Quartz countertops are renowned for their durability, easy maintenance, and stylish appearance. Unlike natural stone countertops like granite or marble, quartz is engineered from raw quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. This manufacturing process creates a non-porous, stain-resistant, and scratch-resistant surface.
But one common question homeowners have is: do quartz countertops get a shine? The short answer is yes – with the right cleaning and care, quartz countertops can maintain their beautiful glossy shine for years. Read on to learn everything you need to know about keeping quartz countertops sparkling.
What Causes Quartz Countertops to Lose Their Shine?
Quartz is incredibly resilient, but it is not impervious to damage. Over time, the accumulation of dirt, grime, spills, and improper cleaning can dull the surface. Here are some of the main culprits behind a faded quartz shine:
Everyday Wear and Tear
As you chop, slice, and go about your daily kitchen tasks, quartz is subject to minor scratches and etching from knives and cooking utensils. Though quartz is very scratch-resistant, no surface is completely immune. This gradual abrasion causes a loss of luster over time.
Cooking Oils and Grease
Quartz easily repels water but has a harder time with oil-based products. Grease from cooking, oil spills, and residues from soaps and lotions can start to coat the surface. This leaves behind a dingy film that obscures the quartz’s natural radiance.
Hard Water Stains
The minerals in hard water readily bond to quartz, leaving unsightly spots and streaks. Areas with high limescale content in the water are especially problematic.
Using the wrong cleaners is a huge factor in quartz dulling. Abrasive powders, alkaline cleaners, solvents, and bleach damage the protective top layer of the quartz. This exposure causes the finish to erode and become more porous and prone to etching.
Over many years, the UV rays from sunlight can slowly degrade and discolor quartz surfaces. This is especially true for lighter quartz colors. Placement near a window where the countertops get daily direct sunlight accelerates the dulling effects.
How to Restore the Shine on Quartz Countertops
The great news about quartz is that with the proper cleaning regimen, you can restore lost luster and maintain the quartz’s brilliance. Here are the steps for polishing away dullness and revitalizing the shine:
1. Clean with a Quartz-Safe Cleaner
The first step is a routine cleaning with a specially formulated quartz cleaner. Look for a gentle, non-abrasive formula designed not to strip away the protective coating. Spray the cleaner over the entire surface and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
Using a soft microfiber cloth or sponge, gently scrub away any grime buildup. Take extra care on any etched or scarred areas. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and pat dry with a towel.
2. Use a PH-Neutral Granite Cleaner and Polisher
For occasional deep cleaning and extra shine, use a pH-neutral granite cleaner and polishing compound. Check that it contains no acids, alkalis, bleach, ammonia, or abrasives that could damage the quartz finish.
Apply a light layer of the polishing cream and distribute evenly. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Using a clean, dry microfiber cloth, buff the quartz in wide circular motions. This helps remove fine scratches and restore clarity. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
3. Try a Silicone Dioxide Powder Polish
For stubborn dullness or etched areas, use a polishing powder containing silicon dioxide. This ultra-fine powder works like an extremely mild abrasive to smooth away damage on quartz’s surface.
Dust a small amount of the powder onto the affected spots. Using a damp microfiber cloth, rub in circular motions applying light pressure. As you polish, the friction from the silicon dioxide particles fills in microscopic scratches and pits.
Once you achieve the desired luster, wipe away any powder residue. Avoid using silicone dioxide polishes too frequently, as they can wear away the protective coating with repeated use.
4. Re-seal and Protect the Surface
The final step is applying a quartz sealer to renew the glossy barrier that keeps the surface shiny and prevent quick re-dulling. Look for sealers rated safe for quartz that contain silicone dioxide or polydimethylsiloxane.
Use a microfiber cloth to rub the sealer evenly across the entire countertop. Allow 30 minutes drying time. The sealer fills in pores and creates a hydrophobic layer that repels water, oils, and acids. Reapply every 6-12 months for maximum shine protection.
8 Tips to Keep Quartz Countertops Sparkling
With the right routine maintenance and care, you can maintain the luxurious shine of quartz for the long haul. Here are 8 handy tips for keeping quartz surfaces looking their best:
- Use trivets and hot pads – Prevent scorch marks by never placing hot pans directly on quartz.
- Clean up spills ASAP – Don’t let stains set. Quartz is most scratch and etch-prone when wet.
- Avoid abrasive cleaners and pads – Stick to soft microfiber cloths and towels.
- Limit direct sunlight exposure – Use window treatments to block intense UV light.
- Don’t use quartz as a cutting board – Use a chopping block to avoid nicking and scratching.
- Clean frequently with a PH-neutral quartz cleaner – Prevent buildup that can dull the finish.
- Reseal every 6-12 months – Renew the protective barrier.
- Get professional help for damage – Severely dulled or etched areas may require an expert quartz refinisher.
