How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets… And Keep Them Clean!

How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets get dirty fast—coffee spills, grease splatters, sticky food stains, you name it and your cabinets are forced to endure it. Time after time we hear the same question: “How do I remove sticky build-up and stains from my kitchen cabinets?”

 The best way to keep your kitchen cabinets lasting over the long haul is to keep up with cleaning them on a regular basis. With the proper dose of light and deep cleaning you can keep your cabinets looking new for many years. On the contrary, if cabinets are able to build up with grease and other pollutants, they are quick to lose their color and natural sparkle.

Enjoy these great cabinet-cleaning tips to keep your kitchen looking great today, as well as 10-years from now.

The First Thing You Should Do Before Deep-Cleaning Your Cabinets

Before you ever take a sponge to your cabinets, there is one thing you should do first. When deep cleaning, start by emptying out your cabinets, tossing out any old or expired food, and setting everything else aside. This allows you to easily clean both inside and outside of your cabinets without any food in the way. Then, once everything is clean and dry, you can put back your cabinet goods in a neat and organized fashion.

What Cleaning Supplies Do You Need To Clean Kitchen Cabinets?

Some cleaning supplies you need to deep clean your cabinets:

  • -Rubber gloves—these allow you to use hot water to clean cabinets without scalding your fingers
  • -Bucket filled with hot water, or you can use your sink basin
  • -Murphy’s oil, or other non-toxic cleaning supply safe for use on wood
  • -Dustpan
  • -Toothbrush, or some sort of soft-bristled brush for stubborn stains and extra grimy spots
  • -Sponges and clean rags to thoroughly wipe down cabinets before and dry cabinets afterwards

Great Non-Toxic Cleaners For Wooden Cabinets

When it comes to cleaning products, your wood cabinets require extra special care. Not to mention, you are cleaning in the kitchen where you source all of your food. So skip out on the toxic cleaners, which are bad for you and your cabinets, and stick to non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.

Wood cabinets are a popular choice for kitchens, they are timeless and offer a lot of durability. Yet, wood is naturally sensitive and so using the right cleaning products on your cabinets can make all of the difference. Here are some of our favorite suggestions:

Murphy’s Oil Soap
This non-toxic cleaner is strong enough to battle away dirt and grim but gentle enough to leave your wood cabinets unharmed. You can mix Murphy’s oil with a dash of paint thinner and equal parts water, mix until you have a milky-looking appearance, then get ready to clean! Murphy’s oil soap is perfect for cleaning stubborn, sticky stains from kitchen cabinets.

Liquid Dish Detergent
For regular cabinet wipe downs, liquid dish detergent offers the perfect solution. Squirt some detergent into a bucket or in the plugged sink, fill with water and grab a clean rag to soak in the soapy water. Use this rag to wipe at your kitchen cabinets. Dish detergent is not going to be as strong as other cleaners, which is why it’s recommended for regular cleaning, not necessarily deep cleaning.

Method Almond Cleaner 2
Method Almond Cleaner is made with wood in mind and is available in both squirt and spray bottle variations to fit your particular cleaning style. Great for regular use and deep cleaning too, this environmentally friendly cleaner removes dirt and also provides a topcoat of shiny protection.

Homemade Kitchen Gunk Remover
Use at-home kitchen products to create your own cleaner capable of removing stubborn built on gunk. Simply combine 1-part vegetable oil and 2-parts baking soda. Gently scrub with a soft cloth and watch gunky build ups disappear! Mixing together baking soda and water will also help remove stubborn stains, sans vegetable oil.

Beeswax Polish
After cleaning your cabinets you can apply a coat of Beeswax polish to help them retain a youthful shine. This coating also helps protect against future grime and grease clinging to cabinets, at least temporarily.

Don’t Forgot The ‘Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind’ Locations

The very top of your cabinets often go ignored simply because no one under 8-feet tall can see up there. The top of your cabinets hosts some of the worst dust bunnies though. Clean the top of your cabinets carefully with a sponge, and dustpan if necessary. You want to make sure you don’t drop any of the dust and dirt from up here down onto your stove or countertops.

