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How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets

What did your kitchen cabinets look like when you first installed them? You might be surprised at how easy it is to make your cabinets look new again by removing the layers of grime that have slowly accumulated over time on the interior and exterior. Kitchen cabinets are resistant to a great deal, from spills to scratches, but they could always use some extra care. You may spot check here and there, but when was the last time you did a deep clean?

Cleaning kitchen cabinets can seem like a tedious task, but it doesn’t have to be. We compiled everything you need to know on how to clean wood kitchen cabinets. Take it one step at a time and your kitchen will look new again. If the stains and scratches can’t be removed despite your hard work, it may be time to make that dream remodel a reality by replacing your kitchen cabinets altogether.

How to Clean Kitchen Cabinets

  1. kitchen cabinet cleaners

    1Find An AppropriateCleaner

    Cleaning out a kitchen cabinet.

    There are many cleaners to choose from so it’s important to know your options. Everyday household items such as dish soap, baking soda and vinegar can be used to create a natural cleaner that won’t be as harsh on your kitchen cabinets. If you have a sticky cleanup or a special type of wood, there are a multitude of commercial cleaners at your local convenience store that will be more beneficial. We used basic household ingredients to create our cleaners, but choosing a product is dependent on your cabinetry.

    Tip: Make sure you spot test whatever product you decide on in a hidden place, in case there’s a negative reaction.

  2. 2Use the CorrectSupplies

    Kitchen cabinet cleaning supplies

    There are many cleaning supplies available to you, but sometimes the basics work best. All you need is your cleaner of choice, a sponge, an old toothbrush and some cleaning cloths or rags. You are welcome to use your favorite scrubber as well, but be cognizant of the bristle strength so it doesn’t scratch the cabinet surface.

    Tip: If you have sensitive hands, try investing in a pair of reusable cleaning gloves to avoid dryness or rashes.

    Kitchen cabinet cleaning supplies
  3. empty kitchen cabinet.

    3Clean Out the Cabinets

    empty kitchen cabinet.

    Begin with a clean slate. Remove all the items from your cabinets and place them on a counter or table nearby. Toss anything that is expired or nearly empty. If any bags or boxes are worn and have holes, pour the contents into jars and label them. This will prevent any further mess.

    Tip: Keep a list of the items you throw away, so next time you’re at the grocery store you remember what to replace.

  4. 4Wipe theInterior

    hand cleaning a kitchen cabinet

    Fill a spray bottle with oil-cutting laundry detergent or dish soap and water. Make the consistency of the mixture one part detergent and two parts water for the best results. Spray down the inside of the cabinet and wipe with a cloth or sponge.

    Tip: Don’t spray too much cleaner on the surface or interior of your cabinets. You want to avoid letting your cabinets get too damp, so remember that a little goes a long way.

    hand cleaning a kitchen cabinet
  5. cleaning a kitchen cabinet

    5Get TheTricky Spots

    cleaning a kitchen cabinet

    When it comes to the kitchen, sticky situations are inevitable. Any residue that is still leftover after the primary cleaning can be attacked with a stronger cleaner. For natural wood cabinets, try creating a mixture of baking soda and vegetable or coconut oil (1 part oil, 2 parts baking soda). This will remove grease and lift the dirt, leaving the cabinet good as new. If you have painted wood cabinets, a blend of white vinegar and water (1 part vinegar, 1 part water) will remove the grime without damaging the paint.

    Tip: Be gentle when scrubbing the difficult spots. You don’t want to leave any scratches.

  6. 6Wipe Down the Exterior

    Wiping down the exterior of a kitchen cabinet

    Using the basic cleaning solution, spray the exterior of the cabinets. Wipe them down with a cloth or sponge. Use more pressure on the dirtier spots.

    Tip: Don’t forget to wash the sides of the cabinets, even in tough spots such as next to the refrigerator or wall. The edges can accumulate a good amount of debris and are often forgotten.

    Wiping down the exterior of a kitchen cabinet
  7. Cleaning the exterior of a kitchen cabinet

    7Clean Around the Hardware

    Cleaning the exterior of a kitchen cabinet

    Your cabinets get opened and closed many times throughout the day. The area around the handles can easily be the dirtiest. Reach this difficult spot by using a stronger cleaner and a toothbrush.

    Tip: If you are using a store-bought cleaner, check the label to make sure it will not stain the hardware.

  8. 8FinalWipe Down

    Wiping down a kitchen cabinet

    When you are done and the cabinet is looking spotless, give the interior and exterior one last time over with a damp cloth. The cloth will pick up any leftover cleaner and any last specks of dirt or dust.

    Tip: Make sure the cloth is clean. Check the part that’s in contact with the shelves after a few wipes. If it’s dirty, you could end up just moving the dirt around or scratching the wood.

    Wiping down a kitchen cabinet
  9. Empty kitchen cabinets

    9Allow ForDry Time

    Empty kitchen cabinets

    It’s important to wait the extra 10-20 minutes and let your cabinets dry to prevent any mold or rust from growing in damp spots. If you are able to remove the shelves, place them in the sunshine for a quicker dry.

    Tip: Leave the doors open so the interior of the cabinets get good airflow and can dry faster.

  10. 10Organize YourCabinets

    Organized kitchen cabinet

    Since all of your kitchen supplies are on your countertops, this is the perfect time to organize your kitchen cabinets before returning the items to their proper place. As you do this, wipe off any jars or dishes with a damp cloth. This is to ensure that they don’t have any residue that will dirty your cabinets.

    Tip: If you were unhappy with the way you had organized your cabinets previously, this is your time to make a change.

    Organized kitchen cabinet

Planning how to clean your kitchen cabinets can be a process, but once you have a game plan and time set aside, it will be well worth it. By simply following these steps, you’ll have a more orderly kitchen. For a pristine cooking space, try cleaning your kitchen cabinets at least twice a year.

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