Polishing quartz countertops can help restore their shine and maintain their beauty over time. With the right techniques and products, you can polish away scratches, etching, and dull spots on your quartz. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to polish countertop quartz.
What You Need to Polish Quartz Countertops
Before starting to polish your quartz countertop, ensure you have the following supplies:
- Quartz polish or ceramic/stone polish
- Soft cloths
- Paintbrush or foam applicator pad
- Clean water
- Mild dishwashing soap (optional)
- Tack cloth
- Orbital sander or handheld polisher (optional)
Quartz polish is a specially formulated product to buff out light scratches and restore luster to engineered stone. Select a high-quality polish made specifically for quartz.
Soft cloths like microfiber cloths help apply and remove the polish. Avoid abrasive cloths or paper towels.
A paintbrush or applicator pad allows you to evenly distribute the polish over the surface.
Clean water is useful for diluting the polish and rinsing residues after polishing.
Mild dishwashing soap can help remove grease and dirt prior to polishing.
A tack cloth removes any leftover dust before sealing the polished surface.
An orbital sander or handheld polisher allows polishing large surface areas efficiently, but is not essential.
How to Prepare the Quartz Surface
Before polishing, the quartz requires thorough cleaning:
- Remove everything from the countertop. Clear it completely.
- Use a mild degreaser or dishwashing soap solution to clean the entire surface. This removes any waxes, sealants, oils, or dirt.
- Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry with a clean cloth. Allow it to dry completely.
- Inspect for any dried spills or residue stuck on the surface. Remove these using a plastic scraper or non-abrasive scrub pad.
- For stubborn spots, apply a little concentrated detergent. Let it sit for 5 minutes before scrubbing.
- Rinse and wipe dry once more. The quartz must be pristine before polishing.
How to Polish Quartz Countertops
Follow these steps to polish your quartz:
Step 1 – Perform a Spot Test
Check that the polish is suitable for your quartz by testing it on a small inconspicuous area first.
- Apply a little polish as per the instructions.
- Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
- Buff with a soft cloth using minimal pressure.
If the test spot appears shinier and smoother, proceed to polish the entire surface. If not, try a different quartz polish.
Step 2 – Apply the Polish
Using a paintbrush or applicator pad:
- Shake the polish bottle well before use.
- Pour some polish onto a tray. Dip the brush into it.
- Apply the polish in circular motions over a small section of the countertop.
- Spread it as evenly as possible keeping the layer thin.
- Work on sections of around 2 sq. ft. at a time for best results.
Using a soft cloth:
- Shake the bottle and apply 2-3 drops directly onto the cloth.
- Gently rub the polish in circular motions over the quartz.
- Spread it out evenly and thinly over the section.
Step 3 – Let the Polish Sit
Allow the quartz polish to sit for about 5-10 minutes. This dwell time allows the mild abrasives to work into the surface.
Step 4 – Buff the Surface
Buff and shine the surface using a clean soft cloth.
- Work in broad circular motions. Apply light pressure.
- Continue buffing until the polish residue is gone and the surface shines.
- Replace cloths often to remove excess polish.
- Thoroughly clean cloths between each use.
Step 5 – Clean Residues
Once buffed fully, wash down the surface with clean water to remove any polish residue.
- Use a dampened sponge, cloth, or microfiber.
- Avoid flooding the surface. Use minimal water.
- Scrub gently and rinse often.
- Dry immediately with a lint-free cloth.
Repeat steps 2-5 on adjacent sections until the entire countertop shines evenly.
Tips for Best Results
- Work in the direction of the existing polish lines or texture.
- Use downward strokes on vertical surfaces.
- Overlap sections lightly to blend properly.
- Remove all residues to avoid a cloudy appearance later.
- Consider using an orbital sander for large areas. Keep it moving constantly.
- Only use polishes made specifically for quartz. Others can damage it.
- Avoid excessive pressure and abrasion during polishing.
- Reapply polish to very dull spots if needed.
- Seal polished quartz with a dedicated countertop sealer.
With some elbow grease and the right technique, you can restore the polished beauty of quartz countertops. Be patient and work methodically for best results. Avoid polishing too aggressively or using harsh chemicals. With proper care, your quartz countertops will maintain their shine for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I polish my quartz countertop?
For regular maintenance, polish quartz every 6-12 months. Polishing more frequently than that is not required.
What are some common causes of dullness and scratches on quartz?
Spills allowed to dry, harsh cleaners, abrasive pads, cutlery marks, general wear and tear over time.
Can I use a polish meant for natural stone?
No, only use a polish specifically formulated for engineered quartz. Stone polishes are too abrasive.
How can I minimize scratches on the surface?
Use cutting boards, avoid dragging appliances across the surface, don’t use abrasive cleaners or scouring pads.
What is the benefit of sealing quartz after polishing?
Sealing forms a protective barrier against stains and etching from daily use. It helps maintain the polished finish.
Can I use a buffing compound or automotive polish?
No, these are much too abrasive for quartz. Stick to dedicated quartz polishes only.
What causes clouding or haziness after polishing?
Failing to remove all polish reside properly after buffing can leave a cloudy film on the surface over time.
Can I polish just a specific scratched area?
Yes, you can spot treat scratches by polishing only on and around the scratched portion.
How do I know if the polish is working?
The quartz will appear smoother, shinier, and the scratches will lighten after buffing off the polish completely.
Polishing is an effective way to restore the factory finish and shine to dull or scratched quartz countertops. With a specialized quartz polish and some time and care, you can dramatically improve the appearance of your countertops. Be sure to test polish in an inconspicuous spot first and clean all residues after buffing. For ongoing protection, re-apply polish every 6-12 months. With proper polishing and care, quartz countertops will retain their smooth polished surface for years.