Your RTA kitchen cabinets are built to last for many years. The vast majority of the time, they do, even without proper care and maintenance. But adding that extra layer of care and making sure your cabinets are kept in tip-top shape is something that is well worth the investment of a little effort if you want your kitchen to stand the test of time.
Keep Off the Grime
The best thing you can do is not be lazy. Make sure that you keep off the grime from your cabinets. Giving them a quick once-over every week or two with a dishcloth should do the trick, unless you cook a lot of exploding pasta, in which case you know what you need to do! Your kitchen should get a thorough cleaning once a year, though, with a clear wood polish or furniture cream. Make sure you clean out all the nooks and crannies in the doors and drawer faces, and go ahead and make them shine.
The Stove Area
One thing that most people don’t consider is that the area around the stove might need a bit more maintenance than the other areas. This is because all those great aromas that come from your cooktop are vaporized and floating in the air. They tend to settle in the area near your cooking, steam hits the nearby cabinets, etc. You will need to clean and polish the cabinets directly surrounding the area approximately once every three months. Remember, don’t use abrasive cleaners or pour water on the cabinets. Humidity is not your friend, nor is rubbing off the natural cabinet finish.
As most hinges are now placed inside the cabinets, it’s not such a big deal to clean them as it used to be. They are meant to work pretty much indefinitely without oiling, but if you find they are getting a bit sticky or squeaky (especially near that pesky cooking area!) get some petroleum jelly, cover the hinge area and move the door or drawer back and forth to work it in the hinge. It is sticky, unlike other oils, and will tend to stay there longer. Another idea is to get some gun oil, which is easy to apply with a small tube.
Keep It Forever
You need to do maintenance on a lot of things in your kitchen, including your RTA kitchen cabinets, and things such as your natural stone countertops (if you have them). If you take just a bit of time, your cabinets will still be looking brand new decades from now. Just make sure you get quality the first time when you build your kitchen. Buying kitchen cabinets isn’t something you do every day, so make sure you have the insider knowledge you need to get the best cabinets at the best price. The Consumer’s Guide to Buying Kitchen Cabinets tells you what you need to know—click the link to download your copy now!