Removing stain from Formica top

south central, WI(Zone 5a)

The house we are moving into (AKA Money pit) has a major stain on the bathroom vanity. I looks like someone set a leaking container (you can see the outline)-maybe shampoo
and the leak just spread. Really would like not to replace, but it looks very icky. Have tried hydrogen peroxide and dish soap. Googling comes up with repainting with lovely product, but 3 part technique and about $80. With the unforseen (unseen) major problems of this house, would like to fix , not replace" but on a budget. What looked like a repaint and good clean-up; has turned into a $$$$$$$ at every turn. So many problems were overlooked or unable to be seen. Have knot on forehead, from knocking in on the walls.
All suggestions greatly appreciated.

Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

Quote from MarciaGeiger :
The house we are moving into (AKA Money pit) has a major stain on the bathroom vanity. I looks like someone set a leaking container (you can see the outline)-maybe shampoo
and the leak just spread. Really would like not to replace, but it looks very icky. Have tried hydrogen peroxide and dish soap. Googling comes up with repainting with lovely product, but 3 part technique and about $80. With the unforseen (unseen) major problems of this house, would like to fix , not replace" but on a budget. What looked like a repaint and good clean-up; has turned into a $$$$$$$ at every turn. So many problems were overlooked or unable to be seen. Have knot on forehead, from knocking in on the walls.
All suggestions greatly appreciated.


You didn't mention if you tried bleach.

If it looks at all like rust - try CLR or Lime-Away.



south central, WI(Zone 5a)

Thanks for the response.
We did try bleach, wax like stain remover, hydrogen peroxide and something else. It isn't rust or lime build-up (we always have lime here)..looks more like an acidic oil. I do remember using Ivory bar soap on the metal garage door to make a sigh for nephews college grad party....the oil in the soap made for permanant stain and required repainting...sheesh.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Maybe try a Magic Eraser--if the stain has really sunk into the surface then it might not help, but it's gotten rid of things that nothing else worked on for me.

Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

The Mr. Clean Eraser idea comes up in web searches.



hey....wait....

well, not much luck around the web, but I'll post some of the better (slightly) links for ideas. Most important idea was to try harsher chemicals.techniques in an inconspicuous area first if possible. (or get some scrap Formica to test any agressive technique like sanding.re-polishing)

http://www.howtocleanstuff.net/how-to-remove-hair-dye-from-formicalaminate-countertops/
http://ask.metafilter.com/18615/Getting-stains-out-of-a-white-formica-kitchen-counter
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-455243.html
http://www.msue.msu.edu/objects/content_revision/download.cfm/revision_id.494126/workspace_id.-4/01500340.html/
http://misterfix-it.com/blog/?page_id=30#rfc (about half-way down)
http://www.ehow.com/how_114320_repair-laminate-countertops.html

Also, is there a way to cover up the area by creatively adding some ceramic tile work? Like partial surrounds or backsplash?

As a very last resort, you could try 600 grit or finer wet/dry paper with a little water. Sand until the the stain is gone. Then clean and try some cerium oxide polish. Or possibly one of those car headlight lens restoring kits. I HAVE NOT DONE THIS ok? Just a wild guess. Formica, and especially textured formica may never be the same again if sctratched or sanded. But a wax or other finish like GelGloss might cover-up the sanded spot.

south central, WI(Zone 5a)

Thanks for all the ideas. After all the trials, it seems that the top that came with the cabinet from the recycling place didn't fit the cabinet. Going to stick my head in the garden and never come out.
I am keeping all the ideas, as I am starting to work with ceramics..the sink will go back as donation..but will be on the lookout for smaller projects.
We might be able to move into the one story house in a couple of weeks..need to hustle my tush, not only packing..but rolling up the garden and moving it is going to be a site to behold.
Thanks So much. Wish we could have used the sink..would have been a Whole lot cheaper...

Missouri City, TX

Don't know if it will help or not - but have you tried building a dam around the spot and leaving a solvent for an hour or so?

Reason I asked:
When we left a rent house in Colorado, I set a bottle of 409 on a while slate formica but did not notice that the bottle had a tiny crack, so most of the liquid flowed onto the countertop.
When I saw the "flood", I grabbed a towel and began mopping it up.
All the debris in the surface texture came up, so it looked brand new.
Then I realized that I would have to do the WHOLE countertop - and this was a HUGE kitchen.

Owners were amazed and pleased, so asked how in the world we got it clean - they had tried for many years.

Have done the same treatment with Mean Green and Greased Lightning to many surfaces since. Beats scrubbing!

south central, WI(Zone 5a)

I will keep that in mind. This house has all sorts of surprises to be dealt with. There are some cupboards in the basement that could benefit.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

What I'd do would be to soak a rag in mean green and lay it on the spot then cover it with some plastic and leave it alone for awhile. I've gotten all kinds of stains out but is nasty stuff.

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