Your cabinetry will beautify your home, as well as provide a lifetime of use and satisfaction. To ensure their lasting beauty, they should receive proper care.
With these preventative care tips, you can keep your custom cabinets in their unique and pristine condition.
Clean your cabinets by simply wiping them daily with a damp (not dripping wet) cloth. If needed, use a mild non-detergent soap or an all purpose cleaner (“Murphy’s Soap Oil,” “Guardsman”).
Never use detergents, soap pads, or steel wool, since these products may mar, scratch, or distort the finish.* After cleaning, reduce your chances of long term damage to the finish and/or wood by quickly drying all surfaces with a clean, soft towel or chamois leather.
Some Products to Avoid:
- Harsh Chemicals
- Abrasive tub and sink cleaners, scouring powders and pads
- Sponges and dish rags (these may contain food and/or grease particles)
- Solvent and/or petroleum –based products such as nail polish remover, mineral spirits, and paint thinners
- Silicone-based cleaning, polishing, or waxing products
- Cleaners containing Ammonia or Bleach
- Feather dusters simply move dust around, and dust is abrasive
Spills and Splatters
Clean up any spills immediately. If allowed to remain for an extended period, the food, liquid, oil or grease can cause permanent discoloration or damage to the cabinet’s finish leaving the wood vulnerable.
Tip: If any water spills get into and/or behind a panel, use a can of air to blow the water out.
To avoid buildup, regular dusting should be done weekly. When dusting, use only a clean, soft, lint-free cotton cloth. Using an aerosol dusting product (Example: “Pledge”) or pre-moistened sheets is not recommended. If needed, we recommend “Endust,” and “Guardsman Cabinet Polish.”
Waxing and Polishing
Waxing your cabinetry is not required nor recommended. Waxing, and polishing products, can lead to buildup on the surface resulting in a hazy or streaky look. This buildup holds dirt, dust, and smoke. In order to protect the finish, and help clean up grease, use lemon oil twice a year. Try to be consistent and use the same products each time.
Cleaning Glass Doors
Clean the doors using an ammonia-free glass cleaner on a soft, lint-free rag or paper towel. Never spray the cleaner directly onto the glass, because the liquid could eventually damage the door by seeping behind the mullions and/or frame.
Excess moisture causes many problems for your cabinets, such as topcoat blushing and chipping, finish deterioration, and black stains appearing. To eliminate, or avert this damage, pay attention to these certain items:
- Sink Cabinet: Wipe away any water that may splash on the cabinets. Pay attention to all profiles that may hold water as well as the
- Pullout Trash Cabinet: Keep top edge and the cabinet’s face wiped off.
- Cabinets around dishwasher: When loading or unloading the dishwasher, keep a light cloth on hand for soaking up all the water that splashes on the wood. Never drape damp towels over cabinet doors or hardware.
- Cabinets around coffee maker: Steam affects the overhead cabinetry’s finish. When using coffee makers, pull the item out of the vicinity of the cabinets.
- Bathroom Cabinetry: Be aware of proper ventilation in your bathroom. Venting ensures less moisture in the air which can directly affect the finish on your cabinets.
During the self cleaning operation on your oven, excessive heat is generated. If heat escapes the oven, your cabinets could be damaged. While such damage is rare, you may want to remove your doors and drawer fronts during this operation.
Direct sunlight on cabinets can be harmful, since it has a tendency to lighten or darken them. You may want to close the curtains or blinds during the sunny part of the day.
If you have inside plants, do not let the leaves touch the finished surface of your cabinets. Place your plants in drip-proof pots to avoid spots and faster deterioration.
While durable, wood is sensitive to rapid changes in humidity. To best preserve your cabinetry, wood does best in moderate conditions of around 70°F-72°F and a relative humidity of about 50-55%.
Every year brings about different cycles of humidity whether warm, dry, wet or cool. Humidity can have a strong impact on the moisture content and wellbeing of your cabinetry.
Warm months: Warm humidity might result in swelling mostly within the doors, drawer front and the frames, since a high temperature can hold more moisture than a low one.
Wet months: For wet seasons, humidity will not affect the finish, but the wood will expand from the extra moisture.
To deal with humidity for any of the months above, the best solution is investing in some form of climate control. We recommend a dehumidifier or air conditioner in order to remove excess moisture.
Cool months: Sometimes when cool months become drier, the cabinets can suffer from slight shrinkage.
Dry Months: During a time of the year when there is a lack of moisture, most cabinetry will not be affected. In the case of extreme temperatures, there is a possibility of the wood shrinking as well as split or popped joints. The best solution for these times is getting a humidifier in order to restore moisture.
Tip: As before, to avoid damage, keep away from direct sunlight, and do not place them in front of or near air conditioning or heating vents as this may cause extreme temperature variance for your cabinetry. Results could include shrinkage/swelling and even cracks forming in the wood.
