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Cleaning Formica

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Whether you are cleaning up a vintage table or your kitchen counters, you may be looking for tips on cleaning Formica. This is a guide about cleaning Formica.
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By 1 found this helpful
May 28, 2015

I recently had to deal with a stained white laminate counter top, due to a tea spill that wasn't cleaned up right away. I tried everything to clean it: thick bleach, baking soda (left on for two 24 hour periods), dish soap, all-purpose cleaners, and Vim powder; nothing worked! In fact, bleach seemed to darken the stain, and I suspect this is due to the hard water in our location.

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What did work was a melamine "magic eraser", such as the Mr. Clean brand, but any type of melamine foam pad will work. Scrubbing really hard on the stain with the eraser did what no other cleaner could. Now the countertop looks just like normal, after a few sessions with the eraser. Save yourself a lot of trouble and just go with the melamine foam.

Link: http://ask.metafilter.com/18615/Getting-stains-out-of-a-white-formica-kitchen-counter

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By 2 found this helpful
March 5, 2011

To remove a stain on your Formica counter top, just slather a thick amount of dish washing detergent over it and let it sit for several hours, then wipe it up. The detergent seems to draw the stain into it. I discovered this by accident and it works over 90% of the time.

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By Ramona from Ocala, FL

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April 23, 20050 found this helpful

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon Murphy's oil soap
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil or linseed oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Directions:

Mix above ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray on and wipe surfaces. Rinse well.

By truerblue

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Questions

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.

February 5, 20010 found this helpful

I have been trying in vain to find some way to clean the counter tops in my kitchen. We are renting this house and the counter tops in the kitchen (Formica I think) are beige. There are all kinds of grayish stains and some that look like rust.

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I have tried Comet, Ajax, Bon Ami, a little household bleach and SOS pads to no avail! They have helped with some of the lighter stains, but there are still those awful old ugly brownish/grayish stains! I'm not sure where these came from, but I sure would like to get rid of them.

If anyone has any suggestions, I certainly would appreciate hearing from you. I saw a commercial on TV for something called Oxi-Clean and was wondering if that might help (however, it may just be for laundry, I'm not sure). Anyway, Happy Holidays to everyone! :)

By Kathy

Answers

December 9, 20000 found this helpful

I would try either just some water softener (Calgon) in warm water which is an excellent cleaning solution -- or -- a mixture of 1 part water, 1 part hydrogen peroxide, 1 part liquid Tide, another good stain cleaner.

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December 9, 20000 found this helpful

I have used Lysol Plus Bleach All Purpose Cleaner for many stains on my counters, and have had very good luck getting them out.Good Luck.

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December 9, 20000 found this helpful

I have used Soft Scrub with good results. Are you sure it isn't a burn mark?

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Anonymous
December 10, 20000 found this helpful

I always use straight Clorox>> open windows
leave on for about 10 minutes, if needed apply again. Haven't had a stain it hasn't taken off yet.
Lotsa Luck,
DLB

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December 10, 20000 found this helpful

Try a product called Zud. You can usually pick it up at a home improvement store, or Wal-Mart. It is very reasonable, and I have found it to work where other products haven't. Good luck

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Anonymous
December 10, 20000 found this helpful

I use the bleach trick also, but on occasion that doesn't work. Then I take some liquid dishwasher detergent, any will do, and rub that on always works.

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December 10, 20000 found this helpful

I swear by BARKEEPERS FRIEND. That's what we used to clean the counters in a bar I worked years ago. I sill use it in my own home all the time. I wouldn't be without it. You can buy it in any grocery store. Good Luck. taz4taz4

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December 10, 20000 found this helpful

Go to your local paper products/janitorial place and get some ringo if they have it. Don't leave it on for more than 2 minutes. But it will work.

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December 11, 20000 found this helpful

I have used good old BAKING SODA and a damp sponge or also the liquid electric dishwasher detergent. Preferable liquid cascade brand for great results as I have all white counters

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December 12, 20000 found this helpful

I use a product by Melauleuca called "Sol-u-mel"...it is a wonder product! Just dab it on a cotton ball and spead it on the stain...let it sit, then scrub with SOS pad. I believe you can visit the Melaleuca site on the net to see about ordering it...or perhaps one of your friends is a distributor and could order it for you!

