Formica recommends 6 products for cleaning and restoring laminate countertops

cleaning formica countertopsVirtually everyone with original Formica or other brand laminates is eager to find the right cleaning products to restore or brighten up their kitchen and bathroom countertops. Previously, we’ve heard from one expert about using Countertop Magic — which she used to bring the original 1959 countertops at the historic Ralph Sr. and Sunny Wilson House back to life. Now, over on Formica’s blog, Formica has added five additional product recommendations to our renovation arsenal –>

Formica’s list of go-to laminate cleaners includes: 


*affiliate link

Get our retrolicious free newsletter.



  1. Annie B. says

    Thanks to Pam’s great post on the Wilson House Iaminate, I learned about the wonders of Countertop Magic. It cleans and shines the laminate top of my surfboard coffee table like nothing else can. No streaks, no finger – or paw – prints can smudge the finish, no residue, and it’s not an expensive product. Just love it.

  2. Janet says

    Good to hear a recommendation, Annie! There is no mention of the new Jubilee type cleaner from the Vermont Country Store. Is that for formica too? I actually have an almost full bottle of Jubilee out of a very old house we rented while we were building our house. I will have to dig it out and look; I have never used it, although I know alot of people were still looking for it even twenty years ago. Like I said, I save everything.

    • P. Simmons says

      I used to use Jubilee on everything I wanted to shine, formica, refrigerator doors. Not sure it can be found? I believe it had coconut oil in it. Seems it came in an aerosol can, too.

  3. Patty says

    My mother had circa 1970s white laminate with specs in it. Occasionally Kool-aid or something would get spilled on it and stain it — for awhile.

    I don’t think she used anything special – eventually if would just disappear through normal wiping down with a dishrag. Might take a few days, but they disappeared. Mine’s the same way.

  4. says

    I haven’t tried lemon oil for this purpose, but I do use lemon oil to kill ants in the kitchen.

    Originally, I needed something to get rid of fleas, and read that lemon oil works to repel them. So I bought a spray can (aerosol with no propellant other than air) of air freshener with only lemon or orange oil in it at Smart & Final (I forget the brand, but it’s all citrus oil in the air freshener section). I accidentally found that not only did it make fleas hopping mad, but it killed ants, so I kept it around for kitchen invasions, since I assume it is safe around food.

    They say not to use it on floors (slip and fall hazzard), and it can damage some fabrics, but for kitchen and bath areas it seems to get rid of ants and fleas. Now, it appears, it could shine up the countertop!

    • Annie B. says


      I think you’ve just made me a very happy woman! We’ve been waging a war with carpenter ants in our kitchen, attempting to use only products non-toxic to pets and wildlife. So far, the ants are winning. I’m buying citrus air freshener today. Thank you for the info!

  5. J D Log says

    Over in Australia Magic is not avaliable I normally use Windex. this works well for my Formica cabinets and pieces which are in good condition, but I have a table and one cabinet with 50’s red Formica which are dull due to sun fade the Windex or pledge will make it look like new then when it dries it is dull again. Is there anything I can get which will work or is the Formica permanetly damaged in this way, it looks presentable but dull

      • Denice Ming says

        I am eyeing a red (now rosey) formica top drop leaf table to purchase. Found a good answer in reply to this question. But, Re car products…. had been wondering if a dab of auto compound would harm it. We used to use it in the day to bring back the shine on old cars that had hazed.

        • pam kueber says

          I don’t know. Use my search box to get to my story on how laminate is made. The top layer of laminate is melamine — that’s what you are treating and trying to restore.

  6. Andi says

    My original (’50s) aquamarine Formica countertops are in good shape overall but stain easily (coffee, tea, blueberries, red wine, almost anything with color will leave a mark). The only thing that removes the discoloration is a commercial bleach-spray, which does work but I hate using it for obvious reasons.
    The countertops really need a protective finish coat. “Magic” is sounding good—thanks for the recommendations!

  7. Glamorlux Nancy says

    Thanks for the suggestions, Pam! I’ve tried Countertop Magic and was not really impressed by it. It doesn’t clean better than Dow Scrubbing Bubbles (my “go to” cleaner), and it doesn’t make my 1959 countertops – or my laminate table top – look any newer or shinier. I’m gonna try one of these alternatives that touts more “shining” properties.
    Oh, BTW, Clorox Clean-Up works great to get out coffee stains on our light-colored counters.

  8. jmb says

    I’ve found most wood furniture polish with lemon or orange oil in it does a great job cleaning my Formica. I currently have been using Spartan “Citro Shield” Furniture Polish. It mentions Formica on the label, and I buy it at state surplus store for one dollar per can.

  9. lynda says

    I ordered the Hope Countertop Polish from Amazon. I used it on my white laminate cabinets (from 1977) and they look very nice. They were not really dirty, so I don’t know how the product cleans. However, the cabinets feel very nice and have a nice glow without being shiny.
    I also used Hope’s Floor Revive Floor Shine on my Saltillo tile floors and that was a nice product too.

  10. Jamie Farone says

    Hello! I have the vintage white countertops in my kitchen and bath that have the gold fleck in them.. unfortunately some of the gold fleck has worn off and looks black ish.. whatever the backing to the gold would have been.. anyway. it stains pretty darn easy.. ive found that the mr clean magic eraser takes the stains right off but then i try to use pledge or something of the sort to buff over it to protect.. doing this often keeps it from staining as bad and having to use the magic eraser as much. But also we had a problem with little ants in the kitchen and bath and using a citrus or orange scented ploish or pledge has helped quite a bit…. its double duty! But my counter tops are in great shape otherwise.. I do lot and lots of baking and I have an at home cupcake making hobby business.. so keeping my original counter tops in tip top shape for my 1950s style retro pink kitchen is a must! I will never part from these counter tops! they dont make them anymore.. plus mine have the awesome steel trim and the steel cove trim between the back of the counter and the back splash…. great blog article here! more ideas for keeping these counters intact! thanks!!!

