How to Clean Formica Tabletops

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft non-abrasive cloths

  • Bowl

  • Water

  • Mild dish soap

  • Nylon scrub brush

  • Baking soda

  • Small bowl

Formica is so durable that it is used for surfaces such as countertops and tabletops, but it is not completely damage-proof. Harsh abrasives or chemicals may scratch or discolor the laminate surface; some chemicals may even react with the glue holding the tabletop together. Opt for the most mild, simple cleaning methods to keep the tabletop looking its best. Dealing with spilled foods and drinks as soon as they occur eliminates the need for harsh cleaning methods and makes the cleaning process much easier.


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Step 1

Wipe crumbs and dry debris off the tabletop with a soft cloth, catching the loose particles with your hand at the edge of the table. Wipe the table down again with a soft, damp cloth.


Step 2

Fill a bowl with a little warm water and a squirt of mild dish soap, mixing the soap in with your hand or a scrub brush.


Step 3

Dip a cloth into the soapy water and wipe the entire table down with it. Tackle caked-on debris with a scrub brush dipped into the soapy water, using a circular motion to remove the debris. Wipe the entire table down again with a fresh damp cloth to remove soap residue and to determine if any areas need additional cleaning.


Step 4

Spray a gentle household cleaner directly over stains or substances that are difficult to remove with soap and water. Wait several minutes to allow the cleaner to attack the stain. Scrub the area with a nylon scrub brush if it still does not look clean. Rinse the table by wiping it down with a fresh damp cloth.


Step 5

Whip up a simple stain-lifter by pouring baking soda into a shallow bowl and adding just enough water to make a paste. Apply the paste to the stained areas and allow it to sit for 30 minutes or longer. Scrub the stain with a nylon scrub brush or soft cloth using a circular motion, then wipe away the baking soda with a fresh damp cloth.


Dry the table immediately after washing to help prevent water from dripping into seams and unfinished crevices. Excess moisture may eventually damage the table.


Avoid using harsh abrasives such as steel wool or scrub pads that may scratch the Formica. Abrasive powder-based cleansers also may damage Formica.


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