The maintenance of the kitchen is a thorny subject but one that can hardly be avoided. Because when preparing your meals, when working with food, it is particularly important to pay attention to cleanliness and hygiene. This is why this aspect must be taken into account when choosing your new kitchen. Some materials are much easier to maintain than others, and there are real differences when it comes to cleaning. To ensure that your dream kitchen retains its shine for as long as possible and still looks like new even after several years of use, choose the material that best suits you.
Advice in advance for an easy-care kitchen
For effective cleaning of your kitchen, what if you opted for cupboards whose fronts are handleless? For kitchen maintenance purists, these doors really are the first choice. You simply wipe down all the surfaces with a cloth dampened with cleaner or plain water and it’s good as new. However, on surfaces without handles, especially with glossy fronts, there can easily be traces, especially of fingerprints. Depending on how they were designed and then placed, the handles require a lot more work as you have to clean around them and dirt tends to build up on them. In general, the simpler the kitchen, the less maintenance it requires and the less time you spend cleaning. So-called country kitchens with their elaborate fronts with frames cannot be cleaned as easily as a modern kitchen without a handle. If you choose these, you will therefore have to spend more time cleaning.
When maintaining your kitchen, it’s also important to avoid harsh chemicals and cleaning products that have an abrasive effect. Always use water or a mixture of water and detergent as mild as possible. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to clean surfaces and avoid using microfiber cloths as these can cause scratches. Always test your chosen cleaning or maintenance product in an inconspicuous area to ensure that the product in question has no adverse effect on the surfaces on which you will be using it. Clear water or a few drops of washing-up liquid is often sufficient. Baking soda is a good household cleaner. Mixed with acid and cornstarch, it tackles greasy and chalky dirt in your kitchen. But be careful: do not use it on sensitive surfaces such as granite or marble. So let’s see how, depending on the material, to maintain your kitchen:
The wood, to be cleaned carefully
Wood is arguably one of the most sensitive surfaces on which improper cleaning can quickly be fatal. Care should be taken when maintaining it. Real wood surfaces – whether cupboards or worktops – should therefore be treated as gently as possible. Start by removing stains immediately with a damp cloth – not too wet. If possible, never let the dirt dry out. If it is a stubborn stain, you can add a little neutral soap to the water. It is important to always wipe in the direction of the wood grain when cleaning. In this way, you prevent the wood from being attacked unnecessarily. Since wood absorbs moisture and can swell when wet, it is also essential that you dry the surface thoroughly after cleaning.
Regular oil treatment is recommended in order to preserve the wood in the long term. Linseed oil is particularly suitable, as it penetrates very well into the wood and dries quickly. After oiling your kitchen cabinets, be sure to give the wood plenty of time to dry. Then the wood stays beautiful longer and is also easier to clean.
Natural stone requires gentle cleaning
Like wood, natural stone is increasingly being used in kitchens. In particular, stone worktops which are increasingly popular. And as with all surfaces, count on gentle cleaning. Depending on the type of stone you choose, the sensitivity to heat is not the same. While granite, for example, is extremely resistant, slate or marble are sometimes very sensitive to possible scratches or stains. And marble in particular quickly suffers from the influence of acids. It is therefore necessary to avoid splashing as much as possible. To protect your stone kitchen in the long term, it is therefore advisable to use special cleaning products available in stores for a wide variety of stone types.
Glass for easy maintenance
Glass is certainly one of the easiest materials for cooking, but it has this disadvantage that even the smallest dirt can be seen very quickly. In order for your kitchen to be clean and tidy, you will probably need to clean it more often so that it shines perfectly. But beyond that, however, no additional maintenance is required to keep the surface in good condition for the long term. As a rule, it is sufficient to clean the glass with plenty of water – possibly with a little alcohol or vinegar – and a soft cloth. The usual commercially available glass cleaners are also very suitable for maintenance.
Alkaline detergents, acids and cleaning products containing fluorine should not be used when cleaning your kitchen cupboards with glass fronts or your glass worktop, as they can attack the surface. You should also refrain from removing stubborn dirt with steel wool as there is always a risk of the glass surface being damaged. This is especially true for satin glass, which is significantly more sensitive than normal glass surfaces. Again, only water and mild detergents should be used for cleaning.
Stainless steel, tips for its maintenance
Stainless steel looks very elegant in combination with black or dark gray kitchen fronts. But the impression of elegance can quickly be spoiled by grease stains and fingerprints. Fortunately, these signs on stainless steel surfaces can often be easily removed with plain water and a soft cloth. Even lightly dampened microfiber cloths are great for cleaning stainless steel kitchen appliances or other surfaces. For more stubborn stains, a little detergent in the water can help. Wipe the stainless steel surface with warm water and rub it gently to avoid scratches. Maintaining stainless steel can be a bit of a hassle, but you’ll be rewarded with a brilliant result.