You have recently purchased a quartz countertop and now you're eager to learn how to keep your new top looking brand new and lasting for years to come! You may be wondering, "what are the best ways to clean quartz countertops?" In this blog post, we will walk you through removing stains, what cleaning products you should and should not use, as well as a few tips on making minor repairs to your quartz countertops as needed.
Taking Care of Your Quartz Countertop
Quartz countertops are very popular for use in kitchens, but no matter how durable they are, you need to know how to take care of them to avoid problems. As with any other countertop on the marketplace, always use trivets or thick materials (potholders, thick kitchen towels, etc.) when placing hot pots and pans on the countertop to rest while dishing out food. High heat concentrated in one spot, can discolor the resin component over time.
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If you use crockpots or other heat-generating countertop cooking appliances, you should place them on a heat-resistant material, such as quilted pads with the silver silicone surfacing on the upper side. Lay enough of them together to cover the complete surface underneath the crockpot. Or you can purchase a fire-resistant oven liner and place it on the countertop with a towel underneath.
Always use a cutting board when chopping, dicing, or slicing food, because fine, well-sharpened blades could leave little scratches that build up over time, creating rough areas and loss of that smooth glossy surface sheen. While cutting food one or two times on the surface might be fine, it is best to just use the cutting board, especially when you are using a heavy downward pressure to cut through food, such as raw carrots.
How to Remove Stains
For basic spills, you can use a soft dish cloth and warm soapy water to sweep up the spills. If you spill any coffee, fruit juices, tea, or wine on your countertop and it sits for a while, leaving a stain, then try mixing baking soda and warm water together. Lightly scrub the surface with the paste and a soft cloth. Use three parts baking soda to one-part water, mix it together, and let sit on the surface. Gently rub the paste, then wipe it away. Never use any scouring pads on your quartz countertop surface.
Removing Dried Food and Other Blobs
If you have dried food or other things that were dropped on the countertop and left there unnoticed, then you have several options to remove them first. Dried food can be removed if you spray a bit of water on the area. Let the dried food soak up the water, and then try to wipe away with a damp cloth.
If there are still food particles left in place, try coming in underneath it with a very thin razor blade. The angle of the blade should be almost as flat as the countertop. You do not want to angle it in such a way as to scrape or dig into the countertop.
You can find one of these retractable metal blade holders here but will need to purchase blades separately. Usually the packaged blades will be sitting close by this product so you will not have to search far. Once you extend the blade out, you lay the blade parallel to the countertop. Press gently at the back end of the blade by the casing edge, providing a little blade flex, and gently slide the blade forward to nudge under the raised area of dried food.
A Possible Scenario
Suppose you were doing your fingernails, such as adding a new cover nail, and a drop of nail glue landed on the countertop. The natural panic reaction would be to quickly wipe it up. But, as nail glue has a fast-drying composition, you could end up smearing it all over the top instead, making it much harder to remove.
If the glue is still in drop formation, you could wait until it dries and then try using that thin blade to gently slide under the drop and dislodge it in one piece. Better yet, don’t do your nails on the bare countertop. Instead, lay down a thin placemat on the surface to work on your nails, preventing the spilling of glue or nail polish directly on the countertop surface.
The same is true of paint drops. Should you ever leave a drop of paint on the countertop, then reactivate it first with water to see if it will dissolve enough for you to simply wipe the drop away. Otherwise, you might have to use that thin blade to get the last paint particles dislodged from the countertop.
When in doubt about what to do with an accident that occurred with your countertop, reach out to your countertop manufacturers’ customer service. Your warranty will tell you how to contact the service, as well as how long the warranty lasts, and exactly what it covers.
You can also check out any manufacturer-based online communities where other buyers of the product gather together to discuss problems and solutions to some of the same issues you might be having.
Fixing Quartz Countertop Gouges
Sometimes, the worst can happen, no matter how conscientious you are in protecting the countertop. You might have a heavy metal knick-knack resting on a shelf over the countertop and, one day, the shelf gives way, dumping the knick-knack onto the countertop. The knick-knack does not break, but you have a small impact gouge in the countertop surface. If you are out of the warranty period, you can fix this problem yourself.
