The kitchen is the “Heart of the Home” and often the central gathering place for friends and family.  Your cabinets are one of the main features in your kitchen and their appearance is one of the first things people notice.  Maintaining your cabinets and keeping them free of build-up will extend their life including appearance and functionality.  The good news is that it’s relatively easy to do and you may even have the materials and ingredients you need in your home right now to care for you kitchen cabinets along with any other wood cabinets you have in your home.

Cloth or Sponge? 

Avoid using sponges to clean your wood cabinets.  They may leave behind residue or chemicals which can be damaging to your cabinets.  Instead, use a soft cloth, preferably something lint free such as cheese cloth or an old t-shirt that’s been through the wash enough times to eliminate lint.  This will help produce a clean, clear finished product.

Avoid Abrasive Cleaners and Solvents

All you really need to clean your wood cabinets is mild soapy water.  If you prefer, you can also use vinegar and water.  But avoid harsh chemicals and abrasives that may damage your cabinet’s finish.  Also stay away from spray cleaners and polishes you find in the store unless they specifically indicate they are made for the care of wood cabinets.  These sprays are quick and easy to use and they leave a shine but they sometimes contain ingredients that create a wax-like build-up which is not good for your cabinets.

Wash, Rinse and Dry 

Use your cloth or old t-shirt to wipe down your cabinets with your mild soapy water.  Be sure to clean the outside and outside and don’t forget the sides, top and bottom.  You would be surprised where drips and grease build-up can collect!  Once you have washed the cabinet, use a clean cloth to rinse with cool, clean water.  Don’t saturate your cabinets but take time to remove the soap to provide the best finish.  Once the cabinets are rinsed, grab one more clean cloth and dry them to a beautiful shine.  You can apply a furniture polish to enhance the shine if you like but be sure to buff the polish well for best results.  Now that your kitchen cabinets look beautiful, time to move on to your bathroom cabinets!

Are your cabinets too far gone to make them look good?  Consider refacing them.