When your cabinets are brand new, they have a shiny and vitality that can wear away after years of use. Maintaining that like-new appearance is easy when you take care of those kitchen and bathroom cabinets. With the right care, your cabinets will look as beautiful on the day they were installed as they do even decades down the road.
Soap and water can be great for cleaning your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, as long as you take care to dry the cabinets thoroughly afterwards, as moisture can damage the finish and the wood of the cabinets. Use a very mild soap and warm water to clean your cabinets, making sure to completely dry the cabinets with a soft, dry cloth. Try not to hang dishcloths or kitchen towels that are wet over your cabinets, as this can eat away at your finish and leave a water stain on the wood.
There are lots of different products that you can use on your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, but be sure to avoid products that employ ammonia or abrasives. Both of these can seriously damage the finish and the wood, leaving scratches, stains, and harmful residue. Mild soap is one of the best cleaning products you can use on your cabinets, especially if it is designed to cut grease. Mixing a few tablespoons of mild soap into a few cups of warm water and then using a soft sponge to apply it onto the cabinets will usually clean away any mess.
If you prefer a natural cleaner, vinegar is a good alternative to dish soap. Make a solution of vinegar and water and use a cloth to apply it to the surface of the cabinets. Follow it up with a clean towel soaked only in water, and then a dry towel. If there is particularly stubborn mess on your cabinets, a paste of baking soda and water can remove it. Use an old, clean toothbrush to gently rub the paste against the dried on food or water spot. Often, mayonnaise and white toothpaste can also effectively remove a stubborn bit of mess from your cabinets. If food or grease has been built up over months or years, an emulsifying cleaner might be the best way to remove these spots. Look for cleaners that are formulated for wooden cabinets to avoid using a product that will damage their surface.
The right cloth can make cleaning your kitchen or bathroom cabinets much easier. Something soft and free of lint will work best. An old t-shirt, cheesecloth, or chamois are all good choices. The older the cloth is and the more frequently it has been washed, the better it will be for cleaning a cabinet.
Day to Day Care
The best way to keep your cabinets looking clean and beautiful is to care for them on a daily basis. This means cleaning up any mess immediately with a soft, clean cloth. The faster you wipe up spills or spatter, the less likelihood there is of that mess having a chance to stain the wood or eat away at the finish. The longer that food and grease are allowed to stay on your cabinets, the harder they will be to remove, which may resort to you using caustic chemicals that can harm your cabinets. Don’t use the sponge or towel you use on your dishes to wipe up these messes, since they may just deposit more moisture and grease in the process.
Cleaning the Tops of Your Cabinets
Though the tops of your cabinets do not collect grease, food, and water spots like the fronts and bottoms of your cabinets might, they will become dusty. Dust mites that live on the oil, grease, and other substances in your kitchen and bathroom might find a home on the tops of your cabinets if they are not regularly cleaned. Regularly dusty and cleaning these areas can prevent this from happening.
If you want your cabinets to shine, a polish formulated either for wooden cabinets specifically or for furniture can be used once the cabinets are clean. Use a soft cloth to slowly work the polish into the wood, and then buff it until it shines. These polishes are formulated not just to make your cabinets shine, but to clean and protect them. A tablespoon of lemon juice mixed with a half cup of olive oil makes a great natural polish for your cabinets.
Avoid using polishes that contain wax or silicone. While they will make your cabinets shine, they also attract dust and hold on to mess, creating a buildup that is difficult to wash away.
Keep your cabinets looking like new by properly cleaning and polishing them!