Those who invest in their kitchens expect the space to remain in tip-top shape for years to come, and for many people who are new to renovating or updating custom cabinetry, kitchen cabinet maintenance means putting in a bit of elbow grease to keep them looking their best, retaining value on your investment, and holding on to the wow-factor of your dream kitchen for a little bit longer.
Once cabinets are damaged, there’s little you can do to bring them back to their former glory shy of replacing and updating them to quality cabinets that are designed to withstand abuse and general wear and tear for years to come. In this post, we’re looking at some kitchen cabinet maintenance tips for beginners.
Clean them Regularly
Kitchens are the beating heart of the home – they see the most foot traffic of any room in the house, they’re environments designed to be exposed to prolonged heat and moisture, and unless you’re renovating your kitchen space as a showroom, the entire room and your cabinets WILL get dirty; embrace it.
Cleaning your cabinets on a regular basis is the best way to prevent and eliminate potential damage to wood surfaces, paints, finishes, and the structural integrity of the materials used in construction. When you cook in a kitchen, airborne food particles, oils, steam, and residue inevitably end up caked on your cabinet surfaces – make a point to clean the surfaces at least once every couple of weeks to refresh and maintain the visual pop of your investment.
Aside from the outside cabinet door, also make time to clean and dry the inside of your cabinets. Dishes from the sink and/or dishwasher always come with a little bit of water that sits on your shelves and over time, can damage the cabinet material. Take some time to dry your dishes before putting them away, and wiping up and residual moisture.
Clean With Clean Cloths
You’re trying to clean food residue and kitchen gunk off your cabinets – so don’t use your kitchen sink rag that you use to clean dishes and food on your cabinet surfaces. Always make sure you’re using a clean rag that’s dedicated purpose is cleaning the cabinetry.
Test Cleaners Elsewhere
If you’re just getting into the habit of cleaning and maintaining your existing cabinets, or prepping to embrace a set of new custom cabinets – you’ll want to ideally test any new types of cleaning chemicals – even the natural products – in a small inconspicuous location to ensure that the cleaning solution doesn’t react negatively with the finish of the cabinetry.
Water-based cleaners are typically best, but harsh cleaning chemicals can sometimes remove the gloss finish from cabinets, pr at the very least create spots of diminished shine or lustre. If you’re new to a product, try it out on a small hidden space to gauge its effectiveness before blasting the entire kitchen with it.
Seal Food Containers
Exposed food cannot only stink up a beautiful kitchen space, but that small and allure of food in the pantry or cupboard can attract pests like ants and other insects – even mince, if you’re not careful. Seal any and all food containers by proactively portioning canned goods into airtight Tupperware containers, or making plans for the leftover food in another recipe.
Use the Kitchen Fan
Routinely switching on your kitchen fan whilst you’re cooking, cleaning, using the dishwasher, or even boiling the kettle can be a big help in reducing steam and moisture from the air in your kitchen – which can contribute to mold and mildew, as well as wood rot over time.
By turning the fan on, you’ll be helping to vacate that steam, heat, and moisture from the space, saving your cabinets from dealing with such an extreme swing in temperatures and environments.
Don’t Slam the Doors
This one may seem a little too obvious – but you’d be surprised how many custom cabinet jobs end up requiring new hardware, new pre-drilled holes, and realignments thanks to people slamming and/or pulling the cabinet doors too hard.
When people invest in durable, quality cabinets, they sometimes neglect to remember that even the most robust and most serially-crafted materials aren’t designed to take constant abuse daily – all cabinets are certainly not created equal, but even the good ones deserve our respect and courtesy. Easing them closed and refraining from reefing them open helps prolong the life of the cabinet hardware, and will also help maintain perfect door/drawer alignment for years to come.
Most discerning homeowners aren’t interested in keeping up with the latest trends and swapping out cabinetry every few years, and they’re certainly not interested in being forced to update thanks to poor maintenance practices – but sometimes circumstances pile on top of each other and replacing or overhauling your cabinetry becomes a great choice.
Investing your time on perfecting kitchen cabinet maintenance is the best way to ensure your cabinets – new or old – are treated with respect so they can give you as many years of solid service as possible.