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Anonymous
December 12, 20000 found this helpful

If possible, I would ask the landlord to put in new counters. If refused, what about painting the counters, with the landlord's permission, of course. A good paint store or Home Depot type store should be able to make good suggestions.
Lynn

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Anonymous
December 15, 20000 found this helpful

For the person looking for counter top cleaner, a friend gave me
something that is similar to Ajax, it is called Barkeepers Friend.
It took marker off a wood/glass coffee table. It works wonders!

Sharon

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Anonymous
February 12, 20010 found this helpful

Try using a dampened bar of Lava hand soap on the stains on your Formica counter top.

Submitted by a reader.

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By guest client (Guest Post)
May 7, 20040 found this helpful

Simple Green or the new Clorox Clean-up

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Read More Answers

January 19, 20060 found this helpful

How can I clean formica furniture?

C from Coconut Creek, Florida

Answers

January 4, 20060 found this helpful

My 4 year old wrote on a paper towel with Magic Marker that went through to the formica coffee table. How do I get it off?

Ash from Lebanon, TN

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 4, 20060 found this helpful

regular tooth paste

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 4, 20060 found this helpful

WD-40....can't say enough good things about it......no I do not own stock......just love the stuff....I have been a Mom for 26 years and my youngest is now 14 and I still use it to clean up left behind marker, pen, glue etc.... hope it works for your problem....Good luck....

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January 4, 20060 found this helpful

mr clean magic eraser!

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 5, 20060 found this helpful

I have formica-topped tables too. I'd just use anything you would normally use to get magic marker off. I use hair spray to remove ink from clothing... I might try it on the table.. dont forget its plastic and therefore waterproof... smiles Mine have endured 35 years of banging with tonka trucks... lol

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January 20, 20060 found this helpful

lighter fluid or glass cleaner with ammonia definitely...maybe vinegar?

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February 23, 20130 found this helpful

I had accidently sprayed some oven cleaner on my black Formica counter. It has left a stain. How can I restore the color to the counter?

By Helen E. from Bellingham, WA

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September 18, 20120 found this helpful

I have a vintage Formica-top kitchen table in my bedroom. It sounds weird, but it fits in and there's room for it. I have a large room and a small table.

The other day, I (foolishly) stood beside it while using hairspray, and now when you run your hand across it, you can feel the overspray. You can't see any difference.

How can I clean this off without damaging the 50-60 year old table? It didn't come clean with Windex.

By Claire

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By 0 found this helpful
February 20, 2011

I have Formica countertops and also Formica on the back of my stove. Could you please tell me how to get grease spots off of my Formica on the back of my stove.

By Pat

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By 0 found this helpful
June 23, 2017

This is not really about a repair, but a question about cleaning and polishing an old '40s style Formica table top. It is yellow with a cracked ice design, some of which is worn away. It also has a painted fish design around the edges, which shows some wear, but I do not want to repair or replace the table top. It's looking more dull than when I bought it and I'd like to clean (if necessary) and polish it without causing any more wear to the Formica or the painted design. Anyone?

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By 0 found this helpful
September 2, 2016

I have a green Formica countertop that has pink mold in the crease behind the sink area. How do I remove the mold without removing color from the Formica?

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By 0 found this helpful
March 20, 2016

How do I remove product stain from a black Formica countertop?

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August 1, 20090 found this helpful

I want to clean Formica so that I can faux paint it to look like granite. What should I use to make sure it is really clean and the paint will stick?

By Maryann P. from Phoenix, AZ

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October 17, 20140 found this helpful

How can you remove stains from Formica tops?

By Joy

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By 0 found this helpful
April 18, 2012

What is the best way to clean a 1950s Formica top table?

By Sandra from Tamaqua, PA

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December 30, 20110 found this helpful

How do I clean rust stains on white Formica?

By Julienne I

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By 0 found this helpful
May 6, 2009

My black Formica countertop has white stains that do not show up when wet but can see when dry. Any ideas on how to remove them?

By windmilldecor from Fort Lauderdale

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March 29, 20150 found this helpful

I have a 1950s Formica table with a built in extension. The extension is still the bright red the table had, but the outer portions have turned dark, how can I correct the darkened areas?

