How to Maintain Your Kitchen Cabinets


After building a new home or remodeling your kitchen to your dream design, the hope is that the cabinets will maintain their new and lustrous look indefinitely. Accumulation of dirt, grime, and even smoke from cooking and baking can, however, over time collect on the cabinet the surfaces. Kitchen cabinets are sometimes neglected during routine cleaning and can rapidly lose their visual appeal. Here are a few helpful kitchen cabinet care tips you can use to maintain different cabinet surfaces.

Wood Cabinets

Different types of wood finishes require regular special care as they can easily soak up dirt and grease in the kitchen area. You need to be extra careful when choosing cleaning materials as some available harsh products can easily damage the wood’s finish. Begin by gathering all the necessary cleaning items. 

Most kitchen cabinet manufacturers recommend using warm water, dishwashing soap, vinegar, a soft cloth, and a duster. Use the duster to get rid of any dust or loose dirt that may be on the surfaces. Proceed to mix equal amounts of vinegar and water and a small amount of dishwashing soap. Dip the cloth into the cleaning solution and wring out any excess water.

Begin by cleaning the inside of the cabinets first and then the outside in circular motions. Rinse the cloth in clean warm water and use it to remove all soap and dirt from the cabinets. Dry the cabinets using a clean, lint-free cloth to remove any extra moisture that may take time to evaporate. 

Please be sure to refer to your manufacturer’s suggestions for maintaining your wood cabinets over time. Some suggest a sealant like furniture oil to help maintain the wood’s lustrous look, but check first to be sure your type of wood finish can accept this. 

Laminate Cabinets

Laminate cabinets are a popular modern kitchen cabinetry material. This type of cabinet is often more affordable, easier to maintain than wood, and comes in various patterns and styles. 

For routine cleaning, combine warm water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Dampen a soft cloth in the cleaning solution – be sure it is not soaking wet. Then wipe the inside and outside of the cabinets to remove any accumulated dirt. Pay keen attention to hinges and cabinet door handles and knobs. Rinse the cloth in warm clean water and wipe the cabinets to remove residue. Afterward, dry the laminate cabinet with a clean dry cloth.

Add vinegar to the cleaning solution if the laminate cabinet has grease and dirt build-up. The mixture helps emulsify grease and sticky dirt. Then rinse again with clean warm water and dry well.

Painted Cabinets

A significant advantage of having painted cabinets is that they are easy to clean. To maintain the glossy appearance of newly painted kitchen cabinets, they can be cleaned using a soft cloth, warm water, and mild detergent.

After a few wipes, rinse with a clean cloth and dry with a soft, absorbent cloth. If the cabinets have stubborn greasy stains, make a paste by mixing 3 spoons of baking soda with mixed with one cup of water. Rub the stain gently with a soft cloth until it dissolves.

The Don’ts of Kitchen Cabinet Maintenance

To retain the original appearance of kitchen cabinets after a new installation:

  • Avoid using extremely hot or extremely cold water when cleaning
  • Don’t use harsh materials such as steel wool or wired brushes
  • Don’t use harsh abrasives as they can damage the finish
  • Don’t use commercial waxes or sprays which can create a buildup on some wood
  • Avoid exposure to excess moisture as it can cause wood or other materials to warp
  • Don’t leave food or beverage stains on the cabinets indefinitely – clean those immediately to avoid permanent damage
  • Don’t forget to clean the tops of the cabinets as these collect dust and grime over time

Due to our busy schedules, routine kitchen cabinet care can be easy to overlook. Lack of proper cabinet maintenance results in dull finishes and uneven textures. Periodically make your kitchen cabinet cleaning a priority. 

At U S Kitchens & Baths, we offer a wide variety of kitchen cabinetry, countertops, and hardware for your unique kitchen needs. Contact us today and let one of our expert kitchen designers help you choose the ideal design to create your dream kitchen.