TOP FIN­ISH

Lam­i­nates are af­ford­able and durable, and although not to­tally im­per­vi­ous to wear and tear, they are quite easy to main­tain.

Home & Decor (Malaysia) - - Fix It -

Lam­i­nates have be­come more pop­u­lar than ever, be it for coun­ter­tops or cab­i­netry. And for good rea­son – they come in many nat­u­ral-look­ing de­signs that re­sem­ble wood, stone and con­crete, as well as interestin­g pat­terns, tex­tures and colours. Fur­ther­more, lam­i­nates have a rel­a­tively low price range. How­ever, like every hard­work­ing sur­face in the home, they re­quire rou­tine clean­ing and care. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep them look­ing lovely.

DO

• Use a soft damp cloth for daily clean­ing. Adding di­luted mild deter­gent or vine­gar can also re­move most stains and grease. Be sure to com­pletely rinse off any soap residue with warm wa­ter to pre­vent per­ma­nent residue stains, and dry thor­oughly af­ter. • Treat dif­fi­cult stains (such as cof­fee or tea marks) with bak­ing soda paste (3:1 ra­tio of bak­ing soda and wa­ter). Spread on the stain, very lightly scrub for 10 to 20 strokes, and let sit for three to five min­utes be­fore wip­ing away. Although bak­ing soda is low-abra­sive, ex­ces­sive scrub­bing can dam­age the sur­face, es­pe­cially if it has a glossy fin­ish. • Wipe up spills im­me­di­ately. The longer it sits, the more likely it is to stain.

DON’T

• Place hot cook­ware or dishes di­rectly on the lam­i­nate coun­ter­top. Ex­treme heat can cause crack­ing or blis­ter­ing. Al­ways use a trivet or in­su­lated hot pad to pro­tect your coun­ter­top. • Use your coun­ter­top as a chop­ping board. Knife cuts can go through the colour layer and ex­pose the un­der­lay, which can­not be re­paired. • Use clean­ers con­tain­ing al­kali, acid or sodium hypochlo­rite, which can etch, cor­rode and dis­colour the lam­i­nate sur­face. These in­clude oven clean­ers, chlo­rine bleach, rust re­movers, drain clean­ers, tub and tile clean­ers, and lime scale re­movers.

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