How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets: Defeat Grease With Elbow Grease!

Grease can build up surprisingly quickly on kitchen appliances and fixtures, including kitchen cabinets. However, you can defeat the grease buildup with elbow grease. 

Keep up to date with your regular home cleaning routine with this cabinet cleaning method. 

How to clean kitchen cabinets

Besides major appliances, cabinets and cupboards are the kitchen’s most noticeable furnishing. If they are dirty, the whole kitchen will look messy. Also, dirt and grease could shorten the lifespan of your fixtures! A clean kitchen cabinet can last roughly 50 years.

Here are the steps to get your kitchen cabinets in shape again.

Step 1. Choose a safe cleaner for your kitchen cabinets 

A cleaning product can make the chore easier or completely wreck your kitchen cabinets. In this case, harsher doesn’t mean better. You have to consider your cabinets’ material and how it could react to a particular cleaner.

If you have the manufacturer’s guidelines, it’s time to revisit them!

Although many experts recommend using a vinegar solution, soapy water is usually the safest option for most kitchen cabinets. Dish soap can break down grease, removing splatters, fingerprints, and other oily stains. 

Of course, you could add white vinegar for extra cleaning power, but spot-test the solution before using it!

Step 2. Dust the cabinets (and prepare them for the cleaning)

On top of the grime, a fine layer of dust might be covering your cabinets. Remove it with a dry microfiber cloth or a vacuum cleaner. If you are also cleaning inside the cabinets, take everything out and remove the dust inside.

Step 3. Wipe the exterior surface

You can use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth for this step—avoid scouring pads and steel wools. Use the chosen cleaning product and the sponge or cloth to wipe the entire cabinet’s surface. For wood or stainless steel cabinets, wipe them following the grain.

Also, you could use an old toothbrush to scrub tight spots like the hinges and handles.


Moisture can be an issue—especially for laminate or wooden kitchen cabinets. If you sink the sponge or cloth in your cleaning solution, wring it out until it’s only slightly damp.

Step 4. Tackle tough spots

If a tough stain refuses to go after the previous step, you have two options:

  • Continue wiping with a soft cloth or sponge. Spray the cleaner directly on the stain and leave it for a few minutes. Then, apply more elbow grease!
  • You could try a baking soda paste to scrub the stain. However, spot-test before using this DIY paste, or you may damage the surface. Use it as your last resort.

Step 5. Rinse and dry thoroughly

If exposed for too long, cleaning products and moisture can damage your cabinets. After cleaning the cabinets thoroughly, use a damp microfiber cloth to rinse any cleaning product residue. Finally, use an absorbent towel to dry the cabinets.

Regular cleaning routine for kitchen cabinets

You don’t have to wait for your next kitchen deep cleaning to keep your cabinets in top shape. A consistent cleaning routine is more important for kitchen cabinets.

Add these tips and practices to your routine:

  • Wipe food splatters, fingerprints, and stains right away.
  • Keep steamy appliances (for example, a coffee maker) away from cabinets.
  • Schedule periodic deep cleaning to remove grease buildup.

Need more help with your chores?

Are you looking for more tips to hone your cleaning skills? Take a look at the best tips and tricks by Bright Touch Cleaning! Or, if you are too tired and busy to clean, let us do the chores!

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