Quartz is growing in popularity as a top choice for countertops, and for good reason. It comes in a variety of colors, designs, and patterns suitable for a wide range of different tastes and preferences. Thanks to new fabrication techniques, quartz can be manufactured at relatively cheaper costs to resemble even the most natural exotic stone.
If you recently purchased a quartz countertop, then you made a worthy investment. You likely bought it for its unique design, durability, beautiful surface and of course easy maintenance. Quartz’ robust and natural resiliency can help fight and withstand tough daily usage.
Engineered countertops made from quartz and resin, is a hard surface. Hard enough to keep potential dents and scratches away! Which makes it an excellent choice for those who want an easy to maintain kitchen.
Once you’ve had your countertop installed, you need to play your part in ensuring it provides maximum value for money. A little maintenance can increase your countertops durability. According to experts, the most viable and easiest option to keep your quartz countertop crystal clear and pristine is through cleaning with a sponge and wipe. But with a few extra steps, you can make your countertop more appealing.
Quartz is also known for its antibacterial qualities, the minimal effort required to keep it clean, durability, and of course – its timeless beauty. There’s no doubt that it’s one of today’s most beautiful countertop surfaces and can transform your home’s interior into a work of art. Another great quality of quartz is that it doesn’t require any sealing as it’s sealed in the finishing process itself. Unlike granite and marble, you’ll also never have to reseal your quartz.
But how do you keep your quartz countertop bright and shiny all year round?
Well, quartz countertops are virtually maintenance free, so caring for them may be a lot easier than you think. There are so many products and opinions on how to clean and maintain your quartz countertop that it can be challenging to know what will give you the best results.
You want to get acquainted with the various dos and don’ts as well as the best tips for keeping your countertop looking clean and as good as new throughout its useful life. From fingerprints and streaks to stains, here are a few guidelines on how to clean your quartz countertop so you can enjoy its beauty for years to come.
Essentials to help in your cleaning include:
• Paper towels
• A distilled water-filled spray bottle
• Two soft towels
• Window cleaner
Quartz may be considered more durable than other types of countertops, but it’s not entirely resistant to scuffing, staining and scratching.
Whether you’ve installed new gorgeous countertops in your kitchen, bathroom or both, you need to keep them spotless. Your kitchen countertop, for example, can be quite busy, especially if you’re a fan of home cooked meals. This means your quartz countertop will need a quick cleaning after every meal or at least once a day. Daily cleaning also prevents messes from piling up. You won’t need anything special and will take just a few moments of your time:
For everyday cleaning, all you’ll probably need is a soft rag (preferably microfiber) with some warm water and a dab of dish soap. Wipe down your countertop to remove any grease, food residue, crumbs and other debris.
Remove any hardened food, wax, gum or liquid using a rubber spatula, plastic putty knife or other soft material. The trick is to use a stiff but soft object, such as a credit card or flat wooden material to remove as much of the sticky substance or greasy mess as possible. You want to avoid anything that could scratch the surface.
Consider wiping the area with a soft rag and warm water to help loosen the hardened spill, making it easier to remove. Don’t use too much force, however, as that might damage the polymer resin. It helps to start at one end of the countertop and move to another area, spraying and wiping each section until you’ve covered the entire surface.
Window cleaners are powerful, effective and will do wonders on your quartz countertop. For a sparkling look free of any smudges or streaks, spray the countertop surface with window cleaner and wipe the entire surface with a microfiber or soft cloth. However, don’t use too much, because just a little amount will work fine and less is more when it comes to quartz.
Refrain from using any harsh chemicals or bleach on your polished countertop and avoid abrasive sponges or cleaners. Anything gritty or rough will dull the finish, leaving your countertop looking dull. Cleaning with steel wool or trying to remove stains with a metal spatula, for example, will result in scratches. Consequently, scratches make cleaning much more of an uphill task. They may ruin the countertop surface and provide more places for mold and dirt to hide.
If you choose to use a quartz cleaner, do your due diligence and select one with an adequate PH balance and does not contain ammonia or phosphates. Similar to natural stone, quartz may not fare well with certain household cleaners. After spraying an appropriate cleaner on the counter slab, clean the surface with a lint free cloth or microfiber type. If the countertop has a glossy finish, buff the surface until it shines.
Don’t push your quartz countertop to its limits. Here are some guidelines to bear mind.
• Quartz is not designed for outdoor use. Direct sunlight and harsh weather conditions can cause fading, risk splitting or warping.
• Although you can cut your fruits and vegetables directly on the countertop, use chopping boards whenever possible. Cutting directly on the surface of the quartz countertop may also damage your knives. Quartz is a tough mineral and a sure way to leave your knives dull, blunt and damaged.
• Quartz is heat resistant up to about 300 degrees Fahrenheit, but sudden temperate changes and prolonged heat exposure cause thermal shock, which can lead to deep cracks in your quartz.
