How to Properly Clean Your Wooden Kitchen Cabinets

How to Properly Clean Your Wooden Kitchen Cabinets

People may not realize this, but like any other kitchen utensil, cabinets are subjected to a lot of usage. That can lead to them getting worn out if not maintained properly. Literally everything from grease to dust ends up sticking to kitchen cabinets. It’s imperative to keep them as clean as possible.

Even if you clean them regularly, every once in a while a deep clean must be performed. In those cases it’s recommended that you use baking soda, or any other natural cleanser, since they don’t damage the cabinets. Wooden cabinets can then be polished to make them shine again. Here are a few ways to properly clean your wood cabinets:


Gentle Everyday Cleaning

1. Use a vinegar mixture. Stir up a mixture of white vinegar and water – one cup of each. It won’t harm the wood since it is a gentle cleaning mixture, and it is just the thing to freshen up your cabinets on a daily basis.

  • If you are unable to use vinegar, use a small piece of soap mixed with a cup of water.
  • Remember to use nonabrasive cleaners for frequent cleaning. You will end up damaging your cabinets.

2. When you are done cooking, gently wipe them off. It is normal for food fragments to stick to any surface in the kitchen while cooking. Gently wiping the cabinets off with a wet towel every time you finish cooking will keep them in good shape. Just soak a towel in the soft cleaning mixture you prepared.

  • Be careful not to leave them too wet. It may cause the cabinets to bend out of shape.
  • Do not worry about the smell if you use a vinegar based cleanser. It will go away as soon as it dries out.

3. Wipe them with a dry clean towel. Once you are done wiping the cabinets with the cleaner, go over them with a dry towel. That way you ensure that don’t stay wet and remove any traces of the cleaner.

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4. Clean the interior of the cabinets frequently. Just like the outside, the inside of the cabinets is exposed to dust and fragments of any food and spices you store in them. It’s a good idea to make a habit of wiping the inside every once in a while. It might be annoying, but make sure you take everything out, clean thoroughly, and put everything back inside again. You can use the same cleaning mixture as when cleaning the outside of the cabinets.

  • If spilling food is a common occurrence in your kitchen, it might be a good idea to get proper storage containers. You can keep spices and similar goods in jars to ensure they stay where they are, and protect them from bugs.
  • A popular thing to use for your cabinets are cabinet liners. They are easy to get and simple to use, so when cleaning the cabinets, you simply remove the liners, gently wash them, and place them back.

5. Dust them frequently. Go through the exterior and interior of the cabinets with a small dry cloth to simply remove the dust that sticks to them. When cooking, a lot of steam and grease can get to the cabinets which makes dust particles stick to them very easily. If not done frequently, you might have a hard time removing it.

Occasional Deep Clean

1. Get an oil soap for cleaning wood. It is a specially produced cleaner solution to eliminate grease and similar elements without harming the wood. It is a much better cleaner, compared to the ones mentioned for daily cleaning, so it’s essential you have it around when you decide to perform a deep clean of your kitchen cabinets.

2. Make sure the cleaner is safe. Depending on the condition and material of the cabinets, some cleaners may end up doing more harm than good. Therefore, make sure to check the reaction by applying it to a small area and wait for the results.


3. Once you have checked it, continue with the process. Applying moderate pressure on the cabinets, use a soft towel to get the oil soap on them and rub in circular motion. Do that until you remove all the unwanted dirt on them.

4. When done rubbing, wipe them off with a dry towel. In order to clear any leftover from the oil cleaner, wipe the entire surface of the cabinets with a soft clean dry towel.

5. Get baking soda to remove more resilient stains or baked-on grease. If you don’t clean the kitchen regularly, or just don’t wipe the surfaces off after cooking you may come across stains that just won’t come off with normal cleaners. You can use a pasty mixture of baking soda and water to tackle those stains. Apply the mixture on the spot and scrub it off.

  • For even tougher baked-on grease, apply some amount of the paste directly and wait for it to do its work for 15 minutes before scrubbing.
  • You can also use plastic sharp tools to gently scrape off any leftovers. Don’t use metal tools in you don’t want to damage your cabinets.

Polish the Wood

1. Pick the proper waxing or polishing product. If you want to make your kitchen look luxurious and inviting, you need to polish it regularly. There is a variety of products, ones providing higher shine and glow, others, lower shine and glow. Pick whatever suits your needs best and make your kitchen sparkle.

2. The cabinets must be clean before being polished. Only do the polishing or waxing after having cleaned the cabinets. Otherwise, if you apply it on a non-clean surface will only make the cabinets look smudgy and messy. Therefore, clean the cabinets first, then proceed with polishing.


3. Use a clean soft towel or cloth for polishing. Any small towel or microfiber cloth will do the job as long as it’s clean. Also, it won’t scratch the wood.

4. Polish one smaller area at a time. Apply the polishing product on smaller sections and rub circularly. This way you make sure you apply equal attention to the entire exterior of the cabinet.

5. Go over the polished are with another clean cloth. By doing this, you remove any leftover product from the cabinets, ensuring they end up glowing and shining.

Be Aware!

* It is a very bad idea to use natural turpentine on decorated wood surfaces since it make it sticky.

* Do not use synthetic turpentine. It is highly flammable and it is a seriously bad idea to use such a product in a kitchen where sparks and flames can come up easily.

Having exquisite wooden kitchen cabinets is something many would like. However, when you do get them, it’s imperative that you take proper care of them. If you want to make them last you need to maintain them. Also, it’s very important to carefully select the products you use clean your wooden cabinets and make sure they don’t damage the wood.

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