Over time, quartz countertops can lose their shine and appear dull. There are several potential causes for this, but thankfully, in most cases, it is possible to restore the lustrous look of quartz. Here is an in-depth guide on why quartz countertops become dull and how to make them sparkling again.
Common Causes of Dullness on Quartz
There are a few key reasons why quartz countertops may start to look dull and lose their brilliance:
Buildup of Daily-Use Residues
Kitchen countertops see a lot of action daily. From preparing meals to cleaning up, many substances come in contact with the surface. Things like oils, juices, spices, and cleaning products can leave tiny residues over time. This film robs the quartz of its reflective properties that allow it to shine.
Etching from Acidic Foods and Cleaners
Quartz is remarkably stain resistant, but not stain proof. Acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus juices, and vinegar can etch the surface leaving damaged areas that light no longer reflects off of evenly. The same goes for acidic cleaners, which can damage the surface over repeat exposure.
Weathering from Sunlight
Like other materials, prolonged exposure to UV rays can wear down the polish on quartz surfaces. Sunny kitchens and bathrooms will show dulling faster for this reason. The damage is only on the very top layer, so it can be restored.
Normal Wear and Tear
Foot traffic, scrubbing, objects placed on the counters, and other daily use can gradually erode the polished outer layer of the quartz. Much like a polished stone floor, attrition from normal use will make it lose its luster.
Improper Cleaning Practices
Using the wrong cleaners, scouring pads, or excessive pressure while cleaning can slowly mar the polished finish too. Harsh chemicals and abrasives wear away the outer shine little by little with each cleaning.
Hard Water Spotting
Mineral deposits from tap water can leave spots and film behind after drying. Calcium, magnesium, and silica residues from hard water will build up and need removing to keep quartz counters gleaming.
Best Practices to Keep Quartz Shining
While nothing stays perfect forever, following some simple habits can help maintain the factory-fresh sheen of quartz much longer:
- Use coasters under glasses and appliances to minimize direct contact.
- Keep surfaces clean of residues after each use by wiping up spills promptly.
- Use gentle, pH-balanced cleaners – not harsh chemicals or abrasives.
- Apply sealers/polishes regularly as a protectant and reflective booster.
- Prevent direct sunlight exposure on countertops when possible.
- Have countertops professionally honed and polished every few years.
- Clean hard water spots as soon as they are noticed.
- Avoid placing excessively hot items directly on the quartz.
How to Restore a Dull Quartz Countertop
If your quartz has lost its shine, all hope is not lost. With the right techniques and products, it is possible to make it look like new again:
Cleaning and Detailing
Use a degreasing cleaner formulated for stone to remove any built-up residues. Follow up with a grime-fighting scrub sponge. Rinse thoroughly and let dry completely. Finish by applying a countertop polish to protect and enhance the shine.
Re-sanding and Polishing
For more severe dullness or damage, a professional fabricator can sand down the top layer and then buff it out to restore the polished finish. This process effectively “refinishes” the quartz surface.
In cases of extreme damage or desire for a color/finish change, it is possible to resurface a quartz countertop. This entails grinding down the old layer and pouring a fresh layer of colored quartz material over it.
Home Remedies to Make Quartz Shiny Again
For DIY restoration, there are some effective options to make dull quartz counters shine like new:
- Baking Soda Scrub – Make a paste of baking soda and water and scrub with a soft cloth to remove residues. Rinse thoroughly after scrubbing.
- Vinegar Cleaning – Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray over the surface, allow to sit 5 minutes, then wipe clean with soft cloth.
- Olive Oil Polishing – Rub a small amount of olive oil over the countertop with a soft cloth. Let it sit 10 minutes before wiping/buffing clean for added shine.
- Lemon Juice Boost – Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto surface. Sprinkle baking soda over top and scrub with a soft sponge. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.
Maintaining Quartz Countertop Shine
With the right care and cleaning methods, it is possible to keep quartz counters looking freshly installed for years before needing restoration. Follow these tips for maximum shine:
- Wipe up spills quickly, especially acidic ones like wine or fruit juices.
- Use a granite cleaner for daily upkeep and remove residues before they build up.
- Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive pads/sponges.
- Apply a protective quartz polish monthly to maintain the glossy surface.
- Have countertops professionally detailed every 2-3 years.
- Keep quartz out of direct sunlight if possible.
- Run water when exposing surface to things like vinegar, lemon juice or wine.
- Reseal quarts every 1-2 years with an impregnating sealer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can dull quartz be restored?
Yes, in most cases it is possible to restore the original shine to dull quartz countertops using thorough cleaning, polishing, sanding, and protective treatments. Professional resurfacing or fabrication can completely restore the finish as well.
How do you make dull quartz shine again?
Using a degreasing cleaner, baking soda scrub, vinegar, or olive oil and thoroughly cleaning helps remove residues that cause dullness. Follow up by applying a quartz polish or sealer to renew the glossy finish. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasives.
What is the best homemade quartz cleaner?
A 50/50 mix of vinegar and water makes an effective DIY cleaner for quartz. For stubborn stains, make a paste of baking soda and water to gently scrub away dulling grime. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. Finish with a buff of olive oil for added shine.
Does quartz need to be sealed?
It is not mandatory, but applying an impregnating sealer every 1-2 years can protect the finish and enhance shine. It prevents staining, etching, and the buildup of dirt and grime that causes dulling over time. Be sure to use a sealer specifically made for quartz.
Should quartz countertops be waxed?
Waxing is not required for quartz since it has a non-porous structure unlike natural stone. However, a quartz-specific wax cleaner/polish can provide added protection and enhance shine between more thorough cleanings. Avoid wax with dyes or ones made for other materials.
Quartz countertops are highly durable and stain-resistant in kitchens and baths, but they can lose their shine over time without proper care. Following the cleaning, protection, and restoration tips provided above can keep your quartz counters always looking like new. With the right maintenance routine, you can enjoy gleaming, luminous quartz surfaces for decades before needing a full resurfacing. Be sure to act at the first signs of dullness to prevent permanent etching or damage. With a little diligence, your quartz countertops will stand the test of time and continue lighting up your home for years on end.