Quartz is highly sought after as a finish for kitchen countertops due to its rich natural color pattern, durability, and ease of upkeep. Once installed, the sumptuous material usually only requires a simple wipe down to keep it clean and maintain its elegant appearance. Knowing which cleaning methods and products not to use on your quartz countertop, however, is just as important as knowing which to use.
Perform Everyday Cleaning with Mild Soap Solution
Perform everyday cleaning tasks with a mild soap solution and a soft cloth or sponge, and steer clear of harsh scrubbers and cleaners that may mar the sealed surface of the quartz. Wet a washcloth with warm, soapy water and wipe down the countertop using smooth, circular motions. The majority of messes should come right off with little effort. For dried or sticky residue, apply more soap solution as needed. Get in the habit of scrubbing your countertops every time you do any major cooking, baking, or meal prep. Rinse the countertop with fresh water, wring out and rewet the cloth or sponge, then go back over the countertops one more time to clear away any last traces of soap.
Wipe Down and Rinse Countertops Regularly
To keep your quartz countertops clean, you usually won’t need anything more sophisticated than a gentle soap solution. Generally, it’s best to use a mild dish detergent that doesn’t contain any astringents or harsh chemicals. These substances can wear down quartz with repeated use. The resins used to seal quartz make the finish resistant to everyday dust, dirt, stains, and mold. Warm water is more effective for releasing resilient messes than cold water. Soak up standing water with a paper towel and allow the quartz to air dry. Clean up spills as soon as they happen. Commercial quartz is non-porous, which means it won’t absorb and lock in stains. However, it’s still a good idea to address spills, crumbs, and other messes before they have a chance to set up. This will save you the trouble of employing more intensive measures later on.
Deal with Stubborn Messes and Residue
Scrape off hardened messes using a plastic scraper and spray the gunk with warm water to soften it before lifting it off. Use only flexible plastic scrapers (never metal) or nonabrasive sponges and be careful not to apply too much pressure, as it may create small scratches or abrasions that can worsen over time. Soak paper towels in hot water and use them to cover messes that are spread out over a large area. Break down stubborn residue using a vinegar solution. With time, food particles and mineral deposits from hard water can cause a film to develop on the countertops that a normal wipe-down may just smear around. A little distilled white vinegar can cut right through this film. Combine equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle, mist the entire counter surface, and run a soft kitchen sponge over it to leave behind a streak-free shine.
Treat Tough Stains with Specialty Cleaners
If you ever need to remove more troublesome items like chewing gum, ink, or glue, grab an oil-based stain remover like Goo Gone. Apply the cleaner lightly to the countertops and let it sit for a couple of minutes, then rub out the mess and the remaining cleaner using a damp cloth. Ordinary rubbing alcohol may also be useful for loosening unusual substances. Spray the countertops periodically with a glass cleaner. As quartz ages, the clear resin sealant can start to appear cloudy. A spritz of glass cleaner will help reduce some of the murkiness, leaving the finish looking polished and sparkling. This is a good project to complete about once a month, or whenever you notice that your countertops no longer shine like they used to.
Use Non-Abrasive Tools and Cleaners
Quartz is quite resilient, but it’s not indestructible. Avoid using abrasive agents that can create small scratches in the soft resin or underlying stone, often permanent. Similarly, it’s possible for harsh chemicals like bleach and oven cleaner to cause bubbling, staining, or discoloration. Play it safe and stick with harmless cleaning solutions like liquid detergents and vinegar. It’s never a good idea to scour quartz with steel wool, sandpaper, pumice stone, or any kind of stiff-bristled brush. Use a separate cutting board when preparing meals to prevent accidental scratches and gouges.
Avoid Exposing Quartz to High Temperatures
Quartz is not meant to withstand intense heat. Always lay out a hot pad or trivet when serving dishes straight out of the oven. If you need to set down hot pots and pans, do it on the cooktop instead of the counter. Most types of quartz are only designed to tolerate temperatures of up to 300-400°F (150-200°C). More extreme temperatures may cause sudden and severe cracking. Avoid placing appliances that generate a lot of heat, like toaster ovens or metal rice cookers, directly on the quartz countertop.
Reserve Quartz for Indoor Countertops
When exposed to constant sunlight, moisture, and fluctuations in temperature, quartz is at greater risk of fading or cracking. For this reason, it’s better suited for kitchens and bathrooms inside your home. Quartz surfaces are also more likely to gather dirt and debris outside, meaning they’ll require more frequent cleanings. For your outdoor furnishings, opt for materials like stainless steel, aluminium, synthetic plastics, and water-resistant woods such as teak and cedar. If you do decide to have quartz countertops installed in an outdoor area (a poolside bar or patio kitchen, for example), make sure they’re securely covered by an awning or overhang to protect them from direct UV light and precipitation.
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