Method and apparatus for restoring a support surface of a substrate support to a pre-process condition. The method comprises the steps of providing a surrogate substrate on the degraded support surface, providing the surrogate substrate with a ground connection and establishing an electric field between the support surface and the surrogate substrate to remove accumulated charges in the support surface. The apparatus comprises a process chamber having a surrogate substrate on a the support surface and connected to ground. The surrogate substrate is a semiconductor wafer or a plate or sheet of metallic material. The ground connection is established by striking a plasma that contacts the surrogate substrate and an electrical ground reference. The electric field established between the support surface and the surrogate substrate "pushes" any accumulated charges out of the support surface. Removal of the accumulated charges improves and extends the chucking ability of the support surface. The subject method also maintains the integrity of the support surface material as it is not attacked by highly energized and/or reactive species in a plasma.