What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. This mixture is molded into slabs and hardened under intense pressure and heat.
The result is a non-porous, highly durable surface resistant to scratches, stains, and heat. The resins give quartz its glossy finish and vibrant colors which do not require sealing.
Can You Polish Quartz?
Unlike natural stone, quartz cannot be polished in the traditional sense. Quartz lacks the microscopic pores and pits that allow abrasives to wear down and smooth natural stone.
However, light buffing and polishing can help restore the luster and remove light scratches on quartz. Professional refinishers have compounds and techniques that can buff out etch marks, cloudiness, and minor scrapes.
Best Practices for Polishing Quartz
If you want to polish or buff your quartz countertops on your own, here are some tips:
- Use a soft cloth and mild non-abrasive cleaner to clean the surface. This will remove dirt and debris that can cause surface scratches over time.
- For shine, apply a quartz-specific polishing cream with a soft cloth and rub gently in circular motions. Avoid cleaners with acids, alkalis, or abrasives.
- Use a plastic putty knife to work polishing cream into stubborn spots. Apply minimal pressure to avoid damaging the surface.
- Consider a light white buffing pad on a low-speed buffer for deeper scratches. Test on an inconspicuous spot first. Apply light pressure.
- For etched spots caused by acidic liquids, start with a mix of baking soda and water and rub gently with a soft cloth.
- Avoid abrasive pads, steel wool, or harsh chemicals that can dull the finish rather than polish it.
When to Call a Professional
For best results minimizing damage, consider hiring a professional refinisher for:
- Deep scratches or gouges that catch on your fingernail
- Large dull spots or etching across the surface
- Cloudiness, haziness, or changed texture across the quartz
- Multiple scratched, dulled areas affecting overall appearance
Quartz refinishing pros have specialized tools, materials, and training to properly polish quartz without causing further damage.
How Often Does Quartz Need Polishing?
With proper care, quartz countertops typically only need light polishing every 2-3 years to maintain the glossy surface. Avoid using the countertop as a cutting surface, trivets under hot pans, and harsh cleaners to prevent scratches and dulled areas needing polish.
Maintain Quartz’s Gleam
While quartz cannot be polished like natural stone, light buffing and polishing can help restore its glossy finish over time. With routine cleaning and care, your quartz countertops can keep their brilliant shine for many years before needing professional refinishing.
Frequently Asked Questions About Polishing Quartz Countertops
Here are some commonly asked questions about polishing quartz countertops:
Can I use a polish made for natural stone on quartz?
No, do not use polish made for natural stone. Quartz requires specialty polishing creams designed specifically for engineered stone. Using the wrong polish can damage the surface.
How do I get rid of dull spots on my quartz?
For light dull areas, use a quartz polish and buff in circular motions with a soft cloth. For deeper dullness across large areas, hire a professional for best results buffing and refinishing the surface.
What causes hazy cloudy areas on quartz?
Etching from acidic substances like lemon juice or harsh cleaners causes cloudiness. Baking soda and water can help improve mild etching before professional refinishing for severe haziness.
Can I use a power buffer or orbital sander on quartz?
Use minimal pressure with a buffer and soft pad meant for quartz. Never use an orbital sander, even lightly, which risks damaging the surface. Always test in an inconspicuous spot first.
How do I know if I need professional help with polishing?
If you have deep scratches catching your fingernail, large dull or etched spots, texture changes, or overall lackluster appearance, hire a pro. Improper DIY polishing can make damage worse.
Does quartz lose its shine over time?
Quartz will gradually lose some glossiness with normal use. Light buffing helps restore sheen every 2-3 years. Keep the surface clean and cared for to maintain its polished look longer.
Can I use kitchen cleaner sprays on quartz?
Avoid harsh sprays with chemicals like bleach, ammonia, or acidic ingredients. Use a soft cloth with mild soap and water or quartz-safe cleaner. Read labels carefully.
What causes scratches and marks on quartz?
Dragging objects across the surface, using it as a cutting board, harsh cleaners, and failure to use trivets can all scratch quartz. Use with care to prevent damage.
While quartz countertops are incredibly durable, they can lose their original polished luster over time. Light buffing and polishing every few years can help restore the glossy surface. For best results minimizing damage, trust professional quartz refinishing for extensive dullness, etching, scratches or changed texture. With proper routine care, you can maintain the sleek shine of quartz countertops for many years before needing extensive polishing.