Cleaning natural wood cabinets is a simple task but must be done properly to preserve the integrity of the wood. Whether in your kitchen or bathroom, wood cabinets endure a lot and are subject to wear and tear due to the environment, dirt and other particles they’re exposed to on a daily basis.
Establishing a cleaning routine that will benefit your cabinets in the long run is important. Here’s more on cleaning cabinets and wood cabinet care tips to help keep them in good condition.
Wood Cabinet Cleaner Options
There are a few options available for cleaning wood cabinets. You might come across different products on the market or hear about the best cleaning practices from your mother-in-law. While there’s no right and wrong when it comes to proper cleaning and care, we have advice on what you could use to ensure you get the most out of cleaning your wood cabinets.
Water and Dish Soap
A damp cloth dipped in a water and dish soap mixture is a traditional cleaner option that’s been tried and tested for many years. It is the cheapest to use yet effective for general surface cleaning. You might not be able to remove hardened stains with this mixture because it’s milder than other cleaners but it is good enough for daily use.
Like the water and dish soap mixture, vinegar can be mixed with water to create a stronger solution for cleaning wood cabinet surfaces. The water neutralizes the vinegar’s acidity and is more effective when sprayed on and left for a few minutes before being wiped off with a clean cloth.
You could add a small amount of olive oil to this mixture for a shiny effect.
Antibacterial Surface Spray
Your kitchen hosts an array of bacteria that can be harmful and contaminate food. Using an antibacterial surface spray that can be used on wood to disinfect your cabinets will keep them clean while discouraging the spread of germs.
Baking Soda Paste
Mixing a small amount of baking soda with water will create a mild, abrasive paste you can use to remove food that’s been caked onto surfaces. For stubborn particles, apply the paste and allow it to soak for a while before rubbing it off gently.
Natural vs. Chemical
Some all-purpose cleaners contain harsh chemicals that are unsuitable for wood cabinets, but there are good options specifically for wood applications on the market. Sometimes, natural alternatives like water and vinegar are better, but they may be limited to superficial surface cleaning. Always read the label if you decide to use store-bought cleaners for deep cleaning to ensure they don’t damage your wood cabinets with their chemical composition.
What Cleaners Should Not Be Used on Wood Cabinets
With constant use in any living space, wood cabinets are prone to get stained over time. Substances like oil and grease in the kitchen and toothpaste in the bathroom can harden on surfaces, often prompting you to use cleaners and other abrasive materials that damage the surface instead. Here’s a list of cleaners you should avoid using on your wood cabinets:
- Ammonia-based and petroleum-based detergents may erode the surface.
- Bleach can remove paint and wood grain.
- Paint thinners will strip the surface.
- Chemical solvents are harsh and may remove the top layer of your cabinet.
- Steel wool, scouring pads and plastic brushes are all hard and can scratch the surface, leaving permanent dents and dings that will make it easier to absorb dirt and grime.
Wood cabinets should not be left wet for long after being cleaned and should be wiped down within minutes of applying a suitable cleaner.
How Often Should Wood Cabinets Be Cleaned?
When your cabinets appear to be greasy, slimy or dusty, they should be cleaned. As a rule of thumb, you’d clean them at least twice a week but it depends on how much activity there is in the kitchen or bathroom where the cabinets are located. It helps to get into a cleaning routine since the wood grain gradually creates a buildup of grime over time.
You use your kitchen cabinets often, especially if they’re close to your oven or sink. Oil spatters tend to stick to cabinets and get hard and sticky if not removed immediately. This, mixed with dirt and grime will leave undesirable stains on your cabinet surface.
These stains become difficult to clean if they’re left for long. This is why it’s best to clean the outside wood cabinet doors more frequently to prevent buildup that can damage your cabinet’s exterior. Cleaning the interior is also beneficial, especially for food and spices that fall over and mess on the inside. Ideally, kitchen cabinet exteriors should be cleaned once or twice a week or fortnightly, while the interior should be cleaned at least once a month.
Most bathroom cabinets are situated above or below the sink and are subject to steam and water damage, along with toothpaste spatter and other liquids that dry and harden on the surface. Since the bathroom is a breeding ground for germs and other bacteria if it’s not cleaned properly, it’s essential to clean the cabinets regularly. This will ensure the wood cabinets stay clean and germ-free. The residue is also less likely to build up on the surface.
More Tips on Wood Cabinet Care
Moisture and food particles can deface your cabinets. Grease and steam combine to form a sticky layer, which is hard to remove if cleaned infrequently.
When you notice anything accumulate on the surface, wipe it off immediately to prevent it from seeping into the wood or staining it. In particular, food like beetroot can leave unsightly stains that are hard to remove if left to absorb. Here are a few more tips that will help maintain your wood cabinet’s condition:
- Keep the room well-ventilated to prevent steam from damaging the cabinets, as wood is porous in nature.
- Use natural, mild cleaners like dish soap and vinegar-water mixture for frequent cleaning.
- Establish a cleaning routine to prevent grease buildup on wood surfaces.
- Don’t neglect the handles and drawer pulls when cleaning as dust and dirt accumulate in the crevices.
Choose Quality Wood Cabinets From WG Wood Products
Your wood cabinets may be the main attraction in your kitchen so it’s vital to keep them in pristine condition. They are a long-term investment you want to look after to ensure you get the best return on your investment. Cleaning them regularly with proper cleaning materials will maintain their beauty and longevity.
You will get the best service and products by choosing quality wood cabinets from WG Wood Products. We have a large variety of recessed and on-the-wall cabinets, plus other products like bathroom toilet paper holders, wall niches, wooden bathroom magazine racks and other specialty wood cabinets to suit your preference and style.
When you’re ready to install your wood cabinets, request a quote and we’ll reach out to discuss your requirements.