Complete Guide for Cleaning and Restoring Oak Kitchen Cabinets

Your kitchen cabinets are a focal point of your kitchen and can make or break the look of the entire room. Unfortunately, over time, grease, grime, and food particles can build up on your cabinets, making them look dull and dirty. Oak cabinets, in particular, require special care as they can easily become damaged by harsh chemicals. Instead of hiring a professional cleaner or replacing your cabinets, you can give them a deep clean yourself using a combination of natural, eco-friendly and chemical-based products.

Free Wooden Cabinets on House Kitchen Stock Photo

Step 1: Remove all items from your cabinets

Before you start cleaning, remove all items from your cabinets, including dishes, cookware, and small appliances. This will make it easier to access all the surfaces and corners of your cabinets.

Step 2: Clean the exterior

Mix a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the exterior of your cabinets and wipe them down with a clean, damp cloth. Be sure to pay special attention to any areas with built-up grime or grease. For tough stains, you can use a small amount of mild detergent or wood cleaner specifically designed for oak cabinets. Always test the cleaner in a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure that it doesn’t cause any damage.

Step 3: Interior cleaning

Cabinet drawers and doors should be taken out and laid level on a clean surface. Scrub away any filth or grime using a toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush. The internal surfaces can be cleaned with a mild detergent or the same mixture of white vinegar and water. Make sure to completely rinse with clean water before wiping down with a fresh cloth.

Free Person Holding Black and Silver Coffee Press Stock Photo

Step 4: Re-oil or re-stain the cabinets

After cleaning, you may notice that your oak cabinets have lost some of their original color or finish. To restore the natural beauty of your oak cabinets, you can re-oil or re-stain them. If you choose to re-oil, use a natural oil such as tung oil or linseed oil. Apply the oil to a clean, dry cloth and rub it into the wood, following the grain. Be sure to wipe off any excess oil and let it dry overnight before applying a second coat. If you choose to re-stain, use a stain that is specifically designed for oak wood and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to test the stain on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure that you are happy with the color.

Step 5: Maintain your cabinets

Regular maintenance is necessary to keep your oak cabinets looking their best. Every week, wipe out the inside and outside of your cabinets with a gentle, moist cloth. Use coasters or placemats to shield the wood from liquids and stay away from abrasive or harsh chemicals. Every six months, you might want to give the wood a coat of natural oil or wax to help protect it and keep it looking its best.

Did You Know?

  • Oak wood contains natural tannins that help protect it from pests and decay.
    • Cleaning Tip: These tannins can sometimes react with certain cleaners, so it’s best to stick to mild, wood-safe cleaning solutions to preserve the wood’s natural defenses.
  • Oak is one of the most durable hardwoods, known for its strength and resilience.
    • Cleaning Tip: Despite its durability, oak can still be susceptible to scratches and dents. Use a soft cloth and avoid abrasive sponges when cleaning to keep the surface smooth and unblemished.
  • Each piece of oak has a unique grain pattern, making every cabinet one-of-a-kind.
    • Cleaning Tip: Follow the grain when wiping down your cabinets to ensure thorough cleaning and to enhance the natural beauty of the wood.
  • Discoloration or fading on oak cabinets doesn’t mean the wood is irreparably damaged.
    • Cleaning Tip: Often, discoloration can be addressed by re-staining or re-oiling the wood. Identifying the cause, such as sunlight exposure, is crucial to prevent future issues.

BONUS CLEANING TIPS – How to Remove Common Stains on Oak Kitchen Cabinets:

Ink Marks:

Create a cleaning solution by mixing warm water with a soap made from non-synthetic, plant-based ingredients. Soak a cloth in the mixture and gently dab the stained area. Be cautious not to rub vigorously to prevent the ink from smearing. Rinse the spot thoroughly and use a dry cloth to pat it dry, repeating the process as required.

Another option is to apply rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and carefully blot the ink stain. However, keep in mind that alcohol may interact with wood & wood finishes so take care not to exert too much pressure while cleaning.

