HOW TO CLEAN KITCHEN CABINETS:
One of the easiest ways to keep your new cabinets looking beautiful is by cleaning them regularly. While this is often a dreaded task for many homeowners, thirty minutes to one hour each month is all it takes to ensure that your cabinets will last through years of use. The question is how to clean kitchen cabinets and preserve your finish and cause the least amount of damage to the environment.
Whether your cabinets have been newly installed or refaced, cleaning them properly is a quick and easy task.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- a one-gallon bucket
- warm water
- an emulsifying agent that will safely clean your cabinetry
- two soft, clean cloths
To begin, fill the bucket with warm water and the recommended amount of cleaning agent according to the manufacturer’s directions. It is important that you always use a clean cloth that is free of any grease, dirt, or debris that might scratch the finish on your cabinetry. Begin by wiping down the cabinetry with a cloth that has been dampened by the cleaning water, and don’t forget to wipe down the hinges, pulls, and knobs that are attached to the cabinets. These often receive the most traffic, and the cabinet surface behind and around the pulls and knobs will typically have the largest amounts of dirt and grime build-up, so be sure to give those areas special attention.
Once the cabinets have been wiped down, it is essential that you always follow-up with a dry cloth, being sure to remove any water from the surface of the cabinetry. After this final step, you may apply a polish to the surface of your kitchen cabinets. Just be sure that it has been manufactured for your cabinet type.
In order to lessen the amount of time spent on cleaning cabinets each month, it is important to spend time each day wiping away any residue that has been left behind as a result of everyday use. Fingerprints, dirt, food residue: all of these can break down the finish of the cabinetry if not removed on a regular basis.
It is also important to avoid introducing excessive moisture to the surface of the kitchen cabinets. Kitchen towels and dish cloths should be hung away from the cabinets, and coffee makers should be placed in an area where the steam will not be exposed to the cabinets in a way that will causing warping or other damage.
MIRROR AND GLASS INSERTS:
Windows, Doors & More recommends cleaning mirror and glass inserts with a glass cleaner that is applied to the cloth. Do not apply the cleaner directly to the mirror or glass insert, as the cleaner may come into contact with the cabinet surface and cause damage to the finish. Be certain that the cloth is free of any debris that might scratch the surface of the mirror or glass, and if the insert contains gold, copper, or silver etchings or inlays, be sure that the cleaner will not be caustic to any of the metals.
If you aren’t comfortable using a chemical agent to clean your kitchen cabinets, you can use a natural method and still obtain beautiful results.
- Vinegar and Water: For centuries, people have relied upon vinegar for cleaning purposes. A bucket of warm water with equal parts white vinegar will remove all the dirt and grime from your cabinets just as efficiently as any commercial cleaner. Be sure, however, to follow the steps above, always using a soft cloth and always wiping away any moisture.
- Baking Soda and Water: When cabinets have been neglected long enough to develop tough stains, a paste of baking soda and water is often all it takes to lift those stains while protecting the finish. Make a paste of baking soda and water, place on the stained area and then scrub with a sponge or soft cloth to remove the build-up. Rinse with water, and then dry with a soft cloth.
DON’T FORGET THE INSIDE:
It’s easy to forget that cleaning the inside of the cabinet is just as important cleaning the outside. This is where you store your clean dishes, your spices, your canned goods, and over time, the shelves of the kitchen cabinets can become covered with dust and crumbs. Depending on use, each cabinet may need cleaned on a varying basis. The cabinet that holds the toaster and the flour will undoubtedly become dirtier than the cabinet holding the drinking glasses. To keep your cabinets looking clean and new, it’s important that a few steps be followed on a regular basis.
- Always wipe up spills immediately. A clean, damp cloth will help remove any dirt or debris, and always follow-up with a soft, dry cloth, removing any moisture.
- For in-depth cleaning, remove all of the contents from the cupboard or drawer.
- It may be necessary to vacuum the inside of the cabinet before wiping down with a wet cloth. Be sure to remove any large debris or small crumbs first as this will make cleaning with a damp cloth much more efficient.
- Using a bucket of warm water with the desired cleaning agent, wipe down each cabinet with a clean, damp cloth, and then immediately dry the cabinet interior.
- Before replacing the contents, wipe down all containers, pans, spices, and cans. Pay special attention to the bottoms of the containers that might have dirt or debris. Be sure that all contents are dried before returning them to the cabinet.
Keeping your kitchen cabinets clean is a critical component to maintaining a beautiful kitchen. If completed on a regular basis, cleaning your kitchen cabinets will ensure a lasting finish and prevent unnecessary scratches and damage. An attractive kitchen is an investment that adds much value to your home, and a few minutes each month will guarantee years of lasting beauty.