Formica is a low maintenance material, but making mistakes in your cleaning methods can diminish the look and take years off its lifetime. Knowing what to use and how to use it will keep your surface innovations clean and shiny for years to come.
Using Abrasive Cleaning Tools:
Scrubbing the surface of a Formica countertop with something like steel wool (wire wool) or even the rough side of a dish-washing sponge can cause permanent damage.
Only use soft sponges and cloths to wipe countertops down; this way you do not weaken the shine of the finish with scuffs and scratches.
Using Abrasive Cleaning Products:
Using abrasive cleaning products in high concentrations can strip the Formica of its laminate finish. It is better to use a small amount of cleaning product on a damp cloth. Even a drop of mild dishwashing liquid is enough for routine cleaning.
Avoid using excessive amounts of water, as it may cause inconsistencies in the wood after continued flooding with moisture.
If your Formica has been sullied by a tougher stain like dry food stains, do not reach for the bleach or commercial abrasive cleaners! Instead, make a paste with a small amount of bicarbonate soda and vinegar to lift the stain and wipe it off with a non-abrasive cloth.
Common Mistakes made in the Kitchen that Weaken Formica’s Surface:
- Do not place hot pots or pans that will burn a section of the laminate. Invest in trivets and place-mats to avoid this damage.
- Do not leave stains. Dry and clean immediately to minimise the moisture drawn into the wood.
- Do not cut on your Formica surface- no brainer right? Apparently not. You will not only damage your countertops by breaking the surface, but also cut the food into the wood base. This makes for an unsanitary work space. You will damage your knives and even leave remnants of the Formica laminate in your food. Morale of the story; invest in a cutting board.
How to Preserve and Restore Damaged Formica Laminates:
Some people advise using car wax to restore your Formica laminate tops. If you would prefer something less synthetic, beeswax can have the same effect!
You can even add a drop of your favourite essential oil for a fresh smell and added antiseptic quality. The lifespan of your laminate tops is in your hands, with some sound advice and savvy you can help get the most out of your Formica!