If you have older, wooden kitchen cabinets, their facings may be showing the signs of age, such as dull grains because of ground in dirt and grease. If you are looking to rejuvenate them, use the two-step guide below to clean and polish the facings using natural products you can find in the supermarket or pharmacy.
Step 1: Scrub The Wood With A Homemade Cleaner
The first step uses a homemade cleaner made with castile soap and baking soda. The soap is gentle enough not to damage the wood, while the baking soda adds a little grit so you can clean deep down into the grain. A nylon scrubber is used because it will not scratch the wood.
In a small bowl, mix together a cup of castile soap and a quarter of a cup of baking soda. Dip a soft, damp rag into the cleaner and apply it to your cabinets. Let it sit for about 15 minutes to give the soap time to break down any grease or grime.
Wet the scrubber in warm water. Going with the grain, gently scrub the wood. Then, use a clean, wet rag to rinse the cleaner off. First, go with the grain to lift it out. Then, rinse and rewet the rag to wipe against the grain to pick up any residual cleaner and dirt. After you have thoroughly rinsed the cabinet facings, go on to the second step.
Step 2: Shine The Cabinets With Vegetable And Lemon Oils
Now that you have removed the dirt, this second step uses a homemade polish made with vegetable and lemon oils to put moisture back into the wood. The lemon oil also gives the wood a clean, shiny appearance.
The cloths used to apply the polish should be soft to avoid scratching the wood and lint-free to prevent snagging and dust settling. Either a cloth diaper or a chamois cloth works well for this purpose.
In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together a cup of vegetable oil and three teaspoons of lemon oil. Dip your cloth into the polish and wipe it on against the grain to apply it. Then, wipe against the grain to push the oils into the wood. After letting the polish sit for five minutes, buff the cabinet facings with a clean cloth.
While using the above to restore your cabinets, you may find they have irremovable stains or unseen damage. If so, you may want to contact a contractor that offers cabinet refacing services, such as Rich's Kitchens Inc, to discuss any available options for replacing them.