It really is a no-brainer that when you clean and care for your belongings they will last longer. This, of course, applies to the clothes you wear as much as the cabinets you use in your home. Proper cleaning and caring for your kitchen cabinets will help extend their longevity and save you money!
Similarly, like clothing that needs to be treated according to the fabric it is made from, cabinets must be maintained in keeping with the material from which they were made as well as the finishes that have been applied.
While spills and splashes (especially those from cooking) often need special attention, your best solution for general cleaning is warm water mixed with a mild detergent. If you wipe down regularly using this there won’t be any build up of dust and grime and so you won’t need to do any vigorous scrubbing. Scrubbing is generally a no-no because it can damage the finish of your cabinet doors and your working surfaces.
Another no-no is excessive moisture that can damage every possible type of kitchen surface from wood to metal. For this reason it is prudent to always dry surfaces when you have cleaned them. If you have a kettle on a wooden counter top check for water spills and wipe them up before they form ugly white water stains.
Vinegar and lemon juice are good for getting rid of sticky spots on cabinets. You can also make a quick homemade paste with baking soda and water to get rid of dried food on surfaces. Use a sponge, and if you need to scrub, an old soft bristled toothbrush is about the limit.
Of course, there are also numerous proprietary cleaners that you can use, particularly when surfaces are greasy and grimy. Just be sure that these are not abrasive and don’t contain ammonia otherwise they can damage just about any surface.
If you are not interest in a DIY approach, then you can always find professionals who can be hired to do the job for you.
Cleaning Checklist For Cabinets
Here’s a quick checklist of what to use on cabinets, cabinet doors, and the countertops that also form an important component part of cabinets:
- Sealed wood Warm water mixed with a mild detergent. Wipe clean with a damp cloth and then dry thoroughly. Buff with a little furniture polish once a week to maintain a healthy shine.
- Medium density fiberboard (MDF) Generally MDF is painted, and usually with an enamel paint. If not wiped off immediately, grease can be removed with a little methylated spirits. A bit of furniture polish can also be wiped over the clean surface.
- Glass panes in doors Generally it’s best to stick with a proprietary glass cleaner most of which are sprayed on and wiped off. A cloth dipped in a small amount of methylated spirits will also work. Just be sure to wipe the glass completely clean.
- Thermofoil Because this is a very thin vinyl material that is used as a finish over MDF it should be cleaned the same way as vinyl or plastic laminates should be cleaned. Liquid non-abrasive cleaners are ideal, and a warm water and detergent mix usually works well.
- Melamine, Formica, and other laminates Use warm water mixed with a mild detergent and absolutely no abrasive cleaners. Liquid cleaners may be used.
- Hardwood counter tops (unsealed) Wipe clean with a mild detergent mix daily. Oil weekly to feed the wood.
- Marble and granite countertops Wipe clean with a little soapy water as often as needed. Lots of foodstuffs can stain, particularly if the stone is a pale color and even if it is highly polished.
- Tile and ceramic countertops A little mild detergent in warm water is usually sufficient. If the grout between tiles gets grubby scrub with a little sliced lemon. Non-scouring cleaning cream is also useful.
Ultimately, good daily care will ensure that your kitchen cabinets look their best 24/7. Clean up when you or anyone else makes a mess and your kitchen will always look good. And do a weekly dust and polish when you need to.