How to clean kitchen cabinets – tackle greasy wooden doors, handles and more

Get greasy marks and splashes off every type with our guide to how to clean kitchen cabinets

clean kitchen cabinets
(Image credit: Kitchen Makers)

Wondering how to clean kitchen cabinets of the fingerprints, grease smears, food splatters and water marks they accumulate? As with every surface in the kitchen, cabinets need to be kept hygienic, and grubby cabinets don’t look good either, spoiling the appearance of the room.

Letting marks build up will turn this into a tougher chore than it needs to be, so make it a regular part of your schedule to keep the job low effort. The reward, of course, will be cabinets that keep up hygiene standards, and that retain the finish you fell for in the first place. 

Whichever material or kitchen cabinet designs feature in your home, we’ve got all you need to know on getting the task done. To find out how to clean kitchen cabinet doors, just read on. 

How to clean kitchen cabinet doors

It’s kitchen cabinet doors that need cleaning most frequently, although it is worth giving the interiors a clean from time to time, too: find out more below.

Kitchen cabinet doors benefit from a weekly clean. That way, you can tackle any greasy marks and splashes to keep your room looking good. Don’t forget door handles – or pulls if yours is a handleless kitchen design – as well because everyone who uses the room will touch these frequently.

How you clean will depend on what type of cabinet doors there are in your kitchen, and you can get the skinny below.

How to clean wood kitchen cabinets

A mild dish soap can be used to get wood kitchen cabinets clean. Add a squirt to hot water and dip a microfiber cloth into the solution. Make sure you wring it out thoroughly so you don’t soak the wood. Rinse with clean water on a damp cloth and dry with a soft cloth.

Alternatively, give wood cabinets a clean and shine with a product designed for the job like Murphy Oil Soap. Make up the solution according to instructions, then apply it to the cabinet door gently using a well wrung-out cloth. Rinse with clean water applied with a second just-damp cloth when you’re done, then dry with a soft cloth.  

How to clean painted kitchen cabinets

Painted kitchen cabinets have a durable finish that should prove easy to wipe clean using dish soap in warm water. Use a microfiber cloth to apply the solution and – as with wood cabinets – make sure your cloth is damp and not soaking.

To remove the residue use a second cloth dampened with water. Dry with a microfiber cloth to finish.

How to clean laminate kitchen cabinets

Laminate kitchen cabinets are easy to look after. A dish soap solution will work just fine on these, too. Apply with a cloth, making sure you don’t over-wet the cabinet doors, rinse with a water-dampened cloth, and buff with a microfiber cloth. 

If you prefer, you can use a kitchen cleaner for laminate cabinets. Just check that it’s suitable for use on laminate and follow the instructions. 

As with wood and painted surfaces, never use an abrasive cleaner on laminate. It’s hard wearing, but it can be damaged. 

How to clean glass kitchen cabinets

Clean glass panels in kitchen cabinets with a specialist glass cleaner to get rid of fingerprints and make them shine. The surrounding material should be cleaned according to what it’s made from but be sure not to get the cleaner you use here on the glass as it can leave a residue that makes glass cleaning harder. 

The best ways to clean grease off kitchen cabinets

Grease is inevitable in a kitchen because of the cooking process and cabinets above the stove top are especially liable to pick up a coating. A dish soap solution is effective at degreasing without removing the door finish.

If you like to use natural cleaning methods, you could reach for white vinegar to get rid of grease. Make up a 50:50 solution of vinegar and water and use it to wipe the cabinets, making sure your cloth is damp but not wet. Dry with a clean cloth. 

How to clean kitchen cabinet interiors

It’s worth cleaning the inside of your kitchen cabinets from time to time, but you won’t need to do it nearly as frequently as the doors – seasonally works well. For a deep clean, empty them of all contents and use a mild cleaner on a microfiber cloth to wipe shelves and interior. A toothbrush can help you work any small debris out of the crevices. 

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Sarah Warwick
Sarah Warwick

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.