How to remove water stains from quartz countertops

Quartz countertops are absolutely stunning and are available in a wide variety of colors and textures. 

While quartz countertops may be a pricier option, they are also a great option if you want the least amount of stains. They are non-porous which helps reduce the number of you will encounter and is also a bonus because there is no place for bacteria to hang out. (Sounds gross, but a lot can be hanging around on your countertops!) 

While they are fairly stain resistant, one thing that can happen with quartz countertops is the buildup of minerals from hard water. If your tap water is not wiped off the counter, it can leave white spots. 

While these white spots may be unattractive, there are solutions for removing these spots and several at-home solutions at that!

Granite & Quartz Cleaner

Simple Green

Quality Microfiber

Granite & Quartz Cleaner

Simple Green

Quality Microfiber

Removing Water Stains

Because quartz is non-porous, stains are not a common issue. Most spills can be wiped up quickly without any problem or left-over residue. What can be a common issue is stains from water. The minerals in your water can create calcium buildup and will look like a whiteish-colored spot. Thankfully, these spots are easy to get rid of with items you can find in your pantry.

  • Soap and water – Using a mild dish soap and water is a great way to maintain your countertop, but it can also get the water stain off as well. Just make sure to dry your countertop once you’ve wiped the water stain away.
  • Rubbing alcohol and water – You can also use a solution of rubbing alcohol and water to get those water stains off your quartz. I would mix rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle, spray the water stain and then wipe it away.
  • Baking Soda – Baking soda is the kitchen cleaning hero. Simply sprinkle a little baking soda on the spot. Then, take a wet rag and scrub that area. Wipe it clean after! To add a little extra power, pour a little vinegar on the water stain, let it sit and then wipe it clean. I always use a microfiber towel for cleaning my countertops because it is gentle yet still cleans effectively.
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Cleaning Quartz Countertops

Water stains are a common issue with quartz countertops, but how do you maintain your quartz countertops and clean them in general? Quartz isn’t a difficult surface to clean or maintain because it is non-porous; the most important thing is to use gentle formulas and products designed specifically for quartz. Because it’s man-made, if you use chemicals not formulated for quartz you run the risk of creating a chemical reaction and permanently discoloring your countertop.

  • Everyday Maintenance – Quartz is a really low-maintenance countertop option. To keep it clean, just wipe it down with water, soap and a rag. You can use any gentle surface cleaner as well just to wipe it down and keep it clean. Puracy is a great non-toxic and gentle cleaner you can use in the kitchen and all around the house. I’ve mentioned it before, but I always use a microfiber towel to wipe down surfaces in the kitchen.
  • Grease – It’s a countertop, so it will get grease on it at some point. Quartz is amazing, because you don’t have to get a quartz-specific cleaner for grease spots. You can use the baking soda and vinegar, 409 or whatever household cleaner you have on hand.
  • Simple Green – This formula is non-toxic as well as non-abrasive which makes it perfect for cleaning quartz countertops without damaging them. This kit also comes with a non-abrasive towel you can clean your quartz with.
  • Rock Doctor Clean – This is another option perfect for maintaining and cleaning your quartz countertops. It’s non-toxic and has a neutral pH. I can’t stress enough the importance of cleaning your quartz countertops with gentle cleaners to avoid discoloring. This formula cleans without damaging or interfering with the chemical make-up of the quartz.

Don’ts of Quartz Countertop Cleaning

We’ve gone over the tips and tricks and what to do when cleaning your quartz countertop, but what should you avoid? Quartz is extremely durable, but there are still things you can do to help make it last longer and keep its shine. It is an investment, so you want to make sure your investment lasts and looks stunning.

  • Don’t use anything abrasive – Steel wool, magic erasers and other abrasive cloths or scrubber pads should not be used on quartz. If you go on the internet you will undoubtedly find an article that says you should use a magic eraser on quartz. While they will get the water stain off, they will also dull the countertop, and there are so many other solutions that simply make using those abrasive options irrelevant and unnecessary.
  • Don’t do your tie-dye on the countertop – Dyes whether used for hair, clothes or food will damage your countertop. If you get dye on it, make sure to wipe it up quickly to avoid any damage. If your kids want to dye their Easter eggs, try to put something on your countertop to protect it from spills.
  • Don’t use rust remover – Rust remover and other harsh chemicals could actually alter the color of your countertop, so it’s best to avoid these. Again, if a spill happens, just make sure to wipe it up as quickly as possible.

Quartz vs quartzite

You may be looking  into redoing your kitchen or even dreaming about remodeling one day and have come across not only quartz but also quartzite countertops. The names can seem a little misleading, but they are not the same. In fact, the differences could help you in deciding which is best for your home. The main difference between these two surfaces is quartz is actually man-made but quartzite is a natural stone. This difference affects the color available, the texture as well as the durability.

  • Color – Quartzite begins as a piece of sandstone, is fused with quartz crystals through heat and pressure to form quartzite. Because of this, it has a limited range of colors: white and grey are the most common, but you’ll also see some flecks of pink or even a red-brown color. Quartz, because it’s man-made, comes in all types of colors and even patterns making it extremely versatile.
  • Texture – While quartz can look like almost anything due to its versatility, quartzite looks like a stone and is even sometimes mistaken for granite or even marble.
  • Durability – Quartz is extremely hard and not porous. These two factors make it very durable and very hard to stain. Quartzite, on the other hand, is a hard stone but softer than quartzite and is much easier to stain. It’s still a great option, but is more high-maintenance compared to quartz.


Whether you’re deciding on whether to get a quartz countertop or simply want to maintain and keep it in tip-tip condition, these questions and answers should help you in your quartz journey!

  • Black or White Quartz?

This is not an easily answered question because it really comes down to your style and personal preference, but I can answer which is lower maintenance. Black or darker colored countertops are stunning and typical stains or spills won’t show up as much on those darker countertops, but they also show water spots more easily. Lighter countertops show the spills but water spots are less noticeable. Ultimately, it’s up to you and the style or look you’re going for.

  • What should I do for rust stains?

Please, avoid harsh chemicals. As I mentioned they can actually alter the color of your countertop. You can use Barkeeper’s Friend or oxalic-acid to clean the rust stains.

  • What should I do about yellowing on my countertop?

Because quartz is non-porous, stains do not happen by liquids leaking into the surface. Discoloration can happen though, if whatever spilled reacts with the resin in the quartz. If your countertop is yellowing, it most likely means something has reacted with the resin in your quartz. Try using baking soda and vinegar or Barkeeper’s Friend to restore your countertop.

  • How can I restore shine to my quartz countertop?

Maybe you’ve had your quartz countertops for several years, and they’ve lost their luster and shine. The good news is it can be restored. Use Granite Gold Quartz Brite and a microfiber towel to restore your countertops. Spray and then buff with the towel, and voila!

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Wrapping Up:

Removing Water Spots From Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops, while a bit pricey, are an excellent choice for countertops. They are non-porous making them more stain-resistant and easier to maintain and clean, and you can find them in a variety of colors and designs. 

Everyday cleaning, simply looks like wiping down your countertop with soap and a rag. Water marks are easily removed, and its shine can be brought back at any moment. 

There are so many different patterns and colors available, so if you’re in the market for a new countertop I suggest giving quartz a try!

Pic by Bill Wilson on Flickr

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