Watermarks:

Watermarks can leave unsightly spots on oak cabinets. To remove them, mix white vinegar and olive oil in equal proportions. Dampen a soft cloth with the solution and gently rub the watermark in a circular motion until it fades away. Follow up with a dry cloth to buff the area and restore your cabinet’s luster.

Wine or Juice Stains:
Combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water. Use a cloth soaked in the solution to gently dab the stain. Let it sit for a minute or two before wiping the area with a damp cloth to effectively remove the stain.

By following these steps, you will be able to give your oak kitchen cabinets a deep clean and restore their natural beauty. Remember to use a combination of natural, eco-friendly and chemical-based products, and always test them in a small area first. Regular maintenance will also help keep your cabinets looking their best for years to come.

Cleaning Cultured Marble Countertops

Few countertop materials boast the classic beauty of cultured marble. However, many homeowners find themselves stumped when it comes to cleaning the material. While cultured marble is durable and resistant to chips, cracks and stains, proper maintenance is key in keeping your surfaces looking pristine.

1. Use Mild Soaps & Cleaners
Cultured marble is a sensitive material and should never be exposed to harsh or overly abrasive cleaners. Instead, use gentle soaps or specifically formulated cleaners when washing your countertops. Avoid any product that contains ammonia as this can dull the shine and cause discoloration over time.

2. Rinse Well After Cleaning

Although a mild soap is recommended for daily cleanings, you may be tempted to simply wipe away any dirt and debris instead of going through the hassle of rinsing off your soap residue completely with clean water. But if you want to maintain a lasting shine on your countertop surface, take the extra step of thoroughly rinsing off all soapy residue after washing since leftover soap can contain chemicals that damage cultured marble surfaces over time.

3. Wipe Up Spills Immediately

Cultured marble is highly resistant to staining but not immune to it; leaving spills on the countertop too long could result in nasty marks that are difficult or impossible to remove without using strong cleaners and scrubbing pads that can scratch the surface of your countertop over time. Whenever possible, try to immediately wipe up any spills with a soft cloth dampened in warm water before they have a chance to set into the stone’s pores and cause staining or discoloration problems in the future.

4. Use Coasters & Toothbrushes for Tough Stains

For tougher stains such as food remnants like tomato sauce, mustard, or cooking grease, use a soft-bristled toothbrush along with some mild dish soap diluted with warm water directly onto the stain surface itself rather than using an all-purpose cleaning spray designed for other surfaces like tile grout which could damage cultured marble countertops over time due to its chemical content. Afterwards, rinse off using plenty of fresh water before drying with a soft cloth; ensure no traces of cleaner remain on the marbled surface which could potentially harm its original look over time.

5. Blend Away Etch Marks

Although harder than most natural stones used for countertops today like granite or travertine, cultured marbled easily etches from acids such as lemon juice , vinegar and even simple household items such as coconut oil which has recently become popular for beauty DIYs online today. To fix light etching on surfaces including steel sinks, simply blend surrounding area with paste wax pre-designed specifically for cultured marble then buff out edges until mark becomes invisible. For deep etching, avoid store-bought finishing products altogether. Place a small amount of rubbing compound, then buff till mark disappears.

6 Benefits of Using Green Cleaning Products in Your Home

It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional housekeeper who cleans with chemicals on a regular basis or if you’re someone who uses them to clean your own taking the time to consider your options is important. Especially when it comes to using products that are good for you and for your family.

Most of the chemicals in the cleaning aisle are a harsh cocktail of toxic chemicals. Many of them being be bad for your health, your kids’ health, and the environment. As more and more people rethink what they’re bringing into their homes, we see them looking for safer alternatives

What is green cleaning?

Green cleaning in the process of cleaning your home using all natural products. These products are often made with organic ingredients that aren’t harmful to humans, animals, or the environment.

Everywhere you look more and more people are committing to this act and to using green cleaning products. The movement has drastically increased in popularity in recent years. In fact, some experts would suggest that around half of the US population now uses some form of green cleaning technique on a regular basis.

Benefits of green cleaning

Now that we have a basic understanding of what green cleaning is, let’s talk about some of the benefits that you can get from it.

