Your kitchen and bathroom cabinets look great when you first have them installed, but after awhile you might notice that the surface is starting to look a bit dingy. No small wonder, considering what your cabinetry is up against every day. In the bathroom, it’s exposed to moisture, perfumes, powders and hairsprays. In the kitchen, your cabinets are barraged by cooking greases, grimy fingers, wayward batter, steam and smoke. All of these elements can ruin that brand-new appearance of your wooden cabinetry, but luckily the solution is as simple as cleaning products that you probably already have in your own home.

First of all, you need to resign yourself to the fact that, like everything else in your home, your cabinets need routine maintenance in order to keep looking their best. So plan on making the effort to give your cabinets a washing with plain dish detergent and water a couple of times a week. For a thorough scrubbing of cabinets that have moved from mildly dirty to downright sticky, you’ll need to spend a bit more time cleaning them up. But this will be well worth the effort, as you’ll read further down.

When you’re ready to do a complete scrub down, gather these items:

To begin, mix the dish or laundry soap to a strength of two parts hot water and one part soap. Mix it well so the soap is dissolved into the water. Apply to cabinets with the soft cloth. In areas where there is buildup, you’ll need to use some elbow grease! For difficult spots, use a soft-bristled brush but take care not to remove the finish of the cabinet. Be sure to rinse very well; otherwise, you’ll just add another layer of stickiness.

If a sticky film remains on your cabinets, try vinegar applied with a soft sponge. In areas where there is a build-up of grime, mix a paste of water and baking soda and scrub on with a sponge. As with all cleansers applied to your cabinets, make sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid additional build-up. Keep in mind that using harsh chemical cleansers can cause damage to your cabinets; always test a spot before using any commercial cleaning products on your cabinets.

After the thorough cleaning, apply a coat of furniture wax to your cabinets once they have dried completely. This will help keep them dirt free and make routine wipe-ups a breeze. In order to keep your cabinets looking like new, clean them a couple of times a week with a mild solution of dish soap and water. Parker & Bailey Kitchen Cabinet Cream is also a good choice for your bi-weekly cleanings because it does not contain harmful solvents, and is available at Fahy Kitchens & Baths.

For expert advice on how you can clean the cabinets in your kitchen, bathroom or any other space, contact Fahy Kitchens & Baths at (315) 735-8181 or fax to (315) 735-2829. Fahy Kitchens is located at 1908 Oriskany Street West in Utica, N.Y. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are appreciated.

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