How to Clean Formica Countertops

If you have ever wondered how to propely clean Formica countertops, this article and how-to list is for you. First, here's a little information about the history of Formica. The Formica company was a developed  in the early 1900's. The company began to produce countertops used in kitchens, in bathrooms and on different table tops around the house. By the 1950's, Formica could be found in almost any home. Over the next 20 years, the company began to create varieties of colors, textures and Formica styles. The kitchen countertop, is today, made of regular paper that we use with a pen! Now, onto the how-to. Cleaning Formica countertops is really not as hard as you may think. Follow the guide below, and your Formica will sparkle and shine!

Materials Required to Complete this Task

  • Countertop cleaning supplies
  • Cleaning rags (non abrasive)
  • Gloves
  • Bucket
  • Wire brush
  • Glass cleaner

Step 1 - Clear the Countertop

For a thorough clean, remove everything from the countertop including small appliances, sponges and trash. Put the appliances away in a spot for safe keeping until you complete your Formica cleaning.

Step 2 - Use a Cloth

Using a clean and damp cloth (make sure the cloth is a non-abraisive cloth), apply a little liquid detergent on the cloth and wring it out with some warm water. Wash the surface of the countertop thoroughly. Scrub the countertop in places where dirt tends to stick (like the corners).

Step 3 - Rinse

Rinse the countertop with a little clean water, using a second nonabraisive cloth for the rinsing process.

Step 4 - Dry

Using a third cloth or towel, dry the laminate surface completely. Laminate materials do not like to be and stay wet. Flooding the laminate with too much water may cause the laminate layers to separate, ruining the countertop.

Step 5 - Extra Cleaning Steps for Special Laminate

Steps 1 through 3 covered the cleaning process for a generic type of laminate countertop. There are three additional types of laminate surfaces that you may have as your countertop. These types of laminate countertops are explained below, along with special cleaning tips. 

  1. Matte and Sparkle Finish - This laminate countertop needs a little extra attention and elbow grease. Using a nylon-bristled brush, along with some mild cleanser or soap, clean the areas of your countertop. Apply a circular motion to clean the countertop. Rinse and dry completely.
  2. Sculptured and Dimensional Finish - If you have this countertop, you notice it is filled with all sorts of different depressions and dimples. The countertop is not smooth, but rather provides a unique textured surface. The surface is prone to trapping dirt and grime. Using a nylon-bristled brush and a little soap or all purpose house cleaner, clean the entire countertop. Use a circular motion. Pay special attention to the depressions and crevices. Dry the countertop surface completely.
  3. High Gloss Finish - This is such a pretty form of a laminate countertop. It shines and sparkles all the time. However, it shows all the dirt and especially all the grease. It streaks easily. After normal cleaning, use a little glass cleaner with another dry clean cloth. Shine the entire surface to remove any remaining streaks.