Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodels thanks to their durability, aesthetics, and low maintenance. However, like any surface, quartz can become scratched over time. Fortunately, there are several effective methods for removing shallow scratches from quartz.
What Causes Scratches on Quartz?
Quartz is an engineered stone made from crushed quartz bound together with resin. This makes it very hard and scratch resistant. However, it is not completely impervious to damage. Here are some common causes of scratches on quartz countertops:
- Dragging heavy, hard objects like pots, appliances, etc. across the surface
- Not using a cutting board and slicing food directly on the quartz
- Using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads when cleaning
- Allowing dirt, grit or debris to grind into the surface over time.
Deep gouges or chips will require professional repair. But shallow, surface level scratches can often be minimized or removed with one of these DIY methods.
Cleaning and Polishing Method
For light surface scratches, a good cleaning and polishing is often all that is needed:
- Mild non-abrasive cleaner or dish soap
- Soft cloth
- Quartz polish or automotive polish
- Microfiber cloths
- Mix a small amount of non-abrasive cleaner with warm water. Use a soft cloth to wash the quartz surface.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean soft cloth.
- Apply a dime-sized amount of quartz polish or automotive polish to a microfiber cloth. Rub into scratches using circular motions.
- Allow the polish to dry haze over. Buff off with another clean microfiber cloth.
- Finish by cleaning again with mild soap and water to remove any polish residue.
The gentle abrasives in the polish remove a microscopic layer from the surface to even out and minimize the appearance of fine scratches. With regular polishing, you can keep quartz looking close to new.
Baking Soda Scrub Method
For a little more scrubbing power, try this baking soda technique:
- Baking soda
- Dish soap
- Bowl of warm water
- Soft cloth or sponge
- Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda onto the scratched area.
- Add a small squirt of dish soap to the baking soda. Mix it into a spreadable paste.
- Using a soft cloth or sponge, gently scrub the paste over the scratches using small circular motions.
- As you scrub, the abrasive baking soda will help remove the top layer of quartz to diminish scratches.
- Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water. Dry with a soft towel.
- Repeat as needed for stubborn scratches. But take care not to scrub too aggressively.
The baking soda offers a bit more abrasion than quartz polish alone. But be careful not to overdo it or you could create deeper grooves.
For deeper scratches, some light sanding may be required:
- 220 grit and 400 grit sandpaper
- Sanding block or soft sanding sponge
- Mineral spirits
- Clean cloths
- Dampen the scratched area with mineral spirits to help lubricate the sanding.
- Start with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around a sanding block. Gently sand the scratch using straight back and forth motions.
- Check periodically to see if the scratch has diminished. Sand until the scratch is no longer visible.
- Clean away all sanding dust with a mineral spirits dampened cloth. Allow to fully dry.
- Finish by sanding again lightly with 400 grit sandpaper. This will smooth away sanding marks left by the coarser paper.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry. Polish if desired.
Take care not to sand away too much quartz. Work slowly checking often until finding the minimum sanding needed to remove the scratch.
Preventing Future Scratches
While scratches can be repaired, it’s better to prevent them in the first place. Here are some tips for keeping quartz scratch-free:
- Use cutting boards, trivets and hot pads to protect the surface. Never cut directly on quartz.
- Clean up spills immediately to avoid stains setting in.
- Use only soft cloths or non-abrasive sponges for cleaning. Avoid scouring pads.
- Rinse the sink before washing dishes to avoid dragging hard particles across the quartz.
- Avoid using very abrasive cleaners that could damage the surface over time.
- Consider having the quartz re-sealed every 2-3 years by a pro to maintain its protective layer.
When to Call a Professional
If a scratch is very deep or you accidentally damage or chip the quartz, it’s best to call in a professional fabricator or installer to repair it properly. They have the skills and tools to fill chips and seamlessly patch damaged areas.
For shallow surface scratches, give these DIY methods a try first. With a little time and elbow grease, you can often erase small scratches and restore quartz countertops to their original beauty.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can all scratches be removed from quartz countertops?
While many light surface scratches can be minimized with DIY methods like polishing and sanding, deep gouges or chips in quartz will require professional repair. The good news is quartz can be very effectively patched by a skilled fabricator.
Will scratched quartz need to be completely replaced?
Usually not. Only in cases of extreme damage is full quartz replacement needed. Most of the time, scratches and chips can be repaired successfully without replacing the whole counter. Professional quartz repair is recommended for best results.
Is it okay to use sandpaper on quartz countertops?
Yes, you can sand a quartz countertop lightly to remove shallow scratches. Use 220 or 400 grit sandpaper and be very gentle to avoid creating deeper grooves. Thoroughly clean and smooth the area after sanding. Sanding should only be done for surface level scratches.
Can I use a Magic Eraser on quartz?
Magic Erasers contain mild abrasives, so you want to avoid using them on a quartz countertop as they could potentially cause scratches in the surface over time with repeated use. For safe cleaning, stick to gentle soap and water or an approved quartz cleaner.
How can I make my quartz counters more scratch resistant?
Consider having your quartz professionally resealed every couple of years. Resealing helps replenish the protective top layer to prevent surface damage. Also be diligent about using cutting boards, trivets, and cleaning up spills quickly.
While quartz is very durable, scratches do occur occasionally with daily use over time. Thankfully there are several effective methods for removing light surface scratches at home. For best results removing deeper defects, consult a professional quartz fabricator or installer. With proper care and maintenance, beautiful quartz countertops can stay looking like new for many years.