Regularly Clean Your Kitchen Cabinets to Maintain Their Efficiency

by Matt Solis


Kitchen cabinets collect more grease, food spills and moisture than most other parts of a house. Grime builds up fastest around door and drawer handles, because they’re constantly being opened. To effectively preserve your cabinets, consider the following tips:

  • Painted wood, metal, laminated plastic and wood-grain vinyl surfaces can be cleaned with a solution of detergent and warm water. After cleaning, rinse the cabinet with a cloth or sponge dampened in clean water. When wiping the surface dry, use a dry cloth or paper towel to prevent streaking. Painted, plastic and metal surfaces can occasionally be cleaned with a creamy liquid wax, which leaves a protective coating that repels soil.
  • Feel free to use an all-purpose household cleaner, but read the label to confirm it can be used on your cabinet’s surface. Test the cleaner inside a door to ensure it won’t harm the finish. Never use scouring powder or other abrasives on cabinets; they’ll damage the finish.
  • For natural, finished wood with a heavy buildup of grease and grime that won’t come off with regular wood cleaners, you may need to use a straight solvent such as paint thinner. Make sure there are no open flames or pilot lights in the room where you’re working, as paint thinner is highly flammable and toxic to breathe.
  • Some wood cabinet cleaners contain waxes that leave a shine or medium luster that protects the wood’s surface. If the cabinet’s wood finish seems dull after you clean it, consider applying a solvent-based wood wax, which may or may not require buffing to create a luster.

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