You have almost finished cleaning up after cooking. There is only one thing left to do. The kitchen cabinets are stained with grease, fingerprints and grime. You usually spot clean the messy spots as you clean up the kitchen, but sometimes the buildup is thick that you need to really clean the finish on the outside of the cabinets.
Most times, a little TLC with a diluted cleaner will do the trick. Other times, you need some elbow grease to rid your kitchen clean from grease and germs. How you clean and what products you use depends on the material that has been used in the construction. Types of materials that are commonly used are wood, metal or painted metal.
The best way to clean wood cabinets is with a wood soap cleaner which is sold at your local hardware store. Another method is to make your own cleaning solution. You could mix a solution of 2 cups of water and 1 cup of a very mild detergent. After applying the solution (don’t over soak the cabinets), then rinse with a clean cloth. The final step is to dry the cabinet with a dry cloth. If you don’t have a mild detergent, you could use vinegar. For really tough stains, make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply, rinse and then dry the cabinet. You should clean the surface in a circular motion and not too heavily. If pressed too much, the surface stain may become warped and start to buckle.
Oil based painted cabinets are more durable than wood. You should be able to use an all purpose cleaner to rid them of grease and bacteria. If there are stubborn stains, you can use a paste of the baking soda and water. If the cabinets are painted in latex based paint, be careful with scrubbing too hard. Baking soda may be too harsh on these types may scratch the surface. Rub the surface carefully, then rinse and dry.
Metal cabinets are the easiest cabinets to clean. Any of the methods above will work except the paste of baking soda and water. You should not allow the metal to become saturated as it may start to cause rust spots.
You should attempt to wipe down the cabinets after cooking that’s when the spills will come up easily. If you are using a vinegar and water solution, the smell of the vinegar will dissipate within a few minutes. While you are in the cleaning mood, don’t forget the inside of the cabinets. Spices and jars of condiments like honey are bound to spill or leave stains. Remove everything from the shelves, wipe them down with the vinegar solution and then put a rubber liner on the bottom before replacing the items. This will make the next cleaning much easier. You should dust the cabinets often to decrease the amount of dust that is available to stick to the grime.
After cleaning, the polish that you choose may give you a high shine or a low luster. Choose the polish for the feel that you want and fits the feel of your kitchen. Work in small sections and in a circular motion, apply the polish to a clean cloth, polish and then buff with another clean cloth.
An old time method of cleaning cabinets is to fight oil stains with oil. The recipe was to mix 1 part vegetable oil and 2 parts baking soda together with a spoon. For small nooks and crannies, you could use a toothbrush. Baking soda is used as an abrasive cleaner that does not harm the wood. As a bonus, it makes your skin looks smooth.
If none of these methods have worked and the cabinets still look grimy and gooey, then it’s time to use a heavy duty cleaner. This cleaner is sold in most automotive sections. After you apply it in small patches, you have to remove it quickly. The product name is Castrol but there might me other products that are degreasers.
If you have glass fronts on your cabinet doors, they get just as greasy as the doors do. You can use a solution of the vinegar and water or a commercial product. Don’t forget to do the wood around the panes of glass, however.
Your busiest room in the home is the one that gets dirtier faster. For most people, that is the kitchen. Not only is it the most high traffic area, but the smoke, grease and dirt from the stove, people and the air makes it look the dullest room in the house. Don’t spend unnecessary money on replacing your cabinet doors. Instead, use your elbow grease and some of the solutions mentioned to shine those doors, once again. Depending on how much grease has accumulated, it may take more than one application to get the finish to its original shine. Once it is done, it will only take a few minutes each day to keep them looking that way.
Now that the kitchen is sparkling, take the money that you saved and enjoy a meal at a restaurant where you don’t have to clean up after you eat. Enjoy!