How to Clean Kitchen Cabinets so the Entire Room Shines

Learn the trick to removing pesky grease splatters and cleaning your kitchen cabinets. It can give your kitchen a new look (without much effort).

Learning how to clean kitchen cabinets regularly can help your kitchen sparkle. Over time, marks and dust can build up, making your once-clean cabinets look dingy. The exterior of your kitchen cabinets (particularly those nearest the stove) likely have fingerprints, smudges of dirt, and a subtle splattering of grease.

For an even deeper cabinet cleaning, tackle the interior of the cabinets, where dust, cobwebs, and crumbs are likely hiding. This helps keep your kitchen clean and pest-free. Plus, a complete cabinet clean-out can make it easier to find ingredients. Follow the steps below to get your kitchen cabinets gleaming and restore them to their original color and shine, making your entire kitchen look refreshed.

How Often to Clean Kitchen Cabinets

When to Clean Cabinet Exteriors

You should clean the exterior of your kitchen cabinets about every 1 to 2 weeks. It's not necessary to wipe them daily or multiple times a week. However, if you notice food, grease, or sauce splatters on your cabinet face, spot-clean them right away to avoid stuck-on food.

When to Clean Cabinet Hardware

Similar to the cabinet exteriors, clean kitchen cabinet hardware every 1 to 2 weeks (the same day you clean cabinet exteriors works). Again, if you see any food stains or debris, wipe the hardware immediately.

When to Clean Cabinet Interiors

Clean the interior of kitchen cabinets every 3 to 6 months. This helps you get rid of expired food and prevents ants or other pests from lurking in your kitchen.

What You Need:

To Clean Cabinet Exteriors

To Clean Cabinet Hardware

To Clean Cabinet Interiors

How to Clean Kitchen Cabinet Exteriors With Dish Soap

Step 1: Wash the Surface

  • Add a squirt of dish soap to a bucket of warm water.
  • Dip a cloth into the soapy water, wring it out, and wipe down the surface of the cabinet. Start at the top and concentrate on any areas with visible grease splotches.
  • Alternatively, you can use a multi-purpose cleaning spray—just check the recommended surfaces on the label and test in an inconspicuous spot first. Be sure to spray the cleanser onto a cloth rather than directly onto the cabinets.

Step 2: Clean Glass

If your kitchen cabinets have a glass face, use a specialized glass cleaner to prevent streaks and residue. Spray the glass cleaner onto a cloth before cleaning the glass instead of spraying the cabinet directly.

Step 3: Remove Grease

For challenging grease or oil stains, grab a multi-purpose cleanser with citrus oil (a known degreaser). Test a small spot first to make sure the product won't damage the cabinet finish. Then let the cleanser sit on the grease spot for a few minutes before wiping with a cloth pre-dampened with warm water.

Step 4: Wipe and Dry

After cleaning, wipe down the cabinets with a damp cloth to remove any residue. Then, finish with a dry cloth. Be careful not to leave any water sitting on the cabinet surface.

How to Clean Kitchen Cabinet Hardware With Vinegar

Step 1: Mix Solution

In a large bowl or bucket, mix a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water.

Step 2: Wipe Hardware

Dip a clean cloth into the mixture. Use it to wipe down each cabinet knob or drawer pull.

Step 3: Dry Completely

With a fresh, dry cloth, dry the cabinet hardware thoroughly. It's best not to let the vinegar sit for an extended period.

How to Clean Kitchen Cabinet Interiors With Dish Soap

Step 1: Empty Cabinets

Empty everything from the cabinets. Check the expiration dates of food and spices and toss anything that has expired.

Step 2: Vacuum Crumbs

Using a crevice attachment, vacuum up any crumbs and dust. Start with the top cabinet and work your way down.

Step 3: Wipe Interiors

Combine warm water with a drop of dishwashing soap in a small bucket. Dip a clean cloth into the soapy water, wring it out, and wipe down the interior of the cabinets.

Step 4: Dry and Restock

Dry the cabinet interiors with a clean, dry cloth. Be sure no water sits on the cabinets, as moisture damages most kitchen cabinets. Then, place items back in the cabinet.

How to Keep Your Kitchen Cabinets Clean Longer

To help kitchen cabinets stay clean longer between cleanings, try these tips.

Add Shelf Liners

Lining the cabinet shelves can protect them from moisture. They're also easier to wipe clean than the shelf material.

Close Cabinet Doors and Drawers

To keep excessive dust and crumbs from falling into drawers or flying into cabinets, keep them closed after grabbing what you need. This won't prevent all crumbs and dust buildup, but it will help lessen the amount.

Avoid Moisture

Keep your kitchen cabinets dry—inside and out. Water and moisture can damage the wood. When putting dishes away, make sure they're thoroughly dry. And wipe sauce and condiment bottles that may have liquid on the outside before placing them in the cabinet.

Use Cabinet Hardware

Opening kitchen cabinets by using the hardware (instead of the wood) helps avoid grease, oil, and other food from sticking onto the surface. Consider installing hardware if your cabinets don't already have any.

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