How to clean kitchen cabinets

Like most smart homeowners, you realize the impact the right cabinetry can have on your kitchen. Selecting the perfect cabinets for your home is one thing; keeping them in good condition is another. Here are some practical tips to keep your cabinets looking as beautiful as the day you put them in your kitchen.

Cleaning 101

If you’re like the typical homeowner, you have wood cabinets finished with a catalyzed conversion stain. These types of cabinets only need occasional cleaning by wiping with a damp cloth and wiping them dry with a soft cloth. Note that you can use mild soap and water from time to time, but your cabinets will not withstand this type of treatment on a regular basis. And abrasive cleaners or furniture cleaners that remove wax buildup should be avoided entirely.

Choose non-abrasive alternatives

Instead, look for a non-abrasive liquid cleaner. If there’s grease buildup on your cabinets, experts recommend the same advice you may have heard from your grandmother: use a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, which won’t leave a residue. But no matter what anyone else says, you won’t need to use any kind of wax products: they won’t damage your cabinets, but they won’t enhance them either.

Do your cabinets have perforated tin or metal inserts?

Clean these panels with a soft, dry cloth. If that’s not enough and you need a liquid cleaner, just use a mild soap diluted in water, then clean immediately. Stay away from abrasive cleaners, waxes and polishes as they can damage the protective coating on the inserts.

What about the hardware?

Most cabinets have a coating on the hardware specifically designed to protect against abrasion and corrosion, so cleaning it is simpler than you might think. Simply use a soft cloth with a little warm water and a mild, non-abrasive cleaning solution to remove any dirt or spills.

An ounce of prevention

There are some easy things you can do to care for your cabinets that will not only make regular cleaning easier, but will also extend the life of your cabinets. These tips may seem like common sense, but cabinet experts say that over time, the smallest things can have a big impact on your cabinets.

On finished wood surfaces:

  • Clean up liquid or food spills immediately.
  • Inks can rub through the finish of your cabinets, so don’t forget to pick up newspapers or other printed paper.
  • Pick up objects instead of sliding them across surfaces
  • With a little patience and a simple cleaning routine, you can keep your kitchen cabinets sparkling like new. Starting when they’re new is the smartest idea to keep your cabinets in top condition for years to come.

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