You’ve just had new kitchen cabinets installed. The kitchen looks great. It feels light and airy now, and the new cabinets are fabulous. But how do you keep them looking brand new? What do you need to do to maintain that new look? What type of cleaner should you use?
Just like any new construction, freshly installed kitchen cabinets take some TLC over their twenty-five to thirty year lifespan so that they can continue to look good and work efficiently.
Maintaining and cleaning your new kitchen cabinets is just as important as dusting and polishing some of your best pieces of furniture. So, let’s examine some of the dos and don’ts to maintain and clean your new cabinets.
- Do not use a vinegar and water solution. Vinegar is a great cleaner for many kitchen surfaces and glass, but wood is not one of them. Vinegar is acidic and can damage and discolor your cabinet finish.
- Mix together a simple combination of one cup gentle dish soap and two to three cups of hot water. Once the mixture is created, use a microfiber cloth or a clean sponge to start washing off your cabinets. Dish soap is designed to cut through grease, so it’s the perfect DIY solution to clean cabinets with.
- You can also use a cloth dampened with diluted ammonia to clean grease off kitchen cabinets.
Oil Soaps and conditioners
- Murphy Oil Soap is often used to clean and polish horse tack, like bridles and saddles. However, it is also one of the best oil soap wood cleaners and conditioners on the market. Waxed hardwood floors, furniture, antique wood keepsakes, and kitchen cabinets can benefit from using it to clean and condition the wood. Because it is stronger than dish soap, it can remove grease and other cooking substances without damaging the surface.Lemon Oil is also a great way to condition and maintain wood kitchen cabinets. In fact, it is a perfect product to use on all your wood furniture. It helps to keep the wood from drying out and it restores the look of the wood’s grain and its natural beauty. Lemon oil is easy to use and excellent for polishing, conditioning, and nourishing all wood surfaces.Never use a non-drying oil on your cabinets. Some examples of non-drying oils are olive, coconut and avocado oils. These oils will not dry or harden on your cabinets. They remain soft, attract dust, and eventually go bad. A drying oil, such as linseed, tung, lemon, orange, or walnut oils harden when exposed to air and they will help protect your wood cabinets.
- Baking soda is truly a miracle substance. Not only is it used in baking, but it can also be used as a mouthwash, a whitener for teeth, a deodorant, an odor neutralizer for the refrigerator or garbage can, an air freshener, and a kitchen cabinet cleaner. Just mix one part water with two parts baking soda into a paste. Dab the paste onto the stain, caked on food or drips and let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean. Buff out any remaining residue with a clean cloth. Baking soda also works well for cleaning drawer handles and cabinet hinges.
Wood polish with Carnauba wax
- You have probably heard about Carnauba wax as the product used to give your car a nice shiny, protective coating. Carnauba wax is a natural, plant-based product that creates a deep shine on wooden or other painted surfaces. It is made from the leaves of a Brazilian palm tree. This wax is a fantastic natural alternative to chemical cleaners and conditioners. When you use a cleaner that contains Carnauba wax, you can remove grease, stains, and put a nice exterior shine on your cabinets.
The key to effectively maintaining and cleaning wood cabinets without marring or scratching them, is to use gentle, non-abrasive solutions—like the ones described above–with a clean non-abrasive cloth.
Washing the outside surfaces weekly is a good habit to get into. Regularly cleaned and conditioned wood cabinet doors and drawers last longer, the hardware functions more effectively, and they will need little else in the way of maintenance.
Be sure to clean after cooking. By wiping your cabinets down after cooking you will make it easier to prevent grease build-up. Cabinets directly above and below the stove collect a lot of grease and spatters from cooking. You may need to clean these cabinets more than once to remove any build-up.
At least once a year, you should deep clean your cabinets and drawers both inside and out. Here’s a step-by-step checklist to help guide you:
- Empty each cabinet and drawer and vacuum out the insides.
- Spot clean any stains or grease build-up.
- Wipe the interior with one of the cleaning solutions noted above, making sure to wipe the exterior sides and bottoms as well. Also remove the drawers and vacuum the frame and gliders.
- After washing the interior, use a damp cloth to rinse, and then wipe any moisture away with a dry cloth.
- Dip a small scrubbing brush or an old toothbrush in your cleaning solution or baking soda paste and softly scrub knobs, handles, and hinges. Rinse and then wipe them dry. You can also use cotton swabs to clean out hard to reach corners.
At Captain Cabinets, we pride ourselves on our customer service, our fast delivery, affordability, and our commitment to a fully satisfied customer. Our ready-to-assemble
kitchen cabinets are of the highest quality and a built to last. Keeping them fully maintained and cleaned will ensure that they last and look good for many years.
Whether you’re a contractor or do-it-yourself home builder or renovator, give us a call today and let us show you our collection of fine, high-quality, ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets.