Laminate Countertops: Stain Removal

A black countertop with a checkered towel on it.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-60
What You'll Need
Baking soda
Household cleaner
Nail polish remover
Dishwasher detergent
Cotton pad
Scouring sponge

With laminate countertops, time is of the essence when you have a spillage. Spills should be wiped up immediately to reduce the risk of a stain taking hold. In an area like a kitchen, stains are inevitable. Follow these steps to remove them.

Step 1 — Identify the Substance

If you are dealing with an old one, take a moment to identify the culprit. This will determine the method you use to remove it.

Step 2 — Tea and Coffee Stains

Tea and coffee stains can be difficult to remove if they have been allowed to become engrained into your laminate countertop. You will need to concoct a potion of baking soda and household cleaner to remove them. The potion should have the consistency of a paste.

Select a scouring sponge with a lightly abrasive surface. Do not use a wire pan cleaner, as this will leave permanent scratches on your work surface. Dip the pad into the paste and rub it on for a maximum of two minutes. The paste will froth, due to the baking soda.

When you have finished rubbing the stain, wash the paste off with warm water and dry the surface completely with an old towel.

Step 3 — More Stubborn Stains

If the stain persists despite your efforts with the potion, it is time to try a more powerful substance. Apply a small amount of nail polish remover (acetone) to a cotton pad and rub the stain a few times. Then rinse the laminate countertop thoroughly and wipe dry.

You may have to give it the same treatment with a dishwasher detergent if it still persists. Again, you must be vigilant in removing all traces of the detergent when rinsing the surface afterwards.

Step 4 — The Last Resort

Undiluted bleach is not recommended with laminate countertops, but can be used as a last resort. Rinsing the surface afterward is crucial. If you leave a residue of bleach and later place a coffee cup on that spot, you could cause a worse stain than the one you had to begin with. Abrasive cleaners (like cream cleaners) should be avoided completely on laminate countertops.

WARNING: Bleach stains and is toxic to inhale, so be sure to check that your work area has proper ventilation and wear old clothing, a face mask and gloves while working with it.

Step 5 — Assess the Results

If you have tried all the steps above, and the stain is still present, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to remove it. It might be possible to replace the offending part if you have any spare laminate for the countertop and it was installed in sections. Otherwise, you will need to replace the whole countertop or find a suitable piece of kitchen equipment to place over the stain!

Hopefully, you were able to easily remove the stain from your laminate countertop with one of the above steps!