The upkeep 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 should be taken into account when choosing your new kitchen. Some materials are much easier to maintain than others, and there are real differences in cleaning. To ensure that the kitchen of your dreams retains its shine for as long as possible and still looks like new even after several years of use, choose the material that suits you best.
Advance advice for an easy-care kitchen
For efficient cleaning of your kitchen, what if you opted for cupboards with fronts without handles? For kitchen maintenance purists, these doors are truly the first choice. You simply wipe down all surfaces with a rag soaked in cleaner or clear water and it’s like new. However on surfaces without a handle, especially with glossy facades, there can easily be traces, especially fingerprints. Depending on how they were designed and then placed, 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. The 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, then you will have to spend more time cleaning.
When maintaining your kitchen, it is also important to avoid harsh chemicals and cleaning products with an abrasive effect. Always use water or a mixture of water and detergent that is as mild as possible. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to clean the surfaces and avoid using microfiber cloths, as these can cause scratches. Always test your chosen cleaning or maintenance product in an inconspicuous area to make sure that the product in question does not adversely affect the surfaces you will be using it on. Clear water or a few drops of dish soap is often sufficient. Baking soda is a good house 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, maintain your kitchen:
Wood, to be cleaned carefully
Wood is arguably one of the most sensitive surfaces on which improper cleaning can quickly prove fatal. Care should be taken when maintaining it. Real wood surfaces – whether cupboards or countertops – should therefore be treated as gently as possible. First, remove the stains immediately with a damp cloth – not too wet. If possible, never allow dirt to dry. If it’s a stubborn stain, you can add a little neutral soap to the water. It is important to always wipe with the grain of the wood 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 wipe down 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, because it penetrates very well into the wood and dries quickly. After oiling your kitchen furniture, be sure to allow the wood sufficient 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 used more and more in kitchens. In particular, the stone worktops which are more and more 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 durable, slate or marble is sometimes very sensitive to possible scratches or stains. And marble in particular quickly suffers from the influence of acids. Splashes should therefore be avoided as much as possible. To permanently protect your stone kitchen, 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 downside that even the smallest dirt can be seen very quickly. In order to keep your kitchen clean and tidy, you may need to clean it more often to keep it shining perfectly. But beyond that however, no additional maintenance is required to keep the surface in good condition over the long term. As a general rule, it is sufficient to clean the glass with plenty of water – possibly with a little alcohol or vinegar – and a soft cloth. Conventional, commercially available window 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 that the glass surface will be 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 elegant impression 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 moistened 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 hot water and rub it gently to avoid scratching. Maintaining stainless steel can be a bit of a hassle, but you will be rewarded with a brilliant result.