Using green cleaning products in your home allows you to…

1. Eliminate toxins in your home

When you use green cleaning products in your home you eliminate the risks of exposure to toxic chemicals. Most cleaning products come with harsh toxic chemicals that are bad for your environment. These chemicals can actually cause damage to surfaces in your home as well as the skin of those who are working with them.

According to the American Medical Association, “frequent use of antibacterial ingredients can promote bacterial resistance to antibiotics,” and “Triclosan, a common antibacterial agent found in many soaps, has the ability to mess with your hormonal system and your thyroid. Most, if not all green cleaning products don’t contain antibacterial agents.”

2. Clean with your kids

Cleaning with your children can be hard depending on what type of chemicals you use to clean your home. Green cleaning products allow you to let your kids clean the house without worrying about harsh chemical burns, respiratory problems, and possible chemical poison. 

One of the reasons for this is that you can use common household ingredients as green cleaning products to clean your home. So essentially you can give your children a rag and a spray bottle filled with vinegar and let them do their weekly chores.

3. Increase the air quality in your home

If you have any allergies, respiratory problems, or just can’t stand the stench of strong chemicals lingering throughout your home, green cleaning products are the way to go. Products that are green allow you to increase the quality of air that flows throughout your house by eliminating toxins and allowing proper air flow.

4. Be more environmentally friendly

One of the main reasons people turn to green cleaning products in the first place is their keen ability to help preserve the environment. Many chemicals and cleaners contain harsh chemicals that are bad for the environment. 

Switching to greener methods of cleaning will help reduce pollution to our water and airways while minimizing the impact on the ozone layer depletion and climate change. Many of these products also come in recyclable packaging which helps to reduce waste when you throw them into the recycling bin.

5. Save money

If you are worried that you might have to spend more money we assure you that is not the case. When compared to other products green cleaning products often cost less. Or can be made from ingredients that you already have in your kitchen. 

Not only are green cleaning products cheaper when you use them in your home but investing in these products is also cheaper for companies. Author Sarah Snow of  Sarah Snow’s Fresh Living says, “The cost of environmentally friendly cleaning products has become much more competitive. While cleaning in an environmentally sound way reduces the risk of sick days for employees and the risk of fires and chemical spills.”

6. Live without worry

As the concerns for our overall health become more prevalent more people are becoming more aware of the harsh effects cleaning chemicals are having on their bodies.  They’re going back to basics and looking for greener ways to clean their home. The benefits of green cleaning speak for itself. 

That’s why when you switch to this method of cleaning using more natural ingredients, you’ll be able to live a life without the worry. You won’t have to worry that the products you’re bringing into your home are detrimental to your overall health and well being. 

How to Get Unwanted Odors Out of Your Home

It doesn’t matter how many times a day you mop and scrub your house. Sometimes the stenches of every day living are inevitable. As long as you’re living in your home, there will be smells that come and go. But with the right products and tricks, you’ll be able to fight those unwanted odors and get rid of them for good.

Below we’ve lined out a guide to help you get unwanted odors out of your bathroom, bedroom, common area, and kitchen once and for all.

Unwanted bathroom odors

The bathroom is the one area in the house that we come to clean our bodies and eliminate our waste. Which is why this area of the house can get pretty smelly from time to time. To keep the bathroom free from unwanted odors there are two main areas of concern.

The toilet

As a general rule of thumb, you want to clean your toilet bowl before you notice any visible sign of wreckage. Make sure you keep a toilet bowl cleaner inside of the bowl to help clean and prevent smells with each flush and remember to take your toilet bowl scrubber to it at least once a week. Not only will this prevent it from becoming too dirty to clean, but it will also prevent rust and keep those unwanted odors out of your bathroom.

The shower

The next place to keep an eye out for in the bathroom is the shower. This is where you clean your body, emptying all of your bodily fluids like sweat and dead skin cells. Because of this, the shower drain can sometimes become filled with a strong smell you might not know how to get rid of. Add a cup of cleaning vinegar to your shower drain and let it sit for 30 minutes before flushing out with a pot of boiling hot water. 

Unwanted bedroom odors

Depending on the layout of your bedroom you may or may not have that many places to take into consideration when cleaning. There are two main areas that we’ve found in the bedroom that like to harbor odors.

