Cleaning Tips: How To Remove Grease From Kitchen Cabinets

Who has time to scrub their kitchen cabinets every day? Or even every weekend? Most of us are too busy to do anything more than the most basic household chores. If we don’t care for our cabinets, however, grease and food can build up, giving them a dull appearance and a gummy texture. Don’t be intimidated if your cabinets have grease or food build up. Removing this residue isn’t that difficult and shouldn’t take up too much of your time.

When it comes to cleaning, sometimes the most effective products are those found in our kitchen pantries. For instance, baking soda doubles as a wonderful household cleaner and is very effective at removing grease and food spatters from your cabinets. Just use two or three tablespoons of baking soda per cup of warm water and wipe using a sponge. Be sure to wring out your sponge before applying to the cabinet, as water can drip everywhere if you don’t. Rinse off the baking soda solution by sponging clean with cool, clean water. Use a paper towel or clean cloth to dry.

Another excellent home remedy is vinegar. Straight vinegar rubbed on from a cloth or sponge can clean away the grease and food build-up in no time. Keep in mind, however, that the smell may linger for a day or two, but it won’t last much longer than that. If your cabinets aren’t too dirty, you can dilute the vinegar in a little warm water.


A mild dishwashing liquid also works well for cleaning the front of cabinets. A tablespoon or so in a cup of warm water should do the job just fine. For trickier bits of food that may be stuck, use a sponge with the green scrubbing pad. Try not to use a scrub brush, steel wool pad or any type of abrasives as these will only scratch the surface of your cabinet. Scouring powder is damaging to cabinets as well. If you have a mild, all purpose household detergent, this will work as well as the dishwashing liquid. A capful or two in a couple of cups of warm water is all you need. Before drying, sponge with cool, clear water to rinse.

If food is really stuck on, try scraping with a butter or putty knife, but be gentle. You don’t want to scratch your cabinet. If you have heavy dirt and grime that can’t be removed with ordinary household cleaners, you can try using paint thinner. Test a hidden part of the cabinet first to make sure you won’t incur any damage. Pour the paint thinner onto a clean cloth or rag and rub until no more dirt can be removed. Common sense should prevail when using chemicals. Make sure the kitchen is well ventilated and never use around an open flame or even a pilot light.


For shiny wooden cabinets, an all purpose wood polish, such as those found in the supermarket, will polish the wood and bring out its natural beauty. Always check the label to make sure the spray is compatible with the wood finish of your cabinet and follow the manufacturer’s directions.

As you can see, cleaning your kitchen cabinets really isn’t a difficult job. In fact, if you go over them quickly once-a-month or so with mild detergent and some warm water, it should save your cabinets from the dirt and grease build up that happens with months of neglect. A little basic maintenance will keep your kitchen cabinets looking new and will keep you from doing a lot of scrubbing.

Tags: cleaning, how to clean

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