Bleach product discolored my kitchen countertop!

Cyd1900May 17, 2002

I used Clorox Cleanup in my kitchen to clean and disinfect. It works great! My kitchen countertops stain easily from food spills. I have used this product in the past to remove these stains without any problems. Recently, I used it on some stains around my kitchen sink and let it sit awhile before wiping it up. Now I have these yellow stains on my countertop that won't go away. Since this incident, I have found out that bleach can permanently discolor your countertops if left on too long. I don't know what material my countertop is (maybe Formica). I am desperate to remove this discoloration since I rent this place. Can anyone help me??!!

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Bleach is not a recommended product for cleaning plastic laminate countertops. Due to EPA requirements, the chemical construction of laminate countertops are not what our mothers and grandmothers knew. You can not use strong chemicals or cleaning products on these tops. Discoloration from chemical products tends to be permanent.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2002 at 12:01AM
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So if you can't use bleach what can you use on light colored counter tops that can stain in seconds from things like spagehetti sauce or juice spills? Just wondering...I've been using Clorox Clean-up for quite a while. But, hey I may have figured out how the woman who used to live here stained the bathtub now! LOL


    Bookmark   May 25, 2002 at 9:33AM
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Keeping countertops waxed with a product like Gel Gloss tends to keep stains at bay.

Here is a link that might be useful: Use & Care of Laminate Countertops

    Bookmark   May 25, 2002 at 6:23PM
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Yeah, me too. We bought a big jug of Clorox Cleanup, it was being pushed by a vendor's rep at Costco. One year later, our white Formica bathroom counters were stained yellow. A housecleaner noticed the problem, but at first blamed the liquid Dial soap we keep on the counter. If you read the fine print on the back label of Clorox Cleanup, it says: not for use on laminates. So why didn't the rep that was pushing the product tell us? Fortunately, our beige kitchen Formica doesn't show a stain. I searched the internet for a "class action" suit against Clorox, but nothing was found. Maybe next year?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2002 at 4:29PM
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This is strange. I have cream colored laminate countertops which stain easily (Tang is the worst culprit). I pour full-strength Clorox directly on the counters, swish around with a sponge and the stains disappear leaving the counter as good as new.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2002 at 10:04AM
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I've found that alternating using baking soda and vinegar works pretty well at fading stains out of old white Formica; some things react to the base, some to the acid, and over time you can reduce how visible most things are.

The baking soda is a bit of a pain to rinse, though.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2002 at 7:35PM
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Try making a paste with OxiClean. It ahs no bleach in it so shouldn't discolor formica. I have Corian--and it works GREAT on htat! Melanie

    Bookmark   September 10, 2002 at 9:17AM
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A baking soda paste is all I ever use; removes stains from blueberries & tomato sauce and other discolorations. Our counters are very light colored and relatively new and the baking soda does the trick.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2002 at 12:12PM
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I have a solution for the yellow discoloration left by bleach products on formica countertops. Try Silver Jewelry Cleaner. This will remove the yellow discoloration in seconds. I use the liquid stuff with the little basket inside the jar for the jewelry. It can be found at most stores with jewelry counters. I have purchased it at Walmart and Bed Bath & Beyond ($4.99) The brand that I use is Connoisseurs Revitalizing Silver Jewelry Cleaner. Just wet a cloth and rub it on the countertop the discoloration will disappear in seconds. I have white formica countertops and have also experienced the same yellow discoloration with the use of bleach products. I promise you this really works.

1 Like    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 9:09AM
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I just had this problem.

Solution = I used ARM & HAMMER SCRUB FREE WITH OXY (bathroom cleaner), sprayed on, left it there, did this a few times and the nasty yellow bleach stains are gone!!!!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 11:38AM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil

We tend to use Soft Scrub with bleach on both the kitchen sink and Formica and have never noticed staining. The gentle abrasive seems to help without scratching.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 12:28PM
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Thanks - I used the suggestion to use silver jewelry cleaner and it worked. I had already most other suggestions but am so happy I found this site.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 4:37PM
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The 'oxy' type bleaches and cleaners (most are hydrogen peroxide based) are less aggressive then chlorine (hypochlorite) based bleaches.

