Cabinets just need a facial, not a facelift

January 13, 2011

QI have a big kitchen with many cabinet doors that need a deep cleaning. I've tried to clean them, but I can't get through the accumulated grease, smoke, etc. Is there any company that can do this for me? The cabinets are good quality, and I don't want to replace them.

Manassas

ACleaning services tend to focus more on routine care, such as spot-cleaning of fingerprints or smudges on cabinets. For the deeper cleaning you need, try calling a company that specializes in cleaning up after fires. Dick Galloway, an agent for Long & Foster Realtors in Manassas, says he would take this approach if he needed to spruce up grubby cabinets to get a house ready to sell.

Servpro ( www.servpro.com ) has providers of these services throughout the Washington area. Ask for a written estimate before the work begins. John Costello, an estimator for Servpro in Manassas (703-368-4399 or 301-420-3111), prices jobs by dividing cabinets into sections about 30 inches high and then measuring how much wall length they cover. He then multiplies that number (the "lineal footage") by $12.50.

Before the cleaning occurs, you might want to check with the manufacturer about which cleaning methods are appropriate for the type of finish on the cabinets. If you don't know the company, look on the inside of the sink base cabinet. Companies that are members of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association typically place a seal from the organization there. It should include a code that you can then link to the manufacturer by going to the organization's Web site, www.kcma.org. Click on "visitors and homeowners."

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