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Restoring the Shine on a Formica Countertop

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 from Prudenville, MI


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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!

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May 28, 20160 found this helpful

A kitchen installer advised to use ONLY methylated spirits on bench tops and cupboards

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November 17, 20102 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 16, 20161 found this helpful

This will restore the shine but make sure you don't put anything really warm or hot on the counter-top after doing this or it will turn the wax from clear to white.

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May 5, 20171 found this helpful

How do you it pleade

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June 22, 20170 found this helpful

That might work but my experience is, from the floor anyway, that it builds up and becomes dull looking.

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March 30, 20158 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!

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October 24, 20160 found this helpful

For the 3 products you mentioned, do you have any favorite specific brands/types you recommend? If you can recommend some for me, I would be eternally grateful!!

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December 3, 20160 found this helpful

Thanks, Rick!

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January 11, 20170 found this helpful

Formica is no longer made from the same good material the old ones were made from. The material is horrible, and hard to keep from damaging and staining. I'm 56, and my parents still have the same, wonderful formica on their counters as they had when I was growing up. Go take a look in the large hardware stores, it doesn't even feel the same.

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March 30, 20153 found this helpful
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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.

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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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February 28, 20161 found this helpful

This looks like the best solution yet as there will certainly be food touching the counter and the other remedies were not food safe

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May 22, 20170 found this helpful

I would love to be able to use a natural element but because I have bugs I'm afraid to use olive oil; can anyone suggest an alternative?

Thanks much!


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August 14, 20100 found this helpful

Ajax is an abrasive, and you have likely scratched off the shine. I would also suggest car polish; might work.

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August 15, 20101 found this helpful

I just have a comment to make on whatever method you use on restoring your formica tops, be sure to careful what foods you place on counter then without something underneath it as perhaps the product you use is not food safe. Just thought I would add this as it wasn't addressed.

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April 9, 20170 found this helpful

Can you buff up for mica to bring it back to new

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May 11, 20170 found this helpful

It seems that you have many remedies to bring the shine back to your counter tops, so I will tell you a couple things to avoid the damage that caused your problem in the first place. As another reader said."Never Ever cut things on your counter without a cutting board. And for those stains, just sprinkle a little baking soda on them and scrub with a cloth or a sponge. My counters are 16 years old, and were the inexpensive kind. I have a worn spot along the edge of the counter from use and cleaning, but the countertop itself is still stain free. I have removed coffee, food coloring, and beet juice, just to mention a few. You may have to repeat the process if the stains don't come up with the first application.

Harlean from Arkansas

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