Care of Your Cabinets
Care of Your Cabinets
Choosing cabinetry for your home is an investment in functional beauty that will result
in years of enjoyment and convenience. Quality built with select natural materials and
unique finishes the cabinets will provide years of service in normal everyday use. In
order to maintain the warranty on your new cabinetry it will be necessary to follow the
common sense recommendations detailed in this document.
Wood is a natural and distinctive material; highlighted by the beautiful transparent and
translucent finishes for which cabinetry is known. The characteristics that give wood
its natural beauty are affected by the subtle changes in the environment surrounding
each tree. Within and between trees these natural variations result in distinctions in
grain pattern, grain color and the unique markings of minerals and sapwood. As a
natural material, over time wood continues to change. The components of each cabinet
come from nature and these beautiful natural variations are accepted as part of the
character and beauty of wood.
The nature and beauty of all wood products can be best preserved through moments of
care and simple maintenance. To preserve your cabinets follow the advice given:
Cleaning and Polishing
Dust often with a lint free soft cloth, always in the direction of the grain. Once a year,
polish all surfaces using a good quality furniture polish that is silicone free. Treat all
laminates and non-wood surfaces as you would your finely finished doors.
For stubborn stains, clean as needed with a mild detergent or mild soap and very little
water. It is always preferable to use a damp cloth rather than to apply water directly to
the cabinet. Dry well; again, lint free cloths should be used both for the washing and
Soap and water may be used to clean the metal knobs, handles and components on the
cabinet doors and drawers.
• Dry the hardware and cabinets thoroughly. Be sure to dry the joints between
the hardware and the cabinets. Using a clean, dry cloth polish the metal to
remove watermarks.
• Lubrication of the moving parts is not necessary.
Avoid the use of oily polishes, spray or paste waxes, or any products containing
petroleum solvents or silicone as these can damage the fine cabinet finish.
• Always use a clean lint free cloth and avoid pouring the cleaner directly onto a
• Avoid the use of dishcloths to wipe the fine wood surfaces because often the
dishcloth will contain detergents and greases that can harm the finish.
Never use abrasive cleaners, scouring pads or powdered cleaners on cabinet surfaces.
They can eat through the finish coat allowing moisture to attack the wood below.
Similarly, avoid the use of volatile chemicals such as polish remover, hair spray, or
perfume near the surfaces of your cabinets as they have the potential to damage the
finishes. Do not allow caustic oven cleaners to contact the surfaces of your cabinets.
Similarly, products containing acetone, acetate or ethyl alcohol must not be used.
Avoid the use of harsh solvents, such as turpentine, which can break down the
adhesive bonds on cabinet components.
Moisture and Wetness
Avoid moisture on the cabinet and countertop surfaces. The modern countertop
finishes are water resistant but it is important to prevent water from standing on
countertops or in joints.
• Take care to avoid the application of steam from kettles, coffee makers and other
kitchen appliances.
Immediately clean up water, droplets, splatters and spills as they happen, keeping the
surfaces dry.
• Use a lint free cloth to absorb the liquid starting from the outer edge and
working to the centre of the splash. The intent is to avoid smearing the liquid
over the cabinets’ surface.
Do not leave wet towels, cloths or papers on the surfaces.
• A common problem occurs when wet dishcloths are draped over the edge of a
cabinet door. Gem Cabinets has an accessory dishtowel rack that is ideal for
storing and drying dishtowels.
In particular, ensure that areas around dishwashers and sinks are kept dry.
Self-cleaning Ovens and Heat-generating Appliances
Observe all of the manufacturer’s rules concerning self-cleaning ovens and other heatproducing appliances.
Self-cleaning ovens operate by generating an intense internal heat to oxidize all organic
matter. Even small leaks in the seal will damage nearby surfaces.
• For this reason it is recommended that all doors and drawers adjacent to and
above be carefully removed each time the oven is run through the self-cleaning
Other appliances such as coffee makers, kettles and toaster ovens generate damaging
levels of heat and moisture. For this reason Gem Cabinets recommends that heatproducing appliances neither be mounted nor used beneath cabinets.
Always use felts discs, coasters or placemats (but not ones with rubber or plastic
backing) between hot objects and countertops.
Glass Panels
Clean glass panels with mild window cleaners. Do not spray cleaners directly on the
glass, but rather apply sparingly to a lint free cloth and then use the cloth to clean the
glass surfaces. Avoid contact between the cleaner and the metal mullions.
General Environmental Conditions
Never exceed fifteen pounds per square foot (4.8 Kg/m²) on cabinet shelves. Gem
cabinets are tested and certified to a shelf load of fifteen pounds per square foot (4.8
Kg/m²). Exceeding this loading may result in injury.
Never stand on, lean against, shelves, drawers or open doors. Failure to follow this
caution may result in injury.
Maintaining a comfortable and constant level of temperature and humidity will ensure
long life for your cabinets. All fine wood products are best maintained at temperatures
between 68º and 73º Fahrenheit (20º to 23º Celsius) and 40% to 45% relative humidity.
Exposure to strong light sources, sunlight and oxidizing agents will affect the colors of
the finishes. Often this variation is sought to improve the wood’s character. Please be
aware that such changes are irreversible.
Avoid placing sharp objects in contact with the cabinets and countertops. An example
is the use of pens while writing on thin paper, unless a writing pad is used. Avoid the
contact of plastic or rubber products; such as feet or pads under items like radios,
computers, telephones and accessories. The rubber and plastic components can
damage countertop finishes.
In order to maintain proper alignments of the moving parts in your kitchen, it
may be necessary to occasionally make minor adjustments.
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