We know you heard a lot about quartz, and you probably learned that it is extremely stain resistant. But what does it mean in the first place? Why is it not stain-free? Does quartz stain? Isn’t it nonporous?
Maybe you’re here to know more about quartz, maybe you found out it does stain the worst possible way.
Either way, we are here to help you. We will tell you all you need to know about why and how can quartz stain. Besides, we will give you some tips about what to do if your countertop comes to suffer such tragedy!
Why does quartz stain?
Isn’t quartz supposed to be more resistant to stains than Marble and other natural stones? It is. That’s true. However, to understand why quartz stains and how it happens, we need to grasp the concept that makes it more resistant to stains than natural stones in the first place.
Does that make sense to you? I know it doesn’t, we have just said that to understand why quartz stains we need to understand what makes it more stain-resistant. But it will make sense.
Quartz is an engineered stone, its composition is of 90-95% quartz crystals, the rest is made out of resins that bind the particles together. These resins are the key to why quartz is superior to natural stone in some aspects. They also are mainly responsible for the aspects where it is inferior.
When it comes to stains, the resins mostly make quartz more resistant to them, however, there is a catch. They open up possibilities for other kinds of stains.
You see, natural stones stain because they are porous. Thus, liquids can penetrate them and get stuck there forever. For that reason, we seal natural stones from time to time.
Now, quartz is more resistant to stains and requires no sealing, because the resins create a virtually non-porous surface. Therefore, there is no penetration of liquids. Quartz won’t ever get marks like those of unsealed marble, who is stained even by water.
However, these resins can react to chemicals, such as alkaline cleaners, high pH detergents, or specific kinds of acids. The result of these reactions is discoloration, white or bleached stains.
Unfortunately, that’s not the only way quartz can stain.
Reactionary stains and Dried on stains
Reactionary stains are those we have just described, but dried on stains are a different type completely. Those are caused by substances that get stuck on the surface of the material and are hard to remove. Such as ink, nail polish, wax, lipstick, or even crusted food (EW!).
This type of stain is also unrelated to the porosity of the surface. So as you can see, even though quartz won’t allow penetrating liquids, it still susceptible to stains.
How to prevent quartz from staining
Yes, prevention is still the best medicine. Moreover, when it comes to quartz, because as you’re gonna see in the next section of our article, those stains are really hard to remove, most times, impossible.
Prevention, however, is not a big deal at all.
Are you thinking about sealing? Nops, quartz can’t be sealed, it is already naturally sealed. If you pour sealant in it, it won’t penetrate the stone, you’re just wasting money.
The first barrier of prevention is watching which chemicals you use on your countertops. You should use only pH neutral cleaners, and if possible, those that are specific to quartz.
Cleaners are commonly what’s causing the problem, especially those with bleach.
A chemical that touches the countertop and normally goes unnoticed is the one you use to clean your cooktop.
However, other common perpetrators are:
- Lemon juice
- Orange juices
If spills happen, wipe them out and clean them as soon as possible. That brings us to the second barrier of prevention.
Prevent direct contact with the quartz surface at all times. Be cautious with your countertops, don’t ever leave them wet, use cutting boards and pot holders to protect them.
Heat and sunlight exposure will discolor your surfaces, don’t let it happen.
Taking due care, your quartz items can last longer them you.
If you ever spot a mark or stain, we will tell you what to do.
How to remove stains from quartz countertops
If we’re talking about a dried-on stain, or a reactionary stain that’s very recent, it’s possible it will come with some of the strategies we will share here. So, it’s always worth it to try. However, don’t get your hopes up to high until you see the results.
The first thing you should try is to use a non-abrasive cleaning pad and some quartz specific cleaner. You can also try it out with other pH neutral cleaners.
If you notice it’s a dried-on stain, you need to go rougher. Try scraping with a plastic knife (please don’t try a real knife), or use a straight razor blade very carefully.
If you are concerned about making it worse, don’t overdo it, call in the professionals to take a look.
What if it doesn’t come out?
Is restoration possible?
Natural stones are famous for being able to go back to new with polishing. Does that work with quartz?
Yes and no.
There’s chemical polishing and there’s hard polishing with diamond pads. Chemical polishing isn’t really polishing, won’t ever work on quartz. Hard polishing might work, however, it requires really specialized manpower.
Achieving the original factory polish of your quartz surfaces is a long and complicated process. If done wrong, the whole surface can be lost. If you go with the restoration alternative choose a contractor you can rely on.
For all your countertop related needs, or for choosing the best quartz surface for your house, you can count on Eagle Stones.
Select the best slab and clarify all your doubts while you walk through our stone yard, guided by one of our experts. We are waiting for you.