Our house is about 20 years old, and many of the things inside are "original equipment", including the off-white Formica kitchen countertops. We're slowly weighing our options for replacing them, but in the meantime I need them to look as good as they possibly can. Some Internet research revealed several possibilities for cleaning them up, and today I polished my kitchen countertops with car wax.
I usually don't go to the trouble to wax my car, so I had to buy some wax at the auto parts store. There was a whole section of waxes; I just bought the cheapest one and brought it home.
The first step in the project, though, was getting all the old embedded dirt off. I brought out the big guns, and scrubbed them with cleanser. It was amazing how much dirt was embedded in the surface! With a lot of cleanser, elbow grease, rinsing (and a change of clothes after I got wet cleanser all over my shirt), the countertops were clean. However, they didn't have that shiny gleam I was going for.
It was wax time! The directions were simple--wet the applicator, apply wax and let it dry, then wipe it off. I did it a section at a time, and found that it takes a LOT of elbow grease to remove dried-on wax. However, the horizontal countertop was much easier to do than a vertical surface like a car.
I finished up the countertop and the island shortly before I had to leave for work. They looked nice, but I didn't notice a dramatic difference. However, when I came in the door after work I was greeted by an expanse of gleaming counters. They were beautiful! I got out all my supplies again so I could clean and polish my kitchen desk, which is made out of the same Formica.