Here are the tools and steps you need to fix the problem, as recommended in a blog by GraniteSelection.com. Always check your warranty first, as a local company specialist can be called in to fix any problems that might occur. You also do not want to void your warranty by doing further damage to your countertop if your repair job does not go well.
- Ammonia-based cleaner in a spray bottle – spray the countertop area and then wipe clean the surface. Let the area dry thoroughly.
- Masking tape – apply masking tape strips around and up to the edges of the gouge, containing the damaged area.
- Superglue – use this if you have light- to white-colored countertops. You can add a small drop and smooth it out to fill the gouge. Use a nail polish brush, cleaned of any colors, to smooth out the glue. Or, you can use the brush to apply layers of the glue, one at a time, which would begin to dry as you go along. However, wipe the brush each time to avoid letting the brush dry with the bristles glued together. You can also use the edge of a razor blade to level off the glue.
- Keep adding layers until the glue applied, reaches the top, level to the countertop surface. Let it dry for 24 hours or more.
- Pigmented epoxy adhesive (for dark-colored tops) – Instead of superglue, use this to fill in the gouge. You may need to add a little color dye, which is then mixed and applied to match the countertop color.
- Check with your manufacturer first to see if they have the right dye and adhesive. With coloring mixtures, you want to have it right the first time around to match the rest of your countertop. The repair should be invisible.
- Add enough to come just above the edge to account for any epoxy shrinkage during the drying session. Once dried, sand off the extra until smooth.
- Sandpaper – This is used to gently sand down the extra epoxy until it is flush with the countertop surface. Be very careful in this step to not sand over your countertop in the process, as you could remove the finish on either side of the gouge.
If you would like to see a video version of this type of repair, then go now to this link to see a video from Planet Stone that is like the instructions given above. You can search for more videos on YouTube by using the search term “quartz countertop gouge repair.”
Cleaning White Quartz Countertops
Caring for white or light-colored countertops is relatively the same, but stains from wine, tea, and coffee, are more visible. Be sure to always wipe clean those spots as soon as possible. If you have any areas where surfacing has worn down over a long time and a spill is left for too long, you could get a permanent stain. Just be sure to clean up quickly and have the family members observe these same rules, too, especially young children who tend to be careless.
Do not forget to lay down thick potholders or towels on your countertop first, if you need to place a hot pot from the stove, on the countertop. A white countertop will show burns more vividly than on a dark-colored countertop.
Photo by Christian Mackie on Unsplash
Quick Tips for Quartz Countertops:
- Keep your quartz countertop warranty in a plastic bag in a kitchen drawer with any other warranties for kitchen appliances and their operation manuals. Most warranties are 25 years on quartz countertops but double-check this, so you know for sure.
- Never use any caustic cleaning materials on your countertop.
- Do not use scrubbing pads.
- Use microfiber cloths or other soft cloths to clean and polish countertops.
- While you can use simple soap and water to clean the tops, check out any cleaning and polishing kits that are sold by the countertop’s maker. They are expressly made for your countertop and you cannot go wrong with using them.
- Quartz countertops are made with anti-bacterial properties, so your countertop is always safe to work on. Always check directly with your countertop’s maker, such as Silestone or Viatera, if you have questions about a problem with your countertop.
- Check out any cleaning and polishing products put out by your countertop manufacturer. They are made expressly for the care of your countertop.
What Cleaners to Never Use on Quartz Countertops
Never use any harsh chemical cleaners that could destabilize the surfacing components of your countertop, creating a dull finish. Cleaners with bleach, paint cleaners such as turpentine, or any other caustic ingredients should never be used.
Your quartz countertop will last for many years and with the care offered in this article, you should not have any problems keeping it looking like new. Remember that you can always check with the manufacturer if you need help with issues that could arise. Enjoy!
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