Quartz countertops are an alternative to natural stone, offering superior durability against cracks and pits with the same incredible tensile strength and resistance to moisture and stains. Quartz countertops are favored by designers in various commercial industries since quartz can easily withstand extended use, regular cleaning, and exposure to moderate heat, moisture, and most household/commercial cleaners.
If you have been considering installing quartz countertops in your facility and are wondering what it will take to maintain and care for your investment, you’ve come to the right place. At OnePointe Solutions, we specialize in designing and building custom breakroom furniture solutions for our clients in a range of industries and offer support to ensure our customers enjoy decades of use from our premium furniture creations.
Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about caring for your quartz countertops.
Quartz is an artificial material made from a combination of naturally occurring quartz, silica, pigment, decorative fillers, and resin. Compressed into sheets and heat cured, quartz slabs are extremely durable and harder than natural stone with the advantages of materials like solid surface.
Much like epoxy resin countertops, quartz is solid all the way through, which allows it to have superior moisture resistance and creates a smooth, poreless surface that doesn’t attract or collect dirt, grime, or bacteria.
Easily sliced into pieces that can fit any design or style of countertop, quartz can also feature cutouts to accommodate drop-in sinks, mounts for technical equipment, holes for electrical cords, and more. Thanks to immense tensile strength, quartz countertops can even feature long overhangs of 10 inches or more without the risk of cracking, snapping, or bending.
In commercial and industrial settings, daily cleaning is important to maintain the integrity of products being manufactured, handled, tested, fixed, etc. A clean working environment enables technicians to rely on the accuracy of their results, and consumers to rely on the quality of their purchases.
Thanks to its poreless surface, quartz is easy to clean, and routine maintenance requires little more than 15 minutes of dedication each day.
A basic wipe-down is appropriate for commercial environments where quartz countertops are used for office, retail, education, or other light-impact purposes. Everyday cleaning can be accomplished with two simple ingredients: warm water and a gentle soap. For basic wipe-downs:
- Mix warm water with a gentle, non-abrasive soap or household cleaner
- Apply soapy water to quartz countertops and clean using a soft, microfiber cloth or towel
- Repeat as necessary to create a glossy shine
- Dry completely
Alternatively, replace your soapy water mixture with a solution of rubbing alcohol and warm water, then follow the steps as written above.
Makeup, shampoo, conditioner, creams, and other cosmetic products won’t stain or ruin the surface of your quartz countertops, as long as you get to the spill as quickly as possible. Removing cosmetics spills is a relatively simple process, and requires only a limited number of products that can be found in most stores. To remove cosmetics, try these three methods:
- For creams and water-based products, apply a mixture of warm soapy water to the spill and wipe with a non-abrasive cloth
- For set-in or dried makeup products, apply a mixture of 30% hydrogen peroxide and 70% warm water to the area, then scrub with a soft, non-abrasive cloth
- For stubborn cosmetics stains, carefully apply small amounts of rubbing alcohol to the stain and rub with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth
In manufacturing, educational, testing, or retail environments, ink stains are common, but no reason to panic. Even dried ink or water-based marker stains can be removed with minimal effort. Try one of these methods of removing ink:
- Soak the area for 10 minutes with warm water and soap, then rub with a soft cloth
- Soak the area for 5 minutes with a solution of warm water and rubbing alcohol, then rub with a soft cloth
- Soak the area for 5 minutes with a solution of 30% hydrogen peroxide and 70% warm water, then rub with a soft cloth
Each of these methods can be repeated as necessary to remove the stain.
Most simple oils are soluble in soapy water, and removing greasy residue is as easy as wiping the area with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth.
Stubborn Stains & Residue
Some stains won’t come off with a simple solution of soapy water, which is why you’ll need to know how to address those stubborn, set-in pigments and caked-on residue without damaging the surface of your quartz countertops.
