I have a 1950's formica table that's been exposed light for years and had a discoloration. I discovered that lemon juice and sunlight seemed to remove the stain. I got the table completely back to original look and then had it in the sun and all of the staining came back. Does anyone have an idea about what's going on or how to clean this table so it says clean?

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    Formica is a laminate, isn't it? Compressed paper. Food for thought.
    – n00dles
    Nov 11, 2015 at 18:52
  • Far as I can find out yes it is.When I was trying to clean with lemon juice it seemed to move the stain ( I guess it displaced the stain along the paper fibers).But I am looking a way to lift/eradicate the stain with no luck.Thank-you for the info. Nov 14, 2015 at 16:18

2 Answers 2


This link provides some ways to clean the stain, if you can't find a solution elsewhere, maybe it's worth a try. 5 Ways to Remove Stains from Formica

First, if it's due to age or natural discoloration, it's suggested that you just replace your countertop.

If you are dealing with actual stains, you can soak it with soap water or detergent.

For stubborn stains on your Formica, blend a pasty mix of water and your choice of powdered cleanser. Depending on the size of your stain, you may not need more than a few tablespoons of water. Once you have your paste, smear it out over the stain, covering it completely. Let it fully dry out and crust over, and then remove it with a warm wet washcloth, being careful to not let the abrasive nature of the dried paste scratch the surface. A quick wash down with some soap and water and you should be stain-free.

An alternative paste would be using baking soda:

[U]se baking soda and soda water, instead. Brush the paste on the stain, and cover it with some plastic wrap. This time, you're going to need to leave it alone for a full 24 hours for best results. Wipe the surface clean with warm water and a washcloth the following day and your stain should be a thing of the past.

If it's some very stubborn stain like coffee, hair dye, watermarks, nail polish remover can be used:

[B]rush some acetone nail polish remover onto the stain with some cotton balls. Before using it on a colored countertop, test it out in a hidden corner and see if it changes the color. If it does, you might want to just live with the stain. If it seems like it will work, though, try it out, and then wash down the counter with some soap and warm water.

With all those said, if you are not able to clean the stain off and you cannot tolerate the stain on there, you should probably just replace your countertop.

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    Please include top points in your answer, link might die. Also, link only answers are discouraged.
    – Just Do It
    Dec 10, 2015 at 21:14
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    Welcome to Lifehacks! Could you include information from your link in your answer itself? That will help future users in the event the link no longer works. Thank you! Dec 15, 2015 at 9:05

Formica will discolor with age, like any other paper product. There is no real way to remove this, only lessen it. Some sort of dieing/bleaching might work to lighten the stain, though you would need to find a way to penetrate the coating first (an acid of some ty

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