If you’re doing some deep cleaning around the home, you might want to tackle your kitchen cabinets too. This is a handy, deeply detailed guide on how to clean inside kitchen cabinets, and the outsides too.
Cleaning the kitchen is a daily task that most people, myself included, complete multiple times per day. I make sure to tackle the sink, the countertops and the floors, and once in a while inside and outside of the kitchen cabinets. The kitchen cabinet doors get especially grimy in the areas that are near the stove where steam settles and attracts dust dirt leading to some pretty yucky streaky cabinets.
While it might be on the lower end of your to-do list, cleaning the kitchen cabinets is very important because the kitchen is where you cook all that wonderful food, and you need a clean and healthy space to complete your daily meals. I am a stay at home mom, and I cook in the kitchen a minimum of 3 times per day, and more so if I decide to bake with the children.
Cleaning the kitchen cabinets is not a difficult job, though it is a bit tedious. The good news is, you don’t need toxic chemical cleaners to clean your kitchen cabinets inside and out. You can use a few common pantry items, and a little bit of elbow grease to spruce up your cabinets to they look bright and shiny and clean.
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How To Clean Inside Kitchen Cabinets
To keep your kitchen cabinets clean on the inside, you can use shelf liners like these, or use aluminum foil and replace them when they get extra grimy. Somehow food particles and crumbs always end up in the kitchen cabinets even though only clean dishes go there! How bizarre.
- To clean the inside of your kitchen cabinets, you will have to take all of the dishes out of the cabinet you wish to clean. This helps to ensure that you get every inch of the inside cupboard free of dust and dirt. I always recommend using natural cleaners in the home.
- You’ll want to vacuum out the cabinet with your vacuum wand to get any loose dirt and dust out of the cabinet right off the bat.
- After you have vacuumed, you’re going to want to spray down the cabinet. My go-to all-purpose cleaner is a mix of 50:50 vinegar and water in a spray bottle. This is what I use to clean my kitchen cabinets. If you want to use a commercial cleaner, you can try the Method cleaner or the Puracy all-purpose cleaner.
- Take your solution of choice and spray the inside of the cabinets liberally.
- Let that solution sit for a minute or two.
- Wipe the solution up with a soft kitchen cloth. You might have to scrub tougher spots with a little bit of elbow grease depending on how dirty the inside of the kitchen cabinet is.
- Make sure to clean the hinges and knobs as well while you’re at it. Simply spray your solution of choice and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it up with a microfiber cloth.
- Use a Q-tip to get inside the tougher to reach spots in the hinges.
- Wet another clean cloth with just water, and wipe everything down one more time. This ensures that all the cleaning solution is wiped clean from the cabinet.
- Dry everything well with a towel.
- Replace all the dishes back into the cabinet.
Ensure that you do not leave the cabinet wet for a long time as this can cause wood rot. This also means that you should avoid hanging any wet and dirty cloths and placing wet cloths inside the cabinets too.
The best way to keep your kitchen cabinets clean on the inside is to simply close the cabinets when you are not using them. If your cabinets and drawers do not close properly, you should look into getting that fixed.
How To Clean Different Kinds Of Kitchen Cabinets
Kitchen Cabinet Cleaning Options
When you choose to clean your kitchen cabinets, you’ll want to do a quick evaluation of the type of clean you need to complete. Is it simply dust or a large stain that you want to get rid of?
What type of cabinet are you going to be cleaning? Wood and glass cabinets do need different kind of care.
If your cabinets are simply dusty, you can use a dry or a slightly wet cloth to wipe the dust away. If you use a damp cloth to wipe the dust, follow up with a dry cloth to get a streak free clean.
If you have a harder job ahead of you, you might want to consider the type of cleaner that you will require. Some home cleaning solutions such as my favourite dish soap and water or vinegar and baking soda might be the tools for the job. For tougher stains, you might want a degreaser to make the job easier.
How to Clean Wooden Cabinets
If you have wooden cabinets, then you will want to use a gentle cleanser to tackle tough grease stains. Even the best wall ovens on the market can produce enough heat that sticky residue is often left behind. Here is how to tackle grease from wooden cabinets.
- Wipe off any loose dust with a damp cloth. If you have a lot of dust, you can use a handheld vacuum wand to get rid of it.
- Use your cloth to wipe down the drawer pulls and handle properly.
- Spray your degreaser liberally on the cabinets and let it sit for just a minute.
- Wipe off the degreaser with a microfiber cloth. You might have to use some elbow grease to get some of the tougher greases off.
- Once your cabinets are clean and grease-free, follow up with a Murphy Oil Soap to make your cabinets shiny and clean looking.
When cleaning your wooden cabinets, ensure that your cloth nor the cabinet is fully soaked. Wood will rot if it sits long with water and moisture. Wipe down the cabinet very well so that wood rot does not happen to your beautiful kitchen.
How to Clean Painted Cabinets
Some homes have painted cabinets, and the cleaning process will look a little bit different for painted cabinets. Painted cabinets are a beautiful addition to your home, but they will lose their sheen if not taken care of properly.
Here is how to clean your painted cabinets.
- Vacuum any loose debris or wipe off with a damp cloth.
- Use an old toothbrush and some soapy water to clean inside any grooves and creases your cabinet may have.
- Mix a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the cabinet.
- Wipe the residue away with a damp cloth
- Use a water soaked cloth to do a final wipe of the cabinets.
- Dry the cabinets completely to avoid wood rot.
If you notice paint chips or discoloration on your painted cabinets it might be time to replace them.
How to Clean Laminate Cabinets
You might have laminate cabinets in your home. These kinds of cabinets are very popular as they are durable and cost less. They are quite easy to clean and maintain as well, which homeowners love.
- Wipe the cabinet door with a damp cloth to remove any dust.
