March 30, 20152 found this helpful
Formica stains: First off, chorine bleach destroys plastics in the same way UV rays do. You should never use it to sanitize your formica countertops as it actually encourages crazing and stain deposits. I'm not a big fan of chlorine and I prefer a sulfur based kitchen sanitzer used in professional kitchens, brew houses and by wine makers - metabisulfites of potassium or sodium - aka - campden tablets dissolved in a spray bottle with a mild soap.
Natural stains, the most common being "rust" can be removed with oxalic acid which is sold as "wood bleach" or you can extract your own from rhubarb leaves, sorrel or from mature poke plants. This also removes rust stains from porcelain, like sinks and tubs, but it won't remove the mineral deposits. Cean your formica well with HOT soapy water removing all oils, waxes or grease. Apply the OA mixed in VERY HOT water to the stain with a brush, then cover with plastic wrap to prevent it from dying out. The rust stain should be gone in an hour or two.
Oxygen bleaches and, dare I say it - chlorine will remove stains made by man-made dyes such as food coloring.
As I posted earlier, you can bring back the gloss of old formica. You can also resurface your counters with the resins used to "imbed" things in bartops and tables... polish out as instructed earlier.
I hope this helps someone.
March 30, 20156 found this helpful
To say; "You can't restore a long-lasting shine to formica" is simply NOT true! Formica is like "plexiglass" or any other hard acrylic. As an aircraft mechanic, I've had to "restore" acrylic canopies.
In my hobby/business, I repair and restore mid-century modern (mostly "Atomic Age") furniture that incorporates a LOT of formica. Replacing that original formica would ruin the piece as a collectable/antique.
You have to start by filling in the voids (yes, some people actually cut up food directly on formica, imbedding particles of plastic in their food and ruining their counter-top and knife edges!).
Use the same products made for repairing auto windshields. The best and most effective are the Novus products unless you know all about abrasive slurries. After you polish your formica, protect it with a good, hard wax like carnauba and follow that with a soft, sacrificial wax like beeswax...and don't be cuttin' up food on the dang counter-top anymore!