The kitchen is where the food gets prepared. It's not just the countertops and the sink that are used a lot and get dirty—don't forget about the cabinet under the sink! This is something to keep in mind when you're cleaning and taking care of the kitchen. While it’s not a complex task, it can be tiring and ineffective, especially if it isn’t done correctly.
To avoid that, learn the proper methods of maintaining your kitchen sink cabinets. Find out when and how to clean and take care of your cabinetry, and what things you should avoid when doing so. Discover the best ways to maintain the beauty and functionality of your cabinet.
When to Clean Your Kitchen Sink Cabinets
Cleaning, in general, requires a schedule—you don’t need to clean something constantly or every day. In terms of cabinets, this can do more harm than good—it can wear and fade the material and damage the structure.
For proper care and to save your time and energy, it’s recommended to have two cleaning schedules: weekly and seasonally.
Perform a weekly spot treatment instead of a daily or frequent wiping of the cabinets. Use a multi-purpose cleaner and a clean microfiber cloth to wipe away and remove any marks, like fingerprints, spatters, etc. Make sure to clean the hardware as well. These materials can be used for both cleaning schedules.
Deep clean your cabinetry three to four times a year. With this, you’d have to empty the sink cabinets of all contents. Make sure to wipe down the inside and outside of each cabinet. For the small corners and crevices, you can use a clean toothbrush. After cleaning, wait for everything to dry before restocking all contents.
How to Clean and Maintain Kitchen Sink Cabinets
For properly cleaning and maintaining your cabinetry, below are some important tips to remember and follow.
Use the Right Cleaning Supplies
Since kitchen sink cabinets can be made of different materials, there are certain cleaners that you should avoid. It’s best to use a gentle cleaning solution. Here are the best solutions and cleaner recommendations to make sure you don’t damage the material of your cabinetry:
- Multi-Purpose Cleaner
- All-purpose cleaner w/o Ammonia (especially for wooden cabinets)
- Vinegar and Water
- Baking Soda and Water
- Oil Soap Cleaner
- Dish Soap
- Glass Cleaner
- Grease-Cutting Dish Soap
In terms of cloth, you can use a clean microfiber cloth or any soft and clean cloth.
Wipe Any Spill Immediately
Spills can cause more damage, like staining, and can become harder to clean when left in contact with the cabinet. If a spill happens, clean it promptly. Use a damp cloth or a new, clean sponge to remove it. It’s wise to remove it in a blotting action rather than a wiping action. Then, make sure to dry the surface right after.
Think Twice About Using and Adding Wax
A wooden sink cabinet doesn’t necessarily mean you need to wax, oil, or polish it. Always check the manufacturer’s manual first to learn about the recommended instructions when it comes to waxing and polishing. Some waxes, like silicone-based ones, can build up on the surfaces and do more damage. They can accumulate and leave a dull look on the cabinet. This will simply leave you with more cleaning tasks to do.
Use Your Cabinets the Right Way
Cabinets have weight capacities. However, many homeowners maximize their cabinets by storing too many things in them. Avoid doing this as it can cause the cabinets to sag, and break over time. Here are some tips on how to use your cabinets appropriately:
- Don’t overstuff any cabinet or drawer.
- Avoid stacking heavy items like cans, jars, and other heavy packages.
- Make sure to distribute the weight throughout the space.
- Lessen the weight inside by removing broken, expired, and unused items.
- Use shelf liners and organizers to keep everything organized and combat moisture inside the cabinets.
- Store smaller and lighter items in upper cabinets, and store larger ones, like pots and pans, in bottom cabinets.
Swap the Water You Use for Cleaning
Hard water can cause water stains on cabinets. If your cabinets have these stains, you can use a diluted vinegar solution or a baking soda paste to remove them. To avoid such water stains, change the water you use for cleaning. Instead of tap water, use distilled water, especially in your DIY solutions.
Don’t Expose the Cabinet to Direct Sunlight
Frequent and prolonged exposure of sink cabinets, especially wooden and laminated ones, to direct sunlight can cause color changes. Natural wood products can darken more while others can lighten and fade. Painted wood and laminated ones are also susceptible to fading and discoloration. Make sure to use window coverings, like drapes or blinds, to shield your cabinetry from direct sunlight.
Make Sure Everything’s Dry
Keep your cabinets dry inside and out. Water and any form of moisture can damage it, especially if it’s made of wood. That’s why when putting dishes or any item inside, make sure they’re completely dry. Wipe every bottle and jar as well to remove any liquid left on the outside.
The Don’ts of Sink Cabinet Maintenance
As much as there are things to follow when cleaning and taking care of your sink cabinets, there are also many things to avoid. Keep the following “don'ts” in mind:
- Don’t use any harsh cleaning agents—those that contain ammonia, bleach, citric acid (including orange and lemon oil), and organic solvents.
- Don’t use any of these products as they will damage the cabinet finish and weaken the materials of the cabinet. The products to avoid are:
- Petroleum-based products
- Strong detergents and soaps
- Nail polish remover
- Steel wool
- Scouring pad
- Don’t drape any damp dish towels over your cabinet doors.
- Don’t use a dishcloth when cleaning as it can contain particles or residues that can damage your cabinet.
- Don’t get your cabinets too wet when cleaning.
- Don’t let any water or moisture seep into the cabinet’s hinges.
- Don’t slam your cabinet doors.
- Don’t expose the cabinets to high temperatures and humidity levels.
The cabinetry is one of the largest pieces of furniture in the kitchen. It serves a lot of purposes, from storage up to being a statement piece in the room. To make sure it remains that way, you have to make sure you’re taking care of your kitchen cabinets the right way. Follow our guide and tips above for proper maintenance.
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