Quartz worktops have grown in popularity over the last few years, particularly as they suit the latest trends in home décor for bright white surfaces.
You may have read about the claims that quartz is stain-resistant, heat-resistant, and pretty indestructible, but is it true? Can a white quartz worktop really be kept free of stains or do quartz worktops stain?
In this article, we will investigate how quartz worktops are made, explore their stain-proof properties and consider ways to keep them looking good.
How are quartz worktops made?
You may know that quartz is a natural mineral that is one of the hardest elements available. A quartz worktop is a composite material comprised of at least 80% quartz crystals and 20% resin that binds the quartz together.
This manufacturing process creates a strong, robust surface, making it a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms.
The advantage of quartz compared to natural stone worktops such as granite is that it does not need sealing to be resistant to moisture and liquids. The resin and polymers that bind the quartz help to prevent staining.
Are quartz worktops completely stain-resistant?
The engineering of quartz worktops involves using around 20% resin to bind the quartz crystals together. The resin creates a non-porous material that will not soak up liquids or spills, making quartz worktops less vulnerable to staining than other materials such as granite.
Quartz worktops have a high stain resistance which means you’re far less likely to cause severe damage with spillages as they do not soak deep below the surface. However, there is still a possibility that you can stain a quartz worktop as it is not 100% indestructible. Here are three ways that your quartz worktop can be stained.
1. Certain Liquids: Some products are more likely to leave a stain on the surface of a quartz worktop. They include red wine, coffee, tea and tomato ketchup.
Although these items cannot penetrate the worktop’s surface, they can cause discolouration on the surface if left.
You might be wondering why the quartz worktop will discolour if quartz is such a robust material. It is the resin itself that can react to these products.
2. Certain cleaning products: Some cleaning products are too harsh to use on quartz worktops and can cause discolouration as they react with the resin. You may be wondering, can you use bleach on quartz worktops? Chemicals such as solvents or bleach may help your surface stay bacteria-free and clean, but they may also stain the surface, especially on white quartz worktops.
Harsh chemicals can break down the resin and cause the quartz worktop to become porous, leading to deep discolouration. Always avoid abrasive cleaners for your natural stone countertops and stick to softer cleaners to avoid these types of stains.
3. Hot pots and pans: Burn marks from hot pans or plates can leave a permanent mark on the surface of the quartz. While quartz itself is highly heat resistant, the resin has lower resistance, which can lead to scorch marks. It is always best to use trivets or mats to protect your surfaces.
How can I protect my quartz worktop from staining?
The good news is that quartz worktops can be protected with the proper care and retain their unblemished polished finish for many years. They are strong and durable if you remember to look after them correctly.
Some simple suggestions will ensure your quartz worktops remain stain free.
- Wipe away spills immediately
If you spill things like tea, coffee, tomato ketchup and red wine, wiping them away immediately rather than leaving them to sit on the surface makes sense.
These products are renowned for their ability to stain, and it is not worth risking them leaving a permanent mark on your quartz, especially if it is light-coloured. Occasionally you may not spot a spillage, and most of the time, you will be able to clear it away without any problems, but just in case, it is better to get into good habits.
- Use gentle cleaning products
You must avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive products on your quartz worktop to retain the non-porous quality and avoid discolouration.
The best cleaning products to use on your worktops are gentle washing-up liquid and water with a soft cloth. Always remember to wipe with a dry cloth afterwards to maintain the beautiful sheen.
- Protect from heat
To avoid scorch marks from hot pans, protecting your quartz with trivets or mats is always best. A hot pan can also cause thermal shock and create cracks in the surface.
You are unlikely to cause damage if you forget occasionally, but it only takes one bad reaction to get a permanent mark.
Can I remove stains from a quartz worktop?
If you find a ring mark, stain or discolouration on your worktop, do not panic. It is best not to experiment with harsh cleaners as you may end up doing more damage.
Chemical stains are permanent, so no amount of attention will remove them.
Ring marks may be removed by using a soft cloth and some bar keepers friend or specialist quartz cleaner, but before you attempt this, it is best to test your quartz in a non-conspicuous area.
If you can remove a stain, you may find that the polish is also removed, leaving an apparent dull patch on the worktop. You can buy quartz polish, but it is good to contact a specialist quartz supplier for advice if you have any concerns.
Quartz is the most stain-resistant material for worktops. It is non-porous and does not soak up spillages.
It is sensible to wipe away spillages containing liquids known for their staining abilities to be on the safe side, as they can leave a stain if they react with the resin, but this will not be an issue most of the time.
Although quartz has excellent heat resistance, you should protect surfaces from hot pans to avoid thermal shock. Scorch marks are far less likely than on laminate worktops, but the resin makes quartz less heat resistant than natural stone such as granite.
The non-porous properties of quartz worktops mean that you can avoid harsh chemicals to keep your surfaces bacteria-free and clean. You only need gentle detergents and a soft cloth to keep your kitchen or bathroom sparkling clean.
Just a little thought and care will be enough to keep your quartz in excellent condition, and it remains one of the most worry-free choices for a worktop. Prevention is always better than trying to remove a stain.
If you are looking for excellent quality quartz for your kitchen or bathroom, please contact our experts at Mo’s Stonex. Our professional installers will ensure that your worktops are templated precisely and fitted with a seamless finish. We have a vast range of designs to suit your style and can advise you about what will make the right choice for your home.