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Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets: Wood and Metal

The way you clean your kitchen cabinets depends on the material they are made of. Wood cabinets require a different type of cleanser than metal. Wood cabinet cleansers are usually gentler than those for metal cabinets. Here are some hints for finding the best cleaning products for your particular needs.

Cleaning wood kitchen cabinets

The easiest cleaner for wood kitchen cabinets is soap and water. Dish soap works best, because of its grease-cutting properties. Mix 1 part soap to 2 parts water and wipe the cabinets down with a sponge. Don't use any kind of steel wool or scrubbing brush, as you may scratch the finish. You can also use a wood cleaner like Murphy's Oil Soap. Dilute this with water and use a towel or sponge to rub it into the cabinets. Make sure you rinse the soap off, to avoid stains.

If soap and water just aren't doing the trick, you could try a ½ vinegar, ¼ water solution. Vinegar is a natural grease cutter and antiseptic, so you are killing germs as well as cleaning your cabinets.

Most cabinets have a nice enough finish that they don't require cleaning more than once or twice a year. You can keep a spray bottle of diluted Murphy's Oil Soap handy for in-between cleaning.

Cleaning metal kitchen cabinets

Cleaning metal cabinets can be a simple chore, too, if you have the right supplies. All you need is rubbing alcohol, steel wool, soap and water, and car wax. First, wipe the entire cabinet down with rubbing alcohol, which removes any greasy, grimy build-up. Then take a very, very fine grain steel wool pad and rub any rust spots. Use a light touch, though, as not too scratch the finish. The next step is to wash the entire cabinet with soap and water. After you have rinsed the soap off, you need to make sure it is completely dry, so it doesn't rust. A good way to ensure that the cabinet is dry is to use a blow dryer. The last step is to rub a thin coat of car wax over the entire cabinet. Just like new!

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