Formica kitchen countertops, also called laminate countertops, are durable and inexpensive ways to create a specific look for your kitchen without the high costs of natural marble, granite, or wood.
Because formica is made from a laminate material, it can withstand a vast majority of household cleaners like all-purpose kitchen cleaners, dish soap, vinegar, and more. The material won't etch with acidic cleaners, nor will it blur from soap solutions. You should, however, avoid abrasive solvents and solutions that would dissolve the adhesive backing.
What You'll Need
Formica countertops are relatively low maintenance and easy to clean compared to their natural stone and wood counterparts. As long as you stick to non-abrasive cleaning products, and degreasing solutions, then your laminate countertops should be as bright as new! Here's what you'll need to keep your laminate countertop clean:
- Mild liquid detergent OR
- White vinegar (baking soda is optional) OR
- Commercial glass or laminate household cleaner
- Soft cloth or Sponge
- Microfiber cloth (for drying)
- Household disinfectant (optional)
How to Clean Formica Countertops: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Dry Clean the Formica Surface
First, take a dry cloth, and clean the surface of your formica kitchen countertop. This will remove any moisture, grease, and oils before you start your cleaning, making it easier for the cleaning solution to get rid of stains.
Step 2: Apply Your Cleaning Solution
Apply your preferred cleaning solution. Mild dish soap and water create an effective solution for everyday cleaning, while white vinegar can remove grease and oils. Adding baking soda to the vinegar solution helps remove tough stains. Commercial solutions also work, but be sure to use food-safe ones in your kitchen.
For Dish Soap and Water: Add 2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap for every 1 cup of water, and mix. Use this solution to clean your kitchen countertops by applying the solution onto a cotton cloth to dampen it.
For Vinegar: Use a teaspoon of pure vinegar on a damp cloth to clean your kitchen countertops, remove fingerprints and oils, and refresh the surface. Adding baking soda and water to the vinegar solution helps remove stains.
Step 3: Wipe Formica Countertop Clean
Use your preferred cleaning solution to wipe the kitchen countertop surface in a circular motion to avoid streaks. Make sure to clean all over the top surface, as well as underneath the countertop, and the table legs.
Step 4: Remove Stains
Remove any stains on your kitchen countertops. Use the baking soda and vinegar solution mentioned earlier, and make a paste out of the two ingredients. Apply the paste directly on stained areas, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Add a few drops of water, then use a cloth to scrub the area clean. The baking soda should act as a gentle abrasive that won't destroy the surface.
Step 5: Dry Kitchen Countertop
Formica surfaces have adhesives to get the material to stick on surfaces. When the adhesive gets drenched, they can lose stickiness and damage the laminate. It is always best to dry your kitchen countertops after cleaning them to avoid this moisture damage. Use a microfiber cloth to dry the surface without leaving any residue or cloth fibers.
Step 6: Disinfect Kitchen Countertop (Optional)
Though optional, you should disinfect your countertops at least once a day to keep them germ-free. Use any household disinfecting solution or aerosol spray to sanitize the surface, and wipe clean with a cotton cloth.
What to Avoid When Cleaning Formica Countertops
Formica is a forgiving material, but it is not without its restrictions. As a general rule, any corrosive or abrasive cleaner should not be used on formica, and neither can hot water as it may warp the material. Here are a couple of things to avoid when cleaning formica kitchen countertops:
- Never douse formica in water as it may cause the adhesive backing to loosen, damaging your countertops from within.
- Do not use rough cleaners like scouring pads and steel wool to clean laminate countertops.
- Do not place hot pans or use hot water to clean laminate countertops as they may melt, warp, or strip off the surface layer.
As long as you take precautions when cleaning your formica surfaces, they should last you for years - providing that elegant look of marble or wood without the high maintenance! Formica can be polished too to create a water-resistant seal.
A Clean Slate
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