Can I Polish My Quartz Countertop?

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Made from ground natural quartz combined with resins and pigments, quartz offers an attractive, low-maintenance, and durable alternative to natural stone and laminate. However, some homeowners may be wondering if it is possible to polish a quartz countertop to restore its original factory shine. In this comprehensive guide, we will examine can i polish my quartz countertop and provide tips for keeping quartz surfaces looking their best.

What is Quartz?

Quartz is one of the hardest minerals found in nature, harder than granite. In countertop form, quartz is ground into a fine powder and combined with polyester resins and pigments. This mixture is molded into slabs which are then polished into the smooth, glossy countertops installed in kitchens and baths.

The resins make quartz non-porous, so it does not need to be sealed. The pigments provide a wide array of color options from solid whites and blacks to replicated natural stone patterns. Engineered quartz is about 90% ground quartz and 10% resins/pigments.

Pros of quartz countertops:

  • Extremely durable – resists scratches, heat, and stains
  • Easy maintenance
  • Non-porous – does not need sealing
  • resistant to chips and cracks
  • Available in many colors and patterns
  • Some brands offer antimicrobial protection

Cons of quartz:

  • Expensive (though competitive with natural stone)
  • Can be damaged by excessive heat
  • Limited number of suppliers

Popular brands of quartz countertops include Caesarstone, Cambria, Silestone, and LG Viatera.

Can Quartz Countertops Be Polished?

Polishing is a process of using abrasives to create a smooth, shiny, glossy surface by progressively finer and finer grits.

The short answer is no – quartz countertops cannot be effectively polished at home.

The engineered resins, polymers, and pigments used to create quartz slabs are cured at high pressures and temperatures at the factory. This manufacturing process results in an extremely hard, non-porous surface. While quartz stands up well to daily wear and tear, the factory finish cannot be replicated at home.

Attempting DIY polishing risks damaging the surface and voiding any warranties offered by quartz manufacturers. The cured resins do not respond to at-home abrasives and polishes in the same manner as natural stone.

Instead of polishing, the best practice is keeping quartz clean and free of buildup to maintain its radiant as-new appearance. We will look at the proper care and cleaning steps later in this article.

Signs Your Quartz Countertop Needs Help

Quartz is remarkably resilient, but no surface is immune to all signs of wear. Here are some visible clues that your countertop may need more than just cleaning to restore its original beauty:

  • Dull, splotchy appearance lacking shine
  • Fine scratches from cutting, knives, etc.
  • Stains resistant to cleaning
  • Discolored or damaged sealant beads at seams/edges
  • Chips, cracks, gouges from accidents/abrasions
  • Burn or heat marks from hot pans/appliances
  • Accumulated soap scum, hard water deposits, grease

Minor flaws in the quartz itself like fine scratches may be permanent. But buildup and residue that dulls the finish can be effectively removed with the right maintenance regimen.

Best Practices for Quartz Care & Maintenance

Daily and weekly cleaning, along with avoiding damage, will keep your quartz looking like new for years:

1. Use trivets and hot pads.

Protect quartz from excessive direct high heat. Always use trivets or hot pads when placing hot pots, pans, bakeware, etc on the countertop. Sudden extreme temperature changes can damage the solid surface.

2. Don’t cut directly on the quartz.

Use a cutting board to protect the surface from knife scratches and nicks.

3. Clean spills promptly.

Immediately wipe up food prep messes, oils, condiments, and beverages. Don’t allow stains time to set in.

4. Wash with mild soap and water.

For routine cleaning, use a soft sponge or cloth with warm water and mild dish soap. Avoid abrasive cleansers. Rinse thoroughly.

5. Disinfect weekly.

Wipe down all surfaces with a 70% isopropyl alcohol or other disinfecting solution. This helps inhibit bacteria growth in tiny crevices.

6. Remove stuck-on food with non-abrasive scrubbing pads.

For stubborn dried-on messes, use a white Scotch-BriteTM pad or similar gentle scrubbing tool. Do not use harsh scouring pads or powders.

7. Say no to bleaches, caustic cleaners, and alkaline chemicals.

Stick to gentler cleaning products like Soft ScrubTM Gel. Avoid harsh chemicals like oven cleaner that can strip the finish.

8. Prevent hard water buildup and soap scum.

If you live in an area with hard tap water, treat your quartz regularly with cleaning products designed to remove mineral deposits and soap residue.

9. Reseal seams and edges as needed.

Silicone seals can become stained or eroded over time. Carefully remove old sealant and reseal gaps every few years.

10. Check manufacturer care guidelines.

Some quartz brands have specific maintenance recommendations. Consult your manufacturer’s website for any special directions.

How to Remove Common Quartz Countertop Stains

Even with proper care, quartz can become stained from spills of strongly colored liquids like red wine or tomato sauce. Here are some tips for removing common quartz stains:

Coffee and Tea Stains

  • Make a paste of baking soda and water and gently rub onto stain. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Alternatively, use a non-abrasive cleaner like Soft Scrub Gel.

Red Wine, Berry, or Beet Stains

  • Pour boiling water over the stain to help lift color.
  • Make a paste with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before rinsing.

Oil-Based Stains

  • Immediately apply rubbing alcohol to help dissolve grease.
  • Use an orange-oil based cleaner and scrub with a soft brush.

Hard Water Marks

  • Wipe with equal parts water and vinegar.
  • For tough buildup, apply lime removal gel. Allow to sit before rinsing.

Mold or Mildew Stains

  • Spray with hydrogen peroxide and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Use a natural mold and mildew cleaner and non-abrasive pad.

For stains that resist gentle scrubbing and natural cleaners, consider calling in a professional countertop cleaning company. Harsh chemicals or excessive scrubbing can ruin the factory finish.

