tempting to break out a scouring pad and go to town. Like we mentioned before, though, these can wreak havoc on that beautiful surface sheen, and end up dulling the surface in that area. Instead, use a scrub sponge that is designed for use on quartz and stone surfaces.
3) A Plastic Putty Knife and a Nylon Brush
For more stubborn stains or dried food that just doesn’t want to come up off the surface of your granite, you can make good use of a stone-safe nylon brush and plastic putty knife to scrub and scrape these annoyances away. Like mentioned above, it’s important to avoid overly abrasive or sharp implements for this kind of work, so avoid using a knife edge, razor blade or steel wool to scrub or scrape a stain off.
A good nylon bristle brush is really handy for getting that build up around the edges of quartz, such as where the countertop meets the sink, makes quick work of soap scum, and can be key in scrubbing away tough stains on your quartz. All this while not being abrasive enough to mar the surface of your quartz or other stone or grout.
Other Tips to Avoid Damaging Your Countertop:
Use a Trivet or Heat Pad for Your Hot Pans:
Due to the engineered nature of quartz, it doesn’t tend to have quite the same heat resistance that natural-stone does (not that you would necessarily want to set a hot pan down on quartz or marble either). The polymers, bonding agents and pigments used can warp or even crack if subjected to too much of a temperature differential across the surface.
Always use a cutting board:
Even a tough material like quartz is susceptible to scratching if used as a cutting surface. The effects may not be immediately noticeable, but over time it can have a compounding effect. Plus, that’s unnecessarily hard on your knives as well, so there really isn’t any upside here. A good plastic or even bamboo cutting board will go a long way to help preserve your investment.
Don’t stand on your counter:
Always use a stepladder if at all possible. Again, quartz is tough stuff, but small rocks and dirt on the soles of your shoes can absolutely scratch the surface of your counter. Plus, depending on how the support structure was built beneath the countertop, you never know if you’re stepping on a section of the counter that isn’t well enough supported to handle the weight. It’s just not worth it!
To read more on what not to do when caring for your quartz or natural-stone, check out our other guides here. If you have any more specific questions pertaining to caring for your stone and need some advice, you can give our Stone Care Experts a call at 1-800-475-STONE. Also be sure to check out the full line of stone care and other related products from Granite Gold®.