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How to Deep Clean Kitchen Cabinets: The Ultimate Guide

The kitchen is one of the most-used rooms in the home, and as a result, it can get pretty messy. Cooking with my family is one of my favorite family activities, however, there is usually a bit of a mess to clean up afterward. And our cabinets take a lot of abuse, from spills to splatters, they quickly become stained and greasy.

In this article, we will teach you how to clean kitchen cabinets like a pro! We will discuss how to clean both the inside and outside of your cabinets, how to remove different types of stains and grease, how to prevent damage to your cabinets, and what kitchen degreaser is best to use.

Let’s get started!

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What is the difference between deep cleaning and a regular cleaning?

Deep cleaning kitchen cabinets:

This process usually takes a bit of time to complete and involves using multiple different products, and sorting and reorganizing your cabinets. Usually, deep cleaning your kitchen cabinets only needs to happen once a year during springtime. However, many people will also deep clean their cabinets when they are moving to a new home.

Routine spot cleaning:

Routine spot cleaning, on the other hand, is very quick and usually doesn’t require very much time. You can easily spot-clean your cabinets weekly or when you regularly clean your kitchen. I usually clean my kitchen once a week on trash day so I can toss any expired food on the same day my trash is picked up.

What cleaning solutions should I use on my kitchen cabinets?

Best cleaning product for wood cabinets:

Unpainted wood cabinets can be a bit tricky to clean as they are very easily damaged. If you use something like a magic eraser with a harsh abrasive cleaning style, you may end up doing permanent damage to the wood finish and leaving discolored streaks on all the cabinets where you cleaned.

When I had unpainted wood kitchen cabinets in my kitchen I loved to use a simple product called Murphy’s Oil Wood Cleaner. This cleaning solution is very moisturizing for wood finishes and will prevent overdrying of the cabinet surface. It can be sprayed onto a microfiber cloth (not an abrasive cloth) and then you are ready to simply wipe away any grime or grease.

With this solution, it will polish and shine your cabinets and make the look brand new (I know because I did this with my own cabinets and was amazed at the results I got).

Best cleaning product for painted cabinets:

If your cabinet surfaces are painted wood you will need to be gentle when you deep clean them so that you don’t damage the cabinet’s finish. If you are spot-cleaning just use a spray bottle with mild dish soap and warm water to spray the cabinet where the grease is. If you are really needing to cut through some serious grease you can use an enzymatic cleaning solution to help you with this dirty job.

You can watch the video below from Clean My Space to learn how to use enzymatic cleaners.

Clean My Space: YouTube

**Be sure to always check the label to ensure the product is safe on painted surfaces.

Best cleaning product for glass cabinets:

Class cabinets will usually have both wood trim and glass to clean. For the wood using the cleaning solution recommended above, and for the glass just use a clean damp cloth and apply a little liquid dishwashing detergent to it and wipe away the grease and grime. You may need to finish by using a glass cleaner and dry microfiber cloth to really make the glass sparkle again.

Best cleaning product for laminate cabinets:

Laminate cabinets are not very difficult to clean if you are trying to refresh a grimy cabinet just mix warm water with dish soap or use a cabinet-safe all-purpose cleaner. Spray a dry or damp soft cloth and use a little elbow grease to gently scrub your way to a brand-new-looking cabinet. Always remember to wipe dry any excess moisture on the cabinet door and shelves.

What are the best natural alternatives to clean my kitchen with?

Handheld Steam Cleaner:

If you are looking for something very powerful but also completely natural to help you renew your kitchen cabinets, then consider using a handheld steam cleaner. These powerful tools only need water added to them to remove grease and other cooking residues from a cabinet door. After you spray off all the stains and grease you should be able to just take a clean cloth and wipe clean all the cabinet surfaces.

Baking soda cleaning solution:

Baking soda is a great way to clean just about anything without using a commercial product or heavy chemicals. Mix 50/50 parts baking soda and water combination in a small bowl and stir until it makes a thick paste. I do like to add a few drops of dish soap too if the mess is really caked on. When you clean the cabinet be sure to be very gentle and not to push too hard as baking soda is a hard cleaner and can damage painted surfaces if overused. I do not recommend using baking soda on wood or other types of cabinet door finishes.

* Always make sure the cleaning solution you choose is safe for your specific cabinet’s finish.

Vinegar Cleaning Solution:

If you can handle the strong smell of distilled white vinegar you can make a natural cleaning solution from it as well. Just mix one part vinegar with two parts warm water in a spray bottle. Then spray your kitchen cabinets with the solution and then wipe them clean.

* Always make sure the cleaning solution you choose is safe for your specific cabinet’s finish.

How can I deep clean my kitchen cabinets?

Below is our step-by-step guide on how to deep clean kitchen cabinets.

