The Best Way To Remove Stains From Your Laminate Countertops

While all kinds of surfaces are susceptible to dirt and stains, none are so uniquely vulnerable as kitchen countertops. Whether you have a large family or live by yourself, your kitchen countertops suffer the most wear and tear, including moisture and water damage, dirt build-up, food stains, and more.

Some countertop materials are more impenetrable, meaning you can easily wipe up any surface-level stains without needing to exert much effort. Other countertop materials, though, like laminate, or more susceptible to permanent staining from simple spills. According to Caesarstone US, laminate countertops are made of plastic particleboard. This material is not without advantages, chief among them being how inexpensive it is. However, there is still a hidden cost to laminate countertops, and that is how easily they get damaged and stained. You can avoid general damage by using a cutting board or pot rests when applicable, but you're bound to get the odd spill or stain. Keep reading to learn how to expertly clean up those stains.

Baking soda and water

Since laminate is a weaker material, your cleaning methods need to be on the gentler side — don't go in with a heavy-duty cleaner at the first sight of a stain. Instead, you should first and foremost regularly clean your countertops to prevent stains from setting in using mild dish soap and warm water, per Merry Maids — ideally once a day.

If there is a stain that just won't come off with soap and water, your next step is to move on to baking soda and water. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 to 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water until a paste forms. Spread the paste over the stain and let it sit and soak for no more than five minutes, gently wiping (not scrubbing) it off with a soft cloth so as not to scratch the laminate. This should remove the stain without damaging the countertops.

Removing tougher stains

If the stain on your laminate counter is really deep and the baking soda method didn't work, it's time to move to something more heavy-duty. Be careful with these next steps, as you can very easily permanently damage your laminate if done wrong. According to Affinity Kitchens, you can remove really tough stains from laminate with acetone (nail polish remover) or undiluted bleach. Apply either substance only to the stain, and do not let it sit for longer than two minutes, wiping it off with water immediately after.

The biggest concern with cleaning laminate countertops is accidentally removing the sheen and protective coating on the plastic particleboard. In the event that this happens while removing a stain, don't worry — there are ways to restore the shine. One way is with a laminate polish, per Favored Stoneguides. This product is made for laminate floors, but it will work just as well on countertops. You can also use silicone-free car wax in its place.