So, you’ve got a brand new, gorgeously remodeled kitchen. Everything is spotless and you just perfectly arranged all of your stuff. But, how do you keep it looking perfect? As we all know, kitchens are used a lot and really put through the wringer, so of course, we want to make sure that things are still working and looking as good as when they were first installed. Welcome to Kitchen Maintenance 101 where we will help you a few of our favorite care and cleaning items.
Clean Your Cabinetry
This may be a no brainer, but keeping your cabinets clean helps keep the entire room clean! Cabinetry tends to take up a lot of visual real estate, so you don’t want those getting a layer of muck on them. But, be careful! Cabinets don’t need to be scrubbed to death; they should be cared for gently. First, grab a soft, damp cloth – NOT a paper towel or abrasive pad. Create a cleaning solution of 1 part soap and 100 parts water, ensure you’re using a mild, non-detergent soap, and wipe messes away! Dry immediately. Typically, manufactured cabinets don’t need any wax or polish to stay clean. It’s an extra, unnecessary step that could even damage the cabinet finish. If you have metal cabinets, you can use a metal cleaner.
Bonus Counter Cleaning Tip
Keep your kitchen maintenance routine simple and use the same cleaning solution (1 soap / 100 water) on your stone/quartz counters! Most of the time, you don’t need extra cleaning materials, unless you have a specialty counter like wood or soapstone. Don’t forget to seal natural materials regularly (not needed with quartz products).
Tighten Up Hardware
Nothing is more frustrating than a cabinet drawer that won’t close or doors that don’t line up. Make sure that you are constantly readjusting and tightening your cabinet hardware. This includes, but is not limited to, drawer and roll-out glides, door hinges, soft-close features, and automated door/drawer systems. Your most used glides (like a trash roll-out or cutlery drawer) are likely to become an issue faster than other spots. Make sure that the door/drawer fronts aren’t rubbing against each other and that they still glide smoothly. If not, most glides are 6-way adjustable: in/out, up/down, and left/right. You may also want to wipe down the glides to make sure there isn’t anything stuck in them like food particles or dust build-up. Hinges are just as important because if anything starts to come loose, you may have a rouge door on your hand that can fall at the most inopportune moment. Simply grab a Phillips head screwdriver and tighten it up – and readjust the alignment of the doors. Realignments are usually necessary for some doors/drawers with the changing of seasons as wood cabinetry expands or contracts.
Don’t Forget Decorative Hardware
We know we just focused on the functional hardware, but decorative knobs and pulls can be just as important! Don’t let those come loose over time, so while you’ve already got your screwdriver out, take an extra minute to tighten up anything you see starting to come loose. Nobody likes a square knob that is slowly turning into a diamond!
Keep Your Water Clean
Changing your refrigerator water filter may seem like a daunting task, but it’s something fairly easy that you should be doing regularly. Depending on the water in your area this may change, but to our Dallas clients, we typically recommend every 6 months. Most refrigerators now use a “twist on” filter typically located in a corner, or behind the grill. Simply turn counter-clockwise to pull the filter out, replace the cover onto the new filter, and place the new one in turning clockwise to secure. Some units have a “push-in” filter which instead of turning, you press a release button (or the filter itself) to allow the filter to pop out, and push it back in until it “clicks” to secure the new one in place.
Ice Makers Need Help Too
Have a separate ice maker? Don’t forget about that as well! Ice makers are notorious for being the most serviced appliance in any kitchen. We would also recommend having this serviced and cleaned every 6 months to help make it last. This is one kitchen maintenance item you can feel free to call a professional on – it’s worth it.
Vent Hood Maintenance
Ever looked up into your vent hood area? If you haven’t cleaned it in a while, prepare yourself. All of the grease and small food particles that have been sucked up through the filter while cooking since the last time it was cleaned is stuck up there. So, how do you clean it? This is actually a pretty simple task as well, and something you should do often. Why? Vent hood cleaning as a part of a regular kitchen maintenance routine is a must Your vent hood pulls smoke, steam, and even odors up and out of the kitchen to help keep your air clean. And as we become more health-conscious, clean air is a priority. If the filter is too dirty, your air quality can suffer as well as the hood unit itself. Simply pop the filter out and wash it diligently with soap and water. If you don’t want to scrub, most filters are actually dishwasher safe, so just run it through and place it back in once it’s sparkling clean!
What About A Charcoal Filter
Carbon or charcoal filters are used as an alternative solution. These cannot be cleaned (don’t try!) so you will need to replace them instead. Most manufacturers recommend about once a quarter based on how often you cook. We recommend the same. The same goes for a filter you CAN clean. Once a quarter is a good rule of thumb.