How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets

This Post may contain Affiliate Links. Please read our Disclosure for legal jargon.

The kitchen is the heart of every home. It is the place you cook delicious dinner for the whole family and make coffee after a long day’s work. Your family’s health more often than not, depends upon the hygiene you maintain in the kitchen. 

So cleaning the kitchen, just like the whole house, is a routine task followed in every home. You might make your entire kitchen shine in a matter of minutes except for one place—you probably guessed it—the kitchen cabinets.

A kitchen cabinet is a center of attraction for every kitchen due to the space it occupies and its utility. Its location, just above the stove, makes it prone to attracting dust and grease alike. A lot of oils, food splatters, cooking residues, and dirt get stuck over the kitchen cabinet. So much that it gets difficult to clean by just a swipe of a damp cloth.

Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to clean up the kitchen cabinet using a few easy steps. This detailed guide will address cleaning all kinds of cabinets including wooden, glass, metal, and laminate cabinets. 


Materials required:

Different kinds of kitchen cabinets require different cleaning agents, but these are the possible cleaning agents and other materials required to clean a kitchen cabinet properly:

Testing Cleaners:

You can use a simple solution of detergent and water or murphy oil soap and warm water to clean most kitchen cabinets including laminate, wooden, glass, and vinyl. Dish soap and warm water can help remove sticky stains and grease. Using an all-purpose cleaner or vinegar (check out these brilliant vinegar hacks) may be more helpful in some cases. 

It’s recommended first to test the cleaner to see how it reacts on your cabinet. Apply the cleaner on a hidden spot, wipe it softly using a damp cloth and let it dry to ensure the cleaner doesn’t discolor your cabinet or react adversely.

RELATED:  How To Clean Memory Foam Pillow

How to Clean Different Types of Cabinets

Cleaning Wooden Cabinets

Wooden cabinets have different kinds of finishes over them, and it’s better to use gentle, non-abrasive cleaners over them to prevent damage to the finish. Oil-soap cleaners work best for wooden cabinets, but you can also use some household cleaners.

What to do?

  • Try to use liquid detergents that cut oil and grease with water as a cleaning agent. Make the solution thick by adding two units of water to a unit of detergent. Apply the detergent over the cabinet, wipe it with a damp cloth and then wipe it with a dry cloth. 
  • Use baking soda with water to remove tough stains. Wipe it with a damp cloth afterward.

What to avoid?

  • Avoid overwetting the cabinet to prevent damage to the finish. Use a damp cloth rather than a soaked cloth.

Cleaning Metal Cabinets

Metal cabinets are pretty easy to clean. You can mostly use just a damp cloth to wipe off the dust frequently. Follow these tips in case they need a deep cleaning.

What to do?

  • Use dish soap and warm water or vinegar with a damp cloth and wipe off the stains.
  • If some stains are left after cleaning with warm water and vinegar, you can use rubbing alcohol on a microfibre cloth and apply it on the surface to remove grease and sticky stains.
  • Use steel wool to remove rust stops, but do it with utmost care to avoid spoiling the metal finish.

What to avoid?

  • Avoid using a soaked cloth. Exposure to too much moisture may lead to rusting of your cabinet. A damp cloth is a better option for metal cabinets.
  • Don’t use baking soda over metal cabinets as it would be ineffective on metal.

Cleaning Painted Cabinets

Painted cabinets are hugely popular in modular kitchen interiors. The latex-based paints are tough to maintain as they get washed off easily on cleaning. Oil-based paints are much more durable and easy to clean. The following tips will help you in cleaning your painted cabinets, ensuring they retain their shine without washing off the paint.

RELATED:  15 Dusting Hacks That Will Blow Your Mind

What to do?

  • An accessible homemade cleaning agent for painted cabinets is baking soda. Mix up one cup baking soda with half a cup of water. Apply it thoroughly on the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes. Clean it up with a damp cloth (checkout other baking soda hacks).
  • Use a toothbrush to reach the edges and corners of a painted cabinet. Avoid using other abrasive objects that might chip off the paint.
  • For mild cleaning, mix one teaspoon liquid dish with 1 liter of water. Soak a soft sponge and rinse out excess water. Clean up the surface of your painted cabinet. You should apply pressure to scrub off sticky stains using the sponge as it won’t ruin the paint.
  • A stain grease can be hard to remove from a painted cabinet. Apply a diluted solution of ammonia using a damp cloth to scrub the sticky grease until it’s visibly lightened.

What to avoid?

  • Don’t leave the painted cabinet surface to dry in the air as it may cause permanent spots on the surface. Wipe the cabinet with a dry cloth after cleaning until it completely dries out.
  • Don’t use abrasive all-purpose cleaners, oil-based wax cleaners, and citrus oils to clean painted cabinets as they may ruin the paint.

Cleaning Laminate Cabinets

Laminates are a cleaner’s best friend. You are lucky if you chose the laminate cabinets in your kitchen as they are very low maintenance and easy to clean. You just need to wipe them off every other week or two, and you’re good to go. Here are some tips for cleaning laminate cabinets.

What to do?

  • Use a vinegar solution with water on a 2:1 ratio. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth. In the case of grease and sticky stains, use the baking soda paste suggested in painted cabinets to clean off the surface. Wait for 10-15 minutes from applying the paste and clean it up with a dry cloth (check out other amazing vinegar hacks).
  • Use a microfiber cloth and soft pads to clean laminate cabinets. You can alternatively use full-strength white vinegar directly on the surface to remove grease. Let it sit for 5 minutes and wipe it off with a damp cloth dipped in hot water.
RELATED:  17 Surprising Household Uses Of Washing Soda (especially cleaning)

What to avoid?

  • Don’t let air dry after cleaning. Dry the surface using a clean cloth.
  • Avoid using abrasive objects like metal pads that can dull or scratch the finish.

Cleaning Glass Cabinets

Glass cabinets can withstand abrasive cleaners as glass doesn’t react with them. 

What to do?

  • Use ammonia glass cleaners or white vinegar with a wet cloth to wipe off mists, dirt, and fingerprint stains from the glass surface.
  • Clean up the glass from the inside by opening the door even when you’re just wiping off the exteriors.

What to avoid?

  • You can use abrasive oil-based cleaners on glass but avoid using these cleaners on wooden doors or handles over your glass cabinet.

How Often Should You Clean Your Kitchen Cabinets?

You should clean the exteriors of your regularly used kitchen cabinet at least once a week. The frequency depends upon the usage and even bachelors who sporadically use the kitchen should clean the exterior once a month.

You should also deep clean your kitchen cabinets once every three months.

Deep cleaning prevents extensive damage from termites, condensation in wooden cabinets and ensures hygienic conditions in cabinets made up of other materials.

Written by Pulkit D

How to Clean a Toaster in 7 Easy Steps

How to Clean Oven Racks- 8 Effective Ways to Get Them Clean