My countertop is a solid off-white material. Its finish is matte, not glossy, and because it has wood trim around the edge it's hard so get a side view - however, there is one point at which two pieces of the material are joined. It appears to be some sort of laminate or melamine. but I'm far from an expert here - these countertops were here when I bought the house.

Joined edges

I would like to know what material the countertops are made of, how heat resistant they are, and how to clean it. There is a place (which I've covered with a drying mat) where some mug rings have stained the countertop. My guess is that it's due to heat. I don't remember whether the rings were here when I came, or whether they appeared later - they have been there for years. Is it possible to fix this, and if so, how? So far the only recommendation I've read is to try carefully scrubbing with a magic eraser or melamine foam, but I want to make sure I know what I'm doing first.

[Mug rings on countertop]

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    That looks like a ‘melamine’ veneered material. Knowing this you could hunt for specifics. It’s usually impervious to stains, but if it has permanent stains they may need stong treatment. Have you tried gentle abrasive cleansers and rubbing? Even toothpaste, for instance? Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 16:18
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    Mr Clean Magic Eraser has removed stains on similar surfaces for me.
    – Mattman944
    Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 16:21
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    @OldUncleHo I tried toothpaste and it worked very well - thank you! The only problem is that, after seeing its power, I'm reluctant to use the toothpaste on my teeth...
    – BGreen
    Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 21:44

2 Answers 2


At first I thought porcelain tile but after looking closer I believe melamine is correct especially after looking at the slight cracks /fractures along the edge. I have a car polisher I use for quick countertop touch ups. The random orbital polisher has a large area and buffing compounds really work well at cleaning a surface like this or Formica. Make sure to tape over the wood with masking tape this way if you run over the wood the finish will not be affected. I use a soft bonnet over the pad and a paste buffing compound and work the entire surface with a little extra pressure time spent on deep stains, this method will take light stains out without damage but the surface becomes a little more shiny. I have used this method with a paste wax to bring a “new look” to counters on rentals.


it looks like melamine or laminate.

Either way the stuff is heat resistant to well past the boiling temperature of water, those are not burn marks from a mug, so they are som kind of dye mark.

Use a strong bleach: both surface types are chemical resistant.

If that doesn't work use a gritty cleaning compound sparingly, the surface is only thin.

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