Cabinets are often the focal point of every kitchen. Available in various materials, hues and designs, they decide the mood of a kitchen. But also as they occupy a major portion of the busiest room in a home, they tend to be messy really quick. From smudges to grease, the cabinet surface endures a lot. Let us discuss the best methods to clean various types of kitchen cabinets found in typical Indian kitchens.
How To Line Kitchen Cabinets Shelves?
No matter the material, it is important to line kitchen cabinet shelves to protect them from dust, spices, sauces and other messy spills. Many people line kitchen cabinets with newspapers. But, when something spills on it, the newsprint may get etched onto the shelf. Instead, opt for washable kitchen liners. They are often a one-time purchase and economical.
How To Clean Laminate Kitchen Cabinets?
Modular kitchens nowadays have laminated kitchen cabinets. The laminates are non-porous and highly durable. But prone to smudges. These types of cabinets usually have MDF underneath the laminates.
They are one of the options that are the easiest to maintain. For regular cleaning of the exteriors, you just need to spray diluted glass cleaner and wipe it with a microfibre or a soft cotton towel. Alternatively, you can use vinegar and water diluted in a 1:1 ratio as a spray too.
Sometimes, the exteriors of the kitchen cabinets adjacent to the kitchen chimney may become greasy. If ignored for a long time, the grease gets baked onto the surface and becomes difficult to clean. In such cases, you may have to use a degreaser spray on the cabinet surface. We have used Clecide degreaser. It is quite effective. But, being very harsh, it lets off fumes. So, you have to put on gloves and a mask while using them. Also, line the kitchen countertop before spraying. Else the grease will melt and drip on your countertop and make a mess.
How To Clean Wooden Kitchen Cabinets?
Wooden kitchen cabinets usually have a lacquer coating to protect them from moisture and harsh elements. Sometimes, the shelves are painted too. Avoid using a degreaser or any harsh chemicals on the surface as this will erode the coating and damage the wood underneath.
To clean the surface of the kitchen cabinets and shelves, spray diluted dishwashing liquid and wipe it off with soft cotton or microfibre cloth.
If the cabinet is stained with grease, chocolate syrup, sauce or such stubborn stains, use dishwashing liquid, warm water and gently scrub it with an old toothbrush. Avoid using steel wool or any such abrasive scrubs as they can damage the surface. If the stain still persists, consider adding salt to the dishwashing liquid to clean the grime.
Ensure there is no soap residue on the wooden surface as it tends to build up and dull the finishing. So, wipe after cleaning with soap, wipe the surface thoroughly with a moist cloth and then dry it off.
Related reading: How To Clean Kitchen Tiles?
How To Clean Painted Kitchen Cabinets?
Painted kitchen cabinets are quite sensitive as chemicals can remove the finishing. Avoid glass cleaners, baking soda, vinegar and any chemicals that contain alcohol. The best method to clean painted kitchen cabinets is to clean them on a regular basis to prevent the accumulation of dirt, grime and grease. For regular cleaning, spray diluted dishwashing liquid and wipe it off completely with a microfibre cloth. For stubborn stains, use concentrated dishwashing liquid and a toothbrush. This will however require some elbow grease, depending on how stubborn the stains are. The same method can be used for cleaning the shelves too.
Useful Tips To Clean Kitchen Cabinets
- As with everything else, being proactive and cleaning the surface of kitchen cabinets on a bi-weekly basis and the interiors on a monthly basis helps keep it tidier and last longer.
- Always dry the wooden and painted kitchen cabinets after cleaning. Leaving it moist for a long time can damage the finishing and sometimes the wood underneath.
- Ideally, always line the cabinet shelves so that it is easier to clean it up. Machine washable liners are available in the market, which makes cleaning a breeze.
- Give special attention to the kitchen cabinets near the exhaust hood. They accumulate grease and grime in no time. Ideally, clean the surface with diluted soap on a weekly basis so that you won’t have to use harsh degreasers on them.
- Keep the kitchen cabinets always closed so that it doesn’t accumulate dust.
- Avoid hanging wet rags on your cabinet shelf as moisture can damage the wood.
- Avoid keeping wet utensils inside the cabinets. Ideally, dry it in a large basin and then keep it in the kitchen cabinet.
- While storing cast iron cookware, keep a thick cardboard sheet or mat underneath it. Else the shelves may get stained with rust, which can be difficult to clean.
- During monsoons and winter, leave the cabinets open at night so that there is sufficient airflow. This prevents any musty odour inside it.