Professional Quartz Countertop Polishing & Resurfacing

While regular at-home maintenance keeps quartz counters looking fresh, years of wear eventually take a toll. Quartz does not need sealing like natural stone, but professional countertop reconditioning can become necessary over time.

Signs it may be time for professional help:

  • Countertops have extensive etching or pitting
  • Discoloration persists after thorough cleaning attempts
  • Numerous hairline cracks or chips are present
  • Seams are badly stained or failing
  • Overall finish is too dull for at-home restoration

Professional quartz renewal typically involves these steps:

  1. Deep cleaning to thoroughly strip away built-up grime, soap scum, hard water deposits, and stains.
  2. Targeted scratch, chip, and crack repairs using color-matchedFill in small surface flaws with bonding putties.
  3. Resurfacing with a polishing compound to reveal a refreshed surface shine.
  4. Resealing of seams and edges to prevent moisture penetration.
  5. Protective coating such as a ceramic sealant to help prevent future stains.
  6. Anti-microbial treatment – an optional finish to inhibit bacteria and mold growth.

Quartz countertop resurfacing costs around $4-$8 per square foot on average. Total costs depend on the size of the installation and condition of the existing surface.

This investement can extend the life of your quartz countertops for 10-15 years, avoiding the high cost of tear-out and replacement. Ensure technicians are qualified – incorrectly performed resurfacing attempts could permanently damage quartz.

Is Quartz Countertop Resurfacing Permanent?

Professional quartz countertop renewal is designed to be long-lasting, but gradual wear will eventually require repeating the process. The resurfacing compounds used are formulated to bond securely even under heavy use. With proper care between treatments, results can last:

  • 3-5 years for kitchen countertops subject to daily use.
  • 5-8 years for bathroom vanities seeing more limited use.
  • 10+ years for surfaces rarely exposed to significant staining or abrasion risks.

Quartz can typically be resurfaced 2-3 times before material erosion would necessitate a full replacement. And improvements in bonding agents may further lengthen the durability of professional quartz renewal in the future.

DIY Quartz Countertop Repair Alternatives

While completely repolishing quartz at home is NOT advisable, you can take steps to improve flaws in the finish:

Minor Scratches

  • Use a smoothing kit similar to auto paint repair. Fill tiny scratches and blend the area.
  • Apply a thin layer of clear paste wax to help scratches appear less noticeable.

Small Chips/Cracks

  • Carefully clean damaged spot and surrounding area.
  • Fill chip with a transparent color-matched resin.
  • Smooth fill by scraping excess off while still pliable.

Discolored Grout

  • Use a specialty grout cleaner or make a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.
  • Commercial whitening pens can cover some stains.
  • Regrout if stains persist after cleaning attempts.

Dull Areas

  • Apply a quartz-safe polish (like Carrara Marble Polish) sparingly to brighten dull spots. Avoid wax buildup.

For more significant damage like deep gouges or extensive cracking, replacement of the affected section may be the best option vs. replacing the entire countertop. Consult a countertop pro.

Will My Quartz Countertops Eventually Need Replacing?

With proper care and maintenance, quality quartz countertops can last 25 years or longer before needing wholesale replacement. Their longevity exceeds laminate and matches that of natural stone. But no countertop surface lasts forever. Signs that quartz may be nearing the end of its lifespan include:

  • Extensive cracking/pitting unable to be repaired
  • Deep abrasions that penetrate the surface
  • Failed caulk/grout allowing moisture under edges
  • Sections detaching from the substrate base
  • Bad stains in unsalvageable areas
  • More than 2 past resurfacings
  • Outdated color/style

Quartz itself does not wear out, but the polymer resins binding it together gradually degrade after years of heavy use. At some point, countertop replacement provides a better investment than continued repairs.

Quartz Countertop FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about quartz countertop care:

Can I use marble polish or a wax coating on my quartz?

Use of products specifically made for natural stone is not recommended. They can discolor quartz or leave a cloudy buildup. Look for quartz-safe polishing creams instead.

How can I get rid of little scratches on my quartz?

Very light scratches can be minimized by applying a thin coat of paste wax and buffing gently with a soft cloth. Avoid heavy polishing. For deeper scratches, call a pro.

What is the best daily cleaner for quartz counters?

For routine cleaning, use warm water mixed with a couple drops of mild dish soap applied with a soft sponge or microfiber cloth. Avoid harsh cleansers.

My quartz counter has a dull splotchy look. How do I restore the shine?

Dullness is likely due to built-up grime or etching. Try a gentle cleaner like Bar Keeper’s Friend. For extensive dull areas, professional resurfacing may be needed.

Can I use a scrubbing pad on my quartz countertops?

Yes, but avoid heavy scouring pads. Use a soft plastic-bristle brush or white Scotch-BriteTM scrubber to safely remove stuck-on spills without scratching.

How do I get rid of hard water marks on my quartz?

Use a 50/50 vinegar and water solution. For stubborn stains, apply a lime removal product designed for quartz and other engineered stones.

What causes pitting and discoloration on quartz surfaces?

Pitting, etching and stains are typically caused by accidental exposure to strong chemicals like paint removers or prolonged contact with drain cleaners. Unfortunately this type of damage cannot be repaired at home.


Quartz offers timeless beauty and durability but does require routine care to keep looking its best. Avoid DIY polishing attempts. With regular gentle cleaning and prompt stain removal, quartz countertops will retain their radiant factory finish for over two decades in most cases. Small flaws can be minimized, but extensive damage requires calling in a professional refinisher. While quartz will eventually need replacement, proper maintenance allows it to live up to its reputation as one of the longest-wearing modern countertop materials.