Water Etching on Black Quartz Countertops
by Catherine D.
What a great website! Thank you for being here.
Two years ago we chose black quartz countertops for our kitchen. We love it.
Recently we have noticed rings from rinsed dishes/glasses that sit on the counter overnight.
This is only water... not leftover 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.
How can we remove these glass rings?
What can we do to save our countertops from further rings/damage?
Quartz countertops are top-shelf surfaces but are marketed as if they cannot etch or be stained. Those in the stone industry know this is not true.
Quartz countertops do stain (not easily, but do) and can be damaged by some chemicals or cleaning products in a way similar to bleaching or etching .
Pure "water" is not 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.
Soap residue left on the glasses is the most likely cause.
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.
Bleach or some other highly alkaline substance in the soap could be discoloring the resin in the countertops. Or it may simply be a soap scum residue on the surface that needs cleaning.
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, though. Possibly you've recently started to use a new product or soap on the glasses?
Hard water deposits are another possibility.
This may be a stretch since the problem didn't exist until recently, however, it may be that something has changed with your water supply resulting in a higher mineral content.
So, the glass-rings are caused by one of three things :
Here's a few quartz cleaning and repair options....
- Bleaching or etching from a caustic soap
- Soap film on the surface
- Hard water deposits
Also, call the manufacturer to get their take on what may be occurring and the best way to resolve it.
Use this Soap Film and Hard Water Cleaner. Soap films and hard water deposits are tough to remove. A specially formulated cleaner is required. This one is very effective and safe for cleaning quartz countertops.
Or try rubbing a fine 0000-grade steel wool pad on the area. This may re-polish the rings enough to remove them. However, abrasives can sometimes dull the surface, so test on a more hidden area first.
- 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.
Repair difficulty is one drawback of quartz countertops vs. granite countertops or other natural stone. Stone can almost always be repaired while quartz is troublesome and usually cannot be repaired once damaged.
To guard against future occurrence I'd use only very mild dishwashing soaps and maybe use a rubber mat to store the rinsed glasses.