Even hydrogen peroxide from the pharmacy often works well.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 10:39AM
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the silver jewelry cleaner is working on my late 50's formica/laminate countertop! Better living through chemistry, right? I wonder what other kinds of stains this might work on? Thank you!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 4:57PM
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I have a white formica countertop and used Chlorox Cleanup for several years without a problem. Last year, the yellow stains began to appear after using it and any other product containing chlorox. I assumed there had been a change in the chemical makeup of chlorox. I've tried every type of stain remover and now nothing works, although Lime Away worked for a while if I left it on. I stopped using any product with chlorox, but accidently sprayed some on the countertop yesterday. I can't get it off. I thought I'd try the internet before calling the company. Thanks for the suggestion on silver jewelry cleaner! I'm headed to the store to buy some right now.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 1:33PM
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I have a white Formica counter tops and used bleach with success to pick up red wine spills and rings for over 10 years. Recently, the counter top showed yellow stains. I thought I had spilled something, so I used MORE LAUNDRY BLEACH and left puddles of it. Then I wondered if the bleach could be the problem and washed the counter, found this thread and went to BB&B to get the Connisseur's silver jewelry cleaner with the little tub in it and poured some on the counter. Five minutes later the yellow is GONE!

I noted the "This product contains a chemical known to cause cancer in the State of California" in the ingredients. So after using it on the counters I rinsed the counter very well and ditto my hands.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 5:11PM
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The liquid silver cleaner worked for me too! Thank you, thank you. I love gardenweb. We are selling our house and I found the stain a few days before prospective buyers were coming. More bleach made it worse. Then I found this thread, used Goddard's Silver Dip (what I had - I don't think the actual brand matters) and it's gone. I dabbed it on with a paper towel, several times. It took several hours to completely disappear, but I after 10-15 minutes I could see that it was working.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2011 at 10:15AM
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A big thank you to "imriedel" for the post on removing bleach stains from counter tops. I could not believe the mess made by my usual bleach - totally unsightly brown/orange streaks everywhere. The silver jewellery cleaner worked like magic. I have only registered on this forum to give a big thumbs up and thank you from New Zealand for ths great advice.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 12:50AM
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Silver cleaner works! I just bought a mid-century house with original counters, and they were in great condition except for a couple of stains so I put some Clorox on there and got a huge orange stain. After reading elsewhere that there was no cure, I found this post and tried Connoisseurs Revitalizing Silver Jewelry Cleaner. Got it at CVS for like 6 bucks. Amazing. Stain gone. Thank you! I'm now going to start using a product to protect the countertops too, to help prevent stains. The Formica website lists some products they recommend to clean and protect Formica counters.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2015 at 12:32PM
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Chlorine is a highly corrosive substance. It is a powerful oxidizer. Overtime it will damage nearly anything it's used on. I have laminate counters (gray granite color). I find just about any all purpose cleaner works (we use Simple Green or 7th Generation) keeps it clean . However ours doesn't stain at a moments notice. Maybe time for a new countertop.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2015 at 7:00AM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil

As a chemist, I'm darn curious about what's in jewelry cleaner that can do this.

Presumably the bleach oxidized something. Maybe jewelry cleaners have reducing agents (to turn tarnish back into silver) that can reverse whatever reaction that was.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2015 at 3:21PM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil

So far, all I've learned is that Connoisseur's has thiourea in it (also an ingredient in TarnX) along with sulfuric acid and detergents (alcohol ethoxylates). Haven't figured out what the function of thiourea is. Probably only interesting to me.

I did learn the Conn's product has a pH of 1.25, though. :-o Don't get any on ya.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2015 at 3:46PM
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