8 Quartz Countertop Maintenance Tips From Superior
Quartz Countertop Maintenance
With your new quartz countertops from Superior Stone & Cabinet, your kitchen is looking incredible. Keeping it that way will be relatively easy: quartz requires very little upkeep and care. However, it is important to know how to clean your countertops in the event of a spill—while quartz is relatively stain-resistant, you still need to take steps to protect your new countertops from discoloration. In this article, we’ll share our top quartz countertop maintenance tips and provide you with a comprehensive cleaning guide.
What are quartz countertops?
An increasingly popular alternative to the better-known granite countertop, quartz countertops are another type of stone countertop. Unlike granite, which is cut from slabs and then installed in the home, quartz countertops are manufactured. Ground-up quartz stone is encased in a protective resin to form the countertop’s shape.
This manufacturing method has several key advantages. First, it means that quartz countertops are available in a wider variety of styles and colors than granite. Granite, as you might expect, can only look like natural stone. It has veining and other similar features. In contrast, quartz can look like just about anything. It can have sparkle or shine, depending on how the quartz is arranged.
Because quartz is sealed in a protective resin layer, it’s nonporous. In your kitchen, this is a key distinction: you don’t want that spilled glass of wine to get into the stone. For our purposes in this article, quartz is great at repelling and resisting stains. As such, while it does require regular cleaning, homeowners rarely have to deal with stain removal.
If you’re considering quartz countertops for your home, you should talk to our team here at Superior Stone & Cabinet. We work with Phoenix homeowners to transform their kitchens. With one of the widest selections of quartz in the Valley, we can help you find the right countertops for your home.
Is quartz easier to maintain than granite?
In many respects, yes. While both are stone countertops, there are many differences between quartz and granite. Granite is porous and can absorb liquids. This makes it much more prone to stains than quartz, which is nonporous due to the way it’s manufactured. On the flip side, granite boasts much better heat resistance than quartz. Homeowners with granite countertops can place hot pans directly on the surface, while those with quartz should use hot pads or trivets.
There’s also long-term maintenance to consider. Every so often, granite must be resealed so as to protect it from stains and other damage. This involves applying a resealing product to its surface. Quartz requires no equivalent long-term care. While there are quartz cleaning products commercially available, the vast majority of homeowners get by with just warm water and soap.
If you’re coming from a home with granite countertops to one with quartz—or vice-versa—it’s important to understand the key differences between these two types of countertops. Both have their distinct advantages and disadvantages, but there’s little debate that, all things considered, quartz is easier to maintain and care for.
Maintaining quartz countertops
On a day-to-day basis, maintaining your quartz countertops is easy. Just wash the countertop with warm water and a soft cloth. With proper care and maintenance, the countertops can last for a long time without losing their shine and appeal.
Here are five great quartz countertop maintenance tips that you should follow when it comes to cleaning and taking care of the quartz countertops.
1. Avoid placing hot objects on the surface
Keep in mind that the quartz is not heat resistant like granite countertops. If you want to maintain the original look of the quartz countertop, you should avoid placing hot objects onto the surface. Placing the roasting pan or hot skillets directly on the surface can damage the countertop.
Thermal shocks can result in cracks to develop on the surface. That’s why it’s recommended that you use hot pads and trivets to prevent damage to the surface.
2. Avoid cleaning using strong chemicals
You must not expose quartz countertops to harsh chemicals, as they can damage the surface. Avoid using bleach, oven cleaners, or any other cleaning products containing pumice. Also, you should not use furniture polish, paint removers, silver cleaners, or oil soaps to clean the surface.
You’ll want to avoid using any of these cleaning products on your quartz countertops:
– Acid-based cleaning products
– Alkaline cleaning products
– Nail polish remover
– Granite countertop cleaning products
– Oven or stainless steel cleaners
– Bleach or bleach-based cleaners
There are many other chemicals that can negatively impact your quartz. As a general rule, if there’s no indication that the product is intended for quartz use on the bottle, avoid using that cleaning product on your countertop.
3. Avoid using abrasive materials to clean
Using abrasive materials is also not recommended as they can damage the surface. Also, do not use knives
directly on the surface of the quartz countertops, as they are not scratch resistant. You can damage the countertops when you use abrasive or sharp materials on the surface. This is a key quartz countertop maintenance tip. Instead of sharp abrasive materials, you should use a soft cloth.
Your quartz should stand up remarkably well to accidental knife cuts or dropped objects. However, we recommend you make this the exception, not the rule. You should continue to use a cutting board when chopping fruits or vegetables, and try to avoid slamming objects down onto the countertop’s surface. Excessive force or pressure on the surface can end up cracking or chipping the stone.
In most cases, knives will not damage the quartz. Quartz, after all, is one of the strongest types of stone out there. However, it could damage the protective resin layer, leaving a mark. In addition, using knives of your quartz will likely ruin the knives themselves, dulling them quickly. All-in-all, keep your cutting boards in your kitchen. You’ll need them.
