Tips For Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

By Corrine Dolezal 

Kitchen cabinets are beautiful when they’re first installed, but the environment they exist in soon can mar their beauty if you don’t make it a practice of cleaning kitchen cabinets on a regular basis. It’s not just the interiors that need cleaning, either. The exteriors of kitchen cabinets take a beating. They are assaulted with air laden with cooking grease, sticky fingers, moisture, smoke, and food spills. If this build-up of grime is allowed to harden and continue to build up over time, it’s going to be much more difficult to remove, so you want to clean your cabinets often.

Often a mild soap, such as a grease-cutting dish detergent, and warm water will do the trick as long as your cabinets are laminate, painted, plastic, metal, or wood-grained vinyl, but there are times when you need some type of cleaner to help penetrate the grease and grime, especially with wood cabinet surfaces. All-purpose cleaners may do a good job of cleaning the outsides of your cupboards, but never use anything abrasive on the surfaces, such as Comet, because that will scratch them. You should also avoid using steel wool or scrub brushes for cleaning kitchen cabinets for the same reason.

For an old-time, natural approach, you can try a solution of half vinegar and half water. Grandma knew that the combination was sure-fire when it came to cleaning kitchen grease, and it will still do a good job for you. If the build-up is too great for this solution to penetrate and wash away, try using straight vinegar. You can also make a paste out of some baking soda and water or a solution of lemon juice and club soda which will cut the grease naturally.

As a last resort to salvage cabinets on which the greasy build-up has been allowed to accumulate and harden, you can try paint thinner. This is much more caustic than the other solutions you can use, so treat it with care. Never use it around an open flame or extreme heat, wear gloves while using it, and open windows to give yourself plenty of ventilation. You may also want to wear a respirator to keep yourself from inhaling the fumes. Be sure to test the paint thinner on a hidden spot to make sure it isn’t going to damage the finish on your cabinets before actually going to work.

Cleaning kitchen cabinets is a lot of work, especially when dirt and grease have been allowed to build-up over time. By wiping your cupboards down periodically, you can keep them from getting the thick build-up that takes so much time, elbow grease, and cleaning expertise to remove.

Learn more about kitchen cabinet styles and tips on how to replace kitchen cabinets at

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