Hardware Is Important To Clean Too

Think about how often you open your cabinets with sticky fingers while cooking. It’s always best to open cabinets using the hardy handles in order to protect the wood, but that means your cabinet hardware requires special cleaning too.

The oils on your hands will eventually take away the shine and luster of cabinet hardware; this allows tarnish and discoloration to occur. Bad looking hardware can make your cabinets suddenly appear less desirable.

The best way to deep clean your kitchen cabinet hardware:

  • -Unscrew all of the knobs and handles, and set aside the screws
  • -Place hardware in a bucket of soapy water and allow soaking for 30 minutes to help loosen the dirt
  • -Remove from water and use a toothbrush or soft-bristled brush to remove tough stains.
  • -Wipe down with a microfiber cloth; make sure hardware is 100% dry before reattaching to cabinets.

Just think, you could carry your hardware over to the sofa, and clean while enjoying your favorite TV show—talk about productive relaxation!

6 Things NOT To Do When Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

 1. Do NOT get cabinets extremely wet.
Wood cabinets are still wood, which is easily ruined by excessive water. This is why it’s so important to thoroughly dry off your cabinets once you have finished cleaning, as well as use minimal amounts of water throughout the process.

2. Do NOT use the same sponge and dirty water
If you use the same sponge for your entire cleaning job you will start to spread dirt and grease instead of get rid of it. Clean off your sponge in between cabinets or switch out to a new one to prevent this from happening.

Using a bucket of water may make your job easier because you don’t have to keep running back and forth to the sink. The only thing is, just like your sponge the water will also get dirty and start spreading impurities around your kitchen. Use a shallow bucket of water that you can regularly switch out every few cabinets.

3. Do NOT let dust build up.
Regular maintenance if your best friend when it comes to kitchen cabinets. It might seem harmless to let a little dust layer build up here and there, but when combined with the oils naturally flying around your kitchen, dust can quickly become tightly trapped in the cabinetry. Letting any sort of dirty build up occur is only asking for a more monstrous task when the time comes to clean.

4. Do NOT clean without testing first.
All cabinets are different, and you may assume a certain product is safe for your cabinets when it is not.  You should always spot test somewhere on your cabinets before using a new cleaner over the entire surface. Even if you are just using warm water, it’s always best to try it out on a small spot first because some varnish is easier to damage than others.

5. Do NOT spray glass cleaner directly onto glass cabinet faces.
If you have glass faces on your cabinets it’s important not to spray glass cleaner directly onto the glass. Not only does this produce streaks in the glass, but also it greatly enhances the chance the glass cleaner will get on the wood cabinets and harm the varnish. Instead, spray the glass cleaner directly onto a towel or cleaning rag before wiping.

6. Do NOT forget the polish.
Once your cabinets are clean and beautiful you can apply a furniture polish in order to help them retain a nice shine. The first step is finding a polish that matches the varnish on your cabinets. You will spray the polish to a cloth or rag and then apply to a small space on your cabinet exterior. Next, take a fresh clean cloth and rub over the polished area. Move on to the next small space and repeat. Sticking to small spaces helps you get the job done right, but it also prevents you from getting carried away with a polish you don’t like the look of.
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How To Keep Your Cabinets Clean Forever

If you go too long without wiping down your cabinets the buildup can become very thick, meaning you may have to refinish cabinets in order to win back their original shine. The only way to prevent a terrible build up of grease and dust is to regularly wipe down your cabinets every few days. Simply use a rag and warm water to scrub away any stains you see. Even if your cabinets look clean you should still wipe down the cabinet faces, we guarantee you will almost always pick up oil and debris that will otherwise build up until they become obvious, giving your cabinets an off-color appearance. (Read More)

Clean or Replace Kitchen Cabinets?

In every cabinets’ shelf life, there comes a time for retirement. Are your cabinets warping, not closing properly, or long overdue for replacement? If so it might be time to research your options for new cabinetry.

At Tops Kitchen Cabinet we provide the latest in kitchen remodels at wholesale prices everyone can afford.  Contact us today to learn more!

Learn how you can keep your cabinets looking like new.

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