Are you worried about how to clean laminate countertops? Laminate is a more affordable material to use on your countertops. It can look just as expensive as granite or tile. But what is the best cleaner for laminate countertops?
The best cleaner for laminate countertops is dish soap and warm water. Use this mixture to clean your countertops daily to remove grease and debris. You can also use baking powder and water or a dash of white vinegar to treat stains. Never use bleach or harsh chemicals on the laminate.
Although laminate is durable, you should still know how to properly clean them to make them last as long as possible. So, to help you achieve beautifully clean countertops, we’ll discuss the best cleaners for laminate and other tips to help you clean and manage your countertops.
The Ultimate Cleaner For Laminate Countertops
Choosing a material for your countertops is challenging, as there are many things to consider. While you might like the look of a granite or marble countertop, the price may be out of your budget. In this case, laminate is the perfect solution, as you can find laminate sheets that replicate marble or granite.
Laminate sheets are much more affordable than other materials, and they are easy to clean and low maintenance. However, suppose you don’t use the correct products and practices when cleaning your laminate countertops. In that case, you may damage the surface and need to replace the countertops more frequently.
We’ll discuss which products to avoid later, but let’s consider the best laminate countertop cleaners for daily cleaning and getting rid of stains. We’ll also consider which commercial laminate countertop cleaners are available that won’t harm your surfaces.
The Best Laminate Countertop Cleaner For Daily Cleaning
Many consider laminate countertops to be the easiest to clean and maintain. You don’t need any fancy cleaners or equipment when doing a daily clean. You only need dish soap, warm water, and a soft sponge or cloth.
To clean your laminate countertops, pour a dollop of dish soap onto the countertop, or mix it into warm water, and use a soft sponge or cloth to wipe down the surfaces. The soap will lift any dust and grease from the countertops. Then, use clean water to wipe away the soap for clean and shiny surfaces.
The Best Laminate Countertop Cleaner For Stains
If you see stains or hard-to-clean spots on your laminate countertops, you can clean them using baking soda or vinegar. When using baking soda, mix one tablespoon of baking soda with water (a few tablespoons) to make a paste. Apply the paste to the stains and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, take a soft cloth to wipe away the paste.
When using vinegar, mix two tablespoons of white vinegar with three cups of water and spray it onto the stains. Let the vinegar sit for a few minutes, and use clean water to wipe away the vinegar solution. The vinegar not only cleans away stains but helps to leave your laminate countertops bright and shiny.
Commercial Laminate Countertop Cleaners
In addition to using these products to clean your laminate countertops, you can also find commercial laminate countertops cleaners online and in stores. When buying a ready-made laminate countertop cleaner, ensure that it is specifically made for laminate countertops.
The cleaner should be free of harsh chemicals like bleaches or corrosives. It should also be food-safe since you will use it on the surfaces you prep food. There are various commercial laminate countertop cleaners, like this one from Bona. You can also find natural countertop cleaners like this one.
Although these countertop cleaners are suitable for laminate, we’d recommend using dish soap instead, as you are sure the soap won’t damage the laminate. If you’re tying a new product on your laminate countertops, do a patch test first on a non-visible area of the countertop to see if the cleaner affects the laminate.
How Often Should You Clean Laminate Countertops?
How often you clean the laminate countertops depends on how much you use them. For example, if you find your countertops are greasy or dirty after a day’s cooking, it’s best to clean them every day. In this case, use dish soap and a soft cloth to remove the dirt and grease from the countertops without harming the laminate’s surface.
Clean up spills as soon as possible to prevent them from staining the laminate. We’d recommend a deep clean of your laminate countertops (using dish soap or vinegar) weekly to remove build-up and grease that can cause your countertops to look dull and dirty.
Cleaning your laminate countertops daily is the best way to ensure they remain bright and shiny. It will also help them last longer. We’ll discuss other care tips later, but let’s first see which cleaning products you should never use on laminate countertops.
Which Cleaners Should You Never Use On Laminate Countertops?
Laminate countertops are durable and scratch resistant. However, if you use harsh or abrasive products on them, the top layer may disintegrate, which can cause your countertops to degrade and may result in you needing to replace them much sooner.
Therefore, it is extremely important to only use the right products when cleaning laminate countertops. Don’t use any products that contain bleach or enzymes, as these products will erode the laminate’s top layer. Bleach can also stain your laminate, which will cause the color to fade and make the laminate look worn and cheap.
You should also never use abrasive sponges, like steel wool or hard-bristled brushes, when cleaning the laminate countertops, as this can damage the laminate’s top layer and result in staining and eroding. The best cleaner for laminate countertops is mild dish soap, which is really the only thing we’d recommend for regular cleaning of your countertops.
Understanding The Composition Of Laminate Countertops
If you’re wondering why you cannot use many chemicals on laminate countertops, you may look at the composition. Laminate countertops are made from laminated plastic and paper (like paper bags) that are pressed into a shape and stuck to a thin piece of plywood on the base.
