With proper care and cleaning, you can beautifully extend the life your cabinets.
Avoid cleaning with a dishcloth or sponge, as it may contain remnants of grease or detergents. Never use scouring pads, steel wool, or powdered cleaners. Use a damp clean cotton cloth, following the grain of the wood. Use a dry cotton cloth to dry thoroughly afterwards.
Do not use products containing bleach, ammonia, detergents, silicones or abrasive additives, and do not allow oven cleaners to come in contact with wood finish. If there are glass inserts, be sure to use an ammonia free glass cleaner. For everyday cleaning, use a damp clean cotton cloth, and another dry cotton cloth to dry afterwards.
If stain remains, use a 1:1 mixture of mild liquid soap and warm water. For the toughest stains, you can use a 1:1 mixture of Simple Green™ and water.
For laminate cabinetry, be sure to apply cleaning solution in the direction of the “grain” or texture.
Avoiding Heat Damage
To mitigate heat damage, avoid placing small appliances where heat is directed onto the wood surface – for example make sure a coffee machine is not operated underneath cabinet uppers.
If operating a self cleaning oven, open cabinet drawers and doors adjacent to oven to prevent heat damage
Over time, UV rays can darken wood products. RidgeCrest applies a UV coat as part of the finishing process for our wooden cabinets. While the finish of your cabinets will not change with UV exposure, the wood underneath it will. The amount of variance depends on the characteristics of the wood specie selected.
Avoiding Moisture Damage
Minimize contact with liquids as excessive moisture exposure can cause permanent damage. Avoid draping damp cloths or dishtowels on the wood surface.
Excessive moisture will cause the wood to expand and damage the finish
Wood products are hygroscopic, meaning they gain and lose moisture to the environment around them. In a high moisture environment, the wood will swell. In a low moisture environment, wood will shrink. Conveniently, the appropriate humidity level for wood is the same as the appropriate humidity levels for people. Consistently running home heating, cooling, and humidification systems will provide proper balance. Check with local contractors or HVAC specialists to make sure that your home is properly sealed, drainage is properly routed away from the home, and that vapor barriers are properly installed.
Humidity imbalance will result in swollen doors and drawers, doors that no longer close properly, and joint separation.
An annual polish will keep your wood looking great. Polishes (not silicones or waxes) are the best choice for cleaning your wood finish. They contain detergents to clean the surface, emulsifiers to help the polish last longer and remove residue better, and mineral oil to create a barrier against dirt and moisture. We recommend Old English Wood Cleaner.