• Highly acidic products such as lemon-based cleaners or alkaline cleaners (such as concentrated bleach or oven cleaners) can weaken the bonds between quartz crystals and resin.
Why you should avoid using bleach on your Quartz countertop
Bleach is a common detergent used for cleaning tough stains and keeping plenty of indoor surfaces spotless. However, it can be particularly harmful to your quartz countertop. The fact that quartz countertops are non-porous makes them resistant to bacteria and staining. This is why harsh cleaners such as bleach aren’t required. Bleach can damage the surface of your countertop and also cause permanent discoloration.
Nonetheless, using bleach on surfaces where you prepare food and cook is never a good idea, since it’s toxic and harmful to ingest. There are plenty of safe and environmentally friendly cleaning solutions that you can use instead of bleach.
Spills are almost unavoidable. Fortunately, quartz is nonporous and resistant to bacteria, mold and mildew. It also resists common countertop stains such as tea, coffee, soda, fruit juice, wine and even make up, which makes it ideal for both bathrooms and kitchens.
First, don’t let any spills sit in, wipe them up right away. Mustard, juice, ketchup – anything that spills and sits may turn into a harder cleaning job and may even leave a stain. Avoid this by wiping up any spills with a soft rag. When dealing with spills, all you need is a quick wipe with water and soap, and you’re done.
For simple spills, blot the spill with a clean cloth and you’ll have your countertop looking as good as new. If there’s a section on the counter that’s extremely dirty, add a few drops to the area, and cover it with a wet cloth for a few minutes. This will loosen up the dirt so you can scrub it off easily with warm water. Avoid using oil-based products on quartz because it will not only discolor the surface but also dull its shininess.
For stubborn spills, you can make your homemade countertop cleaner using dish detergent and rubbing alcohol. Mix one part of the rubbing alcohol to three parts of the dish detergent and mix the solution in warm water. You can also mix baking soda with warm water and apply onto the stain. However, don’t leave it on for more than five minutes. Alternatively, you can use a countertop polish that will keep your counter shining without leaving any streaky residues.
Hot pots and pans
Quartz is generally heat resistant, but you should exercise specialized care when handling hot cookware. Bear in mind that brief contact with hot pots and pans shouldn’t be a cause for worry but avoid placing cookware straight from the burner or oven directly on the surface. Make a habit of using heat protection pads or trivets. Alternatively, you can allow the pots and pans to cool before placing them on the countertop. Another useful tip is to avoid exposing quartz to open flames.
Whenever there’s a hot oil spill or fat on the surface, be sure to clean it immediately. Spritz a small amount of window cleaner onto the affected area and quickly wipe it down with a clean cloth or paper towel. Spray the countertop surface with window cleaner and leave it for a few seconds before wiping it off. A single wipe will get rid of all the oiliness and grease, leaving your countertop spotless and shining like before.
Rinsing your countertop
Rinsing should be part of your regular quartz maintenance tasks. Easy rinsing will not only keep your countertop clean but also prevent mild stains and spills from turning into stubborn stains. To rinse off your countertop, don’t go all watery. Use a spray bottle to wet the entire surface of the counter without getting it all soaked up. Since quartz is nonporous, you don’t have to worry about the counter absorbing the moisture or any other residues left on the surface. Next, take a soft sponge and scrub the surface before wiping it off with a clean and dry piece of cloth. Once the surface is dry, check to ensure that there are no streaks left. Keep rinsing your quartz countertop on the regular and it will keep shining always.
You should also spare some time to disinfect your quartz countertop after it comes into contact with raw meats, fish, poultry or seafood. Start by using paper towels to get rid of any residual moisture or debris. Then using a clean paper towel, spray the countertop with a multi-surface antibacterial spray cleaner and give it time to work its magic for a few seconds. Work your way across the countertop surface spraying and wiping from one end to another until you finish. Ensure the spray cleaner is not too harsh for the surface. If in doubt, ask your countertop seller if they can recommend any favorable brands. Bleach-free disinfectant wipes can also come in handy as an excellent wiping option.
The best way to take care of your quartz countertop is to prevent damage before it occurs. Use potholders or trivets under hot cookware to avoid heat discoloration, wipe off any spills immediately you see them, rinse your counter once in a while and use a disinfectant when necessary. Also, be aware that cooking oil bottles and other bottles may leave ring marks on your countertop surface. These marks can be difficult to remove so it’s best to use placemats, coasters or a tray underneath such bottles to prevent the occurrence of ring marks that can turn into stubborn stains.
With a few maintenance tactics, you can keep your quartz countertop squeaky clean with utmost ease. However, keeping quartz in its best condition requires everyday cleaning, particularly if you have a busy kitchen. As resistant as Quartz is to most things, poor maintenance and improper cleaning practices can cause it to lose its visual appeal and shine. Take good care of your Quartz countertop and it will serve you well.