2 Methods For Cleaning Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Adrian Cruce

2 Methods For Cleaning Wood Kitchen Cabinets

cleaning tips, home maintenance, kitchen cleaning tips

Kitchen cabinets go through a lot – involuntary spills, grease stains, and build-up food residue in places that are not easily accessible. Combine all those things with dust and you’ll find yourself in a difficult situation. Build-up residue is difficult to remove, especially if you don’t want to damage your kitchen cabinets. Whether you’re looking for daily cleaning tips or deep cleaning tips, our two methods for cleaning kitchen cabinets will help you to remove even the most stubborn residue off your cabinets. Bonus – polishing tips for making your kitchen cabinets look new again.


Method no 1: Daily Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

Ideally, you wipe up food as soon as you finish cooking. This way food and grease particles won’t accumulate on the surface of the food cabinets. You can do this with a washcloth dipped in a mild cleaning solution.

For daily cleaning, you want to use a mild cleaning solution that won’t take off the wood finish. All purpose-cleaners contain toxic chemicals that can cause warping and discoloration so it is best not to use them.

Instead, make your own natural cleaning solution by combining water with vinegar in equal parts. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, even though it goes away when the cabinets dry, a mixture of dish soap and water is a great alternative. To make this solution, mix a cup of water with a teaspoon of dish soap. You can also use a household degreaser solution if the vinegar or soap solutions don’t work.

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Steps for cleaning wood kitchen cabinets:

  1. Moisture warps wood so it is important to use a damp, not a soaking wet washcloth to wipe away food residue.
  2. After wiping the cabinets with the damp washcloth, take a clean dry cloth and go over the cabinets to remove water any leftover cleaning solution traces.
  3. The inside of the kitchen cabinets is just as important as the outside. Since cabinets store herbs, spices, and food, it is important to wipe the cabinets clean from time to time. Spillage is inevitable and food residue can be stuck to packaging then transfer to the inside of your kitchen cabinets. That’s why, every few weeks, it is necessary to remove everything from the cabinets and clean them as you clean the outside.
  4. A great way to make cleaning easier is to line the cabinets with rubber liners. When it’s time for cleaning, remove the liners and wash them in the sink. Let them air dry and put them back in. Another option is to invest in good storage containers for dry goods and spices. Metal and glass jars are a good option that will reduce spills to a minimum and will also protect your dried goods from bugs.
  5. Dust the kitchen cabinets regularly to prevent dust from mixing with grease and turn into hard-to-remove grime. Steam produced during cooking can also make the dust stick to the surface of the kitchen cabinets. So use a microfiber cloth to remove dust before any of the presented scenarios happen.
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Method no 2: Deep Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

For deep cleaning, you need a solution that can remove grease and caked-on food residue. A simple dish soap or vinegar solution won’t be able to remove sticky grease with ease. You don’t want to scrub too hard either because you will damage the wood. Therefore, you should purchase an oil soap. Oil soaps wood cleaners are designed specifically for this purpose and they can easily remove grease without damaging the wooden surface. However, to be sure the cleaner won’t ruin the varnish, do a quick test in a low-key spot. If the paint turns white or becomes hazy, look for a milder alternative.

Alternatively, you can make a baking soda solution that can remove harden spills. Baking soda is abrasive enough to remove the caked-on-substances but also mild enough not to ruin the wood. To make the solution, mix baking soda with water until you obtain a thick paste similar in consistency to cake icing.

Steps for deep cleaning wood kitchen cabinets:

  1. Apply the oil soap on the surface of the kitchen cabinets. Use a soft washcloth to gently rub the oil soap on the cabinets. Do not press too hard! You don’t want to ruin the paint. Just rub gently until you remove all the grime and goop.
  2. If you decide to use the baking soda paste, apply it to the cabinets. Dip a cloth in the baking soda paste and use it to scrub off grease and residue. If it doesn’t work, let the solution sit for 15 minutes. Scrub the solution away with a silicone spatula or other tool you have at hand. Make sure you don’t scrub away the varnish.
  3. Go back over the cabinets with a damp cloth to remove all residue. Then back again with a dry one.
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How To Polish Kitchen Cabinets

Polishing wood kitchen cabinets adds shine or luster, leaving the cabinets looking brand new. So…

  1. Start by choosing a furniture wax or furniture polish.
  2. Clean the cabinets before applying polish or wax. Remove all food residue and grease stain using the cleaning or deep cleaning steps you just learned. Failing to clean the cabinets first will result in a big mess so you really want to avoid applying polish or wax over dust or grease.
  3. Apply the polish or wax to a microfiber cloth and gently rub the cabinets with the cloth in a circular motion. Work in small sections to make sure you apply polish evenly.
  4. If you use wax, let it sit for a few minutes before moving to the next step.
  5. With a clean cloth, buff the polished area to remove excess polish.
  6. Continue polishing and buffing until you’re left with shiny kitchen cabinets.