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Can Quartz Countertop Stain?

One of the most sought-after countertops available on the market is quartz. One of quartz's main selling points is that it stands up well against scratches and stains. But does quartz live up to the hype?

Overflowing mug of coffee on with granite countertop

One of the most sought-after countertops available on the market is quartz. Along with its elegant appearance, one of quartz’s main selling points is that it stands up well against scratches and stains. But does quartz live up to the hype? 

As a general rule, quartz countertops are resistant to most stains because of their non-porous and sturdy surface. While quartz is stain resistant, it is not stain-proof, and foods, drinks, and household products with deep pigments and high acidity can leave behind small to moderate-sized stains.

Continue reading to find out precisely what causes quartz to stain and what substances and items you need to be careful using to prevent discoloration and marks. You will also learn about the best cleaning products to keep your countertops spotless. 

Table of Contents

Is Quartz Stain Resistant?

Quartz is one of the best choices for kitchen and bathroom countertops because it is stain-resistant. Its non-porous surface means you can clean most substances off your counters with a simple cloth, and they will not leave any stain behind. 

Quartz countertops’ stain resistance makes them a low-maintenance and durable option perfect for families with children and pets since their surface is easy to clean. No material, however, can be protected from all stains, and certain items in your house will leave behind a mark on your countertop.

Why Does Quartz Stain?

Kitchen with white cabinets and countertops, white and black marble backsplash, stainless steel appliances, dark wood floors, 4 bar stools

While quartz is much more stain-resistant compared to marble and granite, it is not impervious to all substances. 

Quartz countertops are primarily composed of the natural mineral quartz. They also contain a small amount of resins and pigments, which help give the countertops their color and appearance. 

Most items that leave stains on your countertops react with the resin present rather than the quartz. The resin that binds the quartz together can become damaged from harsh cleaning chemicals and staining dyes.

A spilled drink or dinner that you quickly clean up will not leave a mark on your countertop. Most stains occur on quartz because they are left on the surface for an extended time. The best way to prevent these stains is to clean spills and messes on your countertops as soon as possible. 

Prevention is also crucial to keep your countertops pristine. Use cutting boards, trays, and heat-resistant mats to stop leaks or burn marks from damaging your quartz. 

What Can Stain Quartz Countertops?

While you can remove most stains on your countertop by simply wiping them with a cloth or using soap and water, many commonly used household products test quartz’s stain resistance. White and light-colored quartz countertops are most susceptible to stains from these items. 

Water Stains

Water stains represent one of the biggest challenges to quartz countertops. These stains can quickly occur from sinks leaking hard water or from glasses being left without coasters on the counter for long periods of time. 

Hard water mainly contains the minerals calcium and magnesium, which quickly dry on the surface, leaving sizable ugly gray spots behind. Since these stains can go unnoticed for so long and are resistant to most cleaners, they are difficult to remove. 

Food Dye

Red-colored foods and drinks such as wines, tomato sauces and soups, and fruit juices can also test quartz’s stain resistance. Many of these items contain deep red pigments that easily penetrate most fabrics and surfaces. 

The best line of defense against these stains is to clean them as soon as possible. Take care consuming these items on white quartz countertops, as they are the most likely to stain from food dyes. 

Coffee and Tea

Coffee and tea are also some of the worst culprits of leaving marks behind on quartz countertops. These hot beverages contain tannin, a biomolecule that easily stains. This natural dye is not only responsible for staining your teeth but will also leave behind a brown stain on quartz if you are not careful. 

When consuming these beverages, use coasters to stop your mug from leaving a brown ring mark and to prevent any coffee and tea from dripping on the countertop. 

Heat

While quartz is heat-resistant, hot items can leave behind scorch marks. Make sure you do not put pans, trays, and dishes from the oven or microwave directly on your countertops. It is also crucial to place heat-resistant mats under slow cookers and air fryers to avert heat damage. 

Markers and Nail Polish

Sharpies and highlighters also can quickly leave a nasty stain if you are not careful. The ink found in these items is hard to remove on most surfaces, including quartz. Your best protection to prevent an art project or homework assignment from staining your countertop surface is to put down mats or thick paper. 

