Just-installed kitchen cabinets look great and add a real shine to the entire room. But a few years later, that initial freshness can begin to wane and that brand-new look starts to blend into bland.

No matter if your kitchen cabinets are wood, vinyl, plastic, or metal, the first rule of thumb is to combat that grease and dirt buildup on the outside with regular cleanings. A mix of warm water and liquid dish soap is good for keeping the cabinets looking clean; just rinse with a second cloth and then dry thoroughly with a third.

If, however, you’ve gone a little too long between cleanings and the grease and grime are too much for the dish soap, an actual cabinet cleaner will be necessary. Fahy Kitchens has numerous cleaners geared towards the composition of cabinetry and we can recommend one specific to your needs.

For interior cleaning, first remove all items from the shelving and then vacuum up any crumbs and whatnot from inside. While you’re at it, toss out anything that is old and expired. Then clean the walls and shelving with the same water-and-soap combo you used on the outside, once again turning more industrial if the task is too daunting for this common cleaner. Rinse with a second clean cloth, and dry with a third. Leave the cabinets open for a couple of days before replacing the foodstuffs to give them time to air out and completely dry.

Cleaning the cabinets isn’t the only way to keep them looking brand-new, of course. Try replacing your cabinet hardware with some shiny new pieces for an overall fresh and fashionable look. You might even want to try something new in cabinet hardware just to brighten things up a little. That hardware also prompts your family to remember to open the doors using those knobs, avoiding unsightly grubby — and potential damaging — fingerprints on the cabinetry.

While you clean your cabinets, keep in mind that it is possible to overdo the process and hurt the finish. Avoid cleaning too frequently, and using too harsh chemicals that can actually damage the finish. Keep the cabinets dusted so you don’t give the dirt a chance to collect.

Regular attention is the key to making the task of maintaining the beauty of your cabinetry an easy one. For more expert cleaning tips, call Fahy Kitchens & Baths at (315) 735-8181 or fax to (315) 735-2829. Fahy Kitchens & Baths is located at 1908 Oriskany Street West in Utica, N.Y. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are appreciated.