We’ve written quite a bit here on how to clean out your closet.
But what about cleaning the closet itself? That is, the exterior of your new custom closet organizer system. What about the kitchen cabinets, islands, wall units or any of the outer storage solutions you’ve purchased made from melamine?
We don’t want to say there’s an “art” to it, exactly, but there are certain steps you can take to make sure your surface looks its best, along with some things you’ll need to avoid.
When it comes to regular cleaning, you’ll want to use either a non-abrasive sponge, or a cotton cloth. From there, you have two options:
- Wipe down the surface with your cloth or sponge and mild dish soap
- Wipe down with a cloth or sponge, and a mix of water and Simple Green cleaner
* Although the Melamine surface (Low-pressure Laminate) is impervious to liquid, the core is not. Be careful not to saturate the exposed machined surfaces or finished edges with any liquid or possible damage to the core could occur.
When cleaning stains from your custom closet organizer system, you’ll again want to use either a cotton cloth or non-abrasive sponge.
Use the cloth/sponge with a mix of water and Simple Green and scrub gently, which should get rid of most stains after 10-20 strokes.
If that doesn’t work, use your cloth and sponge with a different cleaner, something like Fantastik or Formula 409, wiping at the stain for 10-20 strokes.
As a final measure, you can place a cloth or sponge with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol on top of the stain for 30 minutes. From there, wipe away at the stain. This should remove things like ink, make-up and other persistent stains. Repeat until the stain vanishes.
*If you have doors or drawer fronts made of a “thermofoil” do not used any harsh abrasives or chemicals. Rubbing hard in one place can even leave a burnished (shiny) spot that cannot be repaired.
You can disinfect the surface of your custom closet organizer system using a damp rag with a mix of 90 percent water and 10 percent bleach. Make sure you test this mixture on a spot that’s hidden from view before using it on the entire surface.
Which cleaners should I avoid?
Not every cleaner will work on your custom closet organizer system. Avoid:
- Abrasive cleaners
- Any cleaner with ammonia
- Baking soda
- Solvent-based cleaners and harsh chemicals, like acetone, mineral spirits, lacquer thinners or the kinds found in toilet or sink cleaners
- Any cleaner used in combination with a brush
If you happen to spill a harsh chemical on a melamine surface, wipe it up right away, and, using a damp rag, wipe the surface with mild soap cleanser, then again with a clean damp rag, to remove soap residue. Wash the surface with soapy water and rinse several times.
If you have a kitchen island top made from laminate or melamine, note that this material is not meant to be used as a cutting surface. Always put down a cutting board when doing cooking prep. Clean as mentioned before.
You can extend the life of your custom closet organizer system and enjoy years of use by following these simple guidelines:
- Once the panels are installed, use a contact adhesive solvent or paint lacquer thinner to remove adhesives. Continued use of solvent-based cleaners is not advised.
- Use the steps we listed above for regular cleaning. Tougher stains – coffee or tea, for example – can be removed with a mild household detergent. Clean gently. Excessive, forceful scrubbing can damage the surface.
- Do not use scouring pads or gritty cleansers, as this can dull or scratch the surface.
- In the kitchen, protect the surface of your melamine from hot or sharp objects. Use a counter protector or chopping block to protect against knives and other sharp objects, and place hot dishes or cookware on a pad or trivet.
Are you looking for a new custom closet organizer system? Closets & Cabinetry can help. Contact us today, and our design team can get to work on finding the right system for your space.
And if you’re already a customer, and have further questions about cleaning, get in touch. We’ll be happy to help with that too. You can also download these cleaning guidelines.