Taking special care of your kitchen cabinets will help to extend their lifespan and ensure they look new for years to come. Maintaining a weekly cabinet cleaning routine will keep dirt and stains to a minimum in between deep cleans. While doing dishes and cleaning your kitchen make a habit of spot cleaning cabinets, paying special attention to smudges, dirty finger prints, food stains, and water spots. No matter what cabinet material you are working with, be sure to use a clean cloth. Don’t use a cloth that you use to clean dishes as it may contain residual detergents that can harm your cabinetry. When you’re ready to tackle deep cleaning your cabinets, be sure to follow the recommended guidelines for your type of cabinets.
When cleaning wood cabinets, use a damp cloth to wipe up minor marks, spills, and dust. Keep in mind however that water and wood do not mix, so any moisture should be wiped dry immediately following cleaning. Moisture can cause swelling and damage the finish if left to sit on the surface for too long. Most cabinet manufacturers recommend an emulsion cleaner, such as Murphy’s Oil Soap. Avoid harsh formulations with silicone that will damage the cabinet finish, and products with wax that can cause buildup over time.
Painted cabinets remain a popular choice for kitchens, but their finish may require a little more cleaning if you opted for a light color like white, as dirt is more visible. It’s important to keep in mind that painted cabinets are still made of wood, so even though painted glossy finishes are in general more durable than stained wood finishes, you should still go easy on the water, and wipe up any moisture as quickly as possible. It may be tempting to go at the inevitable dirty fingerprints and smudges with a Magic Eraser, but we urge you to put the sponge down! A Magic Eraser has abrasiveness similar to that of fine sandpaper. You wouldn’t use sandpaper to clean your cabinets, would you? Instead opt for a clean damp fiberless cloth to gently scrub away dirt and grime. If stubborn stains persist, mix in a very small amount of gentle dish soap with warm water and polish away the buildup.
Glass cabinet doors may be cleaned with any commercial glass cleaner, but it’s imperative to avoid getting the glass cleaner on the surrounding wood surface, molding, or mullion inserts. Never spray glass cleaner directly onto the doors, as the over-spray can cover the wood surface, settle into seams, and cause wood discoloration. Apply a small amount of the cleaner to your towel before carefully polishing the glass surface.
With the large variety of cabinet options available it’s essential to consult with the cleaning recommendations from your cabinet manufacturer before you get started cleaning your cabinetry. Manufacturer cleaning recommendations and guidelines may vary in accordance to your cabinet material and finish.