It is no secret that kitchen cabinets are a centerpiece in a kitchen. Cabinets and counters are used constantly, even when the stove is not turned on. As a result, they are prone to wear and tear and need to be kept clean to avoid mold and unwelcome pests. That said, you want to do this in a way that honors and preserves your investment pieces—the cabinets and counters.
If your kitchen is filled with lighter tones, it is doubly important to keep it clean. White or cream-colored cabinets will show spills and stains much easier than darker-toned cabinets and counters. This does not mean white and cream cabinets are out of style, nor should it deter you from investing in them. If you opted for a duotone or monochrome color scheme, meaning your kitchen cabinets match your wall color, any mess will stick out like a sore thumb.
Consistency is the most important factor when it comes to cleaning your countertops and cabinets. The more time that passes between cleanings, the more grime and dirt will build up on your cabinets. If this happens, it can be more difficult to clean them.
If you recently renovated your kitchen, you may feel intimidated by this task. What if the cleaning products are too harsh and damage the material? What if you make a stain worse?
How to Effectively Clean Your Cabinets
No need to fret–here are some tips and tricks on how to maintain your cabinets and countertops. Some of these tips can be used once a month, and others you will want to do daily.
Start Inside Out
Start by removing everything from your cabinet before beginning a deep clean. When we are cooking, sometimes bottles and products leak down the back of the counter or leak and spill inside the cabinet. When everything is removed, you can get a clearer view of the mess you need to clean.
Wipe and vacuum any crumbs or spills you find. Remove the cabinet paper that lines the bottom of the shelves and drawers, and replace it before putting any items back into the cabinet. This deep clean can be done once a month or as needed–we often forget about minor spills and crumbs, but ants and other pests sure don’t.
Clean the Top Gently
If your cabinets do not reach the ceiling, you might think there is nothing to clean up there. However, dust and debris can drift up and land on the tops of cabinets.
To gently clean the top of your cabinet, spray white vinegar (not diluted) mixed with some baking soda on the surface. You’d be surprised how much dust and grease collects on top of your cabinets, and using natural ingredients can help preserve the integrity of the cabinet while being tough on messes.
After several minutes, scrub the mixture with a sponge or paper towel until all the grime is gone. Then, spray it again and wipe off the mixture to leave the cabinets dry.
Clean High to Low
As with window washing, you want to start cleaning at the top of the cabinet and work your way down. This is so you don’t accidentally drip any dirt or filth over a spot you just cleaned.
You will want to use a mild cleaning agent to protect your cabinets. We recommend diluting a few small squirts of dish soap in hot water–this is safe to use on painted or wooden cabinets. You can mix this in a spray bottle and use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the cabinets. Spray directly into the cloth so none of the mixture sits in one spot too long and saturates the wood.
Don’t Forget Handles and Hinges
The easiest way to clean these nooks and crannies is to wrap a dry cloth around your finger and use it to reach tight spots. This works especially well for cleaning hinges. If there is any build-up that is not coming off with the dry cloth, you can use a water and white vinegar mixture to help break down the grease.
We also recommend using a toothbrush on enamel, metal, or ceramic hardware. That way you won’t miss any hard-to-reach spots.
Wiping down your countertops daily is a great way to maintain them and extend their lifespan; cabinets benefit from deep cleaning every month. When you maintain your cabinets regularly, you will find they last much longer and their quality does not diminish over time.