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How to Maintain Quartz Countertops: Things You Must Avoid

Unlike marble, quartz is a non-porous engineered stone that is extremely hardwearing and heat resistant, making it an excellent choice for countertops in busy kitchens. As great as it is, there are still some things to avoid, learn how to care for your best quartz countertops!

Cleaning quartz countertops doesn’t just mean removing immediate grime. This is part of the overall process of maintaining the durability of your quartz countertop. Always remember that no matter how expensive your countertop is, it is bound to fail prematurely if it is not properly maintained.

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Leading Kitchen Countertop Materials in the United States

in 2014, by Neighborhood

statista-Leading Kitchen Countertop Materials in the United States in 2014, by Neighborhood

Source: statista

Details: United States; Houzz; 2014; n = 3,571; homeowners; Online survey

From the above data from statista, this statistic depicts the leading types of kitchen countertop materials used in the United States in 2014, by neighborhood. The survey revealed that 36 percent of urban neighborhoods have granite countertops. Quartz countertops are found in 40% of urban communities, with the highest percentage of urban use being quartz countertops.

I. Important maintenance tips for quartz countertops

1. Clean up spills immediately

Although engineered stones like quartz are only resistant to stains for a short period of time, you shouldn’t let the stain linger for too long. You still risk damaging the countertop if you do this. In the event of a spill, you should clean your quartz immediately.

You can clean up spills with a mixture of mild soap and warm water. If the spill is coffee, wine or tea, permanent stains may occur.

2. Avoid high temperature

Most quartz is scorch and heat resistant, but that doesn’t mean it’s impermeable. Most of the time, the resin used to make quartz countertops starts to melt when the temperature exceeds 300 degrees Fahrenheit. From that point on, the quartz will start to show burnt damage.

To protect your quartz countertops from the heat, you can use hot pads or trivets to hold your crock pots, hot pots and electric skillets. Buy products that lift pots and pans off countertops. That way, you won’t be constantly putting pans on precious quartz.

3. Avoid harsh cleaners/chemicals

While most cleaners can be diluted and used to clean quartz, it is recommended to stick to mild soaps or the cleaning methods and ingredients mentioned earlier in this article.

Using strong alkaline or acidic cleaners can damage your quartz countertops. If an extremely acidic or alkaline solution gets on your countertop, wipe it up with a cloth dampened with water and a mild detergent. Keep away from nail polish, oven cleaner, turpentine, drain cleaner, bleach, methylene chloride and all other harsh agents.

4. Avoid using abrasive tools

From grinding scrubbers to using knives directly on stone, avoid all sharp tools or anything that can scratch and damage the surface. Even a scratch-resistant engineered stone like quartz will experience some scratches.

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5. Stay away from abrasives

Abrasives are bad news for quartz countertops. Alkaline and acidic cleaners are also not good for the finish of your countertops. Abrasives can scratch the surface of quartz countertops, making them look worn and damaged.

Whenever cleaning quartz countertops, you should default to using mild soap and water first. It’s strong enough to remove most spots or grime from your counters without risking the surface.

For more stubborn stains, make sure the best cleaner for quartz you use is suitable for cleaning quartz. Quartz is resistant to alkaline or acidic cleaners, but overexposure can damage or even break the bond between the resin and the quartz.

6. Use a cutting board

It might be tempting to chop food directly on quartz, which is strong and durable, but we don’t recommend it. We encourage you to have a cutting board on hand and use it when chopping, cutting and slicing food. Quartz is scratch resistant, but not scratch resistant.

7. Don't smash things on the counter

While it’s durable, you’ll likely reduce the stress you put on your quartz countertop.  Smashing things doesn’t help durability at all. Be aware that over-shredding will eventually lead to embrittlement and cracks.

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II. Disinfection tips for quartz countertops

Right now, the world is in the midst of a pandemic because we don’t fully understand the virus yet. We don’t know how long it can survive on our surfaces. So far, scientists have only been able to figure out how long it can survive on metal surfaces. But what about stone surfaces?

