There’s a wrong way to clean your kitchen cabinets and you’re probably doing it

You’ve just had your kitchen cabinets refinished and they’re gorgeous…until a few months later, when you notice that some spots appear to be lighter, or duller than others. You tell yourself it’s your imagination. But the truth is that it isn’t your imagination.

Whether you DIY painted your cabinets or had them professionally coated in durable high-gloss or semi-gloss paint, there are things you could be doing that reduce the durability and life-expectancy of the job.

Avoid “kitchen erasers”

Eraser sponges like the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser have gained fame for being able to remove just about anything, from stuck on grease to mold and even permanent marker. But there’s a price for that power; these eraser sponges act like sand paper, removing not just the substance of your ire, but also a thin top layer of whatever is underneath. In the case of your kitchen cabinets, it’s the top layer of paint, stain or gloss. Use these handy sponges for other surfaces in your kitchen, just not your cabinets.

Don’t reach for “scrubbing” sponges

Scrubbing sponges often have both a tough fibrous side and a soft spongy side. They’re prized for their ability to get grit and grime off your dishes. But painted cabinets are not kiln-fired dishes. The scrubby, working side of your sponge is just as likely to scratch your kitchen cabinets as it is to remove grease and peanut butter fingerprints.

Just say no to bleach and ammonia

There are certainly disinfectants on the market that are meant to be gentle enough for everyday use. As a rule of thumb, if you could touch it with ungloved hands, it probably won’t hurt your cabinets. So if you swipe (not rub) a Clorox Disinfecting Wipe across your cabinets, you can feel confident nothing bad is going to happen to your cabinets, even as germs and bacteria are dying. But if it’s not gentle enough for your hands, don’t put it on your cabinet facings, and certainly don’t rub it in. That includes surface cleaners made from straight or mildly diluted bleach, hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. All of these are harsh chemicals, and without a perfect dilution and perfect timing, any one of these could damage your kitchen cabinet facings. Do use these types of cleaners on cabinet hardware and other non-porous surfaces where bacteria and viruses live in your kitchen.

The actual answer to cleaning your kitchen cabinets is…

…dish soap. Blue Dawn Ultra dish soap is tough on grease and gentle on hands. It’s also gentle on pots, pans, and your kitchen cabinets. A combination of a soft sponge or microfiber cloth, Blue Dawn and warm water are the best way to keep your kitchen cabinets clean and also looking like new for years to come.

If you’re nervous about cleaning your kitchen cabinets, especially if they’re new, talk to your professional design team at Kitchen FX for their tips on cleaning, sanitizing and protecting your investment.

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