Ever dreamed of a bright white kitchen but been afraid that you’ll never keep it looking like new? Here are our tips to keep your kitchen pristine, regardless of colour.
This is the perfect white kitchen because it looks like no one ever cooks here. And that’s the best way to keep your kitchen looking like new. But if you actually plan on using your kitchen, you need a plan of attack to deal with fading, yellowing, accumulations of grease and staining on benchtops and sinks.
The worst offender here is sunlight – something we get a lot of here in NZ. Direct sunlight will fade any surface over time, but can be particularly harsh on whites. There’s no need to turn your kitchen into a cave, but adding blinds or curtains in light colours will help protect cabinets and other surfaces. Bonus – your nosy neighbour won’t be able to judge if you’re still in your PJs after noon on weekends!
The best way to avoid build up of grease and food particles is to dine out every night. But since most of us aren’t royalty and do intend to use the appliances we’ve worked day in and day out to pay for, we need a way to combat the grease and grime that ends up on our kitchen cabinets.
The first step is to get yourself a handy splatter guard to keep as much as you can in the pan and to use an extraction fan to suck any escaping microbes outside before they stick, but the rest requires regular cleaning.
A quick wipe down with a damp cloth after use is the ideal way to prevent build up, but if daily cleaning is a bit ambitious, then using a solution of a little dishwashing liquid in warm water, rinsed with clean water on a monthly basis should move any stubborn muck. Just remember to dry using a soft, clean cloth immediately afterwards. Make sure you do keep on top of the cleaning, as the longer that stains sit on your cabinets the harder they’ll be to remove and the more likely they’ll cause lasting damage.
Let’s face it, besides the rubbish bin; the sink sees the worst of your kitchen at the end of every meal. Short of moving your dishwashing duties outside you’re going to see some kind of grime and vigilance is again your best weapon. Soapy water or ammonia- based cleaner is your best bet for everyday stains, but if you’ve been away and left the kids in charge you might need something stronger. A mild cleanser or diluted bleach and a grey Scotch-Brite cleaning pad should lift more difficult stains – remember to wash well with water and dry afterwards for best results.
White tiles with white grout? Let’s hope you’re a fan of cleaning, and that the grout has been sealed otherwise you’re in for an ongoing challenge. Sadly, the cleaner your tiles are, the yellower the grout will appear so you’ve got to pay your splashback special attention or it will undo all the good you’ve done elsewhere.
Make a paste using baking soda and vinegar with a little water. Apply this to the grout and spray with a light coat of vinegar from a spray bottle. Use a Scotch-Brite scourer to scrub the grout, rinsing well with water. It’s not a fun job, but adding this to your Spring Cleaning chores list a couple of times a year will work wonders.
Laminate – once considered Grandma’s favourite in the kitchen, laminate benchtops are making a comeback as an economical and functional favourite. Gone are the faded yellows and blues that are now left to 80’s caravans, replaced with on-trend marble and stone patterns, some so closely matched you’d be hard pressed to differentiate them from the real thing. Not only are they friendlier to your glassware, but their easy to clean – a mild household cleaner should do the trick, or for really stubborn stains mix 1 part household detergent to 3 parts baking soda to form a paste and scrub the stain using a Scotch Brite scourer. Don’t overscrub, and make sure you rinse with a damp cloth and dry to prevent any lasting damage.
Engineered Stone – Regular care & maintenance will keep your Caesarstone benchtop looking like new for years. Warm soapy water and a damp cloth, or a Spray & Wipe type cleaner after use should do the trick, but for dried spills or stains each Caesarstone benchtop comes with its very own cleaning kit – you can find specific care information on the Caesarstone website.
Solid Surface – These top of the line beauties look great and also aren’t too difficult to clean. As with the sinks, soapy water or ammonia-based cleaners will remove most dirt and stains, but a mild cleanser or diluted bleach should get rid of difficult stains. You should always rinse and dry after using any cleaning products, if not for the health of your benchtop then for the health of your food – no one wants food that tastes like Spray & Wipe!
A tip though: cleaning any kitchen requires dedication and hard work, and all kitchens will show dirt and grime regardless of colour, you’re just more likely to notice it on a white palette so stock up on cleaning supplies and choose your dream white kitchen!