1. How sanitizing quartz countertops Work?

1. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands and a mask to protect your face (N95 or surgical mask).

2. In a spray bottle, mix 1 part bleach to 10 parts water and spray the entire countertop. Bleach is a dilute solution and will not cause any discoloration or damage. Leave the disinfectant on the surface for 10 to 15 minutes before wiping it dry.

3. When using rubbing alcohol, use a 70% isopropyl or ethanol solution. Spray the entire surface generously and wipe down the entire surface.

4. Throw away the cloth you used and get a new one. Rinse countertops with water to remove all traces of disinfectant.

5. Immediately throw away disposable gloves and masks.

6. It is recommended to clean the quartz surface every day and disinfect it at least twice a week. Scientists believe that common household disinfectants are enough to wipe out the coronavirus.

2. Can you use sanitizing wipes on quartz countertops?

No, you cannot use sanitizing wipes on quartz countertops. The main ingredient in sanitizing wipes is citric acid, which is not diluted in any way. When you use these wipes to clean countertops, they can weaken the seal of the countertop surface, making them prone to discoloration.

Do not wipe up spills immediately

Spills are bad news for quartz countertops. Spills of any kind can cause the surface to become dirty if allowed to sit on the quartz for too long. Quartz is often advertised as being highly stain resistant, but it’s important to remember that quartz stone is not completely stain resistant. That’s why you should always wipe up and clean up spills as soon as they occur.

Yes, there are 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 up spills immediately is the best way to maintain quartz countertops.

Using unsuitable cleaning agents

Using any cleaning products not recommended for use on quartz countertops can cause long-lasting stains. Avoid acidic and alkaline cleaners as they can break the bond between the resin and the quartz and permanently damage the surface.  Harsh acidic cleaners like lemon, lime, and vinegar can weaken countertop surface sealants over time and make the surface more susceptible to staining.

There are some cleaners that can safely clean quartz countertops, but using dish soap, antibacterial soap, or hand sanitizer mixed with water is enough to keep your countertops clean and looking good. You can use this soap and water mixture for daily cleaning of your quartz and it will be as effective as any quartz cleaner on the market.

Use an abrasive brush pad

Do not wipe the countertop with any abrasive cleaning pads as this may cause small scratches on the surface. These little scratches aren’t noticeable, but they can tarnish your countertop. Experts recommend cleaning quartz countertops with a microfiber cloth as it is soft, absorbent and won’t leave any watermarks.

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Set hot items directly on the countertop

Quartz is highly heat resistant , but not completely immune to heat. Do not place hot pots or pans directly on the countertop, as excessive heat can damage the resin on the countertop surface, causing it to discolor. Discoloration caused by heat damage is usually irreparable and you will need to replace the entire slab to remove the damage.

In addition, sudden extreme changes in temperature can generate thermal expansion and cause surface cracking. Always use a cooking mat or trivet when you must place something hot on a quartz countertop to protect it from direct exposure to heat.

Cut food without a cutting board

Prevention is key when it comes to caring for quartz countertops. With the right amount of force, any sharp metal object can permanently scratch the surface. That’s why you should always use a cutting board when cutting food to prevent any scratches.

Scratch the surface with a metal object

Let’s face it. No matter how careful we are, spills still happen, and as part of countertop maintenance, you need to scrape the goo off the quartz surface. When doing this, use a plastic object such as a plastic knife or scraper, never any sharp metal object.

Clean the surface with hot water

Make sure to use room temperature or lukewarm water when cleaning quartz countertops. This is to avoid damaging the resin of the countertop.

III. Conclusion

By following the steps above for maintaining quartz countertops and avoiding doing things that damage the quartz countertops, your quartz countertops can maintain their beautiful appearance for a long time. If you have any questions about cleaning and maintaining quartz countertops, please feel free to contact us!

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