Caring For And Maintaining Wood Cabinets

You need to take care of your wood cabinets to ensure they last a long time. You need to clean and polish the cabinets frequently, and know which products are safe.


You should begin to care for your cabinets immediately after installation. Next, wipe them with a soft, clean cloth and dry them. Apply a high-quality furniture varnish. You should ensure that the polish doesn’t contain wax or silicone. Polish protects cabinets against minor scratches and stains.

Cleaning every two weeks

Keep your cabinets clean and looking new by wiping them down at least once a week with a soft, clean, damp cloth. If water doesn’t clean the cabinets completely, you can use mild dish washer detergent and water to dampen the cloth. Wipe the cabinets in the same direction as the wood grain when you clean them. After you have finished cleaning the cabinets, dry them thoroughly.

wood cabinets

Special Care

Sometimes, bi-weekly cleaning may not be enough to remove all stains and dirt buildup in your cabinets. There are two options when this happens:

  1. Make a paste with baking soda, water. To rub the paste with a sponge, move slowly around the stain. The cabinet should be rinsed with water. Dry it with a soft cloth.
  2. To gently scrub dirt and stains, mix vinegar with water (1/4c to 4c)

Avoid damaging cabinets with products

Other than water, mild dishwashing detergent, vinegar, and baking soda, many products (or their components) can cause damage to cabinets. It is best to avoid their use. These are:

  • Ammonia
  • Bleach
  • Citric acid (also known as orange and lemon oils)
  • Nail polish remover
  • Paint thinners
  • Products made from petroleum-based materials
  • Plastic brushes
  • Scouring pads
  • Use self-polishing waxes
  • Solvents
  • Steel wool
  • Strong soaps and detergents

Maintenance Tips

Scratches & Nicks: If your cabinets are scratched or nicked, it is best to use a kit of repair. You may be able to use furniture oil to “cover up” minor scratches.

Spills Don’t let spills sit. Clean them up right away or they could cause stains. Use a sponge or damp cloth to clean up any spillages and dry the area immediately.

Moisture and Temperature: Excessive moisture can cause cabinets to deteriorate quickly. Cabinets near the dishwasher and sink are at particular risk. Dry cabinets immediately after they get wet. Also, make sure that appliances that produce steam, like coffee makers, don’t place them so that they can damage the cabinets.

Wood can expand/contract, swell and dry out due to temperature and humidity fluctuations. This could lead to cracking and other problems. To minimize the risk to cabinets, ensure that the temperature and humidity levels are constant throughout the year.

This article was written by Jordan Legault, Jordan is the owner of The French Refinery. We strive every day to provide the utmost in customer service because our customers deserve the best we can provide.

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