Written by Grove Collaborative

Clean Team: How to clean kitchen cabinets.

Last Updated: March 2, 2021

Discover some of our best tips on how to clean your kitchen cabinets and cut through that built up grease!

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Ready to tackle the dirtiest spots in your home? Grove Collaborative has you covered with Clean Team. Each week, we’ll do a deep dive into how to clean a different place or item in your home. No spot is too small — and we’ll tell you how to conquer them all, naturally.

How to clean your kitchen cabinets in 3 easy steps

Cleaning your kitchen cabinets is an often ignored step during the regular kitchen cleanup routine. However, it’s an important one that you shouldn’t neglect when you have the extra time to do it. Yes, it’s not the most fun task in the world, but it’s so worthwhile. After all, don’t you want those swanky cabinets to look their best?

Why should you clean your kitchen cabinets regularly?

Unfortunately, kitchen cabinets can take a beating. Grease from cooking, coupled with dust builds up on the outside of your kitchen cabinet doors and makes them look nothing short of dingy and, well… kinda gross.

Even worse, the heat from cooking will make the grime on your greasy cabinets thicker and tougher to remove the longer you let it linger. Though your kitchen cabinet interiors may stay cleaner for a longer period of time, they too eventually accumulate dust, dirt, and food crumbs.

The worst-case scenario is you have an invasion of pests in your kitchen cabinets because of the buildup of food particles and other unmentionables. Since we know you certainly don’t want that, it makes for a good argument on why cleaning those cabinets regularly is so important.

How often should you clean your kitchen cabinets?

We recommend dividing your kitchen cabinet cleaning into two phases—outer surfaces weekly and inner surfaces seasonally. That way you can maintain their pristine condition for as long as possible.

Each week you should clean the outside of your kitchen cabinets with a good wipe down, especially if you cook a lot. If you don’t manage this every week, at least try to clean the exteriors once every two weeks.

Every few months, you can and should clean the inside of your kitchen cabinets. You might try setting a fixed time of the year to do this so you can put it on your calendar and not forget it.

Best ways to clean kitchen cabinets

Since it’s clear that cleaning your kitchen cabinets is important, keep reading for our best tips on how to do so. Gather your tools, make your cleaning solution, and get crackin’!

To clean the outside of your kitchen cabinets

You will need:

How to do it:

Step 1: Prepare your cleaning solution. A solution of liquid dish soap and warm water is typically enough to clean food smudges and mild grease on most kitchen cabinet types, including painted wood, plastic laminate, metal, and vinyl cabinets. If you’re using an all-purpose cleaner, test it on a hidden part of your cabinet to make sure it doesn’t do any damage.

Step 2: Use a clean rag or cloth and dip it in the cleaning solution. Start from the top of the cabinet and work your way down. If you’re using a spray bottle, spray the cleaning solution onto your cloth instead of spraying directly on the cabinet.

Step 3: Use a second clean cloth to wipe the cleaning solution off. Take another cloth to dry the cabinet. It’s important to make sure no water is left behind on your cabinets because it can damage and discolor them.

To clean glass and mirrors in your kitchen cabinets

Don’t forget about the glass! Granted, not all cabinets have glass, but if yours do, make sure you clean that as well.

You will need:

How to do it:

Step 1: Using a spray bottle, spray your glass cleaner onto a paper towel or clean cloth.

Step 2: Wipe the glass or mirror cabinet surface on the inside of the door from back to front.

Step 3: Avoid spraying glass cleaner directly as it can damage the wood and other parts of your kitchen cabinets.

To clean the insides of your kitchen cabinets

You will need:

  • Cleaning solution—you can use the same cleaning solution of dish soap and water to clean the interior of your kitchen cabinets.
  • Warm water
  • Several clean cloths

How to do it:

Step 1: Empty your kitchen cabinets. Start with the highest cabinet and work your way down.

Step 2: Take a clean rag or cloth and dip it in your cleaning solution. It does not need to be soaked. Wipe the sides, the top, and then the bottom of each cabinet.

Step 3: Rinse with a second clean damp cloth, and use a third cloth to dry the surfaces thoroughly. Don’t miss any moisture, because standing water can damage your kitchen cabinets.

Grove Tip

If you’re wondering how to clean wood cabinets even more effectively, try using a cleaning product with orange oil.

How to remove various stains from your kitchen cabinets

Stains and grease are common in the kitchen. Below are some tips on removing them from your kitchen cabinets as efficiently as possible.

To remove fingerprints:

Try using a cleaning solution with dish soap. Follow the steps we’ve outlined above for cleaning kitchen cabinets, it should remove fingerprints as well.

To remove grease stains:

To remove grease from cabinets, try making a paste of baking soda and water. You can use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub away the more stubborn spots.

You will need:

How to do it:

Scrub the grease stains gently with a paste of baking soda water, using a soft-bristled brush.

To remove food splatters:

You can use your cleaning solution with dish soap to get rid of unsightly food splatters.

To remove watermarks:

Try getting rid of watermarks by using a mixture of baking soda and water on a clean cloth. Dry the area using another dry cloth.

To remove scuffs:

A baking soda mixture may also help you to get rid of scuffs! Wonder of wonders, that baking soda and water magic.

Grove good practice recommendations

  • Always use a gentle cleaning solution.
  • Don’t soak your cabinets with water.
  • Use a damp cloth, not a soaked one.
  • Make a habit of cleaning your spills as soon as they happen.
  • Always use a second cloth to rinse off the cleaner and a third to dry.
  • Don’t skip a periodic deep cleaning.

Cleaning kitchen cabinets isn’t all that difficult as long as you keep up with it. Follow the tips we’ve outlined and we have no doubt they will continue to look amazing for years to come!

Looking for more cleaning how-tos and other sustainable swaps you can make at home? Grove has you covered. From timely topics such as our handwashing and hand sanitizer breakdown to evergreen primers like our simple ways to reduce your plastic use at home, our handy guides are here to answer your most pressing questions. And let us know how if you have any cleaning questions (or share your own tips using #grovehome) by following Grove Collaborative on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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