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Home Maintenance Topics

2-10 Maintenance Guide / Interior Maintenance / Cabinets and Countertops

Interior Maintenance

Cabinets and Countertops

To maintain appearance, durability, and intended use
Twice a year


  • Inspect the hardware. Adjust, tighten, or lubricate knobs, hinges, latches, rollers, and drawer glides.
  • Wood cabinets should be cleaned and waxed just like fine furniture.
  • Refresh varnished wood cabinets with a good-quality furniture polish once a month. Never use a paraffin-based spray wax.
  • Painted cabinets may be cleaned with a mild, non-abrasive detergent on a damp sponge. Scratches can be filled with a matching touch-up crayon available at most hardware stores.
  • Plastic-coated cabinets may be cleaned with a detergent solution.

Laminate Countertops

  • Verify that any caulking joints are in good condition and well-adhered to both sides of the joint. Water can cause underlying wood material to swell when wetted. Clean joint and re-caulk with matching material as necessary.
  • Avoid placing hot items such as pots, pans, and irons on countertop laminate. Heat can liquefy the underlying glue.
  • Never cut on laminate countertops. Always use a cutting board.
  • Clean with a mild, non-abrasive detergent on a damp sponge or wash rag. Don’t use scrubby pads.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure of dishwasher steam to underside of countertop. High humidity and condensation may cause wood warping under laminate.

Ceramic Countertops

  • Inspect grout and tile for cracks. Replace cracked tiles and re-grout as necessary.
  • White grout can be refreshed by applying a diluted bleach solution with a stiff narrow brush.