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Wood Species Cabinet Construction Cabinet Care Glossary



Kitchen Cabinet Care


Caring for Wood Surfaces

In order the maintain the gleaming brilliance of your new kitchen cabinets, proper maintenance and care is absolutely necessary. Luckily, keeping your cabinets looking brand new is not at all complicated. With a basic understanding of how to care for finished wood, you can clean and care for your new cabinetry with ease.

Moisture is extremely damaging to wood surfaces and finishes of all kinds. It is very important to keep that in mind when cleaning. Gradually clean small portions of your cabinet at a time rather than wetting the entire surface at once. Clean using a lint-free, damp cloth and then immediately dry using another soft cloth. Usually, warm water and a soft cotton cleaning cloth is enough to get the job done. However, you'll sometimes have harder-to-clean food stains to contend with, in which case, adding a bit of mild dishwashing liquid to your warm water will help. Always be sure to wipe away any soaps with plain warm water and promptly dry with a clean cloth. Avoid using your sponge or dish cloth on your cabinets as they may contain food or residue from cooking oils or harsh cleaning solutions. Also keep the rough side of your sponge away from your cabinets to prevent unsightly scratches in your wood's finish.

For the best results, clean your cabinets regularly. Immediately clean up after any spills as they occur. Leaving food, oil, grease, liquid, or water stains to linger on your cabinets may cause permanent damage or discoloration.

Choosing Cleaning Agents

When choosing a cleaning agent it's always best to use a natural cleaner as it will be less abrasive than commercial cleaners. If you're into do-it-yourself cleaners, check out our blog post on making your own natural homemade cleaner - a vinegar solution works best to clean your cabinets and countertops. However, if you find it simpler to use a store-bought cleaner, a simple, mild dishwashing liquid is best. Look for those formulated to be gentle on your hands. Another option is an emulsion cleaner such as Murphy's Oil Soap, as these are made without wax, petroleum, silicones, or other chemicals that may be hard on your wood's finish.

To prevent possible damage to your cabinets, be sure to avoid the following cleaning agents:

- Any cleaners containing ammonia, bleach, petroleum, or other solvents
- Waxing or polishing products containing silicone
- Harsh detergents
- Strong soaps
- Powdered cleansers
- Commercial tub or sink cleansers
- Scouring pads or used sponges or dish cloths
- Pre-moistened dusting sheets or aerosol dusting products

Glass, Mirrors, & Hardware

If using a glass cleaner on your glass door inserts, be sure to apply the glass cleaner to a towel and not directly onto the glass. Avoid contact with mullions when using commercial glass cleaners or rough buffing agents as these may damage the coating. When cleaning the mirrors on vanity cabinets, avoid cleaners containing sodium hydrochloride, phosphoric acid, or sulfur.

Don't neglect your hardware when cleaning your cabinets. Every now and then, wipe down your knobs or pulls using a mild soap and warm water. As with your cabinets, thoroughly dry your hardware with a clean, soft cloth immediately after wiping. Use a clean, dry cloth to buff, and avoid commercial polishes intended for brass or silver, as these may be damaging to the surface of your hardware.

Nicks & Scratches

No matter how much we prepare, accidents are bound to happen. In the event of accidental damage to your cabinets, StockCabinetExpress offers touch-up kits for all lines of cabinetry. These touch-up kits contain a color-matched putty stick to fill deep scratches and a touch-up pen to conceal minor ones. We also offer stains for our Forevermark brand of cabinets.

Things to Avoid

- In general, avoid allowing your cabinets to come into direct contact with excessive heat from appliances. When using an oven's self-cleaning feature, you may want to temporarily remove your cabinet doors to prevent heat damage.
- Excess moisture from rags and washcloths should also be avoided. Hang used cloths on separate hooks rather than on your hardware or over your cabinet door.
- Also avoid using harsh chemicals of any kind near or around your cabinets to prevent accidental exposure. This includes oven and sink cleaners, or any other specialty cleaners that may be found in your kitchen.
- Prolonged exposure to sunlight can darken natural wood products. Use drapes or blinds on particularly sunny days.




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