At Tharp Custom Cabinetry, we design and create custom cabinets for home builders and homeowners throughout Northern Colorado and the surrounding area. Our cabinets are built to last and our hope is that they are the last cabinets you’ll ever need! To help you extend the life of your cabinets and ensure they look as great for years to come as they do the day we install, we want to take some time today to discuss how to clean and care for your kitchen cabinets. While likely not the most exciting of article topics, it is arguably one of the most important. You have spent valuable time and money to custom design your cabinets to have us handcraft them and then have them installed. We would hate to see a simple misstep cause you to call us looking to repair or replace your cabinetry.
Tips for Optimal Cabinetry Care
Tip 1. Avoid toxic products.
Your all-natural custom-made cabinets are relatively low maintenance and don’t require the products that other surfaces do. Avoid using bleach, nail polish remover, adhesive remover, or any other corrosive cleaning products. Try to avoid getting other solvents or petroleum-based products on them. And, whatever you do, never use metal or wire brushes, scouring pads, or plastic cleaning brushes on your cabinetry — or any other kitchen surface, for that matter!
Tip 2. Use basic cleaning methods.
Speaking of keeping things soft and simple, basic cleaning steps go a long way when it comes to your kitchen cabinets. To clean, use a damp, soft rag, moistened with plain water. If you feel the need to add a little sheen, use products that are made specifically for the finish on your cabinetry. If there is grease or food residual on the cabinets that water alone cannot clean, add a small amount of dish soap to the warm water and scrub the cabinet with a soft rag. Always clean in the direction of the wood grain and avoid side to side scrubbing motions.
Tip 3. Avoid environmental damage.
As with all of your structures and furniture, you’ll want to reduce the amount of environmental damage to your cabinets caused by smoke, excessive sunlight, high humidity, extreme temperatures, and moisture. Most of these things will already be controlled to make your home comfortable for living, but some things to pay special attention to is to avoid smoking tobacco products in your home or near your cabinets as the tar can build up on the surfaces and soak into the material. If your cabinets get wet, mop up fluid quickly to prevent it from soaking into the wood. If you regularly steam things, to include running a countertop coffee pot, avoid letting it sit directly beneath your cabinets to prevent heat and moisture damage from the steam.
Tip 4. Clean spills right away.
It is a good idea to clean food or beverage spills from any surface as quickly as you can. This prevents the food from soaking into the surface which can not only damage the wood, but also cause a smell that you’d rather not have in your home. Corrosive foods such as acidic fruits can break down counter and cabinet surfaces relatively quickly. Avoid any long term effects by cleaning up spills before they have a chance to soak in on dry.
Tip 5. Repair nicks and scratches.
Over time, with rough use, your cabinets may suffer some nicks and scratches. Your custom cabinets should come with a repair kit just for occasions like this. If there is obvious trauma to the wood, we do not recommend that you attempt to fill or repair it, nor should you scrub or clean the area, as this may intensify the damage. If you do not have a repair kit or the damage is beyond what you can easily handle without leaving noticeable signs behind, contact the craftsmen at Tharp Custom Cabinetry to see what we can do to salvage the cabinet or craft a replacement one.
Your custom kitchen cabinets are sure to be a warm and inviting addition to your home. Don’t let them show the effects of time or life, but keep them looking new for years to come with just some basic care. At Tharp Custom Cabinetry, we have been making custom cabinets since 1971 and have a few things to say about the maintenance and care of them. We hope this post cleared up a few things and if you want more information, visit us online or stop by our Loveland showroom today!