How to Safely Remove Water Spots from Quartz Countertops
How to Remove Hard Water Spots from Quartz Countertops
Hard water spots are common, but require specific methods of cleaning for quartz countertops.
Quartz countertops contain sensitive resins, meaning you must clean your quartz with pH-neutral cleaners (non-acidic, and with no alkaline). Unfortunately, hard water stains and hard water spots are resistant to pH-neutral cleaners. To simplify the process and keep your quartz countertops safe and protected, we will explain what causes hard water stains, the "Do's and Dont's" of removing them, and how to prevent them in the future.
Please note that removing water spots from granite countertops or composite granite sinks requires a different (and simpler) method.
What Causes Hard Water Spots?
Water spots generally arise when water evaporates, leaving behind leftover minerals that build-up.
These minerals (usually calcium and lime) dry and bond to the surface, creating a chalky stain-like spot that won't wipe away. These spots are known as hard water spots or hard water stains, and are resistant to quartz cleaners.
These marks still occur even with a water softener; softeners just create a softer form of hard water.
Quartz-Safe Cleaners Can Not Remove Hard Water Spots
Quartz countertops are combined with acid-sensitive resins during their manufacturing, meaning they are vulnerable to chemical damage. This causes acidic products such as vinegar, lemon juice, or acidic cleaners to eat through the resins, "etching" the surface. As a result, quartz requires pH-neutral cleaners.
Hard water spots, unfortunately, can not be removed by pH-neutral cleaners. Although certain cleaning products specialize in removing such deposits, the large majority of them are acidic or alkaline-based. This is why prevention is key.
With this in mind, here is our list of guidelines for removing hard water spots and mineral deposits from quartz countertops:
How to Clean Hard Water Spots
Your options for cleaning hard water spots from quartz countertops sound counterintuitive, but are safer and easier than they sound. Since quartz cleaners are ineffective, we will have to use friction to remove the deposits. All you will need is super-fine steel wool (grade #0000), or a straight-razor. It is essential that your steel wool is grade #0000, since other variations will be too abrasive.
Use grade #0000 super-fine steel wool to remove light water spots, lightly rubbing the deposits in a circular motion.
For heavier spots, Carefully use a new, sharp straight-razor or scraper.
Take preventative measures to prevent water stains and mineral deposits from building up
Don’t use aggressive/strong cleaners on your quartz or granite countertop
Don’t use vinegar or lemon juice, they can etch your surface
Don’t use non-neutral household cleaners on your quartz
Don’t use water and dish soap to clean your quartz, as they can lead to more water spots, mineral deposits, and soap-scum build-ups
The easiest method of removing hard water spots from quartz is to use Super-Fine Steel wool (#0000 grade). Begin in an inconspicuous (hidden) area, buffing the surface in a circular motion. Ensure the area is undamaged, and proceed to mimic the technique along the water spots. This should be enough to remove light mineral deposits from the surface.
If heavier deposits exist, it may be best to carefully scrape them off of the surface with a straight razor.
Preventing Water Stains and Mineral Deposits
Removal is difficult, so prevention is key.
Many individuals clean their countertops with soapy water, but this should be avoided. Like washing glass with a soapy ret wag or sponge, doing this to your quartz can create a cloudy haze over time from soap scum or leftover mineral deposits.
For proper prevention, utilize a quartz cleaner formulated with ioSeal Protectants. ioSeal forms an ionic bond to the surface, creating a layer that resists incoming stains and messes such as hard water spots.
We hope this information has served well to clarify and simplify cleaning in the future. With a history of more than 25 years of experience in the stone-installation and stone-care industries, we believe in educating consumers into stone-care professionals. With that in mind, if any further questions about your stone surface exist, reach out to us and we will help find a quick solution.
Discover the "ioSeal™ Advantage on Quartz"
- An additional level of protection against stains, hard water spots, calcium and limescale buildup.
- Helps protect against UV rays and fading
- Safe to use on unsaturated polyester resin, natural and engineered stones
- Leaves a smooth look and reflective feel
- Colors become vibrant
- Sam Munro