How Do I Clean My Kitchen Cabinets?
Kitchen’s are usually one of the dirtiest places in the house. That yellowing or darkening grime that plagues a kitchen cabinet does not happen overnight. Daily cooking can lead to a buildup of grease on cabinet surfaces, and even with regular cleaning, eventually cabinets can start to look dull and dingy. The longer a grease stain stays on a cabinet, the stickier and more stubborn it will become to remove. Older wood cabinets with varnished or lacquered finishes need occasional waxing to maintain their appearance. Here are some tips to keep your new cabinetry clean!
Assess the Finish
Start by getting any dust and surface dirt off the cabinets. Wipe the entire cabinet with a soft cloth. If the area is sticky, gummy or greasy, skip it and move on. Wipe inside and outside the cabinets, and don’t forget the surfaces you can’t see. Dust on top of any cabinets that don’t go to the ceiling. While you’re dusting, check the finish for cracks, chips and other signs of wear. You’ll want to take extra care cleaning around any damaged areas to prevent further wear and tear.
Wash with Soap and Water
Starting from the inside of each cabinet and working your way out is a good starting method., Wash all surfaces with a mild soap and water solution. Use a soft cloth and gently wipe the surfaces clean; take care to not over-wet the wood. A stiff paintbrush will help you wash inside any carved areas that are too small for a cloth. Rinse with plain water and a clean cloth. Be sure to change the water frequently. Then wipe the cabinets with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture.
The Value of Vinegar
Vinegar is not just for pickling veggies or drizzling over French fries. It has grease-busting qualities too. Just dampen a clean, dry cloth with undiluted white vinegar, and wipe down the greasy cabinets. Rinse your cloth with warm water, wring out most of the moisture, and use it to rinse the cabinetry. Dry the damp surfaces with a paper towel, Sometimes you will need to repeat these steps until all the sticky spots are gone.
Grease Melting Suds
Dish soap with an alkaline-based product, cuts through grease, but so does heat. Fill your sink half full with tap water as hot as you can handle while wearing rubber gloves. Hot water helps to break down or melt through built-up grease. Squirt a tablespoon or two of dish soap into the water, and use a sponge with an attached nylon-scouring pad as your grease-killing weapon. Wipe down the cabinets in a circular motion with only enough pressure to remove the stains so it doesn’t remove your cabinets finish. Change the water as it cools. Rinse and dry your cabinetry to a shine.
Fighting Oil With Oil
Vegetable oil is a good way to fight though old, sticky, dust-grabbing grease. Oil has the ability to soften and lift such stains. Mix it with 2-parts baking soda for improved cleaning qualities. Rub in the baking-soda-and-oil paste with a soft cloth for cabinets that look as if they belong to someone who doesn’t cook. Use the paste to shine up grimy hinges, handles and pulls as well. Wash the cabinets with warm water and a little dish soap before rinsing and drying them.
Applying Fresh Wax
Apply a soft paste wax in a thin layer to the cabinet surfaces with a soft cloth or brush. Using more than is needed to coat the surface will not result in a thicker coat of wax, you’ll just spend more time buffing off the excess. Allow the wax to dry for 15 minutes, or until the surface looks slightly cloudy and feels almost dry to the touch. Buff the wax gently with a clean, soft cloth. Slow, light buffing produces a low sheen; higher speed, more vigorous buffing gives you a higher sheen. Clean your cabinets and reapply wax about once a year.