How to restore formica countertops

Updated February 21, 2017

Formica laminate is one of the most popular materials used for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Formica is known for its shining beauty when used to laminate surfaces and also for its durability. It is primarily scratch resistant, making it ideal for areas in which food is prepared. However, like any material, wear and tear as well as time will dull the shine of a formica countertop. Restoring your formica to its original shine will maintain the beauty of your kitchen area.

Clean the countertop

Dampen a rag in warm water. Do not soak the rag, as too much water can seep into faded laminate.

Wipe down the formica surface to remove any surface dirt and grime.

Mix a mild washing-up liquid into warm water and dampen the rag to remove any stains on the surface.

Dry the surface with a soft towel or allow to air dry completely before continuing.

Wax the countertop

Buy a wax safe for shining the surface. Countertop-safe products are available in the cleaning supplies section at most convenience shops or supermarkets.

Rub the wax onto the countertop with a soft cloth. Apply a thin, even layer.

Allow the wax to dry completely, and then buff with a clean cloth for proper shine.

Apply a second coat of wax, if necessary, for an extra shiny finish.


Although car wax will also add a nice shine to your formica countertops, it cannot be used on food preparation areas. Read all directions and warnings on all cleaning and wax products before applying them to your countertops.

Things You'll Need

  • Rag
  • Warm water
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Soft cloth
  • Wax
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About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.