Kitchen cabinets are a big investment and need some attention to make sure they last for years to come. Whether your cabinets have just had a Tune-Up, are brand new or are 20 years old, these 10 wood care tips will keep your cabinets looking their best!
- 1. Clean all food spills from wood surfaces immediately & thoroughly. Most foods can damage wood finishes eventually, particularly high acid foods such as orange juice, coffee, tea, etc. Don’t wipe up spills with a recently used washrag or dish sponge as some strong detergents are also damaging to wood surfaces.
- 2. When cleaning off wood, use mild soap and water with a clean, lint-free rag. Use water sparingly and towel dry any excess. Water can permanently raise the graining of the wood. When water sits on wood, it can penetrate through the finish.
- 3. Remove dirt and dust from wood regularly. Using a lint free rag, gently wipe the entire surface, being careful to follow the grain.
- 4. Polish the wood rather than wax it. We recommend the Kitchen Tune-Up cream polish, which you can purchase from your local Kitchen Tune-Up franchise. Be cautious of over the counter sprays and “cleaners” as they may contain silicone or wax products. While these products create a temporary shine, wax attracts dust, dirt and grease that will build up under multiple layers of wax.
- 5. Never apply polishes over dirty wood. Before polishing, wipe away all dirt, dust or spills. Applying over dirty wood only makes the problem worse and can lead to scratches and even worse damage.
- 6. Open your windows as often as possible. This gives the wood fresh air and a chance to breathe. Natural humidity is good for wood. Conversely, a controlled environment can dry out wood quickly. This can cause premature cracking and splitting if not corrected on a regular basis.
- 7. Go with the grain. Any work performed on wood involving any type of physical or mechanical action should always be performed in the direction of the grain. This will keep your wood surfaces flat and smooth and prevent items from catching and even ripping the wood.
- 8. Use a ventilating fan when cooking. It removes the majority of airborne smoke and grease which otherwise would be absorbed by wood cabinetry. It also prevents water vapor from settling on the wood and removing finish or even causing the wood to warp.
- 9. Whenever possible, do not expose wood surfaces to direct sunlight. The sun not only accelerates drying, it also tends to bleach wood. In turn, stain pigments become discolored and new pigments cannot penetrate the wood. This gives your cabinets an unwanted washed-out effect.
- 10. Do not set synthetics, rubber or plastics on the wood finish. The chemicals in these products may damage the finish.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about how we can keep your kitchen up-to-date and beautiful, click on the Locations tab to find your local Kitchen Tune-Up franchise. If your cabinets are looking worn out and tired already, check out our original Tune-Up page to learn how your wood cabinets can be restored to almost new condition.