Quartz countertops are popular in many homes due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can become scratched over time. Thankfully, there are several effective methods for repairing superficial scratches on quartz. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to fix scratches on quartz countertops.
What Causes Scratches on Quartz?
There are a few common causes of scratches on quartz countertops:
- Everyday wear and tear – Normal use of your countertops can lead to light surface scratches over time. Things like pots, pans, and appliances placed on the counter can cause abrasions on the surface.
- Cutting and chopping – Using knives directly on the counter while prepping food can scratch the quartz. The sharp edges of knives make tiny nicks and cuts on the material.
- Grit and debris – Small pieces of dirt, grime, and sand on the countertop can get caught under objects and cause scratches as they are dragged along the surface.
- Improper cleaning – Cleaning with abrasive pads, brushes or powders can damage the finish and scratch the quartz. Avoid harsh cleaners and scouring pads.
- Heavy impact – Dropping heavy, hard objects on the countertop can chip or scratch the quartz surface. The sudden impact damages the finish.
Can All Scratches on Quartz Be Repaired?
The repairability of scratches depends on the severity and depth of the damage:
- Minor surface scratches – Light scratches that only affect the top glossy layer of the quartz can often be buffed out and repaired. These are not deep enough to impact the color and finish of the material underneath.
- Deep scratches – Longer scratches that penetrate through the top layer and into the colored quartz material can be difficult to remove completely. They typically require professional refinishing.
- Chips/gouges – Deep impacts that chip off pieces of the quartz material expose the porous interior. These chip-out areas cannot be sanded out. Replacement of the damaged section is the best option.
- Etch marks – Dull, frosted looking marks caused by chemicals are etched into the stone and cannot be removed by sanding and polishing. Etch marks require professional refinishing.
So in summary, very light surface level scratches can be addressed with DIY methods but deeper damage is best handled by a professional fabricator or refinisher.
Cleaning and Polishing Methods to Remove Minor Scratches
For light surface scratches, there are some effective cleaning and polishing methods you can try yourself at home:
#1 – Baking Soda Scrub
- Mix a paste of baking soda and water and rub it into the scratch using a soft cloth or sponge.
- The fine yet abrasive texture of baking soda will help buff out and minimize the visibility of shallow scratches.
- Rinse thoroughly after scrubbing and wipe dry.
#2 – Vinegar and Olive Oil
- Mix equal parts white vinegar and olive oil and apply it directly onto the scratches.
- Rub the solution in circular motions using a soft cloth to work it into the damaged area.
- Allow it to sit for 5 minutes so the vinegar can break down the scratch marks.
- Rinse with warm water, dry with a soft towel.
#3 – Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
- Lightly dampen a magic eraser sponge and gently rub it over the scratched section.
- The melamine foam helps smooth away the scratches. Take care not to rub too hard.
- Wipe clean with a damp microfiber cloth after.
#4 – Soft Scrub with Bleach
- Apply a small amount of Soft Scrub with bleach formula directly onto scratches.
- Use a damp non-abrasive sponge or cloth to rub product gently over scratches.
- Rinse surface thoroughly. The oxalic acid in the bleach will help minimize appearance of shallow scratches.
#5 – Flour, Vinegar, Olive Oil Paste
- Make a paste with 1 cup flour, 2 tbsp white vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil.
- Rub the paste gently over scratches for 2-3 minutes. Rinse clean.
- The mildly abrasive paste can help reduce visibility of fine scratches.
Refinishing Options for Deeper Scratches
If your quartz countertop has deeper scratches that penetrate multiple layers, professional help is recommended. Here are some options:
Sanding and Polishing – A fabricator can carefully sand down the scratched area using progressively finer grit abrasives. This is followed by a polish with diamond abrasives to restore the smooth finish.
Spot Refinishing – Localized resurfacing can be done just on the scratched section to match it to the rest of the countertop. This involves spraying a clear quartz coating to fill in and smooth out the damage.
Full Re-Finishing – For extensive scratching, the entire countertop may need sanding and re-finishing. This entails grinding down a thin layer and applying new quartz coating across the whole surface.
Filling with Polymer – Deep gouges and chips can be patched and filled using colored quartz polymers. The filled area is then sanded flush to match the countertop.
Be sure to hire an experienced professional for any intensive refinishing job. Correct processes need to be followed to achieve the desired results.
Tips to Prevent Scratching on Quartz
Here are some useful tips to prevent scratching and damage to your quartz countertops:
- Always use a cutting board when chopping, dicing or slicing food on the counter. Never cut directly on the quartz surface.
- Don’t drag or slide heavy objects across the countertop. Lift items to reposition them. Use smooth gliding pads under appliances to move them.
- Clean spills promptly to avoid stains setting in. Use a gentle cleaner and soft cloth for regular maintenance.
- Avoid abrasive cleaning pads and powders. Don’t use products that contain bleach or alkalis.
- Use placemats and trivets under hot pans and dishes to prevent thermal damage.
- Select high quality quartz materials from reputable brands for maximum scratch resistance.
- Have your countertops sealed professionally after installation for added protection.
- Handle impact damage immediately. Even small chips can worsen over time.
FAQs Related to Fixing Quartz Countertop Scratches
What household items can remove scratches from quartz?
Baking soda, vinegar, olive oil, Mr Clean Magic Erasers and Soft Scrub with bleach can help minimize the appearance of fine surface scratches. Always use the soft side of the sponge when scrubbing.
How do you buff out scratches on quartz?
Use a buffing pad or very fine grit sandpaper (2000+ grit) and rub it over the scratch using small circular motions. Maintain consistent pressure. Avoid buffing too aggressively on quartz as it can create deeper grooves.
What is the best polish for scratched quartz?
Look for polishes that contain quartz, silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, or cerium oxide. These polish out light scratches effectively. Apply polish to buffing pad and rub onto affected area using minimal pressure. Avoid wax-based polishes.
Can you remove deep scratches from quartz yourself?
No, deep scratches that expose the subsurface layers should be handled professionally. Attempting to sand out or refinish such extensive damage yourself could end up damaging the countertop even more.
Does quartz scratch easier than granite?
Quartz has very good scratch resistance due to its resins and polymers. But granite rates higher on the Mohs scale, making it less prone to scratching compared to quartz. Both materials can scratch when subjected to sharp objects however.
What is the best homemade scratch remover for quartz?
Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the scratches using a soft cloth. You can also try a mix of flour, vinegar and olive oil. Rub the paste into scratches gently for 2-3 minutes and then rinse clean. Avoid using lemon juice.
There are several effective options for repairing light surface scratches on quartz countertops. Methods like baking soda scrubbing, oil and vinegar cleaning, and melamine sponge rubbing can help minimize the appearance of fine scratches. For deeper damage, professional refinishing by a skilled fabricator is recommended. With some care and effort, it is possible to keep your quartz countertops looking almost scratch-free for years. Paying attention to proper use and cleaning practices will also go a long way in preventing unsightly marks.