How to Clean an Old Formica Table

Written by cheryl starr
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How to Clean an Old Formica Table
Placemats are recommended to protect a cleaned Formica laminate surface. (breakfast and coffee on the table image by dinostock from Fotolia.com)

Formica-brand laminate is resistant to scratches under normal conditions. However, when cleaning old Formica tables, using a scouring pad, a powder or an abrasive cleaner is not recommended. Anything that could scratch the Formica should not be used. A non-abrasive cloth is best for cleaning the table, and a mild detergent. If the table is especially greasy, use a mild degreaser and warm water before getting started. If you have a table that has stuck-on food or other elements, use the instructions for the Matte Finish Formica cleaning. Kept clean, the Formica will offer years of beauty.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 3 clean non-abrasive cloths
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil-based liquid soap
  • 3 tablespoons distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • Spray bottle
  • Glass cleaner
  • Vegetable brush (nylon-bristled)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Wash the table with a clean, damp non-abrasive cloth. Remove all of the dust, grit and oily residue with this first, water-only washing. If the table is extremely dirty, wipe it several times with the damp cloth.

  2. 2

    Combine the distilled vinegar, olive oil, 1/2 cup of water and the liquid soap in the spray bottle. Shake. Spray the vinegar-olive oil cleanser onto the table. Wash the table with the damp cloth. Do not oversoak the table, but wash the table thoroughly.

  3. 3

    Rinse the table with clean water and a clean, non-abrasive cloth until all of the cleanser is gone.

  4. 4

    Dry the table with a non-abrasive cloth.

  1. 1

    Wash the table with a clean, damp non-abrasive cloth. Remove all of the dust, grit and oily residue with this first, water-only washing. If the table is extremely dirty, wipe it several times with the damp cloth.

  2. 2

    Spray the vinegar-olive oil cleanser to the damp cloth. Wash the table with the damp cloth. Do not oversoak the table.

  3. 3

    Scrub hard-to-clean and soiled areas with the vegetable brush by scrubbing gently in a rotating motion, using the vinegar cleanser and water.

  4. 4

    Rinse the table with water and a clean, non-abrasive cloth, until all of the cleanser is gone.

  5. 5

    Dry with a clean, non-abrasive cloth.

  1. 1

    Wash the table with a clean, damp non-abrasive cloth. Remove all of the dust, grit and oily residue with this first, water-only washing. If the table is extremely dirty, wipe it several times with the damp cloth.

  2. 2

    Spray the vinegar-olive oil cleanser onto the table. Wash the table with the cleanser and cloth. Do not oversoak the table.

  3. 3

    Rinse the table with clean water and a clean, non-abrasive cloth, until all of the cleanser is gone.

  4. 4

    Examine the table for residual streaks or smears on the surface. If streaks remain, clean with a mild glass cleaner.

  5. 5

    Dry with a non-abrasive cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • Vinegar is effective for people with chemical allergies. It is also effective against the E coli, salmonella and the staphylococcus bacteria.

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