  11. Jamie Farone says

    Oh! another good cleaning idea for stained formica counters other than the mr clean magic eraser is.. my mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers etc home remedy trick… hot water and baking soda! scrubs them clean clean then buff with pledge or something.. baking soda is great for everything.. when my white or francisican starburst dishes get dingey i soak them in the sink with boiling hot water mixed with a box of baking soda and they look brand new everytime.. it wont damage any prints or anything like that.. it simply removes the terrible stains.. and its great for bath tubs too and to remove odors and helps life stains and grossness from inside a microwave when you boil it in a cereal bowl with water.

  12. Lynlee says

    I have original 50’s laminate counters in a house we recently bought. The stains were really bumming me out and nothing was getting them out. I really want to try and keep the original laminate, especially love the metal trim. Just tried a Magic Eracer and let me tell you, it is magic. All but one stain is gone, and it is faded. Also off topic but I used it on my newly installed Armstrong vct tile….the installer scuffed it putting appliances back- bam! Scuffs gone.

  13. says

    We had dull spots and small scratches in a area about 3 feet square, that received a lot of use, in a 15 year old beige low gloss Formica counter top.
    We had tried a number of cleaners with no luck. What did work was a power car wax buffer with a terry cloth pad and “Mequiar’s Plastix” plastic cleaner(used for renewing car headlights). I applied the Plastix with just a little pressure and let the tool do the work. on a 3 foot by 3 foot area I used about a table spoon of the Plastix and ran the buffer for about minute or so. Then I washed area with water and wiped dry, really dry, and did a bit of hand buffing until all the Plastix was removed. Then I applied “Magic Counter-top Cleaner with Stay Clean Tech.” (Menards)
    This worked for OUR counter top. Be sure you try this on a inconspicuous area before doing a large area on your CT. Good luck.

  14. says

    I have Formica countertops-satin finish-15 years old, light gray. For stains, I make a Baking Soda Paste and scub the stains out with a paper towel (ie: cranbery juice or something red.) Baking soda works great! Works for water mineral stains on Shower Heads ends too (make a paste and use an old toothbrush to get into crevices.)

    I am having trouble with 2 older vanity tops that have lost their luster- previously shiny. Gel-Gloss did not work at all. I will try your suggestions. Thanks!

  15. says

    My new cleaning person just used Fantastik with bleach on my white formica countertop circa 1974. Now there’s an ugly yellow discoloration. What product, if any, can I use to remove this??

    • Rebecca says

      Silver jewelry cleaner! I had tried everything. I thought I was cleaning my white formica countertops nicely with Clorox clean-up, and the stains were disappearing beautifully for a while, then one day I put it on a large strawberries stain, and let it sit for a few minutes. It removed the strawberry stain, and left a huge yellow stain. I tried everything I could think of to remove it and I found a forum discussing this very problem. Someone suggested Silver jewelry cleaner, and it worked like a charm. I don’t think the brand matters. I bought mine at the jewelry counter at my local Walmart for around $5 or so and it worked like a charm.

  16. Ellen says

    I have brand new counter tops. Laminate In the Laundry room. I just saw a circle like the bottom of a cup and a shade lighter than the original. Not sure cause… I poured olive oil over it but wondered if anyone has son idea?.. Maybe heat from the cup caused discoloring?. Help please!

  17. says

    We have been installing formica countertops for 65 years and we highly recommend Countertop Magic for every day maintenance. If you want to restore a vintage top, we find (like some other’s above) that car waxes are great if the finish is worn off. (Apply it after a good cleaning.
    Baking soda is a great cleaner and we have also had great result with a bar of hand soap. Just wet your cloth and rub it on the soap, then rub it in to the stain. Most things come right off. Rinse and let dry before you begin adding a coat of polish).

  18. says

    I have a red laminex table that has a few scratches. Most are light scratches, but there are a couple that are deeper. Is there anything that can be done to either fix them, or make them less noticeable.

    • says

      Ronda I just read a tip on using a crayon to fill in light scratches. Can’t hurt, might work! I bet then you can, like lots of folks above have suggested, use car wax as a shiny, protective top coat.

  19. vickiloeffler says

    I need help. my black speckled counter top is showing white blotches where the coffee pot overflowed. it is really bad. real noticeable. the sponges do not work make it worse. counter top magic did not work either. any ideas.

  20. Betty says

    My bathroom counter tops have spots about nickel size where I spilled vinegar while cleaning the mirror, those drops of vinegar took all the shine off my counter, bought some Zep clean stone plus, cleaner and wax, nothing. Did not restore the shine in those areas. Not sure about the material looks like marbel and is a solid slab of something but the marble vein does not run all the way thru. Any suggestions about restoring the shine, please. Thanks

    • pam kueber says

      Sorry, I don’t understand what type of countertop you have. DON’T use abrasives and acids on things (vinegar is acidic). You need to find out what you have — then contact the manufacturer for advice. Good luck.

  21. Lauren says

    We just rescued a gorgeous blonde laminate mid mod telephone table and I’m hoping someone may know how to remove what I believe is a mold-like discoloration? Also, it looks like a box from a kids toy got wet and sat on the surface of the table. I used a mixture of white vinegar and water with a paper towel to scrape off most of it. Will any of those products listed above help me fix these issues?

    Thank you!!

  22. Sally says

    I used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on my 10 year old Formica Counter tops. It took the shine off and left a definite mark that is still very noticable-3 years later.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *