Laminate is a cost-effect material option when buying countertops, but they are easy to stain. Soap and water may not be strong enough to get your hard water stains out, but brillo pads are too abrasive. Somewhere in between, there is a happy medium.

To remove hard water stains from laminate countertops, you should mix baking soda with a mild cleaner. Apply the mixture to the stain, and wait ten minutes. Wipe the mixture away with a damp cloth, and your hard water stain should be gone.

Throughout this article, we will go over what laminate actually is. We will also go more in depth on how to remove hard water stains from laminate countertops. We will also discuss ways to protect and maintain your laminate countertops, and ten of the best cleaners you can buy right now.

What Is Laminate?

Before we get into how to clean laminate, it’s important to first understand what the material actually is. Laminate, sometimes referred to as Formica, is an extremely popular material choice for countertops. Laminate countertops start out with brown kraft paper or particle board.

Layers of plastic are then bonded on top of these materials. A print is laid atop these layers, and a final protective transparent melamine resin layer on top of the print.

Laminate was first introduced in 1913 as insulation for electrical wiring. The previous insulation was called “mica.” Since the new laminate insulation was another option “for mica,” it was dubbed “Formica.”

Eventually, the material was being used for more than insulation and worked its way over to tables and countertops. These laminate countertops became extremely popular in the mid-1930s to 1950s. Today, they remain a popular, inexpensive choice when choosing materials for countertops.

There are two types of laminate grades, based on the level of thickness of the Formica, horizontal and vertical.

  • Horizontal grade. This grade of laminate is the thickest they come. It’s perfect for countertops, as it’s durable and can only be molded into a flat surface.
  • Vertical grade. If you need to bend your laminate into a different shape, other than just flat, vertical grade is the right grade for you. This grade can be used on surfaces that won’t be as used as often, like backsplashes or laundry room counters.

Hard water stains occur when water that is rich in minerals evaporates from the surface, leaving behind just the minerals. But, they are not the only stains that can occur in a busy kitchen or bathroom. Coffee and tea, for instance, are common spills, and marker and pen can also cause staining, especially with kids around.

Ways to Remove Hard Water Stains on Laminate Countertops

There are many ways to get rid of stains on your laminate countertop. Here are a few:

1. Baking Soda

Follow these simple steps on how to use baking soda to remove water stains:

  1. Mix a bit of baking soda with a household cleaner. Make sure the cleaner is mild and free of bleach.
  2. Apply the mixture to the stain and rub it in a little. Be careful not to scrub, as baking soda is an abrasive substance, and it can scrape up a laminate countertop if scrubbed too hard.
  3. Wait ten minutes. (For hard to remove stains, you can leave for a few hours).
  4. Wipe the mixture away with a damp cloth.

2. Lemon Juice

Learn how to use lemon juice to remove water stains with the following steps:

  1. Squeeze lemon juice directly onto the stain.
  2. Wait thirty minutes.
  3. Pour a tiny bit of baking soda on top of the lemon juice.
  4. Scrub gently.
  5. Wipe the mixture away with a damp cloth.

3. Bleach

This is how you can use bleach to remove water stains:

  1. Dilute a tiny bit of bleach with water.
  2. Dip a cotton ball in the solution.
  3. Scrub the stain with the cotton ball.
  4. Wipe away with a damp cloth.

You may also like: How to Get Rid of Bleach Smell in a House?

4. Nail Polish Remover

Use polish remover to remove water stains by following these steps:

  1. Grab any nail polish remover with acetone.
  2. Dip a cotton ball in the nail polish remover.
  3. Scrub the stain with the cotton ball.
  4. Wipe away with a damp cloth.

How to Maintain Your Laminate Countertop

Maintaining your laminate countertop is vital in preserving the longevity and lifespan of your kitchen or bathroom countertops. Here are some important dos and don’ts of caring for yours:

Dos of Maintaining Your Laminate Countertops

  • Do use soap and water. Wash your laminate countertops regularly with soap and water. A simple dishwashing liquid will suffice.
  • Do use a sponge. Using a sponge, gently scrub up any grease or spills. Make sure to be gentle, as not to scratch the laminate. Here is a 3M Scotch-Brite Delicate Care Scrub Sponge perfect for laminate countertops.
  • Do wipe up soap residue. If you do not wipe up all the soap residue from your laminate countertops, stains can form.
  • Do wipe up any bleach used. If you do use bleach, like in the instructions above, make sure you completely wipe it away. Bleach can cause discoloration in your laminate countertops.
  • Do use a protectant. If you want to protect your countertops, it’s best to use a cleaner and polish. Here is a Fuller Brush Countertop Cleaner & Polish that you can use to keep your laminate countertops cleaner for a longer period of time.

