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Spring Cleaning Laminate Countertops


kitchen, kitchen island, laminate countertop


Although spring just arrived, the daffodils have already come and gone in Formica Corporation's hometown of Cincinnati.  Some of us have already dove into spring cleaning and thought there might be some like-minded souls who would appreciate a few tips for giving laminate kitchen countertops a refresh. 

  • For simple cleaning, use a nylon bristled hand or vegetable brush, along with a mild liquid detergent-and-water solution or household cleaner.

  • For tough stains, use full-strength Fantastik® All Purpose Cleaner, Formula 409®, Pine-Sol® (original formulation) or other mild household cleaner and allow it to draw out the stain (test the cleaner on a small, discreet area first; Formica Corporation cannot be held responsible if a cleaner changes its formulation and it harms the laminate).

  • Clean the soiled area using a rotating motion.

  • Blot with a clean, damp, non-abrasive cotton cloth.

  • Rinse and dry the surface.

When it comes to cleaning laminate countertops, less is more.  Never use abrasive cleaners, powders, scouring pads, steel wool, sandpaper, etc.  These can damage the surface finish and make it susceptible to staining.

More laminate use and care is available here on


I would like to remove a mark , made by an aluminium tool. This formica counter was is white, and I just made it. 
thanks Mike
Posted @ Thursday, August 16, 2012 3:15 PM by Mike Koon
Hi Mike, 
Thanks for reaching out. We just spoke with our technical service department and there are a few options for restoring your countertop, but we'd have to learn a bit more before making a recommendation. Please give them a call at 1-800-FORMICA (option technical service) and they'll talk you through it.
Posted @ Thursday, August 16, 2012 3:29 PM by Stacy Stufft
My light cream countertops have become a little porous over the years and after constant use. I do not have any stains, but I wondered if there was a way to coat them with something to make them non-porous. Is there something on the market that I could use to (a) spray, or (b) paint on them. I do not wish to change the color, nor do I want anything other than a matt finish. Would like your suggestions. Thanks!!
Posted @ Friday, February 08, 2013 7:52 PM by Anita C. Wood
Thanks for reading, Anita! 
Formica® laminate has a melamine surface that is non-porous – there are no products that stick to melamine very well as the surface would need to be sanded for anything to adhere. We don’t recommend sanding as it will alter the performance and possibly the color.  
Two products we recommend for breathing new life into laminate countertops are Countertop Magic and Perfect Countertop. Both are available in the cleaning aisle at home improvement retailers such as Lowe’s and Home Depot and they’ll add a bit of gloss to protect against scratches. Since you want to keep a matte finish, you may want to test such a product in a non-visible area to make sure it doesn’t add too much shine for your liking. 
Hope this helps!
Posted @ Monday, February 11, 2013 7:52 AM by Stacy Stufft
I just moved into a condo that has formica countertops. There are a few spots that are shiny as if they could be polyurethane or clear nail polish. How can I get them off? Thanks for the help.
Posted @ Wednesday, April 03, 2013 5:43 PM by Loretta
Hi Loretta, 
Thanks for the question, though sorry for the delayed response.  
Without seeing your countertop in person, it is difficult for us to give you a specific answer on what exactly the issue may be. However, based on your description, you may be dealing with one of three scenarios: 
1. A surface coat of urethane or varnish.  
2. Oils from a variety sources.  
3. A surface wear spot from abrasion where the top is polished in one spot.  
If you have scenario one (which you seem to think it is) or two, you might want to try acetone. Acetone will not harm the laminate, but will attack the glue that holds the laminate down, so keep it away from the countertop seams. Acetone also is flammable, so make sure you do not use near a pilot light or flame and that the room is well ventilated. Use a paper towel to apply the acetone (try a small area first as a test). It will dry fast, so you will see any results in seconds. 
Other than acetone, we would not recommend testing any other removal product. Harsh chemicals can damage the laminate, so you could end up with two issues on your hands! 
We hope this helps. Thanks for reading. 
Posted @ Monday, April 08, 2013 8:00 AM by Stacy Stufft
I have laminate countertops that feel sticky all the time even after I clean them. Is there something I can try to make it not so sticky? Thanks!
Posted @ Tuesday, July 30, 2013 7:02 PM by Kim hunt
Kim –We just answered a similar question on Facebook in which a fabricator had left oil/dressings on the countertop and the following solution worked (when all other remedies failed). Try using Fantastic or Formula 409 cleaners (use the original formula with NO bleach and NO oxy action cleaners). Wipe once with a paper towel, discard that towel and clean with a new one. This should, hopefully, do the trick!
Posted @ Tuesday, July 30, 2013 9:09 PM by Laura Phillips
I used Pledge Multi-surface finish on my Formica countertops and now realize that was a mistake. What is the safest way to remove the wax? How do I then safely add shine?
Posted @ Thursday, October 17, 2013 11:45 AM by Linda
Hi Linda, 
Fantastic and Formula 409 are both safe to use on laminate (use the original formula with NO bleach and NO oxy action cleaners) but before trying this approach, we recommend that you contact the makers of Pledge to ensure this would remedy the issue. Wipe once with a paper towel, discard and clean with a new one. Countertop Magic will do the trick for restoring the shine. Thanks for reaching out!
Posted @ Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:59 PM by Stacy Stufft
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