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Michigan State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500340
06/24/03

Removing Stains: Plastic Laminate



Some suggestions for specific types of stains: Plastic laminate resists normal household staining problems-it shrugs off children's crayons and most spilled drinks.

Food Stains
Some fruit drink, tea and coffee stains can be difficult to remove, as can glass rings, water marks and fingerprints. A thorough cleaning with a mild detergent or a household cleaner and soft bristle brush are effective.

Newer food dyes used in beverages and gelatin dessert mixes stain very quickly, especially red shades. If some is spilled, wipe up at once. To remove the stain, pour rubbing alcohol on the area and spread with your hand. Let stand a minute, and then apply chlorine bleach directly to the stain and let stand a minute. Rinse with clear water. OR try a solution of equal parts of white vinegar and water for a minute, and rinse.

Chemical Stains

FORMICA brand laminate resists many chemicals, including alcohol and most cosmetics and drugs. Take care when using bluing or laundry bleaches or hair dyes and rinses. These chemicals can cause permanent stains.

Ink Stains

Take care with plastic laminate counters when using indelible inks, such as felt marking pens. Food pricing labels sometimes use indelible inks that can transfer onto a laminate surface. To remove such stains, use full strength Pinesol or household spray cleaner and allow it to draw out the stain. Blot away with a damp cloth, then rinse. Solvents such as denatured alcohol may also be used. CAUTION: Most solvents are extremely flammable; keep away from flame or electrical sparks. Chlorine bleach may be used by dampening a cloth sparingly and blotting onto the stained area for no longer than a  minute. Then, rinse thoroughly with warm water.

References

This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus, with reference from the Formica Corporation.

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