Water Etching on Black Quartz Countertops

by Catherine D.
(Memphis, TN)


Good Morning, What a great website! Thank you for being here. 2 years ago we chose black quartz countertops for our kitchen. We love it.

Only, recently we have noticed some rings around rinsed dishes/glasses that sit on the counter over night.

This is only water, (not left over wine or coffee glasses, or even oil - just water). These spots are barely noticeable - if at all - until I wet the surface to clean it. Then they stand out. I have not noticed anything like this happening until the past 3-6 months.

What should we do to solve these remaining rings, and what can we do to save our countertops from further rings/damage? Thanks so much.


Well quartz countertops are marketed as if they cannot etch or be stained, but those in the stone industry know this is not true.

Quartz countertops do stain (not easily, but do) and can even be damaged similar to etching by some chemicals.

The drawback of quartz countertops vs. granite countertops or other natural stone is that stone can almost always be repaired while quartz is very difficult and usually cannot be repaired once damaged.

I assure you that it is not simply "water" that is causing the rings.

I'm assuming that the rings become apparent when wet like you stated AND that you cannot clean or wipe them away.

I'd have to guess the most likely cause is soap residue left on the glasses. Some soaps can etch (especially dishwasher soaps) and you'd have to rinse your glasses with probably 10 times the water you actually use to completely rid the glasses of soap residue.

There may be some type of bleach or other highly alkaline substance in the soap that is causing the problem.

Now, maybe these are glasses that have been used and rinsed to await washing... well, the rinsing simply wets the soap residue from a previous washing and the water carries the residue down to the countertop surface.

It's curious that this seems to be a new development, but I'd question if you've recently started to use a new product that contacts the glasses at some point?

You might try rubbing a fine 0000 grade steel wool pad on the area (test on an more hidden area first) which may re-polish the rings enough to remove them.

Otherwise, you'd have to hire a pro experienced with quartz countertops to re-polish the area, but honestly I'd probably learn to live with them rather than risk a polishing mistake. Hand polishing stone/quartz is difficult.

Also, call the manufacturer an get their take on what may be occurring and the best way to possibly resolve.

To protect in the future I'd use only very mild soaps and maybe use a rubber mat to store the rinsed glasses.

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Quartz Countertop Problem
by: Anonymous

I had a similar experience and researched a bit on the internet about how to remove the ring stains. Several websites, including the manufacturer, suggested 4 products to use. One of those products was formula 409. I used that and it did remove the ring however, it caused more damage. It is as if it removed the "wet" look in the area I cleaned. I would love to know how to restore this area of my countertop.

by: Beth

Brand new granite countertops in dressing room/vanity. Not sure what got on the surface, but probably Liguid Gold or some other dusting produt left of a rag left on the counter top.
Caused an almost patterned blotchy area. Wasn't told when installed how to care for or treat my granite. Is there anything I can do myself to get rid of the stained look?

===ANSWER: Well, it would take a very strong acid to etch granite.... unless the granite was "doctored". Doctored granite occurs with some black granites where a type of coating is put on the surface to make it "more black". Well the granite does not etch, but the coating does.

If it is doctored, then you need to remove the coating probably with a potent solvent like methylene chloride... or have the installer replace it.

If it is not doctored, then I'd say you don't have granite. Very rare for a granite to etch from a single use of a common cleaning product. Repeated uses over long periods can do it, but not just one exposure.

Staining/etching of Cambria Black Quartz Countertop
by: Peter Roper

We just had an issue with a handyman who installed a new garbage disposal without removing the waste line plug for the dishwasher.

When we ran the dishwasher, the waste water from the dishwasher ended up coming out of the air gap on top of sink instead of draining out through the waste line. The waste water from the dishwasher, which contains both Cascade detergent powder and Jet-Dry Finish rinse aid ended up going onto our quartz countertop surface creating a white residual film on quartz countertop.

We tried several quartz cleaners but, still unable to remove this white cloudy like film on the surface of quartz.

When I removed glasses from the cupboard that also had dishwasher soap on them from the mishap, I placed them on top of countertop and unfortunately they created white ring marks on the countertop surface which we were unable to remove.

Need some good advice on what we need to do to correct this problem with our Cambria quartz countertops. Thanks.

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

It may be that chemicals in the dishwasher detergent bleached the quartz countertop. All quartz countertops are susceptible to chemical damage and discoloration.

Although, possibly it is just a soap film that can be removed with the proper cleaner like this soap film remover.

You may also try Bar Keeper's Friend which can be effective cleaning quartz stains in some cases.

Possible Solution to Spots
by: Anonymous

We have just has dark gray Quartz countertops installed in our kitchen. Few days after they were installed we noticed some grease-like spots on one of them.

We called the Manufacturer of the Quartz and they suggested that we use a small amount of Vim (the Green Bottle) and a sponge, gently apply it with the sponge and rinse well.

Sure enough, the marks disappeared and have not returned. Whew, what a relief. The Manufacturer emphasized that the Green bottle of Vim be used. I don't know why but it worked.

Quartz countertop cleaner info
by: Anonymous

More specifics about Vim please. Many products, several green bottles. What specifically did you use?

No warranty on finish with Zodiaq - water staining
by: Skokie, IL

We have a black Zodiaq countertop and have discoloration, a lighter spot in the area where I set the dishes to dry on a towel.

I called DuPont and they only warranty the finish for 30 DAYS. They also gave me the name of a company in our area that may be able to fix the issue $$$.

My take away is to ask a lot of questions about the warranty. I never would have thought to be concerned about WATER or common dish washing liquid, these are after all kitchen counters. What do they think we do in here??

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