How to Clean Plastic Surfaces

Plastic has many uses and offers a protective surface for counter tops. Cleaning plastic surfaces is usually quick and easy and stain removal is often a snap. Just make sure not to scratch the smooth surface so that it keeps its glossy shine.

How to Clean Plastic

You Will Need:

  • Mild detergent
  • Spray Kitchen Cleaner
  • Sponge (double sided sponges with a soft side and a scrubber side work well)
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Nylon bristled brush or vegetable brush
  • Mild glass cleaner
  • Soft cloths
  • Soft Paper Towels

The Cleaning Process:

  1. Begin by mixing a small amount of the detergent with water in the bucket. If you are not cleaning your sink, you could also mix it there for easy access.
  2. Dampen a soft cloth in the detergent water and wipe to remove dirt and grime from the plastic surfaces. You will want to work from top to bottom. For example, if you are cleaning kitchen cupboards and countertops, start with the top cupboards, then countertops and finish with the lower cabinets.
  3. Spray the area with a kitchen cleaner.
  4. Use the sponge to scrub at any stubborn areas. The rough side of the sponge can scratch a smooth plastic finish if too much pressure is applied, so use it carefully.
  5. For textured surfaces, use the nylon brush and scrub in a circular motion to remove dirt and stains.
  6. Wipe away any remaining cleaner with a clean cloth.
  7. Rinse with a cloth moistened with clean water if cleaning solution remains.
  8. Dry with a soft cloth.
  9. Buff with a soft paper towel to restore shine.
  10. If the plastic has a glossy finish and there are streaks left from the cleaning solution, spray with mild glass cleaner and wipe away with a soft cloth.

Removing Grease and Other Stains

Plastic does not absorb stains, so they just need to be broken down and wiped away.

You Will Need:

The Cleaning Process:

  1. First, try rubbing the stain with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. This alone will take care of most it.
  2. If that does not work or you do not have a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, wet a soft cloth with water and a mild detergent. Dawn works well for grease stains.
  3. Rub gently to remove the stain.
  4. Rinse with a cloth moistened with clean water.
  5. Use a soft towel to dry the area.
  6. Buff with a soft paper towel to restore shine.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Use rubber gloves to protect your hands from cleaning solutions and excess moisture.
  • Try using alcohol, vinegar with bicarb soda, or a baking soda paste to remove stains from plastic. Do not rub the baking soda around on the plastic because it is abrasive and will scratch the finish.
  • Be careful not to flood laminate countertops, especially at the seams as it can weaken the glue and cause them to separate.
  • Tilex or a tile cleaner with bleach can also be helpful in removing stains from plastic.
  • Avoid any abrasive cleaners on plastic surfaces as they are easily scratched.
  • Keep all cleaners and/or containers with cleaners that have acid, alkali, sodium hypochlorite away from plastic surfaces as they will cause irreversible damage.
  • Stains such as food stains may wear away over time and several cleanings, while ink stains (from newspapers, labels, etc.) may be permanent.


  1. Thanks so much for the tip on cleaning grease from plastics. I just got a new iPad case for $50.00 and put a greasy fingerprint on it. I was so mad. The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser worked easily; no problem. I love that product, but would never have thought to try it.

  2. “Plastic does not absorb stains, so they just need to be broken down and wiped away.”
    That’s what I would have thought, but my Morphy Richards steamers tray, made (apparently) of polythene, has become discoloured brown from the mushrooms cooked and it isn’t just on the surface. It’s not clear whether an interaction with the fat in butter has been involved.
    To be fair to Morphy Richards, I have been cooking dark mushrooms on it for the past 8 years (and not cleaning very often).

  3. For oily plastic cups (disposable glasses), which soda or component should be use for the cleaning purpose?

  4. Hinsu,
    A grease-fighting dish liquid should work to clean oil off plastic cups. However, baking soda is another great option.

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