By Aleah

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March 5, 20110 found this helpful

How do I remove a hair dye stain and a rust ring from a shaving cream can off an old formica bathroom countertop?

By Nancy from Nashua, NH

Answers:

Stains on Formica

Brush neat undiluted bleach onto the stain and leave as long as possible (overnight if you can) then rinse off, it will either have removed the stain or radically lightened it, reapply if necessary, or simply rub with a cream cleanser and rinse, this worked for me a few times, when I was a home hairdresser! (11/11/2009)

By keepsy

Stains on Formica

I am amazed and thrilled! The baking soda and white vinegar paste worked miraculously on strawberry stains. Left in on 15-20 minutes. I couldn't believe my eyes. And like others said just a little rubbing brought the final shading off. Maybe someone used another vinegar who said it couldn't work. And it didn't change the shading compared to the part I didn't treat. (06/10/2010)

By litzingerkaren

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February 20, 20110 found this helpful

I need some tips for cleaning grease from Formica.

By Rocco from White Plains, NY

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November 10, 20090 found this helpful

How can I clean my formica countertop which is badly stained with all kinds of dirty marks?

railroader

Answers:

Stains on Formica

Hi,
The question about how to get out Formica stains...this is one I have a lot of experience with. Although I hate using any toxic cleaners, I've never had good luck w/ Formica stains using baking soda, or vinegar, etc. The only thing that, unfortunately, works like a charm and very quickly is old-fashioned bleach. I squeeze out a wet sponge, pour some bleach on it, and then wipe the Formica stains. If it's stubborn stains, leave it on for a minute before wiping away. Make sure to clean area with plain water very well afterward. This works so well, that ground-in dirt also comes clean. Good luck.

Arlene (08/07/2003)

By ThriftyFun

Stains on Formica

Hello Railroader,
In regard to your formica counter tops: I have tried several methods to clean mine. The only one that worked was compound that is used on automobiles. Get one that has a fine grit. It takes some elbow grease to accomplish, but it works. After cleaning them, use car wax. It does not scratch them. You will have to re-polish about every 3 months.

- Faye (08/09/2003)

By ThriftyFun

Stains on Formica

I just used a paste of baking soda and white vinegar to remove a stain made by the purple dye of a flower pot wrapping. The Formica is light green in color. It worked! I let it sit for 10 minutes and rubbed gently with a paper towel for less than a minute. The new formica material stains more easily than the old. You'd think it would be better. (01/08/2006)

By KW

Stains on Formica

I had brown stains from I don't know what, on my cream colored formica counter top and used the vinegar and baking soda paste. It worked with a lot of scrubbing with a scrubby sponge. Bleach wouldn't even remove these stains. (08/29/2007)

By Colleen

Stains on Formica

I took the baking soda/vinegar 10 minute advice. It worked so well, now the rest of the counter looks stained! (09/11/2008)

By Christy

Stains on Formica

That has got to be the coolest thing I have ever seen! I thought I'd never get the stains out of my kitchen counter with the baking soda/vinegar combo. (01/15/2009)

By Lisa

Stains on Formica

Our counter top is formica, 21 years old and an almond color. It looked a bit dull, and had 2 cup ring marks that I could not remove. I made a heavy paste of baking soda and vinegar and left it for 20 minutes. After rubbing, rinsing thoroughly, and drying completely with a soft dish towel, it looks like brand new. (01/17/2009)

By Shirley H.

Stains on Formica

Do NOT use bleach! I have white, speckled formica in my kitchen and used bleach on a couple of well used areas which had a slight brownish stain. The bleach caused an alarming much browner stain! Thanks to advice found online, I got Mr. Clean Magic Eraser which is working. I got the original version, but my hardware store also had a newer, stronger one. The kind I got consists of white sponges which you just wet with water then gently rub the formica surface. (01/26/2009)

By Patty

Stains on Formica

Yeah, I can attest bleach, truly my favorite cleaner, has let me down on this one. I was trying to get rid of some mildew on my bathroom sink. It stained the white formica yellow-green. Don't do it! I'll try the baking soda. (02/07/2009)

By Patrick

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