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Simple Care Tips for Wood Cabinets

May 28, 2020

Embarking on a wood cabinet upgrade and obtaining your Arizona dream kitchen is something that is certainly worth celebrating. You finally get to enjoy the kitchen you have always wanted and can wake up every morning to new, custom wood cabinets that you can take pride in.

Because you spent money, time, and a lot of planning on getting those cabinets perfect for your kitchen, the next thing that you should think about is regularly maintaining them to keep them looking as sharp as they did on installation day. Since wood cabinets tend to be a bit more complex to clean, here are five fundamental care tips that will enhance kitchen value, increase appeal, and extend the life of your cabinets.

1. Use the Right Cleaning Products

First and foremost, here are some products that you should never use to clean your wood cabinets:

   • Bleach
   • Ammonia
   • Plastic brushes
   • Steel wool
   • Nail polish remover
   • harsh detergents or soaps
   • Avoid all silicone-based products
   • No solvents or petroleum-based products

The products might get rid of germs and grime, but they will cause more damage than benefits, such as scratches and residue. With that being said, opt for a mild soap and water mixture instead. If you want to use a solution, go with ones specifically for wood cabinets.  

2. Avoid Excess Moisture

Going off of the first point, use soap and water to clean your cabinets, but also make sure you are not using too much water on the wood or leaving it on too long. As a tip, never put the water directly on the wood; use a damp cloth instead and wipe it dry right afterward.

3. Pick the Right Cloth

On the subject of cloths, this is another element you will want to pay attention to. The best kind to use should be soft and lint-free. Great brands you can look into for this purpose are cheesecloth and chamois. Tip: Use three cloths for each cleaning: one for the water application, one for the soap/cabinet cleaner, and one to dry it off.

4. Use Polish Instead of Wax

Go with polish instead of wax. Polish is a way to get that shine, aesthetic appeal without attracting dust and dirt that wax tends to do. Layered wax also makes for a buildup of grease, which is undesirable. One thing to note before polishing, ensure your cabinets are clean because applying polish over dirty wood can lead to scratches.

5. Things to Do Around Your Home

Part of the maintenance process actually does not involve cleaning directly. If you want to give your wood cabinets the best value, do the following:

   • Open Your Windows Often: This gives your wood cabinets fresh air, and natural humidity is good for wood. This reduces the risk of cracking and splitting.

   • Use A Ventilating Fan When Cooking: Doing this will reduce the amount of smoke and airborne grease that could become absorbed by your cabinetry. It also lowers water vapor from reaching your cabinets, which could warp the finish.

   • Try to Reduce Sun Exposure: Wood is known for bleaching when exposed to the sun over time. This is especially dangerous for new cabinets in Arizona where the sun is constantly beating down and summer temps can exceed 120 degrees. To stop discoloration from occurring, if possible, cover the windows that allow sun into your kitchen when you are not in there to reduce UV radiation from washing out your cabinets.

Conclusion
As a homeowner, you want your home to be in the best shape that it can be. With the kitchen being the prime focal point in homes, properly maintaining it, especially after new cabinet replacement, should certainly not be something overlooked or put on the back burner of things to do. Whether you are trying to increase the value to sell, or making your kitchen look nice for yourself, use the tips above to be confident you are giving your wood cabinets the best care possible. It takes little work to implement, but it certainly goes a long way.

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