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Knowing how to remove stains from worktops is essential to maintaining their quality. But the methods of removing a kitchen worktop stain vary depending on your specific type of worktop. From Formica to wood, this guide will tell you how to remove stains from worktops of all types and restore them to their former glory. 

The Golden Rules 

There are a few golden rules regarding removing kitchen worktop stains that apply to all types of surfaces. The first is that stains are preventable if you identify and clean them fast enough. The longer an ingredient is left to sit, the higher the likelihood you’ll have a kitchen worktop stain on your hands. Acting quickly can vastly minimise damage. 
Secondly, use minimal amounts of water and solution and dab gently. Using too much water can make it difficult to penetrate the stain, and rubbing can spread the stain and damage the surface below. 
Lastly, have prior knowledge of the surface you’re treating. Particular solutions will not help you remove kitchen worktop stains on certain surfaces, may further embed the stain, and even permanently damage the surface. 

How to Remove Stains From Worktops 

As mentioned above, knowing the type of surface you’re dealing with can help you figure out how to remove stains from worktops. The following list will cover each type of worktop and the best way to remove stains from them to avoid permanent damage to their surfaces. 


Genuine wooden worktops are a luxury, and although immensely high quality, the varnish on these types of worktops is not repellent to tough stains. To protect the overlaying varnish on the wooden countertop, only a very mild bleach and water solution are recommended. Using abrasive materials could cause the varnish to break down, which could leave your wooden countertop susceptible to more difficult-to-remove stains in the future. 


For Formica, the best kitchen worktop stain removal method is to use a paste of white vinegar and baking soda, which will help lift the stain and have your worktop looking good as new. Any solution more acidic than this mixture could cause irreversible damage to your worktops. Vinegar is an acid, and baking soda is an alkaline, so the two balance themselves out quite easily. It’s best to avoid purely acidic substances. 

Stainless Steel 

Despite its name, stainless steel countertops are not completely invulnerable to stains. Using a mixture of equal parts baking soda and dish soap and rubbing gently with a microfiber cloth can help lift these stains without the need for a buffer. 


Quartz is immensely vulnerable to a variety of materials, including (but not limited to), nail polish remover, bleach, markers, oil soaps, acidic substances and highly alkaline cleansers. Exposure to these substances will cause irreversible damage to the quartz. To remove stains from quartz, specialised quartz cleaner or mild soaps should be used, not DIY methods. At Granite Unlimited, we provide detailed care guides to help you look after your kitchen worktops. 


The golden rule of marble countertops is that stains cannot be removed with acidic products. Using acid to clean your marble kitchen worktop stains will cause the marble to deteriorate quickly. This is why leaving a baking soda and water solution on your countertops for several hours is best recommended, to ensure the stain lifts and prevent damage to your surfaces. 


Laminate countertops are particularly sensitive to water, so it is not recommended you leave any solution on your worktop for extended periods. The longest you can let a baking soda and water solution sit is five minutes, after which you should wipe (not scrub) your countertops with a damp microfiber cloth, and soak up the rest of the water. 


When it comes to granite countertops, abrasive, acidic and highly caustic cleaning mediums are completely inappropriate and may result in corrosion of the finish and dulling your countertops. For this reason, only mild soaps and water are recommended with which to clean granite countertops. 

Pros and Cons of Stain Removal Using Vinegar 

We have mentioned baking soda, vinegar, and water multiple times as methods of how to remove stains from worktops and briefly mentioned the types of countertops that aren’t compatible with these methods. But aside from unsuitability, what are the other reasons that using vinegar to remove stains from kitchen worktop surfaces isn’t preferable? 


Vinegar can be an extremely effective substance to clean your countertops with. But if it interacts with certain kitchen worktop stains, you may create a bigger problem than you had to begin with. Vinegar is very efficient at killing bacteria and helps lift stains easily, but mixing vinegar with eggs, bleach, or the wrong type of countertops can result in damage, congealed ingredients, and toxic gases. So it is vital to handle vinegar properly and with care. 

Kitchen Worktops at Granite Unlimited 

If you have decided that there are simply too many stains on your countertops and you’re looking for a change, not to worry, because here at Granite Unlimited, we have everything you need. We have a wealth of experience in manufacturing and installing stone countertops, including granite and quartz. We put great care and attention into every bespoke countertop we make to ensure your needs are met and your countertops last for years to come. 
Contact us now to start your journey with Granite Unlimited. 
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