The mattress

Since you’re sleeping on your mattress every night, it can sometimes become filled with a weird stench that many people don’t know how to get rid of. Once you’ve taken off your blankets and sheets to wash, start by running the vacuum over your mattress using the brush attachment. Then go ahead and sprinkle baking soda on the surface and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Go ahead and vacuum up the baking soda and lightly spray your mattress using a disinfectant.

The carpet

Carpets tend to hold a lot of odors because of the fibers that they contain. These fibers can hang on to things like dirt from your shoes and socks as well as hair from any pets that you may have. Similar to cleaning your mattress you’ll want to sprinkle the carpet with baking soda. Then let it sit for 30 minutes before vacuuming it up. And you’ll also want to remember to shampoo the carpet at least once a month to prevent a buildup of odor.

Unwanted common area odors

Most living rooms or common areas have two areas of concern that homeowners look to for cleaning and eliminating odors.

The furniture

Living room furniture that’s made out of microfiber, cloth or fabric has the ability to lock in odor for a long period of time. If your furniture came with care instructions, it’s important that you follow those instructions and clean your pieces as often as directed. But if it doesn’t you can sprinkle baking soda on your furniture, let it sit for 30 minutes, and then vacuuming using the brush attachment. 

If you have leather furniture and you notice a weird smell coming from it, you can wipe it down using lukewarm water, a mild dish detergent, and a cleaning cloth.

The pet bed

If you have pets in your home, chances are their pet beds or toys are in this area of the house. Because your furry family member has a different anatomy than the rest of the family, it’s important that you clean their beds to prevent the smell of “dog” or “cat” from lingering throughout your home. Throw their bed in the wash at least once every two weeks. If the stench is strong you can add a teaspoon of baking soda to help remove the odor. 

Unwanted kitchen odors

Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the most frequently used rooms in the house. Because of this, there are many places for unwanted odors to become trapped making them difficult to eliminate.

The garbage

If you’ve taken out the trash and still notice a strong stench coming from your garbage can, it might not be the scent lingering but the actual garbage can itself that smells. Once a month you should spray down your garbage can with a disinfecting spray and give it a good wipe down. After that sprinkle a little bit of baking soda inside the can before putting a trash bag in it to help prevent and conceal future odor.

The refrigerator

There’s nothing worse than the smell of a bunch of leftovers every time you open up the fridge. Make sure you double wrap your food when you put it away to prevent leakage and bacteria growth. If you’re still noticing a strong smell, put an open box of baking soda in your refrigerator to help absorb the odors.

The sink & dishwasher

When it comes to cleaning the sink and the dishwasher are two of the most overlooked places in the kitchen. Because both of these areas involve cleaning up food debris, they need to be cleaned often to avoid a strong odor arising. Add a cup of vinegar to your sink drain, garbage disposal, and dishwasher to help eliminate any bad smells. Run the vinegar through an empty dishwasher to clean.

10 Mind-Boggling House Cleaning Tips

Experiencing some trouble cleaning the house? Your house cleaning routine will never be the same again after you learn these amazing house cleaning tips. 

Here are 10 mind-boggling house cleaning tips that will help you keep a clean house:

1. Use vinegar to clean the microwave 

Get out a small microwave-safe bowl and fill it halfway (about half cup) with vinegar and pop it in the microwave on high for 3-5 minutes. When it’s finished, let it sit for about 1 minute before removing the hot bowl. Then you can go ahead and grab your cleaning cloth and wipe the microwave completely clean – no hard elbow grease necessary. You can also go ahead and add a few drops of lemon essential oil in the bowl for a fresh lemon scent.

2. Clean your grout with toilet cleaner

Clorox toilet bowl cleaner is perfect for cleaning and whitening your floors grout. It’s the perfect tool and one you probably never thought of. Just take you Clorox cleaning gel and run it along the lines of your grout. The gel texture allows it to stay firmly in place so you can let it sit (for about 30 minutes) and let the bleach work its magic before wiping it away with a cleaning cloth.

