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How to Properly Care for Your New Cabinet Doors and Drawer Fronts

If you have recently installed new cabinet doors and drawer fronts, you still remember what the old ones used to look like. Over time, even the finest doors and fronts begin to show signs of age and abuse. They may have still functioned perfectly, but the built-up wear and tear was unattractive and made everything around them look worse by proximity. But now that you’ve invested in replacements, your kitchen, office, or bathroom surely looks amazing. Make sure to keep it looking amazing and stretch your investment further by learning how to care for your cabinet doors and drawers the proper way.

Clean Immediately After Installation

Upon delivery, your doors and drawer fronts may still have some dust on them from the production process. As soon as possible after they are installed, wipe every surface down with a damp (not dripping) cloth. Do one small section at a time, wiping with a damp cloth followed immediately by a dry cloth to remove moisture.

Use the Right Supplies and Techniques

Some people clean their cabinet daily while others do it annually. No matter how frequently you care for your drawers and doors, it’s essential to use the right kind of cleaner. Fortunately, you probably have all the ingredients in your house right now. Simply mix warm water with a small portion of degreasing dish soap like Dawn. This combination is strong enough to remove grease and grime but not so powerful that it could harm the finish of the cabinets. When cleaning, make sure to use a soft cotton cloth or a non-abrasive sponge. Wipe with the grain of the wood (typically top to bottom), then immediately wipe with a dry cotton cloth to remove excess moisture.

Avoid Harsh Cleaners

Using the wrong supplies is the most common cabinet-cleaning mistake. Though it may be tempting to tackle tough stains or big messes with some kind of harsh cleaner, it hurts your cabinets more than it helps. Avoid commercial detergents and powdered cleaners because they can strip the surface of the doors. For the same reason, don’t use scouring brushes or “magic eraser” pads. Bleach and ammonia are also off-limits, as well as anything with wax or silicon because they both attract dust.

Watch Out for Humidity

Wood begins to warp when exposed to extreme humidity. Cabinets located in high-humidity spaces like the bathroom should be wiped down regularly. Humidity is also a concern with doors and drawers located around sinks or close to windows that stay open. Be proactive about wiping any kind of moisture off cabinets, and avoid letting damp dish rags hang across cabinet surfaces.

Provide Preventative Maintenance

It’s entirely up to you how often you care for your cabinet doors, but most experts recommend addressing them every two weeks. Take a few minutes to dust the surfaces. Dust combined with oil is what ultimately leads to grimy cabinet doors, so removing the dust regularly can save you a lot of cleaning later on. You can also give the doors a like-new look by periodically applying lemon or mineral oil that is approved for use on fine furniture. You should always test a small, inconspicuous area first, and only use oil on wood surfaces (never paint or laminate). Apply a small amount of oil to a clean cloth and apply it evenly to the surface while wiping off any excess. Oils help to rejuvenate the look of wood, hide minor damage, and make the surface more moisture resistant.

Install Soft-Close Hardware

Slamming shut a cabinet door or drawer once is rarely a problem. However, after hundreds of times, all that banging can leave visible signs of damage and frustrating performance problems. If your new doors and drawers did not come with soft-close hardware, consider swapping it in. No matter how hard a door is closed, soft-close hardware “catches” it in motion and gently brings it into contact with the cabinet itself. Superior door hinges and drawer pulls help extend the life of your cabinets while also making your kitchen a lot more peaceful to occupy. It’s even easier to care for your cabinet doors if you order the replacements with soft-close hardware already installed.

Don’t Forget the Glass

Grime is easier to see on glass than wood, which is why you need to be proactive about cleaning any glass cabinet doors. Soapy water will work, as well as any conventional glass cleaner. Apply it directly to a clean cotton cloth, and wipe it gently across the glass surface (too much pressure could break the glass).

Be Careful With Oven Cleaning

Extreme heat can damage the finish on wood and potentially warp the material. Self-cleaning ovens work by creating enough heat to burn away grime, but in the process, they can also hurt the cabinet doors and drawers directly adjacent to the oven. Instead of taking the risk, remove these doors before you start the cleaning cycle.

With the right care and maintenance, new cabinet doors and drawers will look incredible and perform perfectly for years to come. Ordering replacements from the right company helps extend their longevity, too. CabinetDoors.com sells custom-cut cabinet doors and drawer fronts made from high-quality hardwoods, including species known for their durability. Depend on our team to carefully craft the replacements you want, and expect our products to outperform expectations. Learn more by consulting our comprehensive FAQ page, or get answers to your own questions through our contact page.