Proper Cabinet Maintenance

With proper care, your cabinetry should provide a lifetime of use and satisfaction. Proper care involves attentive cleaning, polishing and careful avoidance of damaging household cleaners. The beauty of wood is in the variation in graining and hue. Because wood is a natural product, it has inherent variation. This variation includes many natural characteristics as a result of tree growth patterns, as well as differences in wood color and grain due to variations in forest growing conditions. We apply and then hand wipe our stains to bring out the natural character and sheen of the wood.

Upon Installation
Wipe the cabinets clean with a soft, damp cloth and dry immediately with another clean, soft cloth. Always wipe in the direction of the wood grain. Apply a thin coat of high-quality polish. Choose a polish that does not contain silicone or wax, and follow the manufacturer’s directions for application. A high-quality polish will aid in protection from minor scratching, staining, and excessive moisture.

Basic Cleaning

Grease and grime buildup can damage cabinets and destroy the look and feel of a new kitchen. To remove buildup wipe down cabinets using a soft cloth dampened with warm water and do so at least once every two weeks or more often depending on the amount of activity that takes place in the kitchen. If water alone does not clean cabinets completely, mix a little mild dishwasher soap with the water. Wipe down wood cabinets in the direction of the grain. Use a soft cloth to remove any residual moisture that may be left on the cabinets.

If routine cleaning does not remove stains or built up grime, create a paste by mixing baking soda with water. Place the paste on a sponge and scrub the stain until it disappears. Rinse with water and dry with a soft cloth. A mix of vinegar and water is another option for removing sticky grime or film from kitchen cabinets.

The following products and ingredients can damage cabinets so avoid using them or any product that contains them:

  • Petroleum-based products
  • Solvents
  • Bleach
  • Strong detergents and soaps
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paint thinners
  • Plastic brushes
  • Steel wool
  • Scoring Pad
  • Ammonia

Repairing Nicks and Scratches

We typically provide a touch-up kit to our clients so they can maintain the beauty of their kitchen. If you have recently updated your kitchen and did not receive a touch-up kit, ask the showroom to obtain one on your behalf.

Wipe Spills Promptly
Many substances become difficult to remove and may stain or cause other damage upon prolonged contact. If a spill occurs, wipe it promptly with a damp cloth or sponge and dry the surface immediately. Use a blotting action rather than a wiping action to remove the substance.

Avoid Excessive Moisture
This is one of the worst enemies of any finish. Cabinetry near the sink and dishwasher and baseboards are most susceptible. Dry off any areas immediately where water has spilled. Avoid draping dish towels or other wet items over doors or placing coffee makers where steam vents directly onto cabinet surfaces.

Avoid Temperature And Humidity Extremes
Extremes in temperature and humidity can cause wood to expand and contract, swell or warp, and dry out– possibly damaging the finish of your cabinetry. It is important to control the temperature and humidity in your home all year long. You should allow minor warping to go through one heating cycle before considering replacement.

Avoid Light Damage

Direct exposure to sunlight can have a damaging effect on your cabinets especially those made from natural wood. Painted wood cabinets and laminated or Thermofoil surfaces also are susceptible to fading from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Use window coverings to help reduce or eliminate damage caused by exposure to direct sunlight.

Avoid Exposure To Harsh Cleaners
Harsh cleaners can damage the finish of your cabinetry. Avoid cleaners containing ammonia, bleach, citric acid (including orange and lemon oil) and organic solvents.

Avoid Exposure To Waxes
Most common self-polishing waxes can damage your finish. Take care to use only high-quality cream furniture polishes available from high-end furniture or paint stores.

Guard Against Scratching And Abrasion

Clean with a soft, damp cloth when necessary. Avoid using scouring pads and abrasive cleaners as they may dull fine finishes.
Guard Against Plastic And Rubber
Use felt or cloth under plastic or rubber objects as their ingredients may react with wood countertops.

  • Avoid Aggressive Acids
  • Avoid products containing aggressive acids or abrasives as they may cause damage to laminate finishes (Lime-AWay, Soft Scrub, Tilex, etc.).
  • Avoid Chips And Scratches
  • Avoid abrasive cleansers and cleaning tools. Some “stiff” paper towels may leave tiny scratches that dull the surface.

Always use a soft cloth when cleaning laminate surfaces. Never use a laminate countertop as a cutting surface. Use a chopping block when cutting to avoid chipping and scratching. Fine scratches may be covered with a light spray furniture polish.

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