Rust is associated with metals, but it is fairly common to see rust stains on stones, such as quartz, which raises a question; Does quartz rust? Quartz is a stone, similar to granite, and it is used to make kitchen countertops. Sometimes, you may notice rust on quartz kitchen countertops and wonder how a stone can rust since they contain silicon oxide.
No, Quartz doesn’t rust in the presence of water and oxygen. However, quartz can become brittle or break if exposed to acid. We all know that quartz is one of the hardest minerals in the world, and it’s known for its durability.
It is extremely hard and durable but will rust if put under high heat. Other than that, quartz is a very tough material. If you ever find any of your metal or kitchen utensils made of quartz showing signs of rust, you can make use of the easiest way to remove them.
You should read further as we have the facts you need to know about quartz.
What is Quartz?
Quartz is a mineral, unlike other minerals that are comprised majorly of metal. It is a stone that can be found virtually everywhere on the earth’s surface. It comprises silica and oxygen to form silicon oxide. Its hardness and abrasiveness make it one of the hardest substances on earth, and it is used majorly in the manufacture of gems, depending on the type found, and the conditions under which it is formed.
It is highly valued due to its resistance to physical and chemical weathering, hence its durability. Its availability in different colors makes it one of the common gemstones used for custom-made pieces of jewelry. It is also used to manufacture glass, as an abrasive, to make foundry sand, and to produce hydraulic fracturing proppant. Another more common use of quartz in the home is as a countertop in the kitchen.
As a kitchen countertop, quartz is easy to clean and does not break easily. It provides an aesthetic quality that is durable, due to its varying colors and hardness. Because it is resistant to chemicals and heat, it is suitable for use in kitchens. Its melting point is higher than most metals, and it does not contain metal ions, hence, it is presumably more durable than metals.
How Does Quartz Rust?
Rust is a phenomenon we commonly attach to metals and metallic objects. We seek ways to prevent our metallic items from experiencing rust. However, it may come as a rude surprise when you see rust on your quartz kitchen countertop or even a quartz jewelry stone. It is surprising because rust is supposed to affect metals and not stones; however, quartz can rust.
Rust in quartz can occur as a result of the meeting of all the conditions necessary for rust to take place, as in metals. The combination of oxygen, moisture, and iron is all that is needed. But does that mean a stone, like quartz, contains metal? Isn’t quartz made of silica and oxygen?
There are different ways quartz can rust and some of them include:
Presence of Iron in the Rock Make-up
Quartz is a rock that forms at different temperatures around the world. It can form as an igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic rock and can sometimes contain some levels of iron, especially if it is formed as a sedimentary rock. Although quartz contains silica and oxygen, primarily, it may also contain iron. However, the percentage of iron in the mix is usually less than 15%.
Iron is only one of the requirements needed for rust to take place, the others being oxygen – abundant in the air – and moisture – also abundant in the air, and around us. A quartz kitchen countertop can easily get wet, and if it is left for some time, the oxygen in the quartz and in the atmosphere combines with the iron in the stone and the moisture on it to form rust.
Placing a metal on the countertop for a long period
In this case, it is common to forget metallic materials on kitchen countertops. They may be nails, tin openers, cutlery, and cooking utensils. These household materials are metallic and contain some amount of iron. Ordinarily, they are susceptible to rust on their own when the conditions are met.
When these materials are left on a quartz countertop, in the presence of moisture and oxygen, rust will occur, and the stain – ferric oxide – will be evident on the countertop. However, for this to happen these materials must have been left on the countertop for some time, say days.
How To Remove Rust From Quartz?
Now that you understand how rust stain came to be on your quartz kitchen countertop, you need to find a way to rid it of the stain. Normally, quartz is easy to clean, and it glitters after every cleaning, provided the right materials are used. However, getting rid of rust stain can be challenging, especially if the stain begins from inside the stone.
Usually, quartz countertops comprise some pigments, resins, polymers, and ground quartz. Although quartz is resistant to most chemicals, the resins, pigments, and polymers, used in the manufacture of these countertops can be affected by some cleaning chemicals that are available for you to choose from.
To remove rust stain from quartz countertops and jewelry stones, follow these guidelines:
- Apply white latex eraser on their surfaces.
- Soak a non-abrasive cloth in dilute oxalic acid or Bar Keepers Friend.
- Wipe the quartz’s surface with the cloth.
- If the stain does not leave, leave the cloth on the stain for about ten minutes, but no more than 30 minutes, and wipe the stain off.
- Clean the quartz’s surface with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
Quartz is a mineral that comprises silica and oxygen; however, there is the possibility of some iron in the formation, which may lead to rust on or in quartz. Rust may also appear on quartz as a result of rust on a metal that is in proximity to it. However, you can clean the stain by wiping its surface with Oxalic acid or Bar Keepers Friend.