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Care + Cleaning

We have strict standards for every process involved in the cabinet creation process from milling the materials to putting our high quality durable finish on your cabinetry. Although kitchen cabinets are used more often than dishwashers and stoves, they are comparatively less well cared for or properly cleaned.

Since your kitchen cabinetry occupies such a large space, it is more exposed to elements that may degrade its quality. Even cabinets on opposite sides of a room may be exposed to different elements that can deteriorate the finish. Keeping your cabinetry in its perfect essence requires regular cleaning and wiping. Not adhering to the following care tips may void the product warranty.

Initial Cleaning after Cabinet Installation

All that is needed to wipe away the traces of installation is a soft, lint-free cotton cloth. Wipe down all the exterior surfaces of the cabinetry and use the cloth to remove the dust from the interior of the cabinets. Avoid applying any liquid to your cabinetry for the first 30 days after the installation. Your finish requires a small amount of curing time, allowing the film to achieve its full performance properties.

Be sure that all of your doors and drawers close properly. Moisture, dust and even creatures can invade your cabinets if they are not fully closed to maintain what’s inside. Your Aura Cabinetry Sales Representative can show you how to properly adjust doors and remove drawers so minor adjustments to the cabinets can be made promptly.

Basic Cleaning and Care

Your custom cabinets come sealed with a very durable Aura Cabinetry finish. A “blotting” action is better for your finish than a wiping motion when cleaning the cabinetry. Keep cabinet surfaces dry at all times and avoid potential damage by following the guidelines below:

  • Always use a soft, lint-free cotton cloth when cleaning and caring for your cabinetry. Avoid using a dishcloth or sponge; it will most certainly contain remnants of grease or detergents that could harm the finish.

  • Use a mild detergent or soap and warm water to clean the cabinetry. Avoid products with bleach, ammonia, soaps with dye, powdered cleaners or abrasive additives. Waxes should be avoided because their regular use may result in build-up wax film on the surface. Polishes designed for cabinetry or furniture may be acceptable, as long as the guidelines above are followed.

  • Apply the detergent or polish to the cloth; never spray liquids directly on your finish. This is especially true for glass inserts because glass cleaners usually contain substances that can harm your finish. Spray the cloth so overspray does not fall on your cabinetry. Do not allow the glass cleaner to run into cabinet door joints.

  • Oven cleaners and wood finishes will react with each other when they come in contact. Do not allow oven cleaner to touch any part of your cabinetry.

  • Dry any wet surface immediately with a soft, lint-free cotton cloth. Never use scouring pads, steel wool or wire brushes to clean your cabinetry.

Moisture and Custom Cabinetry

Your cabinetry could be located next to dishwashers, sinks, showers, stoves and other locations that could potentially generate moisture on or around your custom cabinets. Quick temperature changes and excessive moisture can be harmful to the cabinet finish and overall cabinet stability. The most important guideline to follow is to wipe up spills or water spots immediately with a lint-free cotton cloth so that moisture is not absorbed and the cabinetry is kept dry.

  • Periodically check the areas around the sink and dishwasher to make sure that water does not sit on the cabinetry. Common spots are on the tops of doors, drawers and on the inside of the interior edge profiles of your cabinet doors.

  • Consult your contractor or appliance provider about the possibility of weather stripping dishwasher enclosures prior to installation.

  • Avoid draping damp clothes or dishtowels over cabinet doors. Do not attach towel racks to the interior of cabinet doors.

  • Avoid placing small kitchen appliances where heat is directed onto cabinet surfaces. Place coffee makers and crock pots so that the steam is directed away from the underside of cabinetry and upper cabinet surfaces.

  • Always use trays under potted plants and hot pads under hot items.

Additional Care Items

In addition to the above, consider the following;

  • Do not leave newly printed materials on the cabinet surface. Printing ink can bleed into your cabinet finish.

  • Always avoid sliding objects across the cabinet surface.

  • Be careful with knives and other sharp objects that can damage the cabinet surface.

  • If you’re unsure of a cleaner’s suitability, don’t use it!

  • Use a mild soap and warm water to clean door/drawer knobs and pulls. Wipe clean with a dry cloth when finished.

Solid Wood and Wood Veneer Top Use and Care

Your Aura Cabinetry salesperson will assist you in selecting a wood top surface that best fits your needs. The following are the types of wood surfaces that Aura Cabinetry offers:

  • Solid Wood Butcher Block, 1 1/2” thick, with Natural Urethane finish

  • Solid Wood Top, 1 1/2” thick, with Conversion Varnish top coat

  • Wood Veneer Top, ¾” thick, with Conversion Varnish top coat

Solid Wood Butcher Block

Solid wood butcher block tops are face glued to expose the edge grain on the surface. The standard stave width is 1 5/8” and the standard thickness is 1 1/2”. Butcher blocks are coated with a clear, non-toxic urethane protective finish, which offers excellent clarity, good moisture resistance and faster drying times than natural oils. Butcher block tops may not be stained and are supplied only with this clear finish.

Butcher block tops need oiling or “reseasoning” once a week to seal the grain against bacteria. Mineral Oil is the most traditional finish for a butcher block. When applied, Mineral Oil seals the pores of the wood, blocking the penetration of moisture. Before applying mineral oil to butcher block, warm the oil slightly. Apply oil with a soft cloth, in the direction of the grain, allowing the oil to soak in. Allow oil to soak in for a few minutes, and then remove all surface oil with a dry, clean cloth. Oils made of vegetable or animal fats can become rancid and should never be applied to the butcher block.

If the reapplication of the original urethane finish is desired, the wood surface must be sanded down to bare wood and be completely free of wax and dust. Apply the finish with a soft cloth, rubbing evenly with a circular motion. Allow the finish to set for 2 minutes, then wipe dry with a soft cloth, using straight, brisk strokes with the grain. If more finish coats are required, apply using straight strokes with the grain. Air dry five hours between coats, or for best results, allow overnight drying between coats.

Solid Wood and Wood Veneer Tops

Solid wood tops are face glued to expose the edge grain on the surface. The standard stave width is 1 5/8” and the standard thickness is 1 1/2”. Wood veneer tops are constructed from wood veneer that is laminated to plywood or particleboard panels that are typically ¾” thick.

Solid wood and wood veneer tops may be stained, and are then finished in a highly durable Conversion Varnish. This finish is commonly used in the commercial and high-end furniture market. It has an excellent resistance to foods, beverages and common household chemicals. For a daily cleaning, simply use a damp cloth followed immediately by a dry cloth. When a cleaner is needed, use a very mild soap and wipe dry immediately, in the direction of the grain. Please follow the guidelines below to ensure the proper care of your Conversion Varnish finish:

  • Do not use cleaners containing bleach or abrasive cleaners.

  • Do not allow cleaners containing ammonia to come in contact with your furniture finish.

  • Dyes and inks may discolor the finish. Ink and dyes from newsprint and plastic bags may penetrate the finish when moist.

  • Conversion Varnish offers a very hard mar-resistant surface, but like any finish may be scratched or damaged if not cared for properly.

Solid wood and wood veneer tops with a Conversion Varnish finish are not suitable food preparation surfaces. Wood veneer tops are not a suitable surface for high-traffic areas such as desks, workstations or countertops, and will not be covered under warranty if used in these applications. Conversion Varnish does not achieve its maximum performance properties for at least 30 days from the time of application, and therefore recommend you do not place any permanent fixtures on the surface until after this time has elapsed.

All sold wood butcher blocks, solid wood and wood veneer tops, and any horizontal wood surface must be kept dry when not in use. Moisture of any type standing on the wood surface will deteriorate the finish and void any warranty.
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