How to Remove Light Scratches from Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are popular in many modern kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any other surface, quartz can become scratched over time with regular use. Thankfully, light scratches in quartz are often superficial and can be removed with the right techniques and products. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss proven methods for removing minor scratches from quartz countertops and restoring their original pristine finish.

Understanding Light Scratches on Quartz Surfaces

Quartz countertops consist of ground natural quartz aggregates combined with resins and pigments. This composition makes quartz remarkably hard and scratch-resistant compared to surfaces like marble or laminate. However, quartz is not completely impervious to damage. Common causes of light scratches include:

  • Cutting food directly on the countertop
  • Dragging cookware, dishes, or utensils across the surface
  • Impact from fallen objects like knives or appliances
  • Moving furniture or appliances during renovations

Light scratches only affect the top glossy layer of the quartz and do not penetrate deep into the material. They appear as thin superficial lines on the surface. Deeper grooves, chips, and cracks that expose the actual quartz aggregates require professional repair. Thankfully, light surface scratches can be effectively diminished at home without specialized tools.

Cleaning vs. Polishing to Remove Light Scratches

It is important to distinguish between simply cleaning the countertop and polishing out scratches:

Cleaning involves using soaps, detergents, or all-purpose cleaners to remove dirt, grease, food residue, and stains from the surface. Cleaning alone will not remove scratches from quartz.

Polishing uses mild abrasives and friction to actually wear down the top finish of the quartz and blend away superficial scratches. Polishing is required to actively smooth and restore the quartz surface after damage.

Cleaning should be performed regularly to keep quartz looking its best. Polishing treatments are only needed occasionally to remove scratches as they occur over years of use. With the proper polishing techniques, you can keep your quartz counters looking pristine for their lifetime.

Step-by-Step Guide to Polishing Away Light Scratches

Polishing quartz requires patience and care to achieve smooth results. Here is a step-by-step guide to safely and effectively polish minor scratches out of quartz:

1. Clean the Quartz Surface

Before polishing, always clean the quartz thoroughly with a non-abrasive quartz cleaner or mild soap and water. This prevents any dirt or debris from causing additional fine scratches during the polishing steps.

Ensure the countertop is completely dry before moving onto the next step.

2. Examine the Scratches Closely

Take a close look at each scratch mark on the quartz surface. Make note of the exact pattern, depth, and direction of the scratches. This will help determine the appropriate polishing approach and technique needed.

Pay special attention to any scratches with unique shapes that require extra work.

3. Choose the Right Polishing Abrasive

For light surface scratches, use a mild abrasive specifically designed for glossy surfaces:

  • Soft everyday household cleanser like Bar Keeper’s Friend
  • Specialty plastic, laminate & countertop polishes
  • Automotive buffing compounds (very mild grit)
  • Fine-grit wet sandpaper (400+ grit)

Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasives like bleach, acidic cleaners, scouring pads, or rough grit sandpaper as these can damage the quartz finish.

4. Rub Polishing Compound in a Circular Motion

Apply a small amount of the polishing abrasive directly onto the scratched areas of the quartz. Use a soft cloth or microfiber towel to gently rub the product in wide circular motions across each scratch.

Apply light even pressure and frequent circular strokes following the original direction of the scratches. Too much pressure or overrubbing can create new fine swirl marks.

5. Rinse and Dry Completely

Once the scratches appear diminished, thoroughly rinse the countertop with clean water to remove all polishing compound residue. Make sure no abrasive is left behind.

Allow the quartz to dry fully. Use a soft lint-free cloth to gently buff away any remaining water spots.

6. Repeat as Needed for Stubborn Scratches

Examine the quartz to see if the scratches have been successfully reduced or removed. For any remaining visible scratches, repeat steps 3-5 using a bit more elbow grease.

This process may need to be repeated several times over days or weeks to fully blend and polish very light surface scratches out of quartz. Take it slow and steady.

7. Reseal and Protect the Surface

Once satisfied with the polished finish, use a quartz sealer or finishing wax to restore maximum gloss and protection. Avoid surface sealants that contain dyes or tints which can discolor white quartz.

Be very gentle with newly polished quartz for a few days until the finish fully cures. Avoid cutting, dragging, or banging objects on the surface while it re-hardens.

With this simple polishing process, you can make minor scratches disappear from quartz and restore its original beautiful finish without calling in countertop repair professionals.

Helpful Tips for Polishing Quartz Scratches

Follow these tips for best results removing light scratches from quartz:

  • Work in good lighting to see scratches clearly
  • Cover surrounding areas to contain mess during polishing
  • Use light pressure and frequent circular motions
  • Rinse thoroughly between polishings to check progress
  • Be patient – it can take multiple careful polishings over time
  • Only polish damaged areas to limit wear on the finish
  • Reseal the quartz surface once polishing is complete

Common Questions About Polishing Quartz

Can I use automotive buffing or polishing compounds?

Yes, you can safely use very mild automotive polishing liquids and buffing pads designed for clearcoat finishes. Choose fine grit formulas and always polish by hand in careful circular motions. Avoid aggressive auto buffers which can burn through the quartz.

How can I avoid future scratches on my quartz?

Preventing scratches involves being mindful in the kitchen or bathroom. Always use cutting boards for food prep. Be cautious sliding appliances, pots, tools, etc on the surface. Apply felt or rubber pads under furniture legs and fixtures. Consider a quartz sealer to add extra protection.

What household items can I use to polish away scratches?

Soft non-abrasive cleaners like Bar Keeper’s Friend work well for light polishing. Baking soda or toothpaste offer very mild abrasion. Even a wet Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can blend some light marks when used gently. Avoid stiff scouring pads and stiff abrasives.

Should I hire a professional instead of DIY?

For light surface scratches, DIY polishing is certainly worth trying yourself first. It takes patience but is very possible. For deep scratches or chips exposing the stone, professional quartz repair or fabrication may be needed to properly resurface the damaged areas.

Can I use a handheld power polisher?

Use hand power polishers very cautiously on quartz if at all. The high RPMs can generate heat that may damage quartz resin. Stick to hand rubbing unless you have experience with variable speed buffing machines. Always move the polisher continuously to avoid burning through the finish.

With some mild abrasives and elbow grease, you can remove pesky light scratches from your quartz countertops. Take the time to properly clean and polish the surface until it matches the original flawless finish. With proper care, your quartz counters can always look immaculate and brand new.


Quartz countertops are meant to withstand daily use for years. But superficial light scratches are inevitable in any kitchen or bath. Thankfully these surface marks can be reduced and removed with do-it-yourself polishing methods. By using non-abrasive cleaners or specially designed polishing compounds, you can gently rub away scratches and restore quartz to like-new condition. With some patience and the proper techniques, you can erase surface mars and maintain the durable factory finish. So don’t despair when minor scratches occur on your quartz counters. With a little time and effort, you can achieve a smooth, polished finish again.