Plastic laminate which is commonly referred to as Formica has been a top choice for several years for countertops for several reasons. The most important being their low cost in comparison to Corian, Granite, or engineered stone such as quartz which are double or more in price. In addition, the fabrication of laminate makes it easy to offer many design options, easy to install, and also easy to maintain once installed.
Plastic laminate or Formica countertops will also last a very long time if they are cared for correctly. Care must be taken, however, as it is susceptible to burns and delamination, and is very difficult to repair.
Cleaning Formica countertops is fairly straightforward. Warm water with regular soap and a soft rag will clean your countertop. If something is spilled on the countertop, it must be cleaned up immediately, or it could leave a permanent stain. Formica is easy to clean, but if a stain does set in, it is impossible to remove without damaging the countertop. There are some issues with streaking, but a general window cleaner will take care of that.
As a general rule, the use of abrasive cleaners, bleach, or ammonia should not be used on a Formica countertop. This can ruin the color and cause scratches.
Always use a cutting board when using a knife on the countertop. They will scratch easily. Also, avoid anything hot. Formica is not very heat resistant and will burn through when a hot pan is placed on it. Any liquids that contain any sort of acid should also be kept off of the countertop. The acid, if left long enough, can eat through the Formica countertops.