How to Clean Your Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen is arguably one of the most-used rooms in your home. Multiple times a day you are in there preparing and cooking food, as well as sometimes eating it. Because it is always so busy on a regular basis, it is bound to get dirty. To keep your cabinets looking in top shape, you need to clean them periodically. Although it may seem like a chore at first, cleaning your cabinets is very easy once you know how to properly do it.

When cleaning your kitchen, you typically think of the counters, food preparation area and the sink. However, the cabinets are one of the dirtiest areas of your kitchen. Frying food with grease, cooking using oil, and dirty fingers opening and closing the cabinets produces build-up of food particles. This makes your cabinets appear dirty and grimy to both the eye and the touch.

For regular, basic cleaning of cabinets, all you need is warm, soapy water and a clean rag. Wash them as you would any other part of your home, making sure each cabinet and surface area is cleaned. Properly rinse them with water afterward so no residue is left on the doors. Cleaning cabinets with this mixture on a bi-weekly or weekly basic will prevent buildup of grease or food residue. The longer something is left on the cabinets, the harder it will be to remove- so periodically cleaning them can prevent this in the future.

For heavy grease build-ups on your wood cabinets, you may need something other than regular cleaners. A good degreaser will cut through the buildup. Make sure you clean up the degreaser completely and that none of it is left on your cabinet fronts. Dry them with a clean cloth. Finally, you could shine your cabinets with a little furniture polish for some extra sheen. It’s important to always read the labels on any household cleaners to make sure they are suited for use on your cabinets, particularly if they are wood or metal. There are a variety of products out there made specifically for use on cabinets, so do some research and trial-and-error before cleaning your entire kitchen.

A tricky thing to do when cleaning your cabinets is to avoid the hardware. To make things easier, you may want to remove the knobs or handles. If they can easily be screwed back in, removing them temporarily when deep-cleaning can make the job a lot easier. To wash the hardware itself, place them in a solution of water and dish detergent and let them soak while you clean the rest of the cabinets. This will help prevent germs as well, since everyone is constantly touching the handles to get into the cabinets. Using a sanitizing solution or wipes daily can help prevent the spread of germs.

Daily cleaning of your cabinets with a wet cloth is simple and quick. A weekly cleaning with soap and water will help remove food splatters and particles. A monthly de-greasing cleaning will remove any thick buildup. Finally, a yearly cleaning is great for polishing up your cabinets to make them look like new.

How to Boost Your Home’s Security

Improving certain areas of your home can help it look more attractive or functional, but it also is a great way to increase the level of security in and outside of your home. One of the most common threats to your home is burglary, and since you can’t always be there to watch out for it, it’s important to take the proper precautions. Here are some easy and affordable options to help keep burglars out of your home.

Lock your windows. You would be surprised at how many people lock their doors but not their windows. Windows are another easy way for intruders to get into your home, so make sure to protect them with the proper locks. Closing blinds or curtains can also help prevent burglars from seeing any of your valuable items, such as purses or wallets, that are left in plain sight in your home.

Lock your doors. It is estimated that 81% of burglary offenses occur through the first floor of homes. This means that it’s more important than ever to make sure your primary and back doors are securely locked with the proper bolts, latches and guards. To instantly strengthen any door from being kicked in, add a deadbolt lock and a reinforced metal box strike. Don’t forget about your patio doors if you have them- some sliding doors can be lifted off their tracks, so an anti-lift device can help prevent this from happening.

Protect your indoor items. Even with all of the safety precautions in place on your windows and doors, your valuables inside your home are still at risk. Your home and office include drawers, cabinets, doors and mailboxes that contain private or personal information and belongings. Protect these items with drawer, cabinet and mailbox locks. Safes also are a great option for storing your valuables and keeping them protected from intruders or unfamiliar house guests.

Invest in an alarm system. This is a crucial step if you live in a high-crime neighborhood. Most alarm systems can be installed fairly quickly and are paid monthly. They help to increase the fear of being caught and will deter burglars from trying to enter your home. Alarm decals on your windows and signs on your lawn or outside of your home will increase this fear.

Befriend your neighbors. Your neighbors are a second set of eyes to watch your home when you aren’t there. After you’ve built trust and a friendship with them, establish some sort of system where they will watch your home for you while you are gone. On vacations or trips, have them pick up your mail, water your plants, etc. to show burglars that someone is watching the home.