The Best Way to Clean Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets don’t get much love when it comes to keeping them clean. Most homeowners notice a dirty floor or countertop in a kitchen right away. Cabinets, on the other hand, even though they are used daily, seem to escape attention when it comes time to clean.

When we take a closer look at those cabinet faces, knobs and handles, however, there’s often accumulated greasy residue from cooking and gunky dirt from human hands. It’s a smart strategy to add cabinets to your daily, weekly, and deep cleaning schedules to keep this situation from getting too far out of control. Common household cleaners can be used for general cleaning.

To keep kitchen cabinets beautiful, the best way to clean them is with standard household cleaning products that have proven to be both safe and effective. Use a soft cloth or proper tools to prevent any scratches and not damage your cabinets and restore their shiny exteriors.

General cleaning for kitchen cabinetscleaning-kitchen-cabinets

Two of the safest cleaners for cabinets come right out of your cupboard: regular dish soap works for general cleaning, and a paste made from vinegar, baking soda, and water is very useful for tough stains or stuck-on materials. Before you start, test the cleaner you plan to use on a small inconspicuous area of the cabinets. If the spot becomes cloudy or white, try a milder solution.

Steps for cleaning your cabinets daily

  • Cleaning with a vinegar and water solution. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with a cup of water into a clean spray bottle. This mild solution is perfect for everyday use on wood cabinets. The vinegar and water won’t damage the finish or warp the wood. The vinegar smell will go away when the cabinets dry. Alternatively, you can also mix a teaspoon of dish soap with a cup of water to make a gentle cleaning solution. Never use harsh all-purpose cleaners on your cabinets as they may cause warping or discoloration.
  • Wipe off the outside of the cabinets after cooking. Food particles and grease can accumulate on cabinet surfaces every time you cook. Wiping down your cabinet doors and the underside of upper cabinets every time you cook will go a long way toward keeping them in good shape. Use a damp cloth –you don’t want to soak the surfaces as too much moisture could damage the wood. Use an old toothbrush to clear out any beveling or corners.
  • Use a clean cloth to dry the cabinets. Cabinets can warp if moisture sits on the surface. Wipe the cabinets down with a clean, dry cloth after a good cleaning.

Let’s face it, we’re all busy! If you can’t get to it daily, wiping down cabinets weekly will help keep you one step ahead of the grime.

A little extra cleaning every week

  1. Just spray a bit of your vinegar or dish soap mixture onto a microfiber cloth, and wipe away any fingerprints, spatters, and other marks. Don’t forget those often-touched knobs, pulls, and handles.
  2. Wiping down the cabinet doors next to the range or sink will help keep them cleaner longer.

You may be dialed in on daily and weekly kitchen cabinet maintenance, but there is always more to do on the inside, as well as working on any tougher stains.

deep-clean-kitchen-cabinetsDeep cleaning your kitchen cabinets

        1. Clean out the inside of the cabinets. Spices, foods, and cleaners stored in your cabinets leak or spill at times. Every few weeks, take everything out of the cabinet to clean the inside with your vinegar or dish soap solution. Dry the cabinets with a clean towel, and when they are completely dry, you can put everything back on the shelves.
        2. Dust the cabinets regularly. Use a soft, dry cloth to dust and buff your cabinets. It’s important to do this regularly because steam and grease from cooking will cake the dust onto cabinet surfaces and make it much harder to remove. And be sure to vacuum the interior and exterior surfaces using the brush attachment too.

3. Use an oil soap wood cleaner. Oil soap is formulated to remove caked-on substances and grease without damaging the wood. It is stronger than a vinegar or a dish soap solution, and helpful to have on hand for deep cleaning. Dilute the soap as instructed, clean small areas at a time and wipe dry.


Cleaning painted, laminate and glass kitchen cabinets

A solution of baking soda and water works well to clean painted cabinets. To remove grease from painted cabinets, use diluted ammonia. As with all cleaners, use a damp (not wet) cloth and dry completely with another clean cloth.

Use your diluted vinegar solution to clean laminate cabinets; for tougher stains,the baking soda paste should work well. Use a clean cloth to dry completely.

To clean glass cabinets, spray glass cleaner on a cloth and wipe the glass. Regular spray cleaner can leave a residue that might damage the glass or cabinet surface.

If you’d like to polish your wood cabinets, be sure to start with a clean, dry surface before you apply. Use a microfiber cloth or soft towel to avoid scratching the wood.

The best way to clean kitchen cabinets is to use the mildest cleaners possible and to do it consistently. Your cabinets will retain their beauty for a long time, and you’ll be proud of your clean kitchen.

If you put in effort to clean regularly  and still don’t see improvement to the appearance of your kitchen cabinets, you may be ready to consider replacing them. Visit with our certified cabinet designers for sound advice on replacement.