How to Make Your Counter Look New Again

Want to upgrade your counter without buying a new one? If you want to remove those yellow stains, "permanent" marks, dough residue and more, here are 9 tips that will turn your counter from drab to fab. 

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
May 10, 2017


DIY Cleaner

To make a great, inexpensive all-purpose cleaner for your counters, tiles, tubs, and toilets, pour 8 ounces warm water into a container (a spray bottle would be ideal), and add three Alka Seltzer tablets. Let the solution fizz out completely, then dab onto a cloth or sponge and get wiping!

(Not So) Permanent Marker

To remove a marker stain (even from permanent marker) from a countertop, use an orange peel. First, rub the outside with your fingers to bring the orange oil to the surface, then rub the peel directly on the marker stain. You may need to use a little elbow grease, but it will come out!

Cleaning Away Dough

When you’re done with an afternoon of baking, here’s an easy way to clean the stuck-don dough from your counter: Just sprinkle your messy countertop with salt, and you’ll be able to use a damp sponge to easily wipe away the doughy, floury mess you’ve left behind.

Get Rid of Stone Stains

To remove stains on stone countertops, make a mixture of warm water with a few drops of both hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. Rub it into the stain, wait a few minutes, then rinse with warm water. To eliminate small scratches, you can buff with a superfine steel wool.

Shiny Countertops

For a scratch-free cleaner that will make your countertops sparkle, apply club soda with a moist sponge.

Marble Maintenance

Marble countertops add a touch of elegance to a home, but unfortunately, they can’t be cleaned with most commercial products. We recommend the old-fashioned route. First, fill a small basin or your sink with warm water, and add a drop or two of dishwashing liquid. With a sponge, use the soapy water to wipe down the countertop, then rinse and dry the area. If you notice a stain, add a few drops of bleach to baking soda until you’ve made a paste, cover the stain with it, and leave overnight. The next day, wet the area and remove the paste, being sure to rinse the area thoroughly.

Getting Rid of Counter Stains

You can remove stubborn stains from your countertop by applying a baking soda paste and rubbing with a warm, damp cloth. If the stain still remains, consider using a drop or two of bleach, but be careful—it can fade your countertop along with the stain!

Yellowed Counter?

If the enamel on your counter or tub has turned yellow, add a handful of salt to turpentine and rub onto the enamel, then wash as usual. Make sure to test in a small area of the counter first.

Cleaning a Melted Plastic Mess

It’s happened to us tons of times, and it’s probably happened to you—a bag of bread is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you end up with melted plastic all over the counter (or toaster). To remove melted plastic from metal, glass, or other plastic, first make sure the surface is cool (that is, unplug the toaster!). Then, rub the affected area with nail polish remover until the plastic scrapes off. Wipe down the surface with a damp sponge and let it dry, and you’re back in business.

For more cleaning tips for around the house, check out our Cleaning Tips board on Pinterest. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook for our Tip of the Day!

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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