Like wood cabinetry, acrylic and laminate panels need their own handling and care.
The acrylic panels become more scratch resistant days after the protective film is removed. Before cleaning, make sure the panels are cool to the touch. Use a nonabrasive, lint-free cloth or soft sponge, for lighter cleaning, and always in gentle wiping motions. If needed, use a mild liquid soap.* The best results would be using a microfiber cloth with water and soap. Try testing the products in a small area before cleaning the whole panel. Never dry wipe the finishes, instead, use a chamois cloth. Never leave moisture on the panels, or allow moisture to slip in between the panels and any decorative materials, otherwise you could damage them.
Some Products to Avoid:
- Paper towels, brushes, scourers, squeegees, synthetic rags or scrapers.
- Harsh household cleaners and abrasives with ingredients, such as acetone, chloroform, benzene, ammonia, thinners, chlorinated solvents, and caustic soda.
- Some products will severely damage the panels: glass cleaners, gritty cleansers (sink and toilet bowl cleaners), gasoline, and lacquer thinner.
Never remove the protective film until the project is complete to avoid dents or scratches. When storing, do not store outside or in direct sunlight. The outer face surface is very sensitive till it is exposed to air for a few days, so avoid sliding two or more panels together.
If the panels have any decorative materials, these panels should only be used in low humidity parts of the house which will prevent moisture damage.
Always use a cotton cloth or non-abrasive sponge.*
Option 1: Wipe with a damp cloth or sponge with mild dish soap.
Option 2: Wipe with a damp cloth or sponge using a 50/50 mix of water and Simple Green®. (Simple Green works well on oily or tacky surfaces.)
Cleaning Stains (Infrequent Care)
Always use a cotton cloth or non-abrasive sponge.*
Step 1: Using a damp cloth or sponge with a 50/50 mix of water and Simple Green, scrub lightly for 10-20 strokes. This should remove most stains. If stain persists, move on to Step 2 and if necessary, Step 3.
Step 2: Using a damp cloth or sponge with Buckeye Workout®, standard Fantastik®, or standard Formula 409®, lightly wipe for 10-20 strokes. Buckeye Workout is a commercial cleaner and readily available from a
local distributor-call: 314.291.1900.
Step 3: Place a cloth or sponge damp with 70% Isopropyl Alcohol on top of the stain for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the cloth or sponge and wipe. This should remove makeup, ball point ink, and other stubborn stains. If stain persists, repeat Step 3 until stain is removed.
Some Products to Avoid:
- Any abrasive cleaner
- Most solvent based cleaners and harsh chemicals such as sink & toilet bowl cleaners
- Any cleaner in combination with a brush
- Cleaners containing ammonia
- Baking soda
Disinfecting Thermofoil/3D Laminate Surfaces
A mixture of 10% bleach, 90% water can be used as a disinfectant on most 3D laminate surfaces. Before using the mixture on an entire surface, be sure to test it on a non-visual spot. If a harsh chemical is spilled on a thermofoil surface, wipe it up immediately. Then wash the surface with soapy water and rinse several times.
Cleaning and Care for 2-K polyurethane or varnish finished tops will be the same as the care and maintenance for your kitchen cabinets.
Routine Cleaning and Care for Oil Finished Tops
Wood countertops should be routinely cleaned and disinfected with a 20% white vinegar and water solution. Cleaners containing ammonia should not be used. No ammonia soap or bleach can be used to remove food. A kitchen sponge should be used to clean hard to remove food.
Scratches: Normal use should not cause scratches. Sliding objects on the countertops that have a rough unfinished surface, such as ceramic pieces with unglazed bottoms will scratch the finish. Small, “cobweb” scratches can be removed by re-oiling the top. Deeper scratches can be removed when the top is re-oiled by using a fine sandpaper or non-woven abrasive such as Scotch Brite and then re-oiled (as detailed in care and
Staining: Oil treated tops will resist all known food based products, such as wine, coffee, tea, juices, jams and jellies, cooking oil, ect. Spills should be wiped up as soon as possible. Food stuff that is dry can be removed with vinegar solution and a kitchen sponge (the abrasive side can be used with care). Ammonia-based products and bleach should not be used.
Water: Oil treated tops are water resistant, and if maintained, will not allow water to penetrate the wood. We recommend drying any water that may get on your tops as soon as possible.
Heat: It is recommended that hot pans should be placed on heat trivets or pot holders. Never place a hot pan directly on a finished wood top.
Food safe mineral oil is recommended for regular upkeep and helps keep the surface stain and water resistant. A light coat of oil should be applied once a month. Simply coat the top using a paper towel or rag, allow the wood to absorb the oil for 5-10 minutes, and then wipe off any excess oil.