Do Quartz Countertops Stain?

Quartz countertops are engineered stone surfaces made from 93% ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. They have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their stylish appearance, durability, and low maintenance requirements compared to natural stone and solid surface countertops. However, one common question homeowners have is: do quartz countertops stain?

What is Quartz?

To understand stain resistance, it helps to first know what quartz is. Quartz is one of the hardest minerals found in nature, ranking at 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. For comparison, diamond ranks as a 10 and marble is approximately a 3. This extreme hardness makes quartz an ideal material for countertops that can stand up to years of use without scratching or wearing down.

Quartz crystals are found within rocks and must be mined. Once extracted, quartz is crushed into a fine powder and combined with polyester resins and pigments under intense heat and pressure. This forms an engineered slab that is molded into the shapes needed for countertops and other surfaces.

The high quartz content gives these engineered slabs their hardness and durability. The resin binds the quartz particles together and allows the material to be molded for fabrication. Pigments add coloring and patterns that mimic the look of natural stone.

Are Quartz Countertops Stain Proof?

With proper care and maintenance, quartz countertops are highly stain resistant but not completely stain proof. The resin coating helps repel most stains from oil, juice, wine, and other liquids. However, some stains can still penetrate the surface given enough time and the right substances.

Quartz density, porosity, and polymer content all impact stain resistance. Higher quality quartz uses very finely ground quartz, has low porosity with a tight matrix, and contains more polymer resins. These factors help prevent stains from penetrating the surface and provide more stain protection.

While quartz won’t absorb stains like porous natural stone, staining is still possible under the right conditions. Let’s look closer at what can stain quartz and how to prevent it.

What Can Stain Quartz Countertops?

Although quartz has excellent stain resistance, it is not impervious. Here are some common household substances that can potentially stain quartz surfaces:

  • Oils: Food oils like olive oil and vegetable oils can stain if left to pool on quartz. Oily cooking residue should be promptly cleaned.
  • Dark Liquids: Drinks like red wine, coffee, and fruit juice contain pigments that could stain if spills are not wiped up quickly.
  • Caustic Cleaners: Harsh cleaners like oven cleaners, drain cleaners, and alkaline lime scale removers contain chemicals that can etch or discolor quartz.
  • Prolonged Exposure: Given enough time, many liquids can seep into microscopic pores in quartz and cause stains. Prompt cleanup is key.

Heat can also be an issue and may damage quartz or make it more prone to staining. Placing hot pans directly on the surface should be avoided. Using trivets and not exposing quartz to extreme heat is recommended.

How to Prevent Quartz Countertop Stains

While quartz is not 100% stain proof, there are steps you can take to help keep it pristine:

  • Clean spills quickly, don’t let liquid sit on quartz for extended time periods.
  • Use coasters under glasses and wipe up drink rings.
  • Clean kitchen oils and grease promptly after cooking.
  • Avoid using cleaners that contain bleach, alkaline additives, or acids.
  • Prevent scratching by using cutting boards for food prep.
  • Apply sealers like bulletproof sealer regularly for added protection.

Quartz density also impacts stain resistance – opt for higher density quartz if maximum stain protection is a priority.

What If My Quartz Countertop Gets Stained?

If stains occur on your quartz countertops, prompt cleanup is again key. Here are some tips for stain removal:

  • First try gentle dish soap and warm water. Rub the stain gently with a soft sponge or cloth.
  • For stubborn stains, use a non-abrasive cleaner made specifically for stone surfaces.
  • For oils, a small amount of ammonia added to the cleaner can help lift the grease.
  • Commercial granite and quartz cleaners also work well for stain removal.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach, alkaline additives, or acidic cleaners.
  • Use a white nylon scrub pad and gently scrub the stain in circles. Avoid excessive pressure.

Quartz is abrasion resistant, but aggressive scrubbing and rough pads could damage the surface over time. Take care to remove stains gently without abrading the quartz.

If stains persist after cleaning attempts, contact a professional stone restoration company. They have access to specialized techniques and products that can often remove stubborn stains without harming quartz surfaces.

How to Keep Your Quartz Sparkling Clean

Preventing stains is easier than removing them. Follow these tips to maintain the gorgeous, factory-fresh look of your quartz:

  • Wipe up spills immediately, don’t let liquids dwell on the surface.
  • Clean quartz routinely with a PH-neutral stone cleaner.
  • Use coasters, trivets and cutting boards to protect from scratches and heat.
  • Reseal quartz every 1-2 years with a penetrating sealer.
  • Avoid abrasive pads or powders that could dull the surface.
  • Don’t place hot pans directly on quartz. Allow to cool first.

With proper care, your quartz countertops should stay beautiful and stain-free for many years. Taking quick action when spills happen is the best prevention against stubborn stains.

Do Quartz Countertops Stain: The Bottom Line

While not 100% stain proof, quartz has excellent stain resistance when properly cared for. The key takeaways are:

  • Engineered quartz uses ground quartz for hardness and durability.
  • The resin coating helps repel most household spills when wiped promptly.
  • Oils, pigmented liquids and caustic cleaners have highest risk of staining.
  • Heat and scratches can also impact stain resistance.
  • Regular cleaning and sealing will enhance protection from stains.
  • Prompt cleanup of spills prevents most staining scenarios.

So in summary, quartz won’t absorb stains like softer natural stones. With routine care, quartz countertops will stay beautiful and stain-free for many years of heavy use. Their durability and stain resistance make quartz an excellent choice for busy kitchens.

FAQ About Do Quartz Countertops Stain

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about quartz countertop stains:

Can quartz countertops get water stains?

Water alone will not stain quartz counters. However, minerals in hard water can leave etching or water spots over time. This can often be removed with a stone-safe cleaner. Ensuring water does not pool on the surface helps prevent water spots.

Do spilled red wine stains on quartz countertops?

Red wine contains pigments that could stain quartz if left for an extended time. Wiping up the spill quickly is key. If staining occurs, use a specially formulated stone cleaner to lift the wine pigment. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.

Will lemon juice stain my quartz countertop?

Being acidic, juices like lemon, tomato, or orange juice can etch or dull quartz surfaces. Wipe up spills immediately and clean as directed. If etching occurs, a professional may be needed to re-polish the quartz. Sealing helps make the surface more acid-resistant.

Can oil stains be removed from quartz counters?

Oils can stain quartz if allowed to pool for long periods. Use hot, soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge to wipe the area. For tough oil stains, try adding a small amount of ammonia to loosen the grease. Avoid harsh chemical cleaners.

How do you get permanent marker stains off a quartz countertop?

Rubbing alcohol or acetone nail polish remover on a non-abrasive cloth can help lift permanent marker. Avoid applying alcohol directly to the quartz. Test first in an inconspicuous area to ensure it does not dull the finish.

Why do quartz countertops stain around the sink area?

The sink area tends to get more water exposure and residue from soaps, toothpaste, shampoos, and cleaning products. These can leave a residue film if not washed frequently. Be diligent about cleaning the sink area routinely to prevent buildup of hard water spots and soap scum.


Quartz offers homeowners an extremely durable and low-maintenance countertop option that maintains its beauty for years. While not impervious to stains, quartz’s non-porous properties allow most spills to be easily wiped away with no trace. With routine cleaning and care, quartz countertop owners can enjoy longevity and resistance to scratches, stains and damage. Its stain-fighting performance combined with stylish options makes quartz one of the most popular choices for today’s kitchens and bathrooms.