q premium natural quartz: easy care for today’s busy householdsJuly 25, 2013
Q Premium Natural Quartz is a beautiful, low maintenance choice for countertops in the kitchen, bathroom, wet bar or other area that needs a surface that is as functional as it is elegant. Quartz counters are durable, resilient and low maintenance. With the proper care, they withstand the busy, and sometimes messy, lifestyles of today's families.
Cleaning Spills - Quartz is stain resistant, but no matter how careful you are, spills are expected when it comes to countertops. In the kitchen, it's a surface that will become well acquainted with liquid spills and greasy splashes. In the bathroom vanity, it's a surface that serves as the landing spot for soaps, sprays and beauty products. Depending on the nature of the spill, care for the quartz counter will vary. Here are a few tips for the most common offenders:
Wine, vinegar, tea, fruit juice (especially lemon) and soda - Do not let these spills sit on the quartz surface. Quick clean up with a wet dishcloth or sponge will usually do the trick. TIP: If you're concerned with how long a spill can sit - on any stone surface - a proactive solution is to keep a scrap piece (if possible) from the installation. Test the stone with red wine or cranberry juice for varying durations. Knowing whether your surface needs to be wiped up the moment the liquid hits the surface or if it can wait a moment is valuable information. While Q Premium Natural Quartz advises spills be cleaned up right away, you might find your own level of flexibility with your countertop!
Dried spills - Sometimes we just don't notice a spill. Someone dribbles wine during a party; grease from frying chicken is noticed by the stove a few days later; there's an upside-down jelly sandwich on the counter; there are glue and sparkles from yesterday's school project on the breakfast bar - whatever the culprit, it's not too late to fix. Gentle cleansers like Mr. Clean, Bar Keepers Friend, Formula 409, Simple Green, Fantastic, or regular dish soap (like Palmolive) are usually enough. TIP: For tougher jobs like stuck on grease, chewing gum, or those sparkles and glue, use a non-abrasive cleaning pad in combination with a gentle cleanser -or try a plastic putty knife to lightly scrape the item from quartz surface. For grease, if dish soap doesn't do the job, try a non-abrasive cleaner like Greased Lightning or similar product (found in home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowes) that is not high or low in pH.
Guarding against scratches - Quartz is scratch resistant. It is not a delicate material that is easy to scratch. In fact, it is the strongest countertop available, as natural quartz is actually reinforced with man-made polymers to make it extremely strong. However, there are certainly everyday ways to contribute to the longevity of its appearance. Here are just a few ways to keep quartz countertops looking as beautiful as the very first day:
Do not use abrasive cleaners or rough pads - Abrasive cleaning agents such as regular Comet and Ajax or rough pads like SOS or steel wool should never be used on quartz or any natural stone. These items may affect Q's finish. TIP: If needed, Bon Ami and Bar Keepers Friend are both approved non-abrasive cleaning powders that will clean without affecting Q's finish.
Do use cutting boards and padded trivets - Aside from the fact that the juice from fruits and vegetables are spills that need to be wiped anyway, quartz countertops are not meant to serve as a cutting board. Sharp knives will mar the surface over time. Additionally, metal trivets or stone trivets should have padded bottoms or feet that do not scrape across the surface as they are used.
Heat Protection(& Other Damage Prevention) - One of the benefits of quartz countertops is that they are not sealed or waxed - ever. They will stay smooth and lustrous with proper care. This is a time-saver when it comes to long term maintenance and is particularly notable when it comes to heat. Some sealants and waxes are affected by extreme heat and can become cloudy or discolored- something Q Premium Natural Quartz owners never need to worry about with its inherent scorch and heat resistance. Nevertheless, as with all natural stone, sudden or rapid change of temperature or sustained heating can create enough thermal expansion energy to cause the surface to crack. (Edges and cutouts are more vulnerable, too.) Here are a few ways to protect your quartz from heat:
Avoid heat generating devices - Do not place heat lamps, crock pots, roasters, deep fryers, griddles, and hot pans or electric skills directly on the surface.
Use trivets - Do not pull hot pots or dishes from the oven and place them on the quartz surface. Use a trivet or hot pad to prevent the heat from concentrating in one area.
In addition to protection from heat, there are also a few powerful chemicals to guard against. These are not common items you'll normally use, but should be kept in mind, especially if you are doing home improvement projects:
Avoid paint removers, furniture strippers, tarnish or silver cleaners -any strong chemicals or solvents that contain trichlorethane or methylene chloride. In the bathroom, be sure to guard against drain cleaners, nail polish remover, bleach, and oil-based soaps.
Avoid ink and permanent markers - these may adhere to the surface. TIP: Waterbased or "invisible" markers are a great alternative option for children in households with quartz countertops. If an accident with ink or a permanent marker does happen, try rubbing Goo Gone (or similar) into the stain and rinse with warm water.
Quartz countertops are one of the lowest maintenance surfaces around. They do not need to be sealed or waxed, and they are easily maintained with soap and water. Follow the care guidelines above and you'll experience the beauty and shine of quartz countertops for years to come!
If you are weighing the benefits of various kinds of stone for your next project, check care and cleaning of natural stone brochure about the care and maintenance for today's most popular countertop surfaces.
Read More About MSI's Q™ Premium Natural Quartz: