Caring for Your Kitchen

DSC_1576Caring for your kitchen can sometimes be a pain and time-eater. This is especially true when we wait till something breaks or when we wait too long between cleanings or maintenance. Most people own some sort of wood cabinetry whether they are a stained wood variety or painted, and they need to be cared for. It doesn’t matter which finish they have; they all need cleaning and remoistening.
Wood needs to breathe just like our bodies do. All woods, whether painted or stained, take in and let out moisture. When wood is initially prepared and dried to use for furniture or cabinetry, it is dried to a 7-9% moisture content. This helps to make the product stable. If dried too much below those levels, wood will warp. If not dried enough, wood will swell more and crack. Even when dried to the right levels, wood will take in and let moisture out during the different seasons through its pores. That’s a given.
Lemon oil type-cleaners are good because they help put that sheen back in the appearance. Cabinets will get dull looking from our everyday air in our homes. As the wood gets dull and dry, doors and drawer fronts shrink. When this happens, you see more of a gap between doors or drawer fronts that butt together. Don’t fret when this happens. They will go back together as the weather outside gets more humid. If you decide to adjust the doors to be closer together when they shrink in the winter months, make sure you adjust them back before it gets humid out because they will end up hitting and rubbing each other when they expand back. This can cause abrasion and finish failure on the edges. Your touch-up kit that was supplied with the kitchen will come in handy if this happens.
Other maintenance ideas will also keep your kitchen looking new. Shelves can become a problem over time with the sagging from heavy items like canned goods or dishes. It’s a good idea to periodically reverse the shelf direction so that the bow is up. Adjusting and tightening of the hinges and drawer runners will not only help in the wearing but also keep your cabinets looking crisp and straight. Chalking against walls and back splashes are an easy maintenance also. This also keeps the kitchen looking new. Sealing of granite counters is an easy item also. With sealers coming in spray bottles, all you have to do is spray/soak the counters and let sit for a few hours and then just wipe till dry. Letting it sit helps the sealer sink deeper into the pores of the granite, helping with those ugly stains from wine and other staining foods.
Maintenance doesn’t have to be a bad chore when you keep up on it periodically. Of course if you don’t have the time or if you just don’t want to, you can call the dealer who did the kitchen and I’m sure they offer maintenance service at a reasonable cost. The kitchen is the heart of the home, so spend the time keeping yours looking beautiful and new. The better it looks, the better your mood like my mother used to say. Remember, you spent a lot of time dreaming of your new space, so put it to good use with your family and friends!

Bon Appetit!

Tim Holick

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