3. Scrub your garbage disposal with a toothbrush

Another great house cleaning tip is to take an old toothbrush to your garbage disposal to clean it. A lot of times we pour things down the drain like baking soda and bleach to kill the smell but we don’t actually clean the garbage disposal. Get out a small bowl and fill it with hot water and a mild detergent. Take your toothbrush (ok not your toothbrush, but an old one) and get to scrubbing. 

4. Add cleaner to your toilet brush holder

Does your toilet brush cleaner have a small holder for you to set it in when you’re finished with it? Go ahead and fill that bowl with a disinfecting cleaner like Mr.Clean. Not only will this help deodorize your bathroom, but it will also help keep your toilet brush clean. Who wants to clean the toilet with a dirty toilet brush?

5. Get clean walls with your swifter

If you don’t know this, your walls can get pretty dirty after a while. Especially if they go unattended to. Get out your swifter or dust mop and attach a dry dusting cloth to the end. Spray it lightly with some antibacterial dusting spray and run it along the walls. This will have your walls clean and the room smelling fresh in no time.

6. Dust the blinds with a cleaning cloth and tongs

It’s no secret that microfiber cleaning cloths are taking over the world of household cleaning. And this house cleaning tip is no different. Take your kitchen tongs and wrap each one in one of your cleaning cloths and secure it with a rubber band or zip tie. Spray the cloth with dusting spray and run the tong along the inside of each blind.

7. Shine the faucets with dryer sheets

There are a few things you can do around the house using used dryer sheets and one of them is shining your sink faucets. If you have chrome faucets this house cleaning tip works like magic. And it also helps prevent and repel future water stains and grime. Take your dryer sheet and use it as a buffer along the outside of the faucet to get them looking like new. 

8. Freshen up your mattress with baking soda

Noticing some odor coming from your mattress at night? Or have your kids peed the bed again? Freshen it up with baking soda and essential oils. Go ahead and sprinkle baking soda over the entire mattress and let it sit for about 15 minutes before vacuuming it. Next, you can use a mixture of peroxide, salt, and essential oils (lavender, lemon, four thieves) to help remove stains and odor caused by blood, sweat, and urine.

9. Remove crud from your burners with ammonia 

Tired of endlessly scrubbing your burners and not seeing results? You can remove burnt on food and other crud from your stove top burners using this simple house cleaning hack. Take a cup of ammonia and pour it into a ziplock bag (one for each burner) and allow the burners to soak overnight. In the morning you’ll be able to rinse off your burners to be shiny, clean and like new!

10. Clean the couch with baby wipes

The last hack we have for you on our house cleaning tips list is a way to clean your microfiber couch using baby wipes. Yeah, you got, we said baby wipes. Grab an empty spray bottle and add some rubbing alcohol to it. Spray the couch until it’s damp, scrub it with baby wipes, and dry it using a hair dryer (or you can let it air dry) and there you have it – a nice clean couch to sit on.

Spekless Professional House Cleaning

It doesn’t matter whether you need help with once a month deep cleaning or routine weekly cleaning here at Spekless, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today for a free estimate and to see how our professional house cleaners can help you achieve the needs of your household.

5 Genius Household Cleaning Hacks That Will Blow Your Mind

Looking for some new and fresh ideas to help you spice up your household cleaning routine? Look no further.

Here are five genius household cleaning hacks that every homeowner needs:

1. Freshen up your sink with baking soda

Is there a bad smell coming from your sink or garbage disposal? Have you tried every chemical in your cleaning closet to get rid of it? Try sprinkling a little bit of baking soda down the drain. Baking soda is a natural odor eliminator and it will help get rid of any bad smells coming from the sink.


2. Soak your burners in ammonia 

Having trouble cleaning the burners on your stove? You’ve soaked them in every cleaner imaginable and they’re still not coming clean? Try soaking them in ammonia (which you can find in the cleaning supply aisle at the store) for a couple of hours. Once they’ve had a chance to soak in ammonia for a few hours they should wipe away completely clean. 


3. Get those baseboards with a dryer sheet

Baseboards are everyone’s least favorite household chore, we get it. But that’s only because it’s a pain to clean them, until now. Stick a dryer sheet on the end of your broom and run it along the edges of your baseboards. Not only will this help you dust them, but it’ll also help fresh things up a bit too.