While quartz countertops are low-maintenance compared to other natural stone surfaces, they do require proper care and cleaning to retain their factory-fresh shine. Avoid abrasive cleaners and be diligent about removing oils and spills quickly. With routine polishing and resealing, quartz counters will maintain their sparkling, light-reflective gloss for many years of beauty and durability. Invest a little time and effort, and you’ll be rewarded with gleaming quartz surfaces that function as fabulously as they look.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Shine of Quartz Countertops
Many homeowners have questions about what affects the shine of their quartz countertops and how to keep them looking freshly installed. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
Does Quartz Naturally Have a Shiny Gloss?
Quartz has a naturally matte, frosty appearance. The sparkling shine comes from an industrial polishing process. Manufacturers use diamond-tipped tools to grind and buff quartz slabs to a smooth, light-reflective finish. This is why a brand new quartz install has such a brilliant gloss.
Do You Have to Seal Quartz Countertops?
Sealing is not required for quartz since it is non-porous, but it is highly recommended. Sealers provide a protective barrier that repels moisture, stains, and etching agents. Most quartz manufacturers advise applying a quality sealer every 1-2 years to maintain the glossy finish.
Should You Polish Quartz Countertops?
Occasional polishing helps preserve the quartz’s shine. Use a PH-neutral quartz polish and microfiber cloths to gently remove fine scratches and surface dullness. Avoid acidic cleaners or heavy-duty abrasives that could strip the polish. Too frequent polishing can gradually erode the protective top layer.
How Often Should Quartz Countertops be Cleaned?
Clean quartz daily or after food prep with a mild, soapy sponge or quartz-safe cleaner. For deeper cleaning, clean quartz 1-2 times per week with a granite cleaner/polish formula. Disinfect occasionally with diluted bleach. Avoid going longer than a week between cleanings.
What Makes Quartz Lose its Shine?
Harsh cleaners like alkalis, acids, and abrasives damage the surface polish. Oils also build up and cause gradual dulling over time. Other shine-killers include direct sunlight exposure, heavy use, and hard water spotting.
How Do You Remove Hard Water Stains from Quartz?
Use a cleaner with citric or phosphoric acid to dissolve mineral deposits and etch marks. Or try cleaning with a baking soda and water paste. For heavy limescale buildup, call a professional quartz restoration company for chemical cleaning or mechanical polishing.
Does a Quartz Countertop’s Color Affect How Shiny It Stays?
Darker quartz colors like blacks, browns, and blues tend to show more signs of wear and lose their shine faster than lighter, more stain-resistant tones like creams and whites. However, with proper care any quartz shade can maintain its glossy shine.
How Long Does a Quartz Countertop’s Shine Last?
With routine cleaning and resealing, the average quartz countertop retains excellent shine and gloss for 10-15 years. Higher use kitchen islands may require more frequent polishing. The shine lasts longest in low traffic areas and where quartz isn’t subjected to excessive direct sunlight.
Enlisting a Professional Quartz Refinishing Service
If your quartz countertops lose their luster and everyday cleaning alone doesn’t restore the shine, don’t despair. You likely need a professional quartz refinishing service. Refinishing pros have industrial tools and expertise to work miracles on lackluster quartz. Here’s an overview of the refinishing process:
A technician will first assess the condition of your quartz and determine the source of the dullness. This helps choose the right combination of refinishing methods.
Next comes an intensive deep cleaning. They use specialized cleaners and equipment like steamers to sanitize and remove embedded grime that regular cleaners leave behind.
Damaged areas get special attention. Etch marks and light scratches can often be smoothed away via grinding and polishing. For more severe damage, filling or resurfacing may be required.
The most critical step – your pro will use progressively finer grit diamond pads on a floor polishing machine to buff out etch marks and micro-abrasions that cause dullness. This brings back the smooth factory finish.
Lastly, a professional-grade sealer is applied to renew the protective barrier and ensure long-lasting shine. The right sealer prevents quick re-dulling.
In one to two days, your once-lackluster countertops are transformed back to their original eye-catching luster. Just be sure to hire an experienced quartz pro, as improper refinishing can result in permanent damage. With professional refinishing, your quartz countertops will shine like new again and continue looking amazing for years to come with proper care.
Quartz’s sparkling gloss and radiant shine is a huge part of its aesthetic appeal. Thankfully, with the cleaning, polishing, and sealing techniques provided above, you can keep your quartz counters looking as brilliant as the day they were installed. While quartz is more resilient than natural stone, it still requires regular maintenance to defy dullness. Just be sure to avoid harsh cleaners, immediately clean up spills, and reseal periodically. Your diligence will be rewarded with stunning, light-reflective quartz surfaces that function as beautifully as they look. With a little TLC, your quartz countertops’ magnificent shine can last a lifetime.