Quartz is one of the earth’s most abundant materials and also one of the most intriguing. Quartz crystal makes dazzling jewelry, yet it has the energy and precision to power the most accurate timepieces. Quartz is extremely hard, with unusual strength, depth, clarity, and radiance.
How It’s Made: Quartz countertops are man-made engineered stone countertops formed by combining 90% ground quartz (a natural hard mineral) with 8-10% resins, polymers, and pigments. This forms a very hard granite-like surface. The appearance depends on how the quartz is ground: coarsely ground quartz produces a flecked appearance, while finely ground quartz produces a smooth look.
Quartz is resistant to most stains including wine, lemon juice, tea, coffee, and fruits and vegetables. Normal cleaning requires only a damp cloth and a mild household detergent. For best results, clean spills as soon as possible. Under ordinary use, dark colors will show dirt, dust, light scuffing, fingerprints and watermarks more readily than lighter-colored surfaces. While quartz is stain resistant, some stains are more difficult to remove than others. Mild non-abrasive cleansers (Soft ScrubⓇ and household baking soda) help to restore the original appearance. For dried spills, a non-abrasive scrub pad can be used. For substances such as paint, gum, or food, carefully use a razor blade to scrape away the residue prior to cleaning. The scraping may leave a grey metal mark on the surface which can be easily cleaned using a cleanser and non-abrasive pad. For stubborn spots or stains, apply a pad of soaked paper towels and approved cleanser to the area and allow it to sit for a few minutes then proceed with necessary cleaning methods and buffing. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a damp cloth to remove all residues. Quartz is one of the toughest countertop surfaces available, but a few things can damage it. Avoid contact with harsh chemicals or solvents, especially those containing trichlorethane or methylene chloride, (found in furniture strippers and oven cleaners), as well as products containing bleach. These substances can cause permanent discoloration and surface damage. In the event any of these agents come in contact with the surface, wipe immediately, rinse with water, and then clean with vinegar-based cleaner. Do not use abrasive and/or alkaline cleaning products or materials (such as AjaxⓇ, CometⓇ 3M Scotch BriteⓇ pads), as they can permanently dull the surface. When trying a new cleaning product always try the cleaner first on an inconspicuous area. Excessive / prolonged heat can damage your quartz surface — always use a trivet between the countertop and any hot cookware or heat source (electric frying pans, crockpots, etc.). While quartz is scratch-resistant, materials harder than quartz can scratch it. For example, the bottom of some ceramic dishes may be abrasive enough to inflict minor damage to the surface. Also, be aware that quartz can be chipped or cracked if it is heavily impacted.