We all know the drill when it comes to kitchen cleaning – you wipe the counters, vacuum and mop the floor, clean the oven, pray before you open the fridge, and so on. But what is the thing that we tend to forget about most frequently?

The cabinets.

If you’ve spotted a ketchup splatter or a coffee speck on your lovely wooden cabinets after reading the last sentence, scroll down to find out how to clean your kitchen cabinets the right way.

Table of Contents:

How often should you clean your kitchen cabinets?

Cleaning kitchen cabinets isn’t a daily task that you should put on top of your chore list. Generally, it’s best to split the cleaning process into two parts – a general weekly wipe and a deep monthly cleaning.

The most common cabinet stains and how to remove them

The list of things that can stain your cabinets it endless, however, some types of spots appear more often than others. Here you can find information about the most common ones and the proper way to clean them:

Fingerprint marks

Fingerprints are probably the most common stains that could “grace” your kitchen cabinet. No surprise there – imagine how you, your spouse and three kids open the cabinet to get your cereal every single morning. Those are a lot of fingerprint marks. That said, removing the spots is super easy. Just get a piece of cloth, dunk it in some white vinegar and wipe the cabinets clean. 

Food splatters

Food has weird ways of ending up on the most bizarre places. Maybe you spilt your cuppa morning joe and didn’t see the brown streak it left on the side of the furniture piece or the ranch dressing bottle decided to go rogue, while you were seasoning your salad. So, when it comes to removing food stains from kitchen cabinets, it’s best to do it fast, especially if the piece is made from expensive wood. Soak up as much of the spillage as possible and after that apply a thick layer of baking soda mixed with water on top of it. Let is sit there for 4-5 minutes and wipe clean. 

Grease stains

Grease stains are nasty. Period. And on top of being nasty, sticky and smelly, they are a pain to remove, especially the old ones. So, if you are wondering how to clean sticky grease off kitchen cabinets, follow the earlier mentioned fingerprint cleaning method and mind that you’ll need to repeat the whole process quite a few time before you fully remove the grease spots. 

Waters spots

Yup, even water can leave stains on your kitchen cabinets. Funny enough, water marks appear due to cleaning with, well, water. To stop such stains from appearing in the first place, us only distilled water when cleaning your cabinets. 

Scuff marks

Scuff streaks may look like the hardest type of marks to remove, but in reality, they are probably the easiest on the list. Get an ordinary pencil eraser and gently rub it along the dark scuff streak. Remove the residue with a clean piece of cloth and you are done.

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How to clean kitchen cabinets

You see, there isn’t a general cleaning method that you can use for all types of kitchen cabinets. This sort of furniture piece can be made from different sorts of material, the most popular being wood, laminate, metal, and additionally, there also painted options. Below you can find information on how to properly clean all of them:

How to clean wood kitchen cabinets

When cleaning wooden furniture, you have to be extra careful,  in order to avoid damaging the piece. In terms of methods, you have two options: to use a store-bought detergent or to go full-on DIY. 

How to clean your kitchen cabinets with a store-bought detergent

Visit your local supermarket and get a grease-cutting dish soap, if you don’t have one already, and mix it with a bit of water. Apply the solution over the stained part of the kitchen cabinet, careful not to oversoak it. Get a piece of clean cloth and start working the detergent into the stain. Once the spot is removed, dry the treated area. 

Easy DIY cleaning method

If you are passionate about DIY cleaning solutions, you know what comes next: white vinegar and baking soda. Use a combination of vinegar and water to remove general stains like fingerprints and a baking soda paste for more stubborn and sticky spots like grease marks. Like with the detergent option, it’s important to fully dry the wooden surface once you are done cleaning it. 

How to clean metal cabinets

If you happen to be the proud owner of metal kitchen cabinets, congratulations – this type of material is the easiest to clean. You can use most of the wood cleaning methods we described above, with the exception of the baking soda paste – the tiny soda particles can leave scratch marks on the shiny metal surface. And again, makes sure to thoroughly dry the cabinets after cleaning them, so they don’t rust. 

How to clean laminated cabinets

Like metal cabinets, laminated ones are super fast and easy to clean. The process goes as such:

  1. First, remove any dust from the cupboards. This will make the cleaning process that comes afterwards far less messy. 
  2. Combine 1 tablespoon of a general dishwashing detergent with 1L of warm water. Stir well.  
  3. Soak a washcloth in the mixture and start wiping the cabinets. Don’t forget to clean the handles and hinges.
  4. Get a clean piece of cloth and thoroughly dry the cabinet. 

That’s it – you are done!

How to clean painted cabinets

Oil-based painted cabinets are fairly easy to clean and can take a more rough scrubbing as well. You can use any of the above-described cleaning methods, but your best option will be the baking soda paste one.

Note that cabinets which have a water-based latex style of paint require a gentler hand. In this case, it’s best to avoid the baking soda method and tools like hard-bristled brushes. 

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Takeaways

  • Make sure to clean a stain while it’s still fresh, especially when dealing with wooden furniture. 
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaning methods and tools on metal and water-based latex paint.
  • Make sure to always dry out your cabinets after cleaning them, no matter of the material they are of. 

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Did you find our article on how to clean kitchen cabinets helpful? Leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below.

Image source: Shutterstock / wertinio

  • Last update: April 10, 2020

Posted in Cleaning Guides

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