Removing stains from old plastic countertop

I live in a rented house where the plastic countertop (probably from the 70's and 80's) is badly stained. The landlord will not replace it. I was wondering if I could somehow clean it. Regular cleaners including comet cleanser doesn't do much. I was wondering if using an orbital buffer would be more effective especially with a more abrasive cleanser. Can anyone recommend something more abrasive than comet for my application? Thanks
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On 3/28/2008 10:37 PM snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com spake thus:

What kind of stains? Before you start grinding the surface away (remember that's what abrasives do, remove material), you might try removing the stains with bleach. A lot of stains will respond favorably to that. Try a small area first; use a Q-tip to apply just a little undiluted bleach and see if it clears the stain.
I recently cleaned up an old piece of furniture with a Formica top by using a mixture of (mostly) naphtha, denatured alcohol and just a dash of acetone, scrubbing with fine steel wool. Cleaned up very nicely. (This one had big gobs of dried paint on it.)
If you do ending up actually grinding the stains away, keep in mind that you'll need to polish it up afterwards. Can be done, but involves a lot of elbow grease.
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If the countertop is white, try bleach. I had a white formica countertop and stains came out easily using bleach.
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Yeah, try bleach. It works on non-white countertops, too. When I've had stains that don't wipe up immediately, I've put down a paper towel or rag soaked in a dilute bleach solution over the stain for half an hour or so to let it "work". Wear gloves to protect your hands.
-Sandra
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Keep in mind that some formica-type surfaces the 'color' or pattern is only on the surface. Polish it too much and you will polish this off leaving just the backing showing, which would look worse than the stains.

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Clensers like comet will take the finish off whatever you use them on. My recommendation for your problem is Barkeeper's Friend. It is a polishing clenser with bleaching additions.
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barkeeper's friend is simply oxalic acid. it is not a polish, is not a cleanser, and has no bleach additions.
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On Thu, 10 Apr 2008 10:58:26 -0700, "charlie"

I recommend household bleach to remove food stains. It is non-abrasive and won't scratch or dull the surface. You can "revive" a dull countertop using an auto polisher and successive abrasive cuts made for autos. This can make a mess, mask off areas using newspaper and masking tape.
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It does do a very good job on stains in my experience. Thanks for the correction. Iassumed it bleached the stains - my error.
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.
I have good luck with making a paste out of ajax" cleanser and applying, then covering with paper towels[as mentioned], but i test an area first, after leaving the stain covered for awhile, and if still bad, leave covered and keep moist till stain comes out, sometime you still have to scrub, but use a quality scrubber pad, new if possible. "SOS" pads work well, too, i think they are -oo- double ot[spelling?] and work on most stains, test first, can scratch if used roughly. your landlord could have the countertops re- covered at less cost than tearing out and replacing, that is the beauty of laminate. rose
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It does, by the way, say "Cleanser & Polish" on the container.
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