Step 1: Gather supplies

Now that you know what you will be cleaning your specific kitchen cabinets with you can go ahead and gather your supplies and get ready to start scrubbing. If you are going to be tackling the inside of your cabinets as well you will need to grab a few more things for cleaning.

Supplies mentioned above:

  • Mild dish soap
  • Murphy’s Oil cleaner (Optional)
  • Handheld steam cleaner
  • Enzymatic cleaning spray
  • Glass cleaner

Other Supplies you may want nearby:

  • Small vacuum or hand broom
  • Extra cleaning cloths
  • Bucket of hot water
  • Paper towel roll
  • Old toothbrush for cleaning
  • Disinfectant spray or wipes

Step 2: Empty out the cabinets

If you are deep cleaning your entire kitchen, and that includes your kitchen cabinets, then it is best to start by taking everything out of the cabinets one section at a time. Start on one end of the kitchen and empty the top and bottom cabinets, setting aside the contents to sort and organize later.

Step 3: Cleaning the cabinet shelves

You should start with the cabinet shelves first and always work from the very top to the bottom so you don’t have to go over anything twice. For the inside cabinet surfaces, go ahead and grab that microfiber cloth and a spray bottle of the cleaning solution of your choice. When cleaning cabinets and drawers you can use a vacuum with a hand attachment to get all the hair or other debris out first. Once you have the inside of the cabinet looking shiny and new you can move to the next step.

Step 4: Cleaning the cabinet doors

Next, you will want to clean the cabinet door using the solution listed above for the type of finish your kitchen cabinet has, many solutions will require a few minutes to soak before you wipe them off.

If your cabinet doors have an ornate trim style you may want to use that old toothbrush to gently scrub the trim and get all the gunk out. This will really make a big difference in making your kitchen cabinets look new again.

After, you have scrubbed you should use a damp cloth to remove all the cleaning solution off and dry the cabinet fronts with a clean towel. Be sure to wipe up any drops on the kitchen counters or floor that may have spilled.

Step 5: Returning items to the cabinet

Now that your kitchen cabinets are sparkling again you can return your items inside the cabinet. If you are feeling like you need better organization inside your kitchen then now is the time to purchase a few cabinet organizers and get everything sorted out the way you want it.

Step 6: Disinfecting high contact areas

Disinfecting high-contact areas is very important in the kitchen, and aside from your kitchen sink and refrigerator, kitchen cabinets are the most touched surfaces in your kitchen. This means you may want to take an extra step to disinfect these surfaces on a day-to-day basis.

The best way to do this is to take your favorite disinfecting spray or wipe and use it to give your cabinet handles and knobs a good scrub.

Step 7: Preventing damage and preserving the finish

Some finishes need to be polished or waxed to prevent them from drying out or fading in color. If this is the case you can use a commercial product like the Murphy’s Oil Wood Cleaner mentioned above, or you can make your own homemade polish.

These homemade cleaners usually consist of an oil base such as olive oil or vegetable oil mixed with some type of citrus or wax to give your kitchen cabinets a new shine that will last.


How to remove wax buildup on cabinets?

To remove wax buildup on cabinets you can use a commercial cleaner or a homemade solution of equal parts olive oil and vinegar.

Is baking soda the best for cleaning kitchen cabinets?

Baking soda is a great cleaning agent but it should not be used on wood or unpainted cabinets as it can damage the finish by eating away at the wood varnish and protectants. It is best to use an oil-based cleaner for these types of cabinet doors.

Can I use Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean my kitchen cabinets?

Yes, you can use Murphy’s Oil Soap to clean your kitchen cabinets as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This is one of my favorite cleaners for wood or unpainted cabinets as it does a great job of leaving a shiny new-looking finish on the cabinet surfaces.

How can I remove food splatters from my cabinets?

Simple cleaning supplies such as dish soap, vinegar, and water can be used to remove food splatters from cabinets. For tougher stains, you may need a commercial degreaser or steam cleaner.

How to remove dirty spots and stains from kitchen cabinets?

If you have dirty spots and stains that will not come out with a regular cleaning product, you may want to try using a handheld steam cleaner to remove the caked-on grease or stains. These powerful cleaners only need water to do the toughest cleaning and leave your surfaces looking shiny and new.

What is a mild solution for cleaning kitchen cabinets?

Cleaning kitchen cabinets can be a tough job that requires a mild cleaner, the best cleaning products for this include dish soap, an all-purpose cleaner, or simply hot water and dry soft cloth.


Cleaning kitchen cabinets does not have to be a daunting task, and with the right tools and cleaners, it can be a quick and easy process. Be sure to follow the steps outlined in this article and you will have your cabinets looking new in no time. Thanks for reading, happy cleaning!

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