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Category:  Home Improvement

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5 Things To Avoid To Ensure Your Formica Countertop Stays Looking Great

By Samantha Davis

Formica countertops are a solid choice that marries beauty and affordability. Caring for these counters correctly can extend their life and ensure they maintain their good looks over time.

To extend the lifespan of Formica countertops, it is very important to clean them correctly and to also avoiding doing or using things that can damage them. While they are a lot tougher than stone lovers might give them credit for, Formica counters can be damaged. When a little common sense goes into their care, these counters can hold up to normal wear and tear very well.

The things to avoid to ensure Formica stays looking great include:

* Heat and flames. Formica can and does burn and scorch. Do not place electrical appliances or hot pots and pans directly on these counter tops. Use hot plates, trivets or pads to protect the surface. Use care when smoking around these counters, too, as cigarettes can leave behind nasty, permanent burn marks.

* Cutting. Although these counters are scratch resistant, cutting directly on them can leave behind permanent marks. Use cutting boards to protect the appearance of the counters. Also, never chop directly on the counter's surface. Use a board for this without fail.

* Harsh abrasives. Scouring powder and other abrasive materials can damage these countertops. Stick to milder agents for cleaning.

* Chemicals and solvents. Most of these can be sopped up right away with minimal or no damage, but do take care when using things such as drain cleaner and other acidic materials nearby. Other things that can damage these counters include dyes, glues, oven cleaner and even abrasive dish washing machine cleaners. Avoid spilling them on the counters if at all possible.

* Over watering. Since Formica counter tops typically have seam lines, it is important to avoid flooding these counters. Too much water can leak into the seams and cause swelling problems.

Formica counter tops tend to clean up very easy, but there are some basic instructions for their care. They include:

* Standard cleaning. These counters generally can be cleaned with nothing more than soapy water and a clean cloth or sponge. Window cleaner and paper towel works well, too. Avoid abrasives when possible.

* Streak removal. Nothing more than regular window cleaner is needed to clean up streaks in darker counter tops.

* Spills. These should be cleaned up right away. Some spills can leave behind permanent staining, so it is important to stay on top of them. If stains are a problem, try a mild cream cleanser. If that doesn't do it, a mild bleach solution might assist, but be prepared for the possibility of discoloration.

* Waxing. Some experts recommend this to protect from staining and others do not. If a wax or gel is desired, find one that is recommended for use on Formica.

They might not be the most expensive counter tops on the market, but the fact is Formica can and does look beautiful. Keeping Formica counter tops looking great requires only a little basic care and common sense.


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