What Causes Quartz Countertops to Turn Dull

Cleaning Products and Methods

Using the wrong cleaning products or methods is a common reason quartz countertops become dull. Here are some things to avoid:

  • Abrasive cleaners – Any cleaners with abrasive particles like comet or bar keepers friend can scratch and dull the surface over time.
  • Acidic cleaners – Vinegar, lemon juice, and cleaners with acidic compounds will etch and corrode quartz leaving a dull finish.
  • Harsh scrubbing – Aggressive scrubbing with abrasive pads or brushes can wear down the polish.

Instead, clean quartz with a mild pH-neutral cleaner and soft cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and avoid letting cleaners sit too long on the surface.

Etching from Spills

Acidic substances like wine, juice, and vinegar can etch quartz countertops if left to sit. Even a short exposure can leave permanent dull spots. Always wipe up spills as soon as possible. For dried spills, use a razor blade to carefully scrape off any residues that have bonded to the surface before cleaning.

Loss of Shine from Wear and Tear

With regular use over many years, quartz will naturally lose its shine from exposure to dirt, grease, food stains, and daily wear and tear. High traffic areas like around the sink will show dullness sooner.

Sun Exposure

Direct sunlight can damage and discolor natural stone counter surfaces. Quartz has better UV resistance than marble or granite but prolonged exposure to bright sun can still degrade the finish.

Improper Installation

If quartz countertops are not installed correctly by professionals, the seams and edges may be uneven and prone to chipping. Damage during installation can lead to a dull and worn appearance later on.

Failure to Reseal

Manufacturers recommend resealing quartz every 1-2 years to renew the protective layers. Without regular resealing, the sealants wear off allowing dull, etched spots to form more easily.

Restoring Dull Quartz Countertops

If your quartz has lost its luster, don’t worry – the damage is often reversible. Here are some tips:

  • Use a stone polish like Gel-Gloss to add an acrylic coating that makes the surface shiny and new again. Reapply polish every 1-2 years.
  • For etched spots, try a poultice made with flour and hydrogen peroxide. Apply to affected areas, allow to dry, then rinse.
  • Use a countertop restoration kit which contains compounds that remove etching and expose new quartz particles for a factory-fresh look.
  • As a last resort, a professional fabricator can mechanically polish dull areas with diamond abrasives at progressively finer grits. This regrinds the surface to restore the original gloss.

With the right products and techniques, you can renew that ultra-glossy just-installed look for your quartz countertops. Be sure to properly care for them going forward to prevent dullness.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dull Quartz Countertops

What are the main causes of dullness in quartz countertops?

The main causes are using the wrong cleaning products or methods, acidic etching from spills, general wear and tear over time, sun damage, improper installation, and failure to reseal the surface every 1-2 years.

How can I make my quartz counters shiny again?

Use a stone polish, restoration kit, or professional mechanical polishing to resurface the quartz and restore the glossy finish. Be sure to properly reseal afterward.

Does quartz need to be sealed regularly?

Yes, manufacturers recommend resealing quartz countertops every 1-2 years to maintain the protective layers. This helps prevent dullness and etching.

Can dullness be removed from just part of the quartz?

If only certain areas are dull, you can use a polish or poultice on just those spots rather than resurfacing the entire counter. Focus on high-traffic zones around sinks.

Will sealing make quartz look darker or change the color?

Sealing should not alter the appearance of quartz counters. Typically the sealants are clear and only add a subtle sheen. Be sure to use a product specifically made for quartz.

Is it ok to use vinegar to clean quartz countertops?

No, vinegar is too acidic for quartz and can damage the surface. Always use a mild pH-neutral cleaner instead of vinegar, citrus, or other acids.


Quartz countertops are an excellent choice for long-lasting beauty in kitchens and baths. However, quartz can become dull over time with improper care. By using non-abrasive cleaners, promptly wiping spills, avoiding direct sunlight, resealing, and refinishing dull spots, you can keep your quartz counters looking like new for many years. With a bit of maintenance, quartz will retain its polished, glossy shine.