Quartz countertops, whether in the kitchen or the bathroom, are a beautiful and worthy purchase. Quartz is low-maintenance and doesn’t require sealing to resist stains, unlike its counterpart, quartzite. It has resin binders that make it nonporous, impervious to mildew, mold, odor, and stain-causing bacteria.
Cleaning quartz countertops is relatively easy and, to ensure they remain in their best shape, this should be a regular practice. Below are some of the ways on how to go about it.
Quartz Countertop Care
- Clean fresh spills with mild detergent and a soft cloth, like microfiber
- Use surface or glass cleaners together with a non-abrasive sponge for stain removal.
- Stick to regular soap and water
- Use trivets, cutting boards, and hot pads to protect the countertop for it to last longer.
Quartz can resist permanent staining when exposed to certain liquids, like wine, soda, lemon juice, tea, or fruits and vegetables. Despite that, you should always clean up any spills immediately before they dry. Use mild dish-washing liquid and a soft cloth to wipe the spills away.
When it comes to heavy stains or dried spills, a non-abrasive sponge (sponges used for nonstick pans are nonabrasive and effective), a glass or surface cleaner, and a little elbow grease is your best bet. You should also have a plastic putty knife nearby in case you need to scrape off dried nail polish, gum, food, or other messes that harden once dry.
If you find yourself dealing with a particularly sticky situation, you might need extra tools to help you out.
- Removing permanent marker. With children in the house, accidents involving permanent markers on countertops are bound to happen. To prevent this from happening, put down kraft paper or placemats to protect the countertop. If you find a permanent marker stain, you can remove it using a cleaner like Goo Gone or caramel. Pour it directly on the stain and leave for 5 to 10 minutes, then wipe it off. Wipe it again with warm water to remove any residue left.
- Removing cooking grease. An easy way to remove grease from the counter is using a degreasing product, such as Easy-off. De-greasers will loosen and remove grease from the countertop. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using them.
Wiping spills and messes every day is necessary for keeping your counters clean and meets maintenance requirements. However, experts recommend you do an overall deeper cleaning regularly to refresh your countertops. To get the best results, spray a nonabrasive surface cleaner generously over the countertop and leave it on for 10 minutes. Wipe it away with a non-scratch sponge.
Tips for Disinfecting Quartz Countertops
Food preparation is a hectic process, and spills are likely to occur. This leaves your quartz surface vulnerable to becoming a bacterial breeding ground for Salmonella, E. coli, and many more, and with the coronavirus still a threat, disinfecting has never been more important.
It is recommended that you clean quartz surfaces every day and disinfect them twice a week. To sanitize the countertop, mix one-part bleach and ten parts water and spray the entire countertop; you need to dilute the bleach so that it doesn’t discolor or damage your countertop. Let the disinfectant stay on the surface for 10-15 minutes, then wipe it dry.
You can also use ethyl alcohol or a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution to disinfect. Spray generously on the surface, then wipe it.
Mistakes to Avoid
Caring for quartz countertops is an easy thing. Preserving the counter’s appearance and integrity involves knowing what not to do. Below are mistakes you should avoid when caring for quartz countertops.
- Using abrasives and alkaline or acid cleaners. You should not use abrasive cleaners and scouring pads as these might dull the surface. You can use regular soapy water for cleaning. If you have tougher stains that need removing, use quartz-friendly cleansers that won’t harm the surface.
You should also stay away from harsh cleaning solutions at both ends of the pH scale. Such solutions include nail polish removers, dishwasher rinsing agents, and turpentine or drain cleaners. Highly acidic and highly alkaline chemicals can disintegrate the bond between the resin and quartz.
Your countertop can handle casual exposure to mild alkaline solutions, like highly diluted bleach. However, it will not react well to products with high pH like concentrated bleach, which can damage the surface. If these substances come into contact with quartz countertops, rinse the surface immediately with water.
- Cutting without cutting boards. Although quartz is a hard surface, it cannot withstand exposure to sharp objects, like knives. If you are using a knife for cooking, make sure you use a cutting board to avoid scratching your countertop.
- High temperatures. Using trivets and hot pads should be on your list of dos when handling extreme heat and quartz surfaces. Quartz is scorch and heat-resistant, but the resin used is plastic and can melt in temperatures above 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Use heat protectors to prevent your countertop from cracking.
- Using metallic objects for scraping. Spills, stains, and all types of gunk can happen. Every once in a while, you might, therefore, have to scrape them from the countertops for proper maintenance. No matter how hard the spill is stuck to the countertop, do not use metal objects to scrape it away. You should instead use a plastic scraper or knife that won’t cause lasting damage to the countertop.
- The elements. Quartz does not handle outdoor elements well; that is why manufacturers recommend using it indoors. Exposure to direct sunlight day after day can cause it to warp or split.
- Using hot water for cleaning. Of course, you want to get that stubborn stain out. What better way than to use hot water? Wrong! Whenever you are cleaning a countertop, only use room temperature or mildly warm water. Hot water will damage the quartz resin, and you do not want that.
Quartz is a resilient, durable, and beautiful material. It is an excellent addition to your kitchen and will make it glow. To keep it in tip-top shape you need to clean it regularly and take all maintenance measures. Consequently, it will reward you with years of use.