The Decisive Guide to Cleaning & Caring For Kitchen Cabinets

The Decisive Guide to Cleaning & Caring For Kitchen Cabinets

We know that kitchens are the hardest working rooms in our homes and they need to be cleaned well and often, both through daily upkeep and periodic deeper cleanings. But there’s one major component of our kitchens that may not be getting the attention it needs to stay clean even though we use and see them every day – the kitchen cabinets. Here’s how to keep them in tip-top shape.

1stThings 1st: 3 rules you ought to live by

  • Tackle fresh splatters straightaway

Whether it’s oil from frying something on the stove or cake batter splatters, wipe these messes immediately for easiest clean-up. (Being aware of them is more than half the battle won.)

  • Add cabinet-cleaning to your regular kitchen cleaning routine

Incorporating a light but regular cabinet cleaning habit into your kitchen cleaning routine will help maintain your cabinets and at least slowdown build-up on cabinet exteriors.

  • Deep clean cabinet exteriors at least once every year

Most of the grime found on kitchen cabinets is the result of months or even years of gradual accumulation of oils, unnoticed splatters and a general veneer of dirt caused by humidity and dust. Depending on their location and how heavily your kitchen is used, kitchen cabinet exteriors should be cleaned annually or semi-annually.

Cleaning According to Your Cabinet Type

Wood Cabinets

  • Use oil soap wood cleaner to clean wooden cabinets
  • Use dish or laundry detergent mixed with water to de-grease.
  • A vinegar and water solution also helps cut through grease and grime.
  • For tougher dirt, make a baking soda paste. Dab on and scrub with a toothbrush.

Painted Cabinets

Cabinets painted with oil-based paints can stand up to heavy cleaning. You can use any of the cleaning solutions listed above. You can also use an all-purpose spray for maintenance cleaning.

Cabinets painted with water-based latex paint require more gentle cleaning. Don’t use baking soda because it might scratch the surface. Wipe cabinets gently with a rag and stick to all-purpose cleaner or warm water and dish soap to de-grease.

Metal Cabinets

Metal cabinets are robust as well. Use any of the solutions mentioned above, being extra careful not to get the metal overly wet. Also be sure to dry thoroughly so the metal surface doesn’t rust.

How to Remove Stubborn Grime?

If you need something stronger than a water-baking soda paste, consider making a solution with coconut oil and baking soda. This DIY cleaner gets labels off jars with ease and it’ll work magic on your grimy cabinet doors. Wipe it onto your cabinets and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a toothbrush or soft cleaning brush.

Cleaning Cabinet Hardware

Cabinet hardware can be cleaned with a rag moistened with a vinegar and water solution or a dish soap and water solution.

…and finally…


wipe fresh splatters with a rag and all-purpose cleaner.


wipe down cabinet door exteriors with a rag and all-purpose cleaner.


Empty cabinets and wipe down shelves. Empty drawers and wipe them out. De-clutter kitchen items as you’re putting them away. Clean exteriors according to directions above.

If this is the first time you’re tackling the task of cleaning your kitchen cabinets, whether in your own well-lived in kitchen or in a new apartment or house, pull up your sleeves. The work may be tough, but the gleam in your kitchen will thank you.





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