Designed for Life

Maintaining new kitchen cabinets: the hard work is over

By Tim Weaver, Kitchen Designer/Sales Consultant at Swartz Kitchens & Baths

Good news! Once your new kitchen cabinetry is installed, the hard work is over. That’s because today’s kitchen cabinets are more durable and easier to clean than those made even 10 years ago.

With 34 years in this business, I’ve seen cabinetry evolve and improve to a point today where it’s more likely that your style and finish choices will dictate another change long before your cabinets begin to show their age.

That said, many of our customers ask me how to keep their kitchen cabinets looking new. At Swartz Kitchens and Baths, we provide a touch-up kit for your new cabinets including care and maintenance information from the manufacturer so you’ll know exactly what to do. Regular care is at the top of the list.

Give it the old once-over

In general, cabinets with modern finishes require just a yearly polish with a good, clear wood polish or furniture cream. Cabinets near your cooktop get hit with steam, heat and grease and will need more frequent attention–approximately every three months.

Cabinet hinges, once the most tiresome of all cabinetry cleaning projects, are now placed on the inside of the doors which eliminates the time and effort involved with cleaning them.

The frequency of cleaning greatly depends on how actively you use your kitchen. If you have a spill or splatter affecting your cabinetry, wipe it up immediately with a damp cloth then reseal the affected area with your polish. Never pour water on the cabinets or use abrasive cleaners. Keep the insides of your cabinets clean by removing the contents and wiping shelves with a damp cloth. 

Hanging in the balance

Another measure to keep your cabinets in good shape is regulating the humidity in your kitchen; maintaining a 35 percent humidity level is ideal. Wood expands with humidity and contracts when it’s cool which can prematurely stress out your cabinet joints and cause warping in an imbalanced climate.

Pay attention to how you store items in wall-mounted units. Narrow shelves are much better for holding heavy items because long shelves may bow under the weight. Ideally, your heaviest items should be placed in base cabinetry.

Watch for signs

If you have older cabinetry, there are some signs that indicate it’s time for a replacement. Watch for areas where the finish is wearing or gone from the surface of your cabinet doors and door heads. When you pull open a drawer, note if the core is starting to break. Cabinets pulling away from the wall indicate that the back structure is failing. These are all indications that it’s time to begin looking for replacement cabinetry.

Considering the exciting options, styles and finishes available with new cabinetry, it’s a step worth taking. At Swartz Kitchens & Baths we can help you through that process and into a kitchen that’s beautiful and relatively maintenance free.

Read more tips from our experts here.

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