For bathroom quartz countertops, be careful when using nail polish as it is tough to remove. You also cannot use nail polish removers to get rid of the spots left behind as the harsh chemicals can damage the quartz.

Cleaning Products

Using improper cleaning materials can also leave behind a mark. Harsh chemicals found in some cleaning products can react negatively with the polymer resin. To prevent this, only use cleaning chemicals that are specifically made for quartz countertops. 

Luckily, since most quartz countertop stains are rarely deep, you can easily get them out with the proper cleaning supplies. 

Does Quartz Stain with Red Wine?

White countertop, black wine bottle, 2 wine glasses with red wine on wood cutting board, wooden bowl with apples in it, clear vase with white flowers

One of the largest messes that can occur in your kitchen is a glass of red wine spilling on your countertops. Many of the lingering stains in my own home are due to this red liquid. Quartz is no exception, and red wine is one of its most common staining agents. 

Red wine stains are hard to get out of quartz countertops because of the grapes used to make the wine. Most grapes have a deep red pigment called anthocyanin, an agent used in many food dyes, and which has a high acidic content. These pigments can easily harm the resin and discolor your countertops. 

Does Quartz Stain with Turmeric?

Burnt orange clay bowl full of ground turmeric, whole turmeric next to bowl

Turmeric is another pesky stain agent that can leave behind an ugly mess. It is known as an ingredient that stains anything it touches, and unfortunately, this includes quartz.

One of my friends, who has white quartz countertops, says that turmeric is the most complex substance to remove from her kitchen countertops. Turmeric contains the pigments curcumin and carotenoids, which give the ingredient its intensely yellow color and highly staining composition. 

At-risk the most from turmeric are light-colored quartz countertops. If you plan on making a dish with this ingredient, I would highly recommend putting a mat you don’t mind turning yellow on your counters to help prevent stains. 

How to Remove Quartz Stain

Kitchen countertop with a yellow bucket filled with cleaning supplies

Cleaning up spills and messes as quickly as possible is key to keeping your quartz spotless, but what if it is too late and a stain has already seeped in your countertops? Do not worry, as many products are available on the market specifically designed to get stains out of quartz. 

Household Items

Many commonly found household items will do the trick if you do not have access to any quartz cleaners. 

If you immediately spot a stain before it settles into the quartz, try simply using mild dish soap, warm water, and a microfiber cloth to wipe off the stain quickly. Due to quartz’s non-porous nature and durability, you can get rid of most marks with this cleaning combination.

If soap and water cannot eliminate the stain, mix an equal amount of water and white vinegar and place them on the stain. Once you have let it sit and absorb the stain on the countertop, wipe the mixture with a cloth until it is removed. The natural acidity in the vinegar can help it combat even the most challenging spots. 

If you do not have white vinegar available, another option for hard-to-remove spots is to apply a baking soda and warm water mixture to the stain and use a kitchen sponge to clean it. 

Non-Abrasive Cleaners

For the toughest stains, you will need more heavy-duty cleaners to remove the discoloration on your countertop.

One option for minor stains that will not come out with soap and water is to use a glass cleaner like Windex. Simply spray the spot with the cleaning item and rub it with a non-abrasive sponge or pad. 

Bar Keepers Friend Granite & Stone Cleaner & Polish (25.4 oz) Granite Cleaner for Use on Natural, Manufactured & Polished Stone, Quartz, Silestone, Soapstone, Marble - Countertop Cleaner & Polish (2)

Another highly-recommended non-abrasive cleaning agent for quartz countertops is Bar Keepers Friend cleaner for granite and stone surfaces. Many users on forums like Reddit and Quora describe having great success getting tough stains like turmeric, red wine, and permanent marker out using this product. It also will not dull and scratch your countertop’s surface like other cleaning products. 

Before using any cleaning product, make sure it does not contain bleach and paint thinner, as these solutions can damage the resin. Also, make sure all sponges, brushes, and pads you use are non-abrasive, so they do not scratch the countertops. 

Conclusion

Quartz is a durable and non-porous surface resistant to most stains. While some items can pose a challenge to quartz, with the tips provided throughout the article, you can easily keep your countertops sparkling and looking like you just installed them yesterday. 

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Learn whether quartz really is the best countertop available for your kitchen and bathroom and what items test its stain resistance.