Staining foods like berries, mustard, blood, wine, coffee, etc., can leave countertops looking like a rainbow, but even the toughest beet juice stain can be removed from the non-porous surface of a quartz countertop. When soapy water doesn’t work, try:
- Soak the area in a solution of warm water and rubbing alcohol, then rub with a mild sponge, like a Scotch Brite pad
- Soak the area in a solution of warm water and 30% hydrogen peroxide for 10 minutes, then rub with a mild sponge, like a Scotch Brite pad
Dried or caked-on food can be removed using a plastic putty knife. Once the solid chunks have been removed, wash the areas as usual.
Hard Water Stains
Hard water can leave mineral deposits on the surface of your quartz countertops, especially when you do not properly dry your counters after cleaning. To remove hard water stains, apply cleaning vinegar using a soft cloth and buff out the marks.
Dried Silicone, Paint, or Ink
Like dried food, dried silicone, paint, and ink can be removed first using a plastic putty knife. Next, apply a solution of warm water and rubbing alcohol to the area and rub with a gentle sponge, like a Scotch Brite pad.
Due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, many industries have been forced to change their cleaning procedures and increase their efforts to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus. To clean quartz countertops for COVID-19 prevention, wash the entire surface with a solution of 30% water and 70% denatured alcohol.
Scrub the surface thoroughly using a soft microfiber towel and repeat multiple times daily or as necessary.
Chemicals to Avoid
One of the reasons quartz countertops are so popular among commercial designers is because of their resistance to most common cleaning agents, but some chemicals can cause surface damage when used in excess or at all. In general, avoid the following chemicals:
- Drain cleaner
- Dishwasher detergent
- Hydrochloric acid
- Hydrofluoric acid
- Oven cleaner
- Paint stripper
- Paint thinner
- Methylene chloride
How to Prevent Damage
A durable material appropriate for many commercial applications, quartz countertops can remain beautiful and like-new for years with proper care and use. In addition to avoiding harsh cleaners and chemicals, follow these basic guidelines to prevent damaging your quartz countertops:
Use Heat Trivets
Quartz countertops are resistant to moderate temperatures, making them appropriate for use in commercial kitchens or as bar-tops, but they do not make suitable surfaces for high-heat applications. Heat trivets should always be used on quartz countertops to prevent burning, warping, or surface damage, and heat tools should never be used directly on quartz.
Wipe Up ASAP
While most stains can be removed from quartz, which is naturally stain-resistant, cleaning spills when they occur will help to prevent stains from occurring in the first place. Spills should be wiped up as soon as possible to keep pigments from setting-in and to make the cleanup process easier, so be sure to address spills when they happen and before they dry.
Don’t Cut On Quartz
Quartz is durable, but it can still be scratched by sharp tools like knives, which is why you should never cut directly on quartz countertops. Using cutting boards or other cutting surfaces to protect your countertops is the best and easiest way to keep your quartz scratch-free and looking shiny.
Avoid Abrasive Sponges
Like abrasive cleaners, abrasive sponges and cloths can scratch the surface of quartz countertops, and should not be used unless absolutely necessary. Use microfiber cloths and towels for everyday cleaning, or use gentle sponges like Scotch Brite pads for stains and difficult patches of caked-on residue.
Don’t Use Sealants
The surface of a quartz countertop is naturally smooth, non-porous, and shiny, and does not need to be sealed. In fact, the use of sealants or glossy finishes is not recommended on quartz countertops, since these finishing layers can chip and scratch off, potentially damaging the surface and destroying its natural finish.
Finding Quality Custom Quartz Countertops
At OnePointe Solutions, we have been designing, building, and installing custom furniture for commercial and industrial clients in virtually every industry, and are proud to offer premium quartz countertops among our other customizable furniture options. Our quartz countertops can be customized to fit your specific needs, including size, height, and custom accessories.
In collaboration with the OnePointe Solutions design team, you can create your ideal countertops, equipped with everything you need to support a productive, safe, comfortable working environment.
In addition to custom quartz countertops, customers can choose from a variety of other countertop materials including stainless steel, solid surface, epoxy resin, and more. No matter the needs of your facility, the OnePointe Solutions team can help you find a solution that fits.
We can help you with everything from custom countertops and workstations to ergonomic seating, casework and storage options, and much more.