How to Remove Scratches from a Quartz Countertop

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms due to their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. However, like any surface, quartz can become scratched over time with regular use. Thankfully, there are ways to minimize and remove minor scratches from quartz.

What Causes Scratches on Quartz?

Quartz is remarkably scratch resistant, but not entirely scratch proof. Scratches generally occur from:

  • Dragging or sliding heavy, coarse, or sharp objects like pots, appliances, tools, etc. across the surface.
  • Not using a cutting board and cutting directly on the counter.
  • Using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that scratch.

Deep gouges or chips exposing the substrate below require professional repair. But small surface scratches can often be buffed out at home through a process called polishing.

Supplies Needed for Polishing Out Scratches

  • Mild abrasive cleaner or polishing compound made for quartz or engineered stone.
  • Soft polishing pad or very fine (1500-3000 grit) sandpaper.
  • Light pressure variable speed polisher/sander (optional but recommended).
  • Microfiber cloths.
  • painters tape (to cover appliances, backsplash).
  • Work gloves & safety glasses.

Do not use products with acidic or alkaline ingredients like vinegar, bleach, ammonia, etc as these can damage the quartz surface.

Step-by-Step Process for Polishing Scratches

  1. Clean the area – Wipe down the section of countertop you’ll be working on to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Isolate the area – Use painters tape to cover any walls, backsplashes, appliances etc. adjacent to the scratched section to protect them from splatter.
  3. Wet the surface – Dampen the scratched area with water. This helps lubricate and prevent heat buildup during polishing.
  4. Apply polishing compound – Use a microfiber cloth or buffer pad to work a marble-sized amount of polishing compound directly into the scratch in a circular motion.
  5. Begin polishing – If using a hand pad, rub in a tight circular motion. Apply light pressure at first, then gradually increase as needed. If using a power polisher, start at the lowest speed setting and work up as needed.
  6. Focus on scratch – Concentrate on working the compound back and forth within the scratch to grind down the raised edges level with the surrounding quartz.
  7. Flush with water – Once the scratch appears gone, rinse the area well to remove all polishing compound residue.
  8. Clean & dry – Wipe the countertop down well with a microfiber cloth. Allow to fully dry.
  9. Repeat as needed – Examine closely under lighting to see if scratch is still visible. Repeat steps 3-8 focusing directly on the scratch if needed.
  10. Seal the surface – Finally, apply a stone sealer to help protect the quartz from further scratching. Allow sealer time to cure fully before using the countertop again.

Tips for Removing Tougher Scratches

  • For deeper scratches, start with a courser 50-100 grit sandpaper before moving up to super fine grit.
  • Try running the polisher at higher speeds – but keep it moving constantly to avoid heat buildup.
  • Use a variable speed sander/polisher tool for best control vs hand polishing.
  • Exercise patience – removing bad scratches can take 30-60 minutes of work.

Prevention Tips

  • Always use cutting boards, trivets and hot pads on the counter.
  • Avoid exposing to strong chemicals like paint removers, oven cleaners.
  • Don’t cut food or drag appliances directly on the quartz surface.
  • Apply a stone sealer regularly for added protection.
  • Immediately clean spills, especially from acidic foods like lemon juice.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s care and maintenance instructions.

When to Call a Professional

If a scratch is too pronounced for DIY polishing, or you want to preserve any warranties, call a professional stone restoration company. They have specialized tools and expertise to repair deeper damage.

For minor scratches, this polishing technique can restore the appearance of scratched quartz counters without resorting to costly replacement. With some effort and patience, you can diminish and even remove light surface scratches. Just be sure to take preventative steps after repairing to keep your quartz pristine and scratch-free.