Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchen and bathroom remodels due to their durability, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance. While quartz already has a beautiful, glossy sheen straight from the factory, over time it’s natural for the surface to lose some of its luster from regular wear and tear. The good news is, it’s relatively simple to restore that like-new glow and keep your quartz counters looking their best. Here’s an in-depth look at the most effective techniques for making quartz countertops glossy again.
Cleaning and Prepping the Surface
The first step is a thorough cleaning to remove any dirt, grime, soap scum, hard water deposits, and other contaminants that may be dulling the surface. This gives you a blank slate so the gloss-enhancing products can really work their magic.
Supplies You’ll Need
- Mild non-abrasive cleaner or dish soap
- Soft cleaning rag or microfiber cloth
- Warm water
- Mild scrub pad or soft-bristle brush (optional)
Steps to Follow
- Mix a few drops of dish soap or mild cleaner into warm water. Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach or alkaline cleaners, which can damage the quartz.
- Dip the rag into the cleaning solution and wring it out until just damp.
- Wipe down the entire counter with the damp rag. Apply a bit of elbow grease to wipe away stubborn spots, but avoid aggressive scrubbing.
- For areas with stuck-on gunk, use a soft scrub pad or brush dipped in the cleaning solution. Scrub gently in a circular motion.
- Rinse the counter thoroughly with clean water on a fresh rag to remove all soap residue.
- Dry the surface completely with a lint-free cloth or paper towels.
With the counters clean, you’ve prepped the surface to absorb the gloss-enhancing products.
Polishing with Mineral Oil
One of the easiest and most effective ways to make quartz counters shiny again is by polishing with mineral oil. The oil helps fill in micro-scratches and smooth over rough spots to restore a glassy, reflective sheen.
- Food-grade mineral oil
- Microfiber cloths
- Optional: very fine steel wool (0000 grade)
- Pour a quarter-sized amount of mineral oil onto one of the microfiber cloths.
- Rub the oil over a small section of the counter in a circular motion, spreading it into a thin, even layer.
- Let the oil sit for 5-10 minutes to penetrate the pores of the quartz.
- Wipe away any excess oil with a clean microfiber cloth until the surface looks dry and polished.
- Repeat the process over the entire counter. Work in manageable sections.
For areas with more noticeable etching or scratches, gently rub very fine steel wool soaked in mineral oil over the spots using minimal pressure. The steel wool helps smooth and level the texture.
Mineral oil is safe for quartz counters and provides instant shine. Repeat monthly or as needed to maintain the glossy look. Avoid vegetable, olive, or other food-based oils, which can leave residue.
Buffing with a Quartz Polishing Compound
For a more intensive deep cleaning and polishing treatment, use a specialty quartz polishing compound. These are formulated to fill scratches, remove etching, and leave a flawless clear shine.
Supplies You’ll Need
- Quartz polishing compound
- Microfiber cloths
- Orbital polisher or buffing pad (recommended)
- Clean the counters thoroughly first to prepare the surface.
- Apply a quarter-sized amount of compound to the buffing pad or microfiber cloth.
- Spread the compound over a small section of the counter. Move the buffer in overlapping circles.
- Once the section looks polished, wipe away excess compound with a clean cloth.
- Continue section-by-section until the entire counter is glossy.
- Remove any compound residue with a damp microfiber cloth and let dry.
The mechanical action of the buffer works the compound into the pores to remove scratches and seal the surface. Hand-polishing with microfiber also works, but takes more effort. These specialty compounds can restore showroom shine in one treatment.
Renewing Gloss with Quartz Sealer
For ongoing protection and maximum gleam, treat quartz counters with a specialty quartz sealer every 6-12 months. Sealers fill pores, prevent etching, and create a reflective coat.
What You’ll Need
- Quartz sealer suitable for food contact
- Microfiber cloths
- Orbital polisher (optional)
Applying the Sealer
- Clean and dry the counters thoroughly first.
- Apply a thin layer of sealer evenly over a small section of counter.
- Before it dries, buff with microfibers or a polisher on low speed to work it into the surface.
- Allow the sealer to cure fully (time varies by brand, usually 30 min – 1 hour).
- Wipe away any cloudiness or excess with a clean cloth.
- Repeat over all counters to create an even glossy coat.
The sealer forms a protective barrier against liquids and etching. It also makes daily cleaning easier. Reapply yearly or as directed by the product. Using a buffer helps improve penetration.
Maintaining the Shine
Once your quartz counters regain their glossy, light-reflective finish, maintaining that shine is fairly simple with proper daily and regular care.
- For daily cleaning, use only soft microfiber cloths and mild soap and water. Avoid abrasive pads or powders.
- Rinse well after cleaning to prevent any residue buildup.
- Blot spills immediately to prevent staining.
- Re-seal counters yearly with a quartz sealing product.
- Avoid placing hot items directly on the surface. Use trivets and hot pads.
- Don’t cut directly on quartz counters. Always use a cutting board.
- Re-polish with compounds or mineral oil as needed if glossiness declines.
With the right techniques and products, it’s easy to keep your quartz counters gleaming like new for years. Consistent care helps prevent dullness and keeps that luxurious gloss you love.
FAQs About Making Quartz Counters Shiny
Still have some unanswered questions about revitalizing the sheen on your quartz countertops? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.
Can I use wax on quartz?
Wax is not recommended for use on quartz counters. The wax can cause a hazy, cloudy appearance on the surface over time. Specialty quartz polishes and sealers designed for the material are better options.
What are signs my quartz is losing its shine?
Signs of declining gloss on quartz include a dull, uneven or splotchy appearance, visible scratches and etching, difficulty wiping away liquids, and increased staining and residue with daily use. This indicates it’s time to restore the gloss.
How can I make an old quartz counter shine?
For older, lackluster quartz, use a deep cleaning followed by an intensive compound polishing treatment. This removes years of built-up grime and scratches to reveal the quartz’s natural radiant sheen underneath. Maintain with regular sealing.
Can I use a kitchen countertop polish on quartz?
You’ll get better results with specialty quartz polishes. All-purpose kitchen polishes like lemon oil or beeswax may streak or create buildup. For best shine, use quartz-specific mineral oils, compounds, or sealers.
How do I get rid of dull spots on my quartz?
Dull splotchy spots come from etching or uneven wear. Buff the spots gently with fine steel wool and mineral oil. For stubborn dull areas, use a quartz-specific polishing compound applied with a buffer. This levels and smoothes the texture.
Does quartz lose its shine over time?
Quartz will gradually lose some of its factory sheen from regular use. Oils, scratches, and liquids can dull the surface over time. But with proper care and polishing, you can easily restore the gloss and maintain it for many years.
While quartz countertops are pretty low maintenance compared to other surfaces, they do require occasional polishing and sealing to keep looking their best. Thankfully, with the right techniques and products, you can easily make your quartz counters look as glossy and elegant as the day they were installed. The key is using specialty quartz cleaners, polishes, compounds, and sealers designed for the material. With a little time invested keeping your counters shiny, you’ll enjoy beautiful, light-reflecting quartz surfaces for decades to come.