We yank them, slam them, and smudge them with dirty hands. Sometimes we burn them with pans and mar them with knives. Then we wonder why our cabinetry and countertops have lost their luster. Like so much in life, these kitchen surfaces give as good as they get. So, if you haven’t given them much lately, you might be surprised by what a little giving can do.
Use brand name furniture polishes like Liquid Gold or Old English Furniture Polish and Scratch Cover to bring out the luster of your wooden cabinetry. Follow label directions and make sure to treat the entire door and cabinet surface. Open the cabinet doors to access hard-to-reach spots. This is something you should do regularly – but not too often. Applying polish more than once a month can cause excessive build-up and actually dull the finish. Avoid paraffin-based spray waxes and never wash your wooden cabinetry with water.
For squeaky and sluggish hinges, your best bet is graphite powder from your local hardware store. Sprinkle it directly on the hinge while opening and closing the door to work the graphite down between the moving parts. If it’s after hours and there’s no graphite powder on hand, try rubbing candle wax on them.
Each countertop material is unique, so make sure you know what yours likes. For example, granite and marble can absorb food particles and spills. To help keep them looking new, you should have them sealed every two years. When cleaning, avoid wax, bleach or abrasive cleaners because they can actually damage their luster. Always use a cutting board when working with knives and never place hot pans directly on countertop surfaces. Use hot pads and trivets and remember this advice: if it’s too hot to touch it’s too hot for your countertop.
Sometimes tired old cabinets and countertops are just misunderstood. Show them a little love and they might just show you they’re younger than they look.