Things come and go, but wood cabinets have been around for more than a couple of centuries. Wood cabinets are a staple for so many reasons. They are practical and beautiful, plus with the right care, they can last in your home for decades…or longer! 

Caring for your cabinets might seem complicated, but putting just a small amount of effort into their upkeep will ensure they look amazing and stand the test of time. 

Keep them clean

Grease and dirt can be detrimental to the look and longevity of your cabinets. Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to avoid spills and messes in kitchen and bathroom areas! To clean your cabinets, wipe them down with a damp cloth at least bi-weekly. Always wipe your cabinets in the direction of the grain, as this will keep cabinets from becoming water damaged. 

If you’re a home chef or more prone to spills, you can mix a little dish soap or vinegar into your damp cloth. This will help to cut through grease build up and make your cabinets glow! 

The inside of your cabinets are less likely to become damaged than the outside, since they’re more protected. But the food or products you store and them can leak, and dust can still build up. A couple times a year, clear all the contents out of your cabinets. Use the same damp cloth and dish soap or vinegar combo you would use on the outside of your cabinets to give the entire interior a wipe. If you’re struggling to clean the crevices, you can use a soft toothbrush or paint brush.

To keep your cabinets from becoming damaged, avoid cleaning them with anything too harsh. Don’t use rough or abrasive items or cleaners. This includes steel wool, scrub brushes, and scoring pads. You should also avoid alcohol or bleach-based cleaners as they can strip or stain wood. 

Avoid getting them wet

If you notice excess water build up on your cabinets after cleaning them with a damp cloth, you should wipe them down with a dry one. Water can cause cabinets to warp or lose colour, so it’s best not to get them too wet as you clean. 

Limiting heat and humidity is another good way to keep your cabinets looking like new. Obviously this is easier said than done in both bathrooms and kitchens. Keep fans and oven vents on so that heat and humidity don’t linger, especially right after cooking or taking a shower. If you find either of these areas constantly moist, you could use a dehumidifier to remove excess humidity. Pat your cabinets off with a dry cloth if you notice condensation on them.

Fix up any damage 

Even if you diligently maintain your cabinets, you may still notice some unavoidable wear and tear. When it comes to this, there are a few ways you can fix cabinets to get them looking good as new. How you repair any scratches, knicks, or chips will depend on how your cabinets are finished. 

Small scratches on painted cabinets are easy to remedy at home with just a little matching paint and spot correction. If your painted cabinets have more than a few scratches, it may be time to repaint them entirely and put a coat of sealant on top to prevent further damage. 

Painted or not, actual gouges and knicks in wood can be a little more complicated to remedy. If it’s just a few small gashes on the surface you could smooth them over with a plastic wood filler. This will stop the hole from getting larger and prevent water from going deep into the wood cabinets. 

If you notice that bigger areas of your cabinet are looking damaged, it could be time for a refurbishment. The good thing about wood is that it’s an incredibly durable material that can handle a couple of refurbishments in its lifetime if done well. To refurbish cabinets, trust the experts to handle your cabinetry with care. 

Care for hinges, handles, and more

We’ve pretty much covered everything you need to know about caring for the wood on your cabinets, but what about their other parts? Cabinets also have metal hinges and sometimes metal handles. These components can become just as dirty (or dirtier!) as the cabinets themselves. 

Cleaning hinges is important for keeping cabinets functional. These hinges do a lot of work, and have to withstand being opened, closed, or even slammed thousands of times. To clean hinges, brush them with a vinegar and water solution. Like with cabinets, you should always dry your hinges after cleaning them. If your hinges start to squeak, you can buy a lubricant at any hardware store. Many are made specifically for cabinets. 

If you notice your cabinet hinges are loose, call in the experts to have them tightened. Depending on the age of your cabinets and hinges, you may want to replace them with modern hinges that close silently and prevent slamming. 

Enjoy beautiful cabinetry for years to come 

Wood cabinets are durable and long-lasting, making them an excellent investment for most homeowners. Proper care will not only help them last for decades but also continue to look great and function optimally! Some simple maintenance and regular cleaning will help to keep them in good shape. If your cabinets need a little more TLC, give us a call at Florkowskys’ and we can talk you through your options to restore your cabinets to their original condition. While it may seem like a big undertaking, it’s worth it to keep cabinets functional and beautiful.