4. Pop a bowl of vinegar in the microwave to clean it

This is possibly one of our favorite household cleaning hacks out there. Take a little bowl (one that is microwave safe) and add a half a cup of white cleaning vinegar to it and then pop it in the microwave on high for 3-5 minutes. Once the microwave goes off, let it sit for 2 minutes before removing the bowl and wiping the microwave completely clean. No more scrubbing away hard, stuck-on food.

5. Run vinegar through the coffee pot

The coffee pot is probably one of the most neglected household appliances in your house. Of course, you use it every day, but how often are you actually cleaning it? Fill the pot with vinegar and run it through the coffee machine at night before you go to bed. This will help with the mineral build-up inside the coffee pot and it will make your coffee taste better.

Bonus Hack


6. Contact Spekless for help

Behind every squeaky clean home is a professional house cleaner that helps them make it happen. Whether you need help with once a month deep cleaning or routine weekly cleaning we’ve got you covered. Contact us today for a free estimate and to see how our professional house cleaners can help you achieve the goals of your household.

Why Safe Cleaning Should Be Your Top Priority

Cleaning essentially plays an important part in our daily lives. From cleaning ourselves to cleaning our houses, it’s something we just can’t avoid. That’s why it’s important to do it right and to practice safe cleaning habits.

Safe cleaning 101

Safe cleaning in a household is important for many different reasons. Cleaning chemicals can at times cause burns, skin irritation, and allergic reactions if not used properly. They can also cause damage to any surface your using them to clean. In order to prevent any of these occurrences from happening it’s imperative that you practice safe cleaning.

Always read the directions first

One of the most important ways to practice safe cleaning is to get in the habit of reading the label on any chemical product you plan to use before you use it.

Use rubber gloves

Rubber cleaning gloves are another great way to practice safe cleaning. These prevent any chemicals from getting to your hands and causing any chemical burns or allergic reactions.

Consider green cleaners

Green cleaning products are the best option for families with children that are looking to adopt some new safety habits. Green cleaners are generally less harsh than typical house cleaners and they are environmentally friendly.

Don’t mix products

One of the most dangerous things about cleaning is mixing chemicals together. Mixing chemicals together can cause chemical burns, damage to the surface, and even explosions. Check out MSDS for more information on mixing chemicals.

Clean in a well-ventilated area

Whenever you’re using a strong chemical to clean you need to make sure there’s enough air the room for you to breathe. Open up the window and make sure there’s good airflow before beginning that task.

Overview

At Spekless we understand and value the importance of safe cleaning. Contact us today to see what our professional house cleaners can do for you. As a professional home cleaning service, you can count on us for safety and quality.

Living Room Cleaning Tips

The living room is often the center focal point of ones home. It’s often known as the family room. This is where the family gathers after a long day, where you visit with friends and family, and where you enjoy the holidays. Because of that, it’s important to keep a clean living room. Today we’re sharing living room cleaning tips that will help you get your living room on the right track.

Living room cleaning tips

Declutter

The first thing you want to do when cleaning your living room is to make sure that it’s not cluttered. A lot of times people confuse clutter with dirt. Just because something is cluttered, doesn’t mean it’s dirty. So first things first, declutter your living room. Make sure everything has a home and if it doesn’t toss it in the donate pile.

Dust

Next thing you’ll do is go through and make sure everything is dusted. Grab your microfiber cleaning rag and dusting spray and wipe down any wood furniture, shelving, blinds, end or coffee tables, etc. This is also the time to go around and disinfect any surfaces that need disinfecting such as the remotes and the tables.

Divide

After you’ve decluttered and dusted, nows the time to divide and conquer. By that I mean, work section by section cleaning the windows, washing any upholstery covers, changing out any air fresheners, and cleaning the floors. It’s best to work from the inside of the living room out.

Need help cleaning your living room?

The key to a clean house is keeping consistency. That means you’ll need to clean often. We know this can be hard to do when you have a career and a family to take care of. Which is why we’re here to help. Our professional house cleaners live for this type of work. It’s what we’re here for. Contact us today for a free service estimate.

 

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