Can you believe spring is here?  It’s time to open the windows and get the germs out of the house!  If you’re anything like me, I do a deep clean every spring at home and at the office.  There’s no better feeling than a nice clean working area.  I usually set aside an entire weekend day to dedicate myself to a deep clean.  I keep motivated by throwing on some tunes on Alexa and dance my way to a clean house and office. 

Let’s face it, kitchens are the hardest worked rooms in your house. If you are like me and my family, the majority of our hours are spent in the kitchen. Between cooking, snacking, and congregating at the table, our kitchen gets dirty! It’s important to make sure you are using the proper materials when cleaning, especially when you are cleaning wood and laminate products.  This week, let’s take a look at why you should be cleaning and how to clean your cabinets.

It’s important to clean your cabinets to keep your space looking fresh and clean, to keep your home more sanitary, and also to extend the life of your cabinets.

Why is it important to clean your cabinets?

The most obvious reason why it is important to clean the exterior of your cabinets is that it keeps your area looking clean.  For those people who are kitchen dwellers, like my family grimy fingers are always touching and grabbing the door and their handles. 

I am sure that given what is going on in the world, germs are on your mind more so now than ever.  With cooking with raw food, it is important to make sure that you are cleaning your cabinets well.  I have touched a cabinet with a hand that I touched a piece of raw meat because I forgot to pull seasoning prior to handling the meat.  I also use a meat tenderizer at least two nights a week.  Those particles can land on your cabinets.  That bacteria can last on a hard surface for up to 24 hours.  Wiping your cabinets down near your working area will help keep your family from getting sick and will make your kitchen more sanitary.

Grime and dirt have the possibility of wearing down the finishing on your cabinets.  If you don’t clean them, that grime and dirt can eventually find its way to the wood underneath the finish, which can ruin them.  Ignoring the dirt and not cleaning the cabinets can result in you having to replace your cabinets, which can be rather costly.  Maintaining a cleaning schedule for your cabinets will help to extend the life of your cabinets.

How to clean your cabinets

I don’t know about you, but I am guilty of not wiping down my cabinets on a regular basis.  I typically wipe them down if I see something on them or if I have spilled something.  In all reality, you should be wiping your cabinets down at least twice a month.  For the high traffic areas, those cabinets should be wiped down weekly.  You should also be doing a deep clean on the exterior of the cabinets quarterly.

Okay, show of hands, how often do you clean the insides of your cabinets?  I bet it is not very often!  The interior of your cabinets should be cleaned twice a year.  And no, that does mean wiping around your cans, spices, and dishware.  You need to remove everything out of the cabinet and give it a thorough clean.  Remove and replace any shelf liner or contact paper during the deep clean.  If you do not have shelf liner, I highly recommend getting some for your cabinets.  It will help protect the interior from possible spills, thus extended the life of your cabinets.

Products to use

For your normal weekly or biweekly cleaning, using some warm water with a small amount of mild dish soap and a microfiber towel is more than sufficient.  If you are like me and want something more than soap and water, any gentle cleaning solution and cloth are fine.  For tougher grime, using a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water works really great. 

For your semi-deep cleaning, using products like Fantastik or an all-purpose orange oil cleaner works well to get your cabinets shining like new.  Using a paste made from baking soda and water works great on hard to clean grime and dirt.  Make sure to use a soft bristle brush when you are using the paste.   Using steel wool or a scouring pad can damage your cabinets beyond repair.  I keep a toothbrush under my kitchen sink to use with my baking soda paste.

How to clean them

Alright, we have talked about why you should clean your cabinets and how often you should clean them.  So what is the best way to go about cleaning your cabinets?

Before using your cleaner, start off by using your soft bristle brush to get in all of the nooks and crannies of your cabinets.  Cabinets often have grooves and hard to clean areas, like shaker cabinets.  Use your baking soda paste to get into the corners and around the handles of the cabinets.  Once you have cleaned the nooks and crannies, wipe them down with a soft cloth. 

Now you can go ahead and start cleaning the cabinet doors.  Rather than spaying the cabinets directly with your cleaner, you should spray your cloth with the cleaner and wipe down the cabinets.  For the interior of the cabinets, you can use spray the inside using a spray bottle.  It is important that you are not saturating your cabinets with your cleaning solution.

Once you have finished cleaning your cabinets with your cleaning solution, you should wipe down the interior and exterior with warm water.  This will help the chemicals from saturating your cabinets.

Take a clean soft cloth and dry the inside and outside of your cabinets.  It is important to make sure there is no excess water/solution just sitting on them.  Once the cabinets are dry, inspect them for damage.  Take a look at the handles and hinges to ensure that they don’t need to be tightened.

Final Thoughts

Now is the time to kick it into gear and get your home and workspace clean.  A clean, germ-free area is a happy workplace!  Once you are all done with your spring cleaning, you can start on a new project.  Perhaps you can start building that coffee table or that toy chest you’ve been meaning to make for your home.

Steve Newett
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