A kitchen with newly installed wholesale kitchen cabinets is a beautiful sight to behold. Those new cabinets shine. They bring a brand new dimension of lightness and sophistication.
But time stops for no kitchen, and your cabinets are already older than they’ve ever been…and now they’re even older.
Keeping those cabinets looking new and pristine can be a daunting proposition, especially if they are lighter in color (like Antique White). But keeping them fresh and clean is not as hard as it seems, if you develop the knack for a few regular kitchen hacks and habits.
The first step in keeping cabinets clean starts with the stove. The stove is a major cause of the fading and yellowing of kitchen cabinetry. Grease and food particles rise with the steam and smoke from cooking, and land on surfaces near and far. Naturally, areas nearer the stove get the most exposure.
HACK: Having and using a range hood is your first line of defense in keeping these harmful vapors from reaching your cabinets and walls.
If your range hood is old, noisy, or does not work well, consider replacing it. Besides protecting cabinets from grease, a well-working range hood reduces cooking odors and smoke, and gives you light right over the stove. But as importantly as anything, your cabinets will retain their lovely color.
Next to grease and food particles from the stove, sunlight is the biggest bad-guy in fading kitchen cabinets.
Install blinds or drapes on windows letting direct sun into the kitchen, and keep them closed when the sun is shining in.
HACK: Another solution for blocking damaging UV rays is window film. Unlike blinds, which have to be opened and closed by hand, window film blocks UV light all of the time, and still gives you a view out of the window. Tinted film also provides privacy inside the house, and colors can match or accent the exterior paint and trim.
HABIT: Regularly clean the surface of your cabinets.
Ideally, wipe down surfaces near the stove every day after cooking. Clean the face of other cabinets at least once a month. The more frequently you do it, the faster and easier it gets. Work to develop the habit, so it becomes second nature.
Simple, inexpensive, and non-toxic cleaners work well for getting kitchen walls and cabinets clean, and they are easier on the person doing the cleaning. They are also less harsh on the finish of the cabinets. Mix together:
• 2 cups warm water,
• 1 cup white vinegar,
• 1 tablespoon baking soda.
Use a soft, clean cloth, dish rag, or sponge. Do not use a scrubby sponge or any other rough material, or the surface of the cabinets may be dulled permanently. Check the cleaner on an out-of-the-way spot and make sure it does not cause the finish to become white and hazy-looking. If it does, use another cleaner!
You can also use a solution of mild dish detergent and warm water. Wet the cloth and wring out the excess water before using it. After using the cleaning solution, wipe the surfaces down again with second, clean damp cloth and then dry with another cloth. Clean stained and dirty areas as soon as possible, or the cabinet finish may be discolored or damaged.
Oil soaps are another good alternative cleaner for kitchen cabinets, especially for extra-dirty areas. Always use clean water on a damp cloth to wipe away any excess oil soap or other cleaning solution after the surface has been cleaned.
To keep your kitchen cabinets looking their best, applying a finish of wax or furniture polish once every few months is recommended. It is important to clean the cabinets completely before waxing or polishing them and be sure the surfaces are completely dry before applying the polish.
Polishes come as pastes, liquids, and sprays. Some are scented and others are not. Choose one you like, and first test it in an inconspicuous area to be sure it does not damage or change the finish.
HACK: Apply wax and polish by spraying or rubbing it onto a clean cloth and then using the cloth to apply it to the surface of the cabinets. Putting the polish directly on the surface is more likely to affect the finish.
During cleaning, drying, and polishing your cabinets, use a circular motion when rubbing with the cloth, and do a small area at a time. Work systematically from one side to the other, so you do not miss any areas. Once you establish a routine for keeping your cabinets clean, you will be inspired to continue by the beauty of your kitchen.
If you need new kitchen cabinets or have any cabinet related questions, please reach out to Summit Cabinets in Corona, CA. We are here to help you with all your cabinetry needs!