Cleaning and Caring For Your Cabinets
Preserve Your Cabinets for Years of Beauty
Maintaining your cabinets is the easiest way to keep them beautiful and functional. Regular dusting and spot cleaning spills and splashes will help them stay a mainstay of your home for years to come. Here are some basic recommendations to keep in mind.
Cabinet Cleaning Basics
Warm water and a soft cotton cloth are usually more than enough for cleaning your cabinets. Simply dampen the cloth and wipe the mess away. For tougher spills and splatters, try a mix of mild hand dishwashing soap and warm water.
Wipe all surfaces with a damp, clean cloth after cleaning and immediately dry the area with another clean, soft cloth.
Avoid these Cleaning Products
Using these cleaning products may cause damage to your cabinets, so avoid these when cleaning:
- Harsh detergents, abrasive cleansers such as sink and tub cleaning products, scouring pads, scouring powder, strong soaps, self-polishing waxes or steel wool.
- Sponges or dish cloths may contain food and oil residue or remnants, harsh cleaning solutions or they may contain abrasive particles, all of which can scratch your cabinets, so avoid them when cleaning.
- Paint thinners, mineral spirits and other petroleum-based or solvent-based products, or nail-polish removers.
- Bleach or cleaning products that are made with bleach.
- Ammonia or ammonia-based cleaning products.
- Silicone-based waxing, cleaning or polishing products.
Splatters, Spills and Other Common Messes
Spilled food, water and other liquids, as well as grease and oil splatters can wreak havoc on your cabinets’ paint and finish, so clean these messes as quickly as possible to avoid long-term damage.
Dust regularly with a soft and clean, lint-free cotton cloth. There’s no need to use pre-packaged dusting sheets – they’re not necessary and can actually damage your cabinets’ finish. Also avoid pre-moistened dusting sheets and aerosol dusting products.
Wax and Polish
Manufacturers typically do not recommend waxing or polishing your wood cabinets. It is not required and over time, these compounds may form a very hard-to-remove buildup on your cabinet surfaces and create a cloudy, streaky or yellowish appearance.
Cleaning Glass Doors
Take extra care when cleaning glass doors. Use an ammonia-free glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth or paper towel. Also, avoid spraying the cleaner directly onto the glass, as it can seep behind the glass dividers and damage your cabinets.
Gouges, Nicks and Scratches
Manufacturer touch-up kits are available to hide and fill surface damage. Be sure the kit matches the color or finish for your specific cabinets.
Kits often include: a touch-up pen to hide minor blemishes, a tinted putty stick to fill deeper scratches, gouges or nicks and detailed instructions.
Avoid Moisture Damage
Always avoid laying damp dishtowels or clothes over cabinet doors. Moisture can cause permanent damage like discoloration or peeling and ruin the cabinet’s finish.
Avoid Heat and Light Damage
Excessive heat, such as the heat generated from an oven’s self-cleaning feature can severely damage your cabinets. Removing cabinet doors and drawers closest to the oven before using the self-cleaning feature can minimize the risk of cabinet damage.
Direct exposure to sunlight can darken the color of natural wood products. Sunlight can also fade many cabinet surfaces, including painted, laminated and thermofoil surfaces. Please consider curtains, blinds or draperies to protect your cabinets from direct sunlight.
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