4. Keep permanent markers away
You should keep permanent markers away from quartz countertops. The marks can disfigure the surface that is not easy to clean. If you see a permanent ink stain on the countertop, you should first use routine care to get rid of the substance.
In case the stain is not removed, you should moisten the cloth with a glue remover and then rub into the stone. Make sure to rinse the countertop thoroughly with warm water to clear the cleaner residue.
5. Avoid staining your quartz
No homeowner is perfect. If you spend a lot of time cooking in your kitchen, you’re bound to have an accidental spill at some point. The good news is that quartz stands up relatively well to most forms of staining. When discoloration does happen, it can often just be wiped away.
However, it is possible for different types of foods to have different effects. Here’s a quick list of the things that most commonly stain quartz surfaces:
– Spices: Brightly colored spices like curry, turmeric, paprika, or chili powder can stain your countertop. These are among the most commonly spilled items when preparing food. The good news is that most of this discoloration is on the surface. Try wiping away spilled curry stains with a wet rag, adding dish soap is necessary.
– Tomato Sauces: As any homeowner with discolored tupperware knows, the combination of acidity and color in tomatoes can lead to some stubborn stains. When you spill tomato sauce or hot sauce on your counters, clean it up as soon as possible. If the sauce stain has set in, use the methods we list below to try lifting it out.
– Food Coloring: Being a literal dye, food coloring has the potential to temporarily discolor your quartz. We recommend being careful when using food coloring in the kitchen—when possible, apply food coloring to your dish while standing over your sink. If you have spilled food coloring, clean it from your quartz as soon as possible.
Cleaning quartz countertops
If you’re preparing to clean your quartz countertops, here are a few things you’ll want to have ready to go:
– Paper Towels
– Two Soft Towels
– Warm and Soapy Water
– A Spray Bottle Filled with Distilled Water
Since quartz is not a delicate or sensitive material, keeping it maintained and clean is not so difficult. It is also scratch-resistant, which gives you the peace of mind of not having to worry about scratches or dents.
Nevertheless, maintenance is always essential. Here are some tips on how you can keep your quartz counter clean and shiny on a regular basis.
1. Rinse off your quartz
Unlike granite, quartz countertops are nonporous. This means you can use the classic combination of soap and water to clean off its surface. Start by removing any objects on top of your countertop—appliances, cookbooks, utensil holders, etc. Then, use a spray bottle to spray down the countertop with a mixture of dish soap and water. Dish soap is a degreaser and will help in removing stuck-on material.
Wait a few minutes after spraying down your counters. Then, take a clean sponge or wash rag and thoroughly wipe down your countertop, moving from the back (backsplash) to the front. This ensures any loose crumbs or food debris is cleared from the surface. If you encounter any tough spots, re-treat the area with more soap and water. You can also use the “rough” side of your sponge to gently scrub stuck-on foods off the counter.
2. Treat quartz countertop stains
With any luck, you’ve been able to protect your quartz countertops from any serious staining. However, accidents do happen, and it’s possible for stubborn stains to set in. The good news is that there are steps you can take to try removing these stains from your countertop. Here are just a few ideas:
Dish Soap & Water: Here’s the good news: because your quartz is a nonporous surface, there’s a good chance that the discoloration should come right out. Start with the basics. Using a sponge, dab some warm water and dish soap on the affected area.
Baking Soda: Combine a bit of baking soda and water to form a paste-like substance. Rub this into the affected area. In some cases, the addition of baking soda will help lift the stain out of the surface.
Rubbing Alcohol: Add a few drops of rubbing alcohol to a clean wash rag or paper towel, and then press it into the surface. Gently rub this solution over the stained area. This may help lift the stain out.
3. Use a professional cleaning product
If you really want to make your quartz countertops shine like the day they were first installed, use a professional quartz cleaning solution. Available online and in many brick-and-mortar retailers, these cleaning products are specially designed for quartz. As such, they’re safe to use on your countertops, and won’t cause discoloration.
As previously noted, you’ll want to avoid using any cleaning or chemical product unless it specifically says it can be used on quartz surfaces. This includes chemicals like bleach or ammonia-based cleaners, but also granite cleaning products. Remember: quartz and granite are two different types of stone. Some granite cleaners may be harmful to the protective seal of your quartz countertop.
In general, just use common sense when cleaning your quartz, and you should be fine. Most homeowners who end up permanently discoloring or damaging their quartz do so by using a chemical that is clearly not intended for kitchen or even household use, like paint remover, drain cleaners, automotive cleaning chemicals, and more.
More about quartz countertop maintenance
Your new quartz countertops should remain flawlessly beautiful for many, many years to come. At Superior Stone & Cabinet, we’re here to help answer your quartz countertop questions. Need advice on maintaining your new countertops? Want to know what cleaning products you should use? Give our office a call—we’d be happy to help you out.