When did you last give your kitchen cabinets a deep clean?
Even when the kids are on best behavior and you avoid any adventurous recipes, your cabinets still seem to lack the dazzle they once had. In fact, no matter how careful you are, kitchen cabinets tend to get caked in oil and grime in no time.
Greasy kitchen cabinet doors are a nightmare. But you don’t want to spend all of your free time testing out DIY tricks that don’t quite do the job. The good news is, you don’t have to.
Here’s a foolproof guide to getting gleaming cabinet doors in 7 easy steps.
Let’s do this.
Step 1: Get Your Supplies
Before you get down to it, make sure you’ve got all the bits and bobs that you need. Here’s what we suggest:
- an empty spray bottle
- a cleaning rag or sponge
- a laundry detergent or dish soap
- a toothbrush
- a tub of baking soda
- a commercial cleaning product
- 2x clean cloths
- oil wood polish
- a pair of cleaning gloves (great for those with sensitive hands)
Natural cleaners are less harsh than commercial ones, so they’ll be your first option. Still, store-bought products can come in very handy for tougher stains, or particularly greasy kitchen cabinet doors.
For every product you use in the following steps, patch test first. Apply a small amount of the product to a hidden area of your cabinets (such as the inner side of the door), and check to make sure it doesn’t stain or remove the finish.
Step 2. Clear & Clean
While you’re tackling those greasy kitchen cabinet doors, it’s a great idea to freshen the inside of your cabinets too. Doing so reduces the risk of dirt transfer from internal to external surfaces, and gives you the opportunity to spot any leakages.
Start by removing all items from your cabinets and placing them on a nearby countertop. As you do, check all tins, jars, boxes, and bags for holes that could cause leaks or spills.
You’d also be wise to toss out anything that’s expired or that’s not moved since 2011. Hey, it happens!
Give the rest of the contents a quick wipe down and move onto the next stage.
Step 3. Clean the Interior Surfaces
Now the interior of your cabinets are empty, you can get to work!
Take your empty spray bottle and fill with a 2:1 mix of water to detergent/dish soap. Spray a small amount of the mixture through the interior, then wipe down thoroughly with your cleaning rag or sponge.
It’s crucial that you don’t get overly trigger-happy with the spray. Doing so will leave your cabinets damp, and set the perfect climate for mold.
Step 4. Clean the Doors
For your greasy doors, start with your detergent mix from above. Spray all exterior surfaces (including corner panels), and give everything a good wipe down.
If the grease stains prove a little more resilient on these outer surfaces, baking soda is an ideal progression. Baking soda is a versatile cleaner that’s mildly abrasive. As such, it can remove grease, without affecting the wood underneath.
Create a ratio of baking soda and water mix that forms a thick paste. Dip your cloth or sponge into the baking soda mixture, then apply to the grease stains.
Use a circular rubbing motion and the grease should start to come off. Just be careful not to apply too much pressure here, or you risk removing varnish.
If the grease stains don’t budge, try one of the following methods:
- scrape the stains with a plastic utensil (metal will risk damage)
- leave the baking soda mix to sit for on the surface for 15 minutes
Step 5. Apply a Commercial Cleaner
If the grease just won’t disappear, it’s time to step things up a gear.
Oil soap cleaners are all but guaranteed to have your cabinets sparkling like brand new. There’s a wide range of commercial cleaners available, and most should do the trick. We recommend an oil soap wood cleaner, which should remove the stains without damaging wooden surfaces.
Of course, there’s always the risk of damage. That’s why we suggest milder products first. Where possible, reserve commercial cleaners for less frequent, deep-cleaning.
Again, use a firm circular motion, without putting constant force into any one spot. Once finished, make sure to remove all product residue with a clean, damp cloth.
Step 6. Clean Around the Hardware
By this point, your main surfaces should be looking fresh and clean. Joy!
You’re not done yet, though. Next, you need to use a toothbrush to clean the hardware.
A toothbrush is an excellent cleaning tool, especially in the kitchen. The flexible bristles help clean all of those hard to reach places, perfect for cabinet door handles, hinges and other fixings. Dip the toothbrush into your detergent mix or baking soda solution, and then get to scrubbing.
Step 7. Apply a Final Coat of Oil
To make your (formerly) greasy kitchen cabinet doors gleam, you can finish the surfaces with an oil polish coating.
Oil wood polish products (especially orange oil) really bring out the quality of your wood and will leave your whole kitchen smelling great, too. Consider this a nice little bonus for your efforts!
Apply the oil to a dry cloth, again using a circular rubbing motion. Once you’ve covered all the doors, go back over everything with a new, clean cloth. This will remove any excess oil so that the doors aren’t too slippery.
Bonus tip: before you refill your cabinets, leave the doors open and let them air out for 20 minutes. This prevents any dampness and should stop an overwhelming oil scent from hitting you when the doors are opened.
Cleaning Greasy Kitchen Cabinet Doors
You’re done! Simple, right?
Now it’s just a case of maintenance. Remember to buff your cabinet doors regularly to prevent steam and grease from forming a hard caked layer of nastiness.
For more DIY tips to help keep your kitchen cabinets in tip-top shape, check out our blog.