4 Reasons Water Stain Quartz: How To Safely Clean The Stains


Quartz is one of the most popular and versatile materials for use in the home. It’s used to create countertops, flooring, and even windowpanes! As stain-resistant as quartz is, you may be wondering “why does water stain quartz?”

If the water that comes into contact with your quartz surfaces contains minerals such as calcium, iron, or magnesium then it has the potential to leave a mark or stain on your quartz. Water stains can pose a real nuisance on your quartz surfaces, but the good news is that they are relatively easy to remove.

To learn more about why water stain quartz, how to remove those water stains, and how to prevent them, keep reading this article.

1. Minerals Present In The Water

The minerals in the water can stain quartz. When it comes to stains, you need to take a closer look at what’s inside the water. This may not be the first thing you think of, but it’s one of the most influential factors in what makes water stain quartz.

Quartz is a very porous material. This allows it to easily soak up stains and minerals in the water, like calcium (lime) and iron. Over time, these minerals can build up inside quartz surfaces to form unsightly stains.

What happens is these minerals get left behind on the surface of the quartz as the water dries up. The minerals can then bond with the surface and cause a stain.

If you have a water softener, this will eliminate the minerals in the water. However, if you do not have a water softener at home, there are other options available to you. You can buy a water purifier to filter out the minerals or try using distilled water when cleaning quartz surfaces. More on this later!

2. The pH Level of The Water Affects Staining

You may also see water stains left behind on quartz surfaces if the pH level of the water is too high or low. pH level is a scale used to measure how alkaline or acidic something is.

The scale ranges from 0-14, with zero being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline (or basic). Water naturally falls within this range, generally at a level of seven.

If the pH level is too high or low for quartz surfaces (i.e. either acidic or alkaline), then it can leave a water stain behind on your quartz surfaces.

The pH level of the water should be noted as it can affect how you clean your quartz surfaces. If the water is too acidic or alkaline, then you should avoid using those cleaning methods and instead opt for something that is pH balanced.

So now the question that comes to mind is, how do you know the pH level of your water? You can buy a pH testing kit or test strips to determine this.

If the water has a high acidity rating, you can try diluting it with distilled water, but if the pH is too low then a balance may not be possible. In this case, it’s best to use a different method for cleaning quartz surfaces.

If you’re wondering how water forms that distinct ring on your quartz surfaces after it dries, this is most likely the pH levels at work.

3. Type Of Quartz Installed

Another factor that can influence why water stain quartz is the type of quartz installed. If you install a non-engineered stone, then it can be more difficult to clean and maintain.

Non-engineered stone is generally a softer material than engineered quartz, so it does not stand up as well to wear and tear.

This can increase the likelihood of water stains on your quartz surfaces, as they will be more susceptible to staining with use.

Engineered quartz is more resistant to stains, watermarks, and scratches that non-engineered stone can be susceptible to. It also lasts longer and requires less maintenance.

If you have a non-engineered stone surface, it’s important to clean quartz surfaces more frequently as water stains can quickly build up. You can also use a pH-balanced cleaner or distilled water to prevent stains from forming in the first place.

If you have a quartz countertop that is engineered, then it’s not as likely to get water stains. However, if you are using acidic cleaners, there is still a chance that water stains can form. You should avoid these to prevent the quartz from staining.

4. Sealant

Last, but definitely not least is whether or not the quartz is sealed or not. If it is not, then water stains are likely to form. Sealants can be applied at the time of installation or later on to help prevent water stains from forming on your quartz surfaces.

Another issue when it comes to sealant is the type of sealant used to coat your quartz surfaces. Like anything else in life, some are better than others.

Sealants can mostly be found in two forms: wax and oil. Wax is easy to apply, while oils are more difficult but they last longer.

Wax sealants are easy to apply and take care of, but they don’t last as long compared with oil-based options.

Oil-based sealants are harder to apply, but they can last up to five years before needing re-application. They also help surfaces resist water stains, oil spots, and scratches.

Both sealant options are good for preventing water stains on your quartz surfaces by creating a barrier between the quartz and the water, but oil-based options are better at preventing these stains.

How To Remove Water Stains From Quartz Countertops

As mentioned before, removing water stains from quartz countertops is not hard to do. However, it does depend on the type of water stain that has formed and how long it has been on the surface.

