How to damage your cabinets without trying

Care and Maintenance of Finished Wood Products

There is no such thing as “maintenance-free” anything. Gardens need weeding, spouses need date nights and kind words, and wood cabinets must be treated with specific, sensible care if their natural beauty is to last. So, here are some hardcore basics on how to care for your finished wood, such as cabinets, and how to keep from damaging them.

Like most things in life, it's easier and harder than you think all at the same time.

            • Wipe down cabinets every few weeks with a damp, soft cloth using only warm water
            • Always wipe in the direction of the wood grain
            • Don’t leave any moisture behind—wipe dry with a soft cloth
For stubborn grime or stains try:
            • Adding 2 drops of mild dishwasher soap to your water
            • One tablespoon of vinegar to 16 ounces of water
            • Rinse with water and thoroughly dry with a soft cloth

Use only lemon oil to condition your cabinets with a stained finish twice a year. No waxes. None.

Paint chipping—the result of some or all of the factors listed below.

Now that we have your attention, here’s a list of abrasive cleaners & chemicals you should NEVER use on your cabinetry. No paint or stain can withstand these harmful elements, and no complaint that the paint or stain is faulty will gain sympathy from us or qualify for restoration under your limited warranty.


              • Any petroleum-based products
              • Paint thinners
              • Magic erasers (anything with a silicone base)
              • Murphy’s oil soap
              • Strong detergents/soaps/Windex
              • Nail polish removers
              • Solvents (including organic)
              • Bleaches
              • Ammonia
              • Plastic brushes, steel wool, or Scouring pads
              • Waxes of any kind
              • Power washers or belt sanders (just checking to see if you are still reading?)

The ghosting or "blushing" is a result of harsh cleaners, such as those with ammonia. Read the content disclosure carefully before using any such cleaner.

They matter. Wipe them up before they dry by blotting with a sponge or damp soft cloth. Unlike fine wine, they don’t get better with age.

Water at work over time. Pretty impressive, eh?

Outside of a plane crash in your kitchen, moisture is the single greatest source of cabinetry damage. Think of the Grand Canyon. That was all done by water. Temperature extremes—too hot or cold, too dry or humid—are a close second for damage. Small children and pets are third. Adults with loose wrist jewelry, large rings, or artificial fingernails are fourth on the damage to wood surfaces list. We are not kidding.

Repeated exposure to a harsh environment can cause splitting, swelling, cupping, cracking, warping, and panel edge exposure. Again, cabinets repeatedly exposed to these conditions will not qualify under your limited warranty.


              • Drape dishtowels or other wet items over cabinet doors
              • Regularly exceed higher than 80% or lower than 20% relative humidity

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