How to Remove Scratches from Your Kitchen Countertops
Keep your surfaces—whatever their material—looking as good as new with these tailored tips.
The kitchen is so much more than a space where you create meals. For many, this room is a personal oasis, where they relax and enjoy time with an intimate group of loved ones. But with more use comes potential damage—like countertop scratches, which are "caused by small appliances, knives, pots and pans, incorrect cleaning, and normal wear and tear," Becky Rapinchuk, a green cleaning expert and creator of Clean Mama, says. Keeping your surfaces wiped clean can help prevent this, but using cutting boards and doing your best to avoid dragging kitchenware across the counters are also ways you can minimize the risk of damage. In the event that your countertops already have scratches, you might still be able to remove them. Here, we get tips on how to do just that with ease—ahead, how to remove those micro-cuts from a myriad of popular kitchen surface types.
Whatever surface you are working on, Rapinchuk recommends testing your scratch removal method on a small spot before tackling a large area. For marble surfaces, specifically, she suggests using "a sieve to sprinkle a little bit of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda ($9.69, amazon.com) over the scratch." Next, grab a damp microfiber cloth to moisten the surface and rub the scratch in the direction of the grain, she continues. Meredith Barclay, a senior merchant for countertops at The Home Depot, adds that you can also mix warm water and mild dish soap to remove scratches from marble. Simply use this homemade solution and rub the area with a damp cloth. "Rinse the surface with a separate damp cloth dipped in warm water and buff the surface using a dry cloth," Barclay adds. "Finally, polish the surface using a product like Goddard's Granite and Marble Polish ($3.57, homedepot.com)."
Luckily, Barclay notes that this countertop surface is actually tough to scratch in the first place. If you do see any light or heavy scratches, though, there are still a few ways to restore your worktops back to their original glory. The first step is to clean the area, says Rapinchuk, who advises doing so with a paste composed of baking soda and water; use one tablespoon of water to two to three teaspoons of baking soda. Finish the process by gently rubbing the paste into the scratch in a circular motion, rinsing everything thoroughly, and wiping the slate clean.
For a light scratch, buff it out. Barclay recommends reaching for a quartz-formulated buffing or polishing product, such as Granite Gold Countertop Liquid Polish ($6.97, homedepot.com). Next, she says to use a half-dollar size pat of polish and apply it to the area, then use even pressure to buff. Wipe off the residue after finish. For heavy scratches, "fill the scratch with epoxy—such as PC Paste Epoxy ($13.08, homedepot.com)—or resin and allow to stand for 24 hours or more, depending on the product," Barclay notes. After you complete this step, you will want to scrape off any residue to make sure the filling is level with the rest of the countertop. "Use a razor blade to gently graze the surface approaching at a 45-degree angle," she explains. "Wipe off any loose material and give the counter a proper cleaning before use."
"Make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water—start with a tablespoon of each," Rapinchuk says of removing a scratch from this kitchen countertop type. "Use your finger to rub a little bit of the paste into the stainless steel." Afterwards, rub the spot with a damp microfiber cloth in the direction of the grain. You can also try specialty removal pads, like the Rejuvenate Stainless Steel Scratch Eraser Kit ($9.49, homedepot.com).
Simply use fine mesh sandpaper (look for a 240-grit version) to gently sand off a scratch, Rapinchuk says. Barclay adds that you should apply a mineral oil as a finish for this surface, which will prevent further damage or stains down the line.
"Whether the scratch is surface level or deeper than the laminate coating, it is recommended to use laminate paste—like CalFlor FloorFix Wood and Laminate Floor Repair Kit ($19.38, homedepot.com)—in a color that matches closely with the surface," Barclay says. "Apply the paste to the surface in thin layers, removing any excess with a putty knife." After this step, give 24 hours for it to dry before you wipe down the surface. Similarly to the stainless steel, you can also make a paste of baking soda and water—starting with one tablespoon of each—to help remove a scratch. Next, rub the paste into the laminate with your finger. Complete by rubbing the area with a damp microfiber cloth and rinse thoroughly.
Begin by using a glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth to clean this type of kitchen countertop, Rapinchuk explains. Next, mix one tablespoon of baking soda and water together and rub the scratch in a circular pattern. Looking for another method? Try using non-gel toothpaste. Barclay says to apply this product on a lint-free rag and rub into the scratch in small, circular motions. "After buffing for around 30 seconds, wipe the toothpaste off with a damp cloth and dry the area with the lint-free cloth," she adds.
To remove a deep scratch in soapstone, Barclay says to apply pressure to the scratch with an 80-grit sanding sponge. Once you've sanded this spot, she suggests using an FDA-approved mineral oil or a soapstone enhancer. "The mineral oil application should be repeated two to three times a day over a two to three day period until the sanded area matches the coloration of the rest of the stone," Barclay continues.
Combine baking soda and water (one tablespoon to two to three teaspoons of baking soda), and then rub the granite scratch in a circular motion, Rapinchuk advises. Complete this task by rinsing the granite area and wiping it down. If this scratch is still visible, Barclay says to rub a grade 0000 steel-wool pad on the scratch in circular motions. Finish this step by reapplying a sealant over the area to prevent any future damage.