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Restoring the Shine on a Formica Countertop

Category Kitchen
Over time with normal usage and constant cleaning, your Formica countertops can look dull and worn. This is a page about restoring the shine on a Formica countertop.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 3 found this helpful
August 11, 2010

I used Ajax cleanser to remove a spot on my Formica counter and it has left a dull mark. Is there any way to get the original look of the counter back?

By beth bartlett from Prudenville, MI


August 13, 20106 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try using car wax. When we got new countertops, the installer told us to use that periodically to protect the counters - might work for you!

Reply Was this helpful? 6
November 17, 20104 found this helpful
Best Answer

Someone suggested using Mop N Glo. Thanks! It worked very well. The only thing that got my worn Formica counter top to shine again. Just follow the directions.

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March 30, 201510 found this helpful
Best Answer

To say; "You can't restore a long-lasting shine to formica" is simply NOT true! Formica is like "plexiglass" or any other hard acrylic. As an aircraft mechanic, I've had to "restore" acrylic canopies.


In my hobby/business, I repair and restore mid-century modern (mostly "Atomic Age") furniture that incorporates a LOT of formica. Replacing that original formica would ruin the piece as a collectable/antique.

You have to start by filling in the voids (yes, some people actually cut up food directly on formica, imbedding particles of plastic in their food and ruining their counter-top and knife edges!).

Use the same products made for repairing auto windshields. The best and most effective are the Novus products unless you know all about abrasive slurries. After you polish your formica, protect it with a good, hard wax like carnauba and follow that with a soft, sacrificial wax like beeswax...and don't be cuttin' up food on the dang counter-top anymore!

Reply Was this helpful? 10
March 30, 20154 found this helpful
Best Answer

Formica stains: First off, chorine bleach destroys plastics in the same way UV rays do. You should never use it to sanitize your formica countertops as it actually encourages crazing and stain deposits. I'm not a big fan of chlorine and I prefer a sulfur based kitchen sanitzer used in professional kitchens, brew houses and by wine makers - metabisulfites of potassium or sodium - aka - campden tablets dissolved in a spray bottle with a mild soap.


Natural stains, the most common being "rust" can be removed with oxalic acid which is sold as "wood bleach" or you can extract your own from rhubarb leaves, sorrel or from mature poke plants. This also removes rust stains from porcelain, like sinks and tubs, but it won't remove the mineral deposits. Cean your formica well with HOT soapy water removing all oils, waxes or grease. Apply the OA mixed in VERY HOT water to the stain with a brush, then cover with plastic wrap to prevent it from dying out. The rust stain should be gone in an hour or two.
Oxygen bleaches and, dare I say it - chlorine will remove stains made by man-made dyes such as food coloring.

As I posted earlier, you can bring back the gloss of old formica. You can also resurface your counters with the resins used to "imbed" things in bartops and tables... polish out as instructed earlier.


I hope this helps someone.

Reply Was this helpful? 4
January 9, 20165 found this helpful
Best Answer

Please DO NOT use car wax, floor wax, mop 'n glow, etc., on your kitchen countertops. These products are not safe for food preparation areas. A periodic application of olive oil, buffed off, leaves a temporary, safe shine.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 8, 2018

What can be used to return the shine to the countertop where Lysol touched it and removed the shine?


April 9, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

It will be a temporary fix, but you can get a countertop polish or furniture polish. The Lysol ate through the shine.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 14, 20101 found this helpful

How can I clean and restore the shine on my Formica kitchen countertops that are 16 years old?

By Shirley Armacost from Westminster, MD


Restoring the Shine on a Formica Countertop


You really can't bring the shine back. Your options are painting it or buying new, but at least you've gotten lots of years out of it. (01/08/2010)

By Allison

Restoring the Shine on a Formica Countertop

If you can still find Jubilee liquid polish I think it would work. It is pretty old, but I found some in a real old fashion hardware store. I think it was made by Johnson and Johnson. You may try to find it on line somewhere. This was made for polishing kitchen appliances. (01/09/2010)

By Marlene

Restoring the Shine on a Formica Countertop

There is a product called Mop n Glow that I have used in the past to brighten up old counter tops. Just rub it on and let it dry. That should make the counter shine like new. Good luck.

Connie (01/13/2010)

By Connie P.

Comment Was this helpful? 1

August 11, 20100 found this helpful

I would like to do something with my Formica counters. I like the color, but they have gotten scratched and dull over time. Is there a clear finish I can use? I have seen what others have done for faux finishes, but I want to keep it simple. Thank you very much.


By Sandi from Scotland, CT


Restoring the Shine on a Formica Countertop

I have heard you can use Turtle Wax or another similar product and wax like a car. If you have a buffer even better. Think of your counters like an oxidized car. (03/17/2010)

By Lisa K

Restoring the Shine on a Formica Countertop

Some stores actually sell a wax/polish for kitchen counters and such. It makes then feel so smooth and gives them a nice shine. (03/18/2010)

By susan

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January 7, 20100 found this helpful

How can I restore the shine to 17 year old Formica counters?

By mimi from Cedarville, MI


Restoring the Shine on a Formica Countertop

You really can't, sorry to say. Once the laminate dulls, it's time to buy new or wait it out until you can afford a different material. (11/05/2009)

By Allison

Restoring the Shine on a Formica Countertop

Try car wax. (11/07/2009)

By anne

Restoring the Shine on a Formica Countertop

I've often wondered if Rainex would help such a condition. I've even thought of trying it on my old sinks to see if shine could be restored. Good luck. (11/08/2009)

By Carol Swanson

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November 5, 20090 found this helpful

I sprayed my formica countertop with a surface cleaner containing bleach and let it sit a bit too long (got distracted!) and when I came back to wipe it off, it took the shine off of the countertop in that area. Is there any way to get that shine back?

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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