Quartz countertops are renowned for their durability and scratch-resistance. However, they are not entirely immune to damage. Scratches and other marks can occur over time with regular use. The good news is that there are methods to reduce and even remove some superficial scratches from quartz countertops.
What Causes Scratches on Quartz Countertops?
There are a few common causes of scratches on quartz surfaces:
- Cutting or chopping directly on the countertop – Using sharp knives or appliances directly on the quartz can cut into the surface over time, leaving behind scratches and grooves. Always use a cutting board.
- Dragging heavy, abrasive objects – Items like pots, pans, and ceramics can leave scratches if dragged aggressively across the quartz. Lift objects when moving them to avoid scratching.
- Cleaning with abrasive materials – Scouring pads, abrasive cleaners, and even some paper towels can scratch quartz when cleaning. Use only soft cloths and non-abrasive quartz-safe cleaners.
- Regular wear and tear – Even with proper care, normal use of a kitchen countertop will lead to some light surface scratches over the years. Quartz is durable but not invincible.
Can All Scratches Be Removed from Quartz?
While quartz is very scratch-resistant, it is possible to remove some minor surface scratches through DIY methods. However, deep scratches, gouges, and other significant damage will likely require professional help to fix.
Here is an overview of what kinds of quartz countertop scratches can and cannot be removed at home:
Minor superficial scratches, small marks from utensils, and hairline scratches can often be minimized or removed with home remedies. Surface level damage only impacts the top layer of the quartz and has not etched through the entire thickness.
Deep scratches that penetrate through multiple layers of the quartz material generally cannot be repaired on your own. These may require professional refinishing or replacement of the damaged section.
Etch marks from chemicals like cleaners are considered permanent damage that cannot be undone. However, they can sometimes be masked by a professional.
Chips and Gouges
Chips, gouges, and missing chunks of quartz are severe damage that typically call for a full slab replacement. Filling chips often leads to visible imperfections.
Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Surface Scratches from Quartz
If your quartz countertop has minor superficial scratches, here is a step-by-step DIY guide to reduce their appearance at home:
You will need a few supplies:
- Soft cloth or microfiber towel
- Non-abrasive scrubbing pad or sponge
- Countertop polish or mineral oil
- Soft cleaning toothbrush (optional for grout)
Avoid any abrasive pads, cleaning sprays, or materials that could worsen scratches.
Clean the Quartz Surface
Use a soft cloth and warm water or a gentle quartz cleaner to clean the entire surface. This will remove dirt and debris that could interfere with polishing.
Make sure to scrub and clean grout lines as well if needed. A soft toothbrush can help.
Thoroughly dry the countertop after cleaning before moving onto the next steps.
Apply Polish in Circular Motions
Put a small amount of countertop polish, mineral oil, or another mild sealing agent onto a soft cloth or sponge. Rub it into the scratched areas using gentle circular motions.
Applying in a circular movement will help diminish the look of straight surface scratches. Cover an area slightly larger than the scratches.
Clean and Repeat as Needed
Wipe away all excess polish with a clean soft cloth. Repeat the polishing process 1-2 more times until scratches appear less noticeable. Leaving the polish on will not improve results.
Heavier scratches or etching may require several rounds of polishing over multiple days to reduce visibility. Patience is key.
Use a Razor Blade for Stubborn Scratches
For very superficial scratches that don’t improve with polishing, a new single edge razor blade can remove them. Simply hold the razor flat and gently scrape along the length of the scratches. Remove blades after each use.
This should only be done for hairline scratches. Deep scratches risk becoming bigger problems if gouged with a blade.
Prevent Future Scratches
Once you’ve removed surface scratches, be diligent about protecting your quartz countertops from new damage:
- Use cutting boards for food prep
- Don’t drag heavy objects
- Apply sealers periodically
- Follow manufacturer care guidelines
How to Repair Deep Scratches in Quartz Countertops
Deep scratches that cut through multiple layers of quartz will likely require a professional fabricator to repair. Here are your options if you have significant gouges, chips, or etching:
Sanding and Polishing
A fabricator may be able to sand down the damaged section of countertop and then polish it smooth. This can effectively diminish the look of isolated deeper scratches.