You can buy laminate sheets at most hardware stores and see the plywood sheet at the bottom. Laminate sheets have a protective outer layer that covers the plastic and paper and keeps the countertop shiny and the colors bright.
While dish soap won’t affect the top layer of the laminate, harsher chemicals, like bleach, will eat through the top layer and expose the plastic and paper layers underneath. This may cause the laminate countertop to become stained or damaged. It may also get water damage, which is why you need to take care with which products you clean the laminate countertops.
Care Tips For Laminate Countertops
To make your laminate countertops last as long as possible, it’s essential to follow the correct care tips. We’ve already discussed which products to use when cleaning your laminate countertops. Still, there are also other things to consider to keep them looking fresh.
Let’s consider some things you should and shouldn’t do with your laminate countertops if you want them to last longer and look beautiful.
Do Clean Laminate Countertops Regularly
As we have already discussed, you should clean your laminate countertops regularly to keep them clean and shiny. Cleaning your laminate countertops with mild dish soap and soft cloth daily will help prevent grease and dust from building up, which can scratch your laminate countertops and cause them to look dull.
Don’t Use Abrasive Products On Laminate
Abrasive products can scratch your laminate countertops and may become dull and degrading, leading you to replace them sooner than expected. Therefore, you must ensure that all the products and cleaners you use are safe for laminate countertops, so you don’t damage them while cleaning.
Do Follow The Manufacturer’s Guidelines
When you purchase and install laminate countertops, there will be manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning and maintaining the laminate. You must know and follow these guidelines to help the product last longer. There may be specific instructions regarding when and how to clean the laminate countertops, and it’s important that you follow them.
Don’t Put Hot Items On The Laminate Countertop
Since laminate countertops are made from plastic, you can imagine they aren’t heat resistant. Putting hot items, like hot pans and pots, on the laminate countertops can melt and burn the countertop. Therefore, you should never put hot items on laminate countertops and use placemats and cork potholders.
Do Use A Cutting Board On A Laminate Countertop
If you cut food and other items, you can scratch and damage your laminate countertops. Use cutting boards for food preparation. Don’t use a knife directly on the laminate countertop to prevent it from getting damaged. Cutting directly on the laminate damages the countertop and can cause your knife to become blunt.
Don’t Draw On Laminate Countertops
Another thing you shouldn’t do on laminate countertops is drawing on them. Sharpy pens (permanent markers) will stain the laminate, and you cannot get it off the countertop without potentially damaging the laminate. So don’t allow your children to draw on the laminate countertops with any pens or markers.
Are Laminate Countertops Good?
Considering what we have discussed about the care and maintenance of laminate countertops until now, you may wonder if they are an excellent option to install in your home. There are several reasons why you should consider installing laminate countertops.
- Laminate countertops are cost-effective.
- Laminate countertops are durable.
- Laminate countertops are easy to clean.
- Laminate countertops come in various colors and styles.
- Laminate countertops are easily accessible and easy to replace.
This is why many people choose to install laminate countertops, especially if they don’t have the budget for stone or granite. However, before selecting laminate for your countertops, you should also consider the downsides thereof.
- Laminate countertops aren’t heat resistant.
- Laminate countertops can be scratched.
- Laminate countertops aren’t as durable or long-lasting as stone or granite countertops.
- Laminate countertops aren’t as valuable as other countertop materials.
Overall, if you have a limited budget and want a countertop that looks great and is easy to clean and maintain, we’d recommend looking into laminate countertops. Of course, there is one more consideration when it comes to laminate countertops, and that is their environmental impact.
Are Laminate Countertops Environmentally Friendly?
Laminate countertops may be affordable and easy to clean, but are they environmentally friendly? Unfortunately, they aren’t. Laminate countertops often contain melamine and formaldehyde, which are used to create the resin or laminate that binds the paper. These substances mean that laminate countertops aren’t biodegradable and contribute to pollution.
Formaldehyde is also a gaseous substance, and the toxins secreted from the laminate countertops affect the air quality in your home. So if you’re concerned about the effects of plastic on your health and the environment, laminate countertops aren’t the best options.
Fortunately, laminate countertops are durable and long-lasting, so they won’t contribute to pollution for a long time. But, when you replace your laminate countertops, they will be discarded and end up in landfills, where they contribute to waste and pollution.
The best product to clean laminate countertops with is mild dish soap and water. This helps to get rid of dust and grease on the countertop without scratching the top layer. Don’t use harsh chemicals, like bleach, that can erode the top layer and damage your countertops.
You can find commercial laminate countertop cleaners too. In this case, ensure that the cleaner doesn’t contain bleach or other harsh chemicals. Also, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning and maintaining your laminate countertops to ensure they are in top condition.