How to Maintain Your Cabinets to Maximize Their Lifespan
When we think of kitchen maintenance, our first thoughts are most often countertops, appliances, and floors. Those are all important, but our cabinets are just as much the stars of our kitchens as any of those – and they need love, too! Any part of your kitchen is a significant investment, so it’s important to get the most out of that investment, and maximize their lifespan. Don’t let your cabinets go neglected, and follow these easy steps to care and maintain your cabinetry so they can last for years to come.
A lot happens in the kitchen. Steam, spills, splashes, oils, smoke, and everything in between. It’s only natural that these will affect your cabinets over time – both the top and bottom cabinetry. Instead of allowing grime and harmful materials to build on your beautiful cabinets, wipe them down to minimize damage and long-term impact to the surfaces and hardware.
To clean your cabinets, do some research on the specific material. Laminate cabinets will need different care than hardwood, which will need different care than alternative materials. As a rule, a gentler approach is a better approach, so don’t feel the need to go too crazy on your cabinet and drawer faces. When in doubt, a damp rag is a great option to use as a maintenance step in between deeper cleanings – just be sure to dry as you go so moisture doesn’t sit on the surfaces.
Once your cabinets are cleaned and like new, don’t forget to add in shelf liners to prevent the inside of your cabinets from getting dirtier than necessary, too. As a bonus, liners will also protect your dishes and glassware, keeping them looking better for longer, too. As a quick guide, there are a few different types of liners that offer a few different benefits.
- Adhesive – The least expensive material, can be difficult to remove, but will protect your stored items.
- Cedar – This material repels moths and insects, making it a great choice for anywhere you’re storing foods and spices.
- Felt – This is best used for areas to store silverware, as it is often treated with anti-tarnishing agents.
- Rubber – A great resilient, non-slip material that can hold small items in place. However, don’t mix it with silverware, which it can corrode.
- Cork – Cork can help cushion glasses, and is also resistant to mold and mildew, which is perfect for items that may have trace moisture after washing.
The metals on your cabinet are particularly susceptible to having grime build over the days and weeks, so make sure you don’t neglect cleaning them as well. For a thorough cleaning, remove your knobs and pulls and submerge them in soapy water (be more careful if they have other materials besides metal) and gently scrub if necessary. Otherwise, a damp rag with a mild dishwashing detergent is a great step to incorporate into your regular cleaning routine to keep everything looking its best.
Fortunately, caring for your cabinets is not a complicated process, but it can be easy to push off indefinitely when the reality is it will make a big difference on the life of your kitchen. To get the most out of your investments, and enjoy your home for as long as possible, follow these simple steps to keep your cabinets in the best possible condition so they can reach their full potential.