When discussing countertop materials, we often point out that kitchen countertops are some of the most high-traffic areas in the home. Aside from food prep, countertops often become a repository for items like handbags, car keys and mail. Along with greater amounts of wear and tear, high-traffic surfaces are more prone to harbor germs and bacteria. In today’s post, our experts discuss how to disinfect quartz countertops and provide tips to help keep your kitchen clean and safe.
What is Quartz?
Before we get into the particulars of disinfecting quartz countertops, it’s important to understand how they are made. Quartz, sometimes referred to as engineered quartz, is a manmade material. Though quartz countertops typically contain varying amounts of quartz, roughly 10% of the materials in a quartz countertop are made of components like crushed marble or granite, as well as industrial waste, like recycled glass or ceramic. These materials are usually held together with binders, like resin. While some cleaning and disinfecting products might be safe to use on quartz itself, they could damage the binder filling in between.
Cleaning vs. Disinfecting
Cleaning a surface removes dirt, grime, grease, spills and some bacteria, while disinfecting specifically kills bacteria and viruses. It’s always important to clean and wipe down surfaces regularly, but disinfecting is imperative to prevent diseases like Coronavirus, E. Coli and Salmonella from spreading.
Disinfecting Quartz Countertops
The following products are safe to use when disinfecting quartz countertops:
- Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, can be mixed with water to make an effective disinfectant. Mix 2 parts rubbing alcohol to 1 part water—we recommend using a spray bottle—and apply as needed. Be sure to remove any food from counters before cleaning and keep the area well ventilated.
- Antibacterial dish soap and warm water will often do the trick and are safe to use on quartz countertops. Adding rubbing alcohol to the mixture can also increase its efficiency.
What NOT to Use on Quartz Countertops
Avoid using the following common disinfectants:
- Do NOT use Lysol, Clorox or any products containing bleach or vinegar on quartz countertops, as they can cause permanent damage.
- Do NOT use harsh, acidic or alkaline cleaners.
- Do NOT use nail polish remover.
As mentioned above, while some of these products might be safe to use on quartz itself, they can etch or disintegrate the binders in between quartz pieces.
Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Germ Free
Cleaning AND disinfecting all surfaces frequently are the only ways to prevent germs and bacteria from growing and spreading. That said, there are a few things you can do to help minimize their presence:
- Clean Spills Right Away—The longer a spill sits on your countertop, the more time it allows bacteria to establish itself. Once this happens, simply cleaning the area won’t get rid of all the bacteria, unless the spot is disinfected as well. You can get ahead of this issue by simply cleaning spills as soon as they occur.
- Disinfect Sponges and Dish Cloths—These handy products can often become breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. By using them to clean or wipe down countertops, you might inadvertently spread bacteria around. Be sure to clean these products after each use and allow them to dry fully in between uses. Dish rags can be cleaned by running them through a washer, while sponges can be cleaned using a disinfecting solution.
- Keep Countertops Dry—Bacteria thrive in moist environments. Be sure to dry countertops thoroughly after cleaning, and dry off areas that are prone to moisture, including areas around sinks or anywhere steam and condensation tends to accumulate.
- Take Extra Precautions When Someone is Sick—If someone in your household is sick, it’s extra important to follow disinfection procedures. Clean your countertops and the rest of the kitchen more often to prevent the spread of the sickness.
We hope you’ve found this post on how to disinfect quartz countertops helpful. If you’d like to learn more about quartz, feel free to check out the following blog posts:
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If you have questions about quartz or other surfacing materials, we’d love to hear from you! Cosmos SurfacesTM brings over three decades of knowledge and industry experience to the table. Get in touch by filling out our contact form today!
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