Quartz countertops are engineered stone made by combining 90% ground quartz and the rest being a mixture of resins, polymers, and pigments. Quartz countertops seem to be everywhere nowadays. Its popularity is attributed to the stone’s durability, versatility in design and ease of maintenance.
Quartz countertops are a bit pricey so damaging them is a costly mistake. You won’t have to spend a lot of money on repairs as long as you avoid these 7 mistakes when caring for quartz.
1. Not wiping spills immediately
Spills are bad news for quartz countertops. If you let any type of spill sit for too long on your quartz, this may cause the surface to stain. Quartz is often marketed as being highly resistant to stain but it is important to remember that the stone is not completely stain-proof. This is why you should always wipe and clean spills as soon as they happen. Yes, there ways to remove stains but it’s a long process. The best way to avoid stains is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Wiping spills immediately is the best practice in maintaining quartz countertops.
2. Using the inappropriate cleaner
Using any cleaning product that is not recommended to be used on quartz countertops will cause lasting stains. Avoid both acidic and alkaline cleaners as these will break down the bonds between resin and quartz and permanently damage the surface. Harsh, acidic cleaners like lemon, lime, vinegar will weaken the sealant of the countertops’ surface over time and will make the surface more prone to staining.
There are cleaners that are safe to use for cleaning quartz countertops but using dish soaps, antibacterial soaps or hand soaps mixed with water is enough to keep your countertops clean and beautiful. You can use this soap and water mixture for the daily cleanup of your quartz and it will be just as effective as any quartz cleaner in the market.
3. Using abrasive brushing pads
Do not use cleaning pads that are in any way abrasive to wipe your countertop because this may cause small scratches on the surface. These small scratches are not noticeable but they will cause your countertops to lose its shine and luster. Using a microfiber cloth in cleaning quartz is recommended by experts because this type of cloth is soft, highly absorbent and doesn’t leave any water marks.
4. Setting hot items directly on the countertop
Quartz is highly heat resistant but it is not entirely immune to heat. Don’t set hot pots or pans directly on your countertop because extreme heat will damage the resin of the countertop’s surface causing it to discolor. Discoloration caused by heat damage usually can’t be fixed and you will need to replace that entire slab of stone to get rid of the damage.
In addition, sudden extreme changes in temperature can create thermal expansion and cause the surface to crack. Always use cooking pads or trivets when you have to put something hot on your quartz countertop to guard it against direct exposure to heat.
5. Cutting foods without using a chopping board
Prevention is the key when it comes to caring for quartz countertops. With the right amount of force, any sharp metallic object will cause permanent scratches on the surface. This is why you should always use a cutting board when cutting up foods to prevent any scratches from happening.
6. Using metallic objects to scrape the surface
Let’s face it. No matter how careful we are, spills still happen and once in a while, you will need to scrape off gunk on the quartz surface as part of your countertop’s maintenance. When you do this, use plastic objects such as a plastic knife or a scraper and never use any sharp metallic objects.
7. Using hot water to clean the surface
Make sure that when you clean your countertop, the water that you use is at room temperature or only mildly warm. This is to avoid damaging your countertop’s resin.
Tips in Disinfecting Quartz Countertops
Food preparation is a messy process and spills are a common occurrence in the kitchen. This means that your quartz surfaces can quickly become a bacterial breeding ground for E. coli, Salmonella, and more. And with the recent coronavirus pandemic, disinfecting kitchen countertops has never been more important.
It is recommended to clean quartz surfaces daily and disinfect them at least twice a week.
You can sanitize the countertop by mixing one part bleach with ten parts water and spray the entire countertop surface. Bleach is a very strong substance and you might be worried about using it on your quartz but don’t worry, this is a diluted solution and it won’t cause any discoloration or damage. Do not wipe off the solution immediately. Leave the disinfectant on the surface for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping it dry.
You can also use a 70% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol solution. Spray the entire surface generously and wipe the entire surface.
Can you use disinfecting wipes on quartz?
No, you can’t use disinfecting wipes on quartz countertops.
Disinfecting wipes contain citric acid as their primary ingredient and are not diluted in any way. When you use these wipes to clean your countertop, they will weaken the seal on your countertop’s surface leaving them vulnerable to discoloration.
Quartz countertops are durable but they can still be stained, scratched or damaged if you won’t take care of it properly. To ensure that your quartz stays pristine for years to come, avoid the mistakes above and clean your countertops routinely.
If you need help with picking out and installing quartz countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, give us a call at (888) 906 3317 and we’ll be happy to assist you. Granite selection is a manufacturer and installer of natural stone countertops for kitchens and bathrooms in the Chicagoland area. We are located in Elk Grove Village, IL and we serve a 70 mi area.