Laminate is a great material for kitchen worktops and bathroom counters. It is tough, relatively inexpensive, hard wearing and available in a massive variety of colours.
However, despite it’s toughness, laminate kitchen worktops do require some care to ensure they continue to look their best for years to come.
Kitchen Worktop Care – Do’s and Don’ts
- Don’t use cleaners with abrasives, like many ‘cream’ type cleaners – they will damage the laminate surface
- Do use a damp cloth or non-abrasive kitchen and multi surface cleaners, ensuring the surface is dried afterwards
- Don’t place hot objects, such as pots straight from the oven or cooker onto your laminate worktop surface
- Don’t cut anything directly on the laminate worktop surface. Knives and other implement will leave scratches
- Don’t drag pans or other items – especially metal and unglazed pottery – across the surface
- Don’t use polish with wax as they will dull the surface
Dark coloured worktops sometimes appear streaky after cleaning. Use a small amount of multi surface cleaner on a clean cloth to remove the residue and restore the shine.
Spills and Stains
Laminate kitchen worktops resist staining from most household chemicals. Some items with very strong colours can however leave a permanent stain. Wipe off red wine, beetroot, grape and berry juices immediately, and clean with water or cleaner. Concentrated bleach can remove the colour from darker worktops, and leave yellow stains on lighter worktops, so should also be removed with clean water as soon as possible. Spills such as nail polish or super glue should be removed before they dry. Use nail polish remover or a suitable solvent, ensuring the surface is thoroughly cleaned afterwards.
Some pens can leave permanent marks, especially felt tip and marker pens. Try to keep these away from worktops, and be aware some will go through a single sheet of paper.
If a stain won’t disappear with normal Surface Cleaner, try using methylated spirits, or 2 or 3 light rubs with a cream cleanser. You can also use diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 8 parts water), but do not leave for more than 3 minute, and ensure the surface is rinsed thoroughly afterwards, but you do risk bleaching the surface.
Laminate kitchen worktop surfaces will withstand normal everyday wear and tear very well, but can be damaged by scratching or cutting with utensils, knives and unglazed pottery. Darker colours will show scratches more readily than lighter colours as will high gloss surfaces. Dark coloured worktops and high gloss worktops tend to show scratches more easily, so bear this in mind if when choosing a new or replacement kitchen worktop.
To minimise scratching, always lift objects from the surface, not drag or slide the, and use cutting boards or trivets whenever needed.
With good care, kitchen worktops can easily last 20 years or more in perfect condition. Even if it is marked or damaged, a worktop can usually be replaced without a whole new kitchen, which is generally a much cheaper option.