Don’ts of Maintaining Your Laminate Countertops

  • Don’t use your countertops as a cutting board. Laminate countertops are durable, but they can still be cut. Always use a cutting board. Here is a four pack of Flexible Plastic Cutting Board Mats that you can use as they are bendable and dishwasher safe.
  • Don’t place hot pots or pans on your laminate countertop. Always use a trivet, such as these Makerstep Silicone 3 Set Heart Design Trivets when placing hot food. Putting a hot pot or plan on your laminate countertop could ruin it, melting the plastic or even leaving a burn mark.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals. Harsh chemicals can dull the surface of your laminate countertops.
  • Don’t leave any soap or water in the seams of your countertops. Make sure your laminate countertops are completely dry. If any soap, cleaner, or water pools up in the seams, it can damage the brown kraft paper or particle board, warping the counter.
  • Don’t use steel wool or a Brillo pad. You never want to scratch the surface of your laminate countertops, as this can cause it to become porous. When a surface becomes porous, it is easier to stain. Never use steel wool or a Brillo pad on your laminate countertops, as they are too abrasive and will scratch the surface.
  • Don’t store your cleaning products on your laminate countertop. Always store your cleaning products somewhere like under the sink, as they can sometimes leak. If you store them on top of your counter, and they do leak, the chemicals can damage or stain your countertop. You can use this mDesign Plastic Portable Storage Organizer Caddy and slide this right underneath your sink for easy access.

Ten Best Laminate Countertop Cleaners

If you follow all the steps above, you’re on the right track. Now you just need an everyday cleanser for your laminate countertop. If you want to maintain your countertops and keep your house looking and smelling fresh, here are the ten best cleaners you can buy right now from Amazon.com:

  • Rejuvenate Kitchen & Bathroom Countertop Polish. Use this product after cleaning. It protects and seals the top layer of your laminate countertop, and adds shine. It’s perfect for laminate, as it’s specifically formulated for synthetic countertops.

  • Weiman Granite Cleaner and Polish. Although these are specifically formulated for granite countertops, these wipes are perfect to use on laminate. They clean, removing grease, water marks and stains, and dirt, while also protecting.

  • Sapadilla Grapefruit + Bergamot Countertop Cleanser. This cleanser is completely plant-based, so it will be gentle on your laminate countertops. It cuts through grease and grime, all while being completely 100 percent biodegradable. It’s infused with fragrances only through the use of essential oils, so it will leave your bathroom or kitchen smelling fresh and clean.

  • Better Life All-Purpose Cleaner. This spray cleaner comes in three different scents: pomegranate, clary sage and citrus, and unscented. It’s safe to use on any water-safe surface and even some upholstery. It’s 100 percent plant-based, made from ingredients like soap bark, corn, and coconuts. It contains no dyes, no parabens, no petroleum solvents, and no alcohol, so it won’t dry out your surfaces.

  • Method All Purpose Cleaner. This popular cleaner comes in clementine, ginger yuzu, grapefruit, honey crisp apple, and lavender. It’s free of parabens and phosphates, and it’s hypoallergenic. This cleaner is also completely non-toxic, so it’s great for using on countertops.

Final Thoughts

Laminate countertops are still popular today. They’re easy to clean, cost-effective, and come in many colors, patterns, and styles. However, since they’re mostly used in kitchens and bathrooms, it’s easy to stain them.

In this article, we discussed four ways to remove stains from your laminate countertop. The most effective way is by using a baking soda mixture. If that doesn’t work, you can try lemon juice, a small dab of bleach and water, or even nail polish remover with acetone.

We talked about the dos and don’ts of caring for your laminate countertop. Dos included using soap and water, making sure not to leave any residue, and using a countertop protectant. Don’ts include what not to put on your laminate countertops.

We also included ten of the best cleaners for your laminate countertops that can increase their lifespan and keep your home looking and smelling clean and fresh.

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