By Nancy M. Lambert
Like most smart homeowners, you realize the impact the right cabinets can have on your kitchen. Selecting the perfect cabinets for your home is one thing; keeping them looking great is another. Here are some handy hints to keep your cabinets looking as beautiful as the day you put them into your kitchen.
If you’re like the typical homeowner, you have wood cabinets finished with a catalyzed conversion varnish. These types of cabinets only need to be cleaned occasionally by wiping with a damp cloth and dried with a soft cloth. Keep in mind that you can use gentle soap and water once in a while, but your cabinets won’t stand up to this kind of treatment on a regular basis. And abrasive cleaners or furniture cleaners that remove wax build-up should be avoided altogether.
Choose Non-Abrasive Alternatives
Instead, look for a liquid, non-abrasive cleaner. If there’s grease build-up on your cabinets, experts recommend the same tip you might have heard from your grandmother: Use a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, which won’t leave residue behind. But no matter what anyone says, you won’t need to use any type of wax products – they won’t hurt your cabinets, but they won’t make them look any better, either.
Do your cabinets have punched tin or metal inserts?
Clean these panels with a soft, dry cloth. If that’s not enough and you need a liquid cleaner, use only a mild soap diluted with water, then wipe immediately. Stay away from abrasive cleaners, waxes and polishes, as these can damage the inserts’ protective coating.
What about the hardware?
Most cabinetry has coating on the hardware specifically designed to protect it against abrasion and corrosion, so cleaning it is simpler than you might think. Just use a soft cloth with some warm water and a gentle, non-abrasive cleaning solution to remove any dirt or spills.
An Ounce of Prevention
There are some easy things you can do to care for your cabinetry that will not only make your regular cleaning much easier, but also to extend the life of your cabinets. These tips may seem like common sense, but cabinetry experts say that over time, the smallest things can have a big impact on your cabinets.
On finished wood surfaces:Immediately clean liquid or food spills
Inks can rub onto your cabinets’ finish, so don’t forget to pick up newspapers or other printed papers
Pick up items rather than sliding them across surfaces
With a little patience and a simple cleaning routine, you can keep your kitchen cabinets sparkling like brand new. Beginning when they are new is the smartest idea to keep your cabinets in top condition for years to come.
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