- Spray the cabinet with your favourite all-purpose cleaner.
- Wipe the cleaner off the cabinet.
- Wipe everything up with a clean cloth to ensure the cabinet is fully dry.
How to Clean Glass Cabinets
If you have an all glass cabinet, or a wooden cabinet with glass features inside the doors, you can use this method to clean them.
On the wooden parts of the glass cabinet, you can wipe off any dust with a damp cloth and use a degreaser to get through any tough stains. If you have dust trapped between the wooden joints and the glass, use an old toothbrush or a Q-tip to get inside those areas and really get it clean.
How to Clean Greasy Kitchen Cabinets
If your kitchen cabinets are really greasy with years of build up, you might need some elbow grease and a few different cleaners to try.
Here are some of the best cleaners to cut through grease on cabinets:
How to Polish Kitchen Cabinets
Once you have cleaner your kitchen cabinets, you might want to give it a nice polish. You can purchase polishers like this one, or use this popular home made method.
Here is how to polish kitchen cabinets:
- Use olive oil or a store bought polish and dab some onto a clean microfiber cloth.
- Rub the polish all over the entire cabinet.
- Wipe away excess polish with a new dry clean cloth.
You don’t have to polish your cabinets too often, but you can do it every time you deep clean the kitchen cabinets.
Tips for Keeping Kitchen Cabinets Clean Longer
In order to keep your kitchen cabinets clean for a longer period of time between deep cleans, here are a few things you can do.
- Dust the cabinets once every two weeks with a standard duster. You can even vacuum them every few weeks as well if you like.
- Clean up spills and accidents right away. The longer sticky and grease substances stay on a surface, the harder they are to clean.
- Remove doors and drawers from above a self-cleaning oven if you run a self-cleaning cycle. This is important because the intense heat can damage your cabinet doors and drawers.
- Keep coffee makers and toasters away from cabinets to avoid excess heat damaging the cabinet surfaces.
How often should you clean the kitchen cabinets?
You should be cleaning your kitchen cabinets every 3-4 months, or once every quarter year. This is because when you cook often, especially greasy foods then the kitchen cabinets can get pretty greasy pretty quickly.
Wall cabinets that are mounted above the range and countertops tend to accumulate food and grease on them fairly often and quickly as opposed to lower cabinets.
I would suggest giving your cabinets a quick wipe down daily, just as you do your kitchen countertop to prevent them from getting overly greasy in the first place.
Inside the kitchen cabinets can be cleaned every 6 months. If you notice they get very dirty, then you can clean them more often. You should give them a quick dust every month though because that is where you store your clean dishes and you don’t want yucky dust on your clean dishes do you.
Do’s And Don’t Of Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets
Do: Use A Gentle Cleaning Solution – Using a gentle cleaning solution can ensure that your cabinets don’t get damaged. Instead, you can use dishwashing soap and hot water in a spray bottle to make your own gentle cleanser. Abrasive cleaners and scrub brushes should be left for your sink. Hot water and dish soap and tackle grease well and you can wipe this off easily.
Do: Tackle Tight Spots With A Toothbrush Or Q-Tip – If your cabinet has grooves and crevices that are tough to reach, and old toothbrush can really help get into the tights spots. If your toothbrush isn’t getting the job done, try a Q-tip dipped in cleaning solution. You can also use a toothbrush to reach around the handles and other grooves in the door.
Do: Do A Final rinse – It is always a good idea to remove any residue of cleaners from anything in the kitchen. Do a final rinse of your cabinets with a cloth and some water. Be sure to dry everything properly before calling it a job well done.
Do: Full Dry Cabinets – Leaving cabinets to air dry can cause bubbles to form in the cabinet. Use a microfiber cloth to fully dry your cabinets.
Don’t: Skip Frequent Cabinet Cleaning – You should do a proper clean of your kitchen cabinets twice a year. This includes taking everything out of your cabinets and wiping things down properly. Making sure to dry all the surfaces you clean before replacing all the dishes back inside the cabinet.
Don’t: Forget The Glass – Use a glass cleaner on the glass parts of the cabinet. Remember to not use abrasive cleaners on glass panels, no matter where the glass is on your cabinets.
Don’t: Allow Water In Hinges – Water or cleaning solution on your hinges can leave your hinges to rust and rot. Simply use a dry microfiber cloth to get rid of any dirt from the metal hinges. If you really need solution to clean the hinges, spray some onto your cloth and wipe away all moisture after cleaning.
Don’t: Soak The Cabinets – When spraying your solution to clean the cabinets, do not spray the cabinets directly with your solution. Simply spray your solution onto a damp cloth. Too much moisture can damage the cabinet’s polish or finish. Always wipe the moisture away from top to bottom, and pay extra attention to the trim or moulding where grime and dirt can build up. Don’t forget to wipe up the handles and knobs as well as the inside of the cabinet door. Never let your cloth get wet enough to drip. Squeeze out any excess moisture from your cloth before cleaning.
DO tackle tight spots with an old toothbrush.
Some cabinets have ornate trim or deep grooves that a rag just can’t access. In these cases, dip an old toothbrush into your cleaning solution, and use the toothbrush to gently scrub those hard-to-reach spots. Don’t forget the areas around the cabinet handles or knobs, and the edges of the cabinet doors, which can be tricky to reach with a rag.
Wrapping Up – How To Clean Inside Kitchen Cabinets
Cleaning the kitchen should be done on a daily basis, but you don’t need to tackle a large greasy cabinet job every single day too. While greasy kitchen cabinets might be on the lower end of your to-do list, they are important in maintaining a safe and clean kitchen. Remember to clean the inside kitchen cabinets at least twice a year, and do a quick daily wipe down of the outer cabinets to prevent too much grease build up over time.