Quartz countertops are popular in many homes for their durability, stain resistance, and attractive appearance. However, like any surface, quartz can become scratched over time with daily use. Fortunately, there are several effective methods for removing light scratches from quartz countertops.
What Causes Scratches on Quartz?
Quartz is remarkably scratch resistant, but not entirely scratch proof. Hard materials like knives, pans, and abrasive cleaners can cause fine scratches on the surface over time. Scratches on quartz countertops are usually superficial and only affect the top glossy layer. Deeper gouges that expose the colored quartz and resin underneath require professional repair.
Cleaning and Polishing for Light Scratches
Use a Soft Cloth and Glass Cleaner
For very fine, shallow scratches, simply cleaning the quartz with a soft cloth and a non-abrasive glass cleaner can help reduce their appearance by restoring the surface shine. Avoid using any scrubbing motion and allow the cleaner to sit for a few minutes before gently wiping in circular motions. This simple method works best for hairline scratches.
Try a Gentle Polishing Compound
Specialized quartz polishing compounds are made to gently smooth and fill scratches while adding back gloss. Apply a small amount of compound to a soft cloth and rub in circular motions over scratches, rinsing after 1-2 minutes. Avoid rubbing aggressively. Repeat as needed for stubborn scratches. Follow with a standard quartz cleaner to remove any residue.
Use Baking Soda as a Fine Abrasive
For wider, deeper scratches, baking soda can work as a very mild abrasive when mixed with water. Make a paste with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and apply to scratches using a soft cloth or sponge. Rub gently for 2-3 minutes, then rinse. Check that the scratches are reduced and repeat if needed.
Consider a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
Magic Erasers contain a very fine abrasive that can buff out shallow scratches. Dampen the eraser and rub very gently over scratches using light, circular motions. This can remove discoloration from scratches but take care not to scrub aggressively. Rinse and dry the area well after use.
Advanced Fixes for Severe Scratches
Seek Professional Help for Deep Gouges
If scratches penetrate deep into the quartz exposing the substrate below, professional repair or replacement may be needed. Deep gouges can harbor bacteria and damage the structural integrity of the countertop. Consult a countertop installation company for expert repair.
Apply Quartz Color Putty for Camouflage
Specialized putties allow you to fill and conceal severe scratches by applying colored putty that matches your quartz. Kits come with color match putties to blend into the surrounding area. Fill the scratch fully, allow to dry, then gently sand flush. Finish by polishing with compound.
Consider Full Resurfacing for Heavy Damage
If there are many deep scratches over a large area, whole-countertop resurfacing may be an option. This involves mechanical grinding and polishing to remove scratches and expose a fresh quartz layer. Only professionals should attempt this due to the risk of damage. The process can restore badly damaged countertops.
How to Prevent Future Scratches on Quartz
- Use cutting boards and hot pads when preparing food. Never cut directly on the counter.
- Clean spills promptly to avoid residue buildup in scratches.
- Apply a specialty quartz sealer every 1-2 years for added protection.
- Avoid harsh cleaners and instead use mild soap and water for daily cleaning.
- Don’t drag pots, pans or appliances across the counter to prevent scratching.
- Consider a smooth tablecloth to protect the dining area.
FAQs About Fixing Quartz Countertop Scratches
Can I use a buffing pad or sandpaper to remove quartz scratches?
No, avoid using aggressive methods like sanding pads or sandpaper. These will create deeper scratches and damage the quartz surface. Fine abrasives like baking soda or magic erasers are safer choices.
How can I determine if a scratch needs professional repair?
If a scratch catches your fingernail or exposes the colored quartz below, it likely requires pro repair. Hairline and surface level scratches can often be removed with gentle DIY methods. When in doubt, consult a countertop installer.
Will resurfacing get rid of all scratches?
Yes, whole-countertop resurfacing by a professional will grind down and polish the surface to remove all scratches and restoration the glossy finish. This completely renews the upper layer of quartz.
Can I use automotive buffing compound on my quartz countertops?
No, avoid automotive products as they can be too aggressive. Seek out compounds specifically formulated for quartz and test first in an inconspicuous spot. Apply gently and rinse thoroughly after use.
Will bleach or hydrogen peroxide remove stains from scratches?
No, avoid using bleach or peroxide on quartz countertops as these can discolor the surface. For stain removal, use a quartz-specific cleaner and non-abrasive sponge or cloth. Check that it’s safe for quartz before applying any cleaning product.
Quartz countertops develop scratches over time but many can be removed or reduced at home using gentle cleaning and polishing methods. For deep scratches that penetrate the quartz surface, seek professional repair services to avoid permanent damage. With some care and effort, it is possible to keep quartz countertops looking like new and minimize the appearance of light scratches. Taking preventative steps can also help avoid new scratches.