Filling with Polymer
For long deep scratches, the damaged groove can be filled with an acrylic polymer blend. This fills in the scratch and is sanded flush. It won’t match seamlessly but can mask damage.
If damage is over a large area, a fabricator may recommend cutting out and replacing the section. A seam will be visible but damage will be gone. Full slab replacement is also an option.
Full professional resurfacing involves mechanical grinding and polishing of the whole quartz surface. It removes a thin top layer and provides a uniform finish. This option works best for overall wear and tear.
Removing Permanent Etching
Chemical etching requires creative solutions like sandblasting or applying an etching mask product. However, etching damages the quartz somasked or removed etching may still be faintly visible on close inspection.
FAQs: Removing Scratches from Quartz Countertops
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about removing scratches from quartz countertops:
Can I use a magic eraser to remove scratches?
Magic erasers are too abrasive for quartz and can actually cause more fine scratching. It’s best to avoid them. Use a soft cloth with polish instead.
What household items can remove scratches?
Toothpaste, baking soda, olive oil, lemon juice and other handy home items often recommended for scratches will not work on quartz. They are either ineffective or too abrasive. Use a dedicated quartz polish instead.
Will car wax work to remove scratches?
Car wax or ceramic coating products are not formulated for use on quartz countertops and are likely to leave a residue. Stick to mineral oil or a specialist quartz polish.
Can I just buff out deeper scratches?
Trying to buff out or sand deep scratches will usually make the damage worse. Leave deeper scratches to a professional fabricator to repair correctly.
Will bleach remove scratches from quartz?
Never use bleach or bleach-based products on quartz countertops. The chemicals can discolor and etch the surface, leaving permanent damage and dull spots.
Is there a scratch repair kit for quartz?
Some companies sell DIY quartz scratch repair kits online. These are generally not recommended. Most contain sandpaper or abrasives that risk damaging the surface further. Consult a professional for deep scratches instead.
How to Prevent Scratches in Quartz Countertops
While you can take steps to remove existing scratches in your quartz countertops, prevention is the best policy. Here are tips to keep scratches at bay in the first place:
- Always use cutting boards, trivets and hot pads. Never cut or place hot items directly on quartz.
- Apply a relent sealer every 1-2 years per the manufacturer’s recommendations. This creates a protective barrier.
- Immediately clean up spills, particularly oils and acids that can etch. Use only quartz-safe cleaners.
- Avoid using knives, tools or abrasive pads directly on the counter. Even a sponge can scratch over time.
- Lift objects to move them rather than dragging across the quartz. Apply felt pads underneath small appliances.
- Rinse quartz thoroughly after using any cleaning products to prevent residue buildup.
- Ensure fabricators polish and seal your quartz properly after installation. Ask about care instructions.
With proper habitual care, it’s possible to minimize scratching and maintain the pristine look of your quartz countertops for years. Be mindful of daily use and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance.
When to Call a Professional for Scratch Repair
While DIY methods can improve some minor surface damage, deeper scratches in quartz countertops will require professional help. Contact a fabricator for assessment and repair in these cases:
- Deep scratches that catch your fingernail
- Long scratches across large areas
- Heat damage, etching or blistering
- Chips, fractures, or chunks missing from the surface
- Stubborn scratches unaffected by polishing
- Widespread scratching or dullness from age and wear
- Visible seams or mismatched spots after prior repair attempts
Reputable quartz fabricators have the training, tools and materials to regrind, sand, fill and resurface significant damage. They can restore the look of your countertops or replace sections as needed.
Be wary of “miracle” scratch removers or resurfacing products sold online. Consult real experts to avoid making scratches worse with DIY mistakes. Their services are often surprisingly affordable.
Quartz countertops can develop scratches over time, but all hope is not lost. Light surface scratches often respond well to simple polishing treatments done properly at home. But be cautious with deep scratches – don’t risk making them worse with abrasives or blades. Calling in a professional quartz fabricator is recommended for any significant scratches, chips or discoloration that require true repair. With their help, it is possible to remove even deep damage, and restore your quartz countertops to their original flawless finish.