Polishing and maintaining quartz countertops helps keep them looking like new for years to come. With some simple tips and the right products, you can easily achieve a beautiful, lustrous shine.
Supplies Needed for Polishing Quartz Countertops
Before polishing, make sure you have the proper supplies on hand:
- Quartz countertop polish or sealant specifically designed for quartz. Avoid polishes made for natural stone.
- Soft cloths and microfiber towels. Old t-shirts or cotton cloths work too.
- Optional: lint-free buffing pad or polishing attachment for power drill. Only use if countertop manufacturer recommends power polishing.
Cleaning Quartz Countertops Before Polishing
Polishing works best on a thoroughly clean surface. Follow these steps before polishing:
- Remove all items from the countertop.
- Use a mild dish soap and warm water to clean the entire surface. This removes dirt, grime, and waxes from other cleaners.
- Rinse well with clean water to remove all soap residue.
- Allow countertop to completely air dry.
How to Polish a Quartz Countertop
Follow these steps for best results:
1. Read Manufacturer Instructions
Consult your countertop manufacturer’s care guide for any specific instructions. Some quartz brands have unique polish types or application methods.
2. Apply Countertop Polish
Use a soft, clean cloth to apply a small amount of specialized quartz polish over the entire countertop surface. Spread and rub in the polish thoroughly using circular motions.
Avoid cleaner waxes, as they can cause buildup over time. Stick to dedicated countertop polish only.
3. Let Polish Dry
Allow polish to dry completely, usually about 10-15 minutes. Normal drying leaves a thin protective layer that repels water and seals the surface.
4. Buff Surface
Once dry, take a new clean soft cloth and gently buff over the entire surface. This removes any excess polish and evens out the protective coat.
Buffing by hand is usually sufficient, but you can use a buffing pad on a power drill for a deeper shine. Only do this if manufacturer recommends machine polishing.
5. Inspect and Enjoy Shine
After buffing, your quartz countertop should have a beautiful polished glow! Inspect the surface for any missed spots and re-polish if needed. Keep countertops looking great by polishing every 2-3 months.
Tips for Polishing Quartz Countertops
- Always spot test polish in an inconspicuous area first to check for any discoloration or damage to the surface.
- Avoid applying too much pressure when buffing, as quartz can scuff or dull if over-scrubbed.
- For stubborn spots, let polish soak for 5 minutes before gently rubbing with a soft cloth.
- Always polish the entire countertop, not just isolated scratches or worn areas. This ensures an even finish.
- Reseal with polish after any deep cleaning to renew the protective barrier.
How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Quartz
Hard water can leave behind calcium or mineral deposits on quartz countertops. Try these tips for removing hard water stains:
- Mix equal parts white vinegar and warm water. Apply to the stain with a soft cloth and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Make a paste with baking soda and water. Gently rub paste over the stain and let sit for 15 minutes before rinsing.
- Use a proprietary quartz stain remover if vinegar mix and baking soda paste don’t work.
- Avoid harsh chemicals like bleach that can damage or discolor the quartz.
How to Fix Etch Marks and Dull Spots on Quartz
Quartz is very scratch-resistant, but acids like lemon juice or wine can damage the surface over time and create dull etched spots. Try these DIY fixes:
- Lightly sand the affected area with fine grit sandpaper, moving in circular motions. Start with 600 grit and work up to 3000 grit for the best shine.
- Use a razor blade scraper to gently scrape off the etched layer. Keep the blade flat against the surface to avoid digging in.
- Apply polishing compound to the sanded or scraped section. Rub compound in with a soft cloth using gentle pressure.
- Rinse and dry the area, then follow with a normal polish application to blend the renewed area.
For deep etch marks or damage, you may need a professional quartz repair. But mild etches can often be removed with some elbow grease and the right techniques.
How to Polish a Quartz Countertop Without Leaving Residue
To avoid streaks and residue when polishing quartz:
- Use a polish made specifically for quartz. Multi-surface cleaners can leave waxy buildup behind.
- Apply polish sparingly. Too much can leave excess that’s hard to fully remove.
- Let the polish fully dry before buffing. Buffing while wet can smear the polish and leave streaks.
- When buffing, use light pressure in small circular motions. Aggressive scrubbing pushes polish into the pores.
- Finish by wiping down with a clean, dry microfiber towel to pick up any remnants.
- Avoid moisture for 24 hours to allow the protective polish layer to set.
Signs Your Quartz Countertops Need Polishing
Watch for these cues that your quartz is due for a polish:
- Loss of shine and luster, making the surface appear dull in spots
- Light scratches becoming more visible
- Water and liquids no longer beading and rolling off the surface
- Increased staining from spills sitting longer rather than wiping away
- Food particles and dirt accumulating more easily
Routine polishing every 2-3 months prevents quartz from appearing too worn while also reinforcing the protective seal. Act quickly at the first signs of damage for the easiest renewal.
How Often Should You Polish Quartz Countertops?
Most manufacturers recommend polishing quartz countertops every 2 to 3 months. Polishing this frequently:
- Removes built-up grime, soap scum, hard water deposits, and light stains
- Renews the surface shine and luster
- Reinforces the protective seal to repel moisture and prevent etching
- Minimizes the appearance of light scratches and worn areas
- Reduces long-term buildup that can dull the finish
Polish more frequently if your quartz shows daily use near a sink or stove. For low-use areas or recent installs, every 4-6 months can be sufficient. Adjust frequency based on your countertop’s condition.
What’s Better for Polishing Quartz: Sealant or Wax?
Specialized quartz sealants are better than wax for polishing and protecting quartz. Sealants:
- Create an invisible barrier that repels water, food, oils, and liquids.
- Prevent stains from setting into the porous surface.
- Lock out moisture that can cause erosion and dulling long-term.
- Buff to a harder, longer-lasting shine compared to softer wax finishes.
- Are formulated not to build up with regular application.
Waxes also enhance shine but don’t provide as much durable protection. Stick to sealants made specifically for quartz rather than wax or multi-surface cleaners.
With the right supplies and techniques, polishing quartz countertops is simple. Regular polishing keeps quartz gleaming like new while minimizing scratches and wear. Pay attention to the condition of your countertops and polish every 2-3 months. Address any stains or dull areas promptly for easiest removal. Soon you will master how to polish a quartz countertop to a brilliant, envy-worthy shine.