Using Warm Water

You would want to try the very easy stuff especially if you have freshwater stains on the quartz surface. Warm water is always good to remove many types of stains, including those caused by water on your quartz surfaces.

Simply wet cloth or sponge with warm water and use it to scrub away the stain. If this does not work, then you can try another method. Allow the surface to air dry and see if the stain is gone.

If this does not work, then you can try one of the other methods below. If it does, great! This is the easiest method to remove water stains from quartz surfaces.

Using White Vinegar & Distilled Water

If warm water does not remove your stain, then you can use white vinegar or distilled water.

You want to mix equal parts of white vinegar and distilled water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto your quartz surfaces and allow it to sit for a few minutes.

Take your microfiber cloth and use it to scrub off the stain with gentle pressure, but be careful not to scratch your quartz surfaces. Allow the surface to air dry and see if the stain is gone.

Using Mild Dish Soap

When you see the water stains on your quartz countertops, one of the first things you would want to try is before mixing any concoctions is mild dish soap and warm water.

You start by putting a few drops of mild dish soap in a spray bottle and then filling it with warm water.

Next, you would spray the surface of your quartz countertops down with this mixture and start scrubbing with a sponge or paper towels.

If the stains are not too bad or too deep, then this method should be able to remove them. However, if they are bad, then you will need to move on to other methods for removing these stains.

Using Poultice

If you have a deep-set or dark watermark on your quartz surfaces, then you may need to apply some elbow grease. Use a poultice or an iron remover to help lift the water stains from the surface.

A poultice is a mixture of baking soda and water that can be placed on the stain and left overnight. It works to lift stains from the quartz countertop, but it is messy and difficult to apply.

Start by mixing up a paste of water and baking soda and apply it to the quartz surfaces where the water stains are. Cover the area with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then let it sit for at least eight hours (longer if the stain is deep).

After this time, remove the poultice and scrub off any excess baking soda or residue with a wet sponge. You can also use an iron remover to help lift the stain from the quartz countertop if needed.

How To Prevent Hard Water Stains On Quartz Countertops

Having water stains on quartz countertops is not the end of the world, but it does look bad and can be quite difficult to remove.

However, you can prevent water stains on quartz countertops by using the tips or as I call it “easy hacks” below.

  • Use a sealant or wax to protect the surfaces from liquids that might splash onto them.
  • Avoid using lemon juice, and other highly acidic solutions to clean your countertops as they can cause water stains to worsen.
  • Do not leave a cup, glass, mug, on your quartz surfaces for a long period of time.
  • Do not allow water or any other liquid to sit on the surface for too long, and clean up spills immediately after they happen.
  • Never use bleach or other harsh chemicals to clean your quartz surfaces. These can damage the surface, and cause water stains to worsen over time.
  • Do not use abrasive or aggressive cleaners to clean your quartz countertops as they can cause permanent scratches and damage the surface.
  • Do not wipe up water stains with a dry cloth or paper towels, as this can make the stain worse.
  • Use distilled water to clean your quartz surfaces if you can, as it will not leave water spots.
  • Clean your quartz surfaces regularly using a mild soap or cleaner and warm water; do not let them go too long between cleanings.


Q. My water stains are really deep and dark, what should I do?

A. You will need to use a poultice or a commercial cleaner to help lift the stain from your quartz surfaces. The baking soda and water mixture will work to lift stains, but it may take a lot of elbow grease to get the stain out.

Q. My quartz countertops are discolored where the stains were removed. What should I do?

A. The stains will usually fade after a few days, but you can try using some hydrogen peroxide to remove the stains or try sealing the countertops with a commercial sealant.

Q. What is the best way to remove water stains?

A. Overall it is best to prevent water stains on quartz countertops, but if they do happen you can use mild dish soap and warm water to help remove the stain. You can also try using a poultice mixture of baking soda and water to help lift the stain.

Q. Why is my sink stained after I used a poultice?

A. The baking soda or poultice mixture can leave a yellow or gray stain on your sink. Try using any good commercial cleaner if this happens.


Hi! I’m Kobby, one of the co-owners of favoredstoneguides.com and the newest house owner in town. I’m a huge fan of most things natural. Over here on this site, I'm happy to share all the exciting hacks, tricks, and tips I have learned and continue to learn each day about taking care of natural stones.

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