USE AND CARE GUIDELINES Laminates are designed for beauty and durability. Like any surfacing materials they can be damaged by abuse and carelessness. When used as recommended with proper use and care, the end result is years of satisfaction.
PROTECTING THE SURFACE Before selecting the surface material, consider the type of use it will receive, as well as its texture, color, and reflective values. A rough-textured surface has different advantages, depending upon use, than a smooth-textured surface. For example, highgloss finish laminates are not recommended for use in heavy-duty applications such as countertops. Dark colors tend to enhance scratches, marring and fingerprints.
Scratch and Impact Protection Laminate surfacing material are resistant to scratches and impacts under normal use conditions. Use cutting boards, chopping blocks, or other protective surfaces.
• Do not chop, slice, pound, or hammer on any laminate surface.
• Knives or other sharp utensils may slice or scratch the surface.
• Heavy blows from a hammer or meat tenderizer may crack or gouge the surface.
Use place mats, doilies, and trivets on laminate surfaces when necessary.
• Ceramics and abrasive objects can cause scratching and premature wear – do not slide these items across surface. Follow recommendations for cleaning – do not use abrasive cleaners, steel wool, sandpaper, or Scotch-Brite® scouring pads (see Cleaning section inside).
Hot Objects Cookware still hot from the stove, oven or microwave, as well as electric skillets, waffle irons, curling irons and hot rollers, should not be placed directly on laminate surfaces. Prolonged exposure to temperatures of 140°F (60°C) or higher may cause the laminate to separate from the core material. Use a trivet, insulated hot pad or other protective device beneath all hot cookware, heat generating appliances, or other heated objects.
• Laminate surfacing material can withstand heat up to 275°F (135°C) for short periods of time. Avoid ironing or placing a hot iron on laminate surfaces. Do not place lighted cigarettes directly on laminate surfaces.
ORDINARY CLEANING Laminate materials are very easy to clean.
• In most cases, you only need to use a clean, damp, nonabrasive cotton cloth and a mild liquid detergent or household cleaner.
• Rinse with clean water, using a clean, non-abrasive cotton cloth.
• Do not flood the laminate, especially near seams, since water can penetrate and cause the substrate to swell.
• Dry the surface with a soft, clean, non-abrasive cotton cloth.
For specific types of surfaces, use the following care guidelines
Matte and Sparkle Finish Laminates Especially hard-to-clean areas may require special attention. Use a nylon bristled hand or vegetable brush, along with a mild liquid detergent-and-water solution or household cleaner. Clean the soiled area using a rotating motion. Rinse and dry the surface as indicated above.
Sculpture and Dimensional Finish Laminates These surfaces may require special attention to clean the depressed areas. Use a nylon-bristled hand or vegetable brush, along with a mild liquid detergent-and-water solution or household cleaner. Clean the soiled area, using a rotating motion. Rinse and dry the surface as indicated above.
High Gloss Finish Laminates If residual streaks and smears remain after normal cleaning, use a mild glass cleaner and then dry with a clean, non-abrasive cotton cloth. Avoid exterior glass cleaner.
Abrasives Abrasive pads, scouring powders or cleaners may permanently dull and scratch the laminate surface making it susceptible to staining. Ceramics, including unglazed materials and other abrasive objects, can cause scratching and premature wear – do not slide these items across surface.
Chemical Damage Never use cleaners containing acid, alkali, or sodium hypochlorite. These cleaners will mar, etch, corrode, and permanently discolor the laminate surface. Also, make sure that bottles, rags, and other materials contaminated with these cleaners never contact the laminate surface. Accidental spills or splatters from these compounds should be wiped off immediately, and the area rinsed thoroughly with water.
Examples of cleaners containing acid, alkali, or sodium hypochlorite include, but are not limited to:
ceramic cooktop cleaners
some countertop cleaners
lime scale removers
toilet bowl cleaners
tub and tile cleaners
SPECIAL CLEANING RECOMMENDATIONS
Residual Glue Sometimes new decorative laminate has a streaky appearance caused by contact adhesive used during fabrication. Clean with a non-abrasive cotton cloth and an adhesive solvent such as Contact Adhesive Solvent. Use solvent sparingly, as excessive amounts may delaminate edges. Read and follow all warnings and instructions on the labels of all solvent products.
Paint and Varnish Remove most oil-base paints, varnishes and lacquers from decorative laminate surfaces with a suitable solvent. Read and follow all warnings and instructions on the labels of all solvent products, and remember that most solvents are extremely flammable. Use solvent sparingly, as excessive amounts may delaminate edges. Remove most water-based paints with an ammoniated household cleaner. For stubborn paint spots, gently use a plastic, non-metallic, non-abrasive pad. Never use steel wool or other abrasive scouring pads.
Stains To remove or minimize stains, use full strength Fantastik® All Purpose Cleaner, Formula 409®, Pine-Sol® (original formulation) or other mild household cleaner on the affected area, and allow it to draw out the stain. Blot with a clean, damp, non-abrasive cotton cloth, and then rinse with clean water. When a recommended cleaner changes its formulation, the change may be harmful to the laminate surface. Formica Corporation cannot be held responsible for these changes. Solvents such as denatured alcohol can also be used. Follow all directions and warnings on the solvent label because many are extremely flammable.
Stubborn or “fugitive” stains that may disappear on their own, after a short time or after repeated cleanings, include: coffee and tea stains
Stains which are stubborn or even permanent, and may not disappear, include:
cash register inks
food pricing ink
marking pen inks
newsprint label inks
Some materials and liquids, such as dyes and pharmaceutical products, will permanently stain laminate. Examples include:
hair dyes and rinses
These stains may be reduced by applying a paste of baking soda and water on the area to pull out the stain. The paste will be slightly abrasive, so do not rub. wipe up the paste with a clean, damp, non-abrasive cotton cloth, and then rinse clean with water. Periodic application of a self-cleaning wax can help minimize future staining. Scotch-Brite® is a registered trademark of 3M Company. Fantastik® is a registered trademark of DowBrands Inc. Formula 409® and Pine Sol® are registered trademarks of The Clorox Company. Mercurochrome® is a licensed trademark of Beckton Dickson.