Kitchen Cleaning 101: How to Clean Wood Cabinets | Maid4Condos

Kitchen Cleaning 101: How to Clean Wood Cabinets

Kitchen Cleaning 101: How to Clean Wood Cabinets
August 9, 2023

Here’s some good news: wood kitchen cabinets are back in style! However, when you think about it, wood isn’t the best material for kitchens, where drips, grease and sticky messes occur daily. As a result, it takes some work to keep wood cabinets looking their best.

Kitchen cleaning 101: How to clean wood cabinets

If you’re finding that your wood cabinets are not looking too appealing, it helps to know how to bring out their finer qualities. Here, we share our wood cabinet cleaning tips to highlight the natural beauty of these comeback kids, complete with our recommended natural kitchen cleaning supplies. 

To learn more about how you can keep your wood cabinets looking brand new, continue reading below:

Protect the Finish

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is using the wrong kitchen cleaning supplies. When you choose something too abrasive or harsh, you remove the protective finish that brings out the natural characteristics of the wood. Instead of harsh cleaners, you should use a natural cleaning solution, like vinegar, that will cut the grease and stickiness without damaging the surface. 

Apply a half-and-half mix of water and white vinegar directly to your cabinets to wipe away the gunk. If you find vinegar too strong, you can also use gentle dishwashing liquid with water to cut the greasy, sticky mess. The key is avoiding harsh chemicals that eat away at the finish. Also, using too much water will warp the wood, so make sure the surface is dry after you clean it.

Don’t Forget the Upper Cabinet Tops

The upper cabinets tend to catch the most grease, grime, and dust. Since the area is out of reach, you likely aren’t touching it very often, allowing the buildup to settle. 

Be sure to wipe the tops of your upper kitchen cabinet doors at least once or twice a month with your vinegar mix for smooth, crud-free cabinets. You’ll also see fewer cobwebs clinging to the ceiling and upper cabinets when there isn’t any grease to capture them. 

Wipe Away Drips

We can agree that cleaning kitchen cabinets daily is excessive. Still, is it asking too much to wipe up drips when they happen? You’ll surely miss a few drips when mixing sauces, making salad dressing, or pouring gravy into a gravy boat. So, check out your work area after cooking to spot drips and wipe them away before they get caked on.

This keeps your cabinets clean and avoids using more elbow grease to remove the buildup. A damp cloth will do the trick. If you spot the drip once it dries, you might need your vinegar mix! And remember this: by wiping things up today, you’ll need less elbow grease tomorrow.

Clean Crevices With a Toothbrush 

Decorative details like shaker frames and raised panels create little corners and seams that attract grease and grime, which love clinging to hard-to-reach spots. A toothbrush will get into those crevices.

Choose a soft-bristle brush to avoid making fine scratches. The toothbrush also works well on detailed cabinet pulls and handles with complex finistere designs that collect grime and hand oil. 

Add Cabinets to Your Dusting Checklist

Although the last thing you want is to add more items to your dusting checklist, your wood cabinets will thank you. Dusting the upper cabinet tops is essential, as grease splatters create a film that collects dust like a magnet. Light dusting and regular wipe-downs will avoid unsightly dust-grime coatings that look and feel unclean.

Treat Your Wood Cabinets to Some TLC

You can also use oil soap wood-cleaner to help keep greasy buildup to a minimum. Think of it as a massage for your cabinets. You can use a soft cloth to rub the oil soap into the wood using a circular motion and apply slight pressure to help collect the grease.

After the massage, go over the area with a clean cloth to remove the gunk it loosened and, voila, clean, grease-free wood. Use this method as a monthly “treat” for your doors. 

Catch Up on Buildup With Baking Soda

If you fall behind on your cabinet-cleaning regime, you’ll need a bit more cleaning power to catch up on buildup removal. Create a paste using water and baking soda as a mild abrasive to tackle dried gunk. 

If the gunk is caked on, let the paste sit on the mess for about 15 minutes, and then it should scrub off with a little pressure. In the worst-case scenario, you might have to scrape it off. A thin, rubber spatula should work. Never use metal utensils, as they will damage the finish.

Finish Up With a Wood Polish

To treat your wood cabinets to a complete clean, finish up with a wood or furniture polish. Polishes bring out the grain and character of wood, so your cabinets appear more lustrous. You can choose a polish suited to your cabinets’ finish to enhance the high shine or maintain the matte look of modern finishes.

This is a big job, so you’ll probably only want to do it a few times a year. Work in small sections, and rub the polish into the wood using a circular motion and soft cloth. Be sure to cover the entire surface, or else the finish will look uneven. 

If you prefer using natural solutions, mix half vinegar and half mild vegetable oil together, and rub the cleaner onto the wood to bring out the shine. This creates a nice finish and protects the wood against decay and staining. It’s a win-win solution that reduces cleaning efforts in the future. 

Avoid the Hinges

When cleaning your cabinets, avoid the hinges. Almost all cleaning solutions can cause rust, which will damage your hinges, make them look awful, and also create squeaks. 

Never Use Bleach or Ammonia

Ammonia is often used to remove grease. However, it is the worst thing you can use on wood cabinets, as it will damage the finish. If you have wood-framed cabinets with glass insets, use white vinegar to clean the glass, as most glass cleaners contain ammonia.

Contact the Cleaning Experts in Toronto

While these cleaning tips help you find the right kitchen cleaning supplies and techniques for your wood cabinets, your busy schedule might not allow you to use them. Fortunately, the Maid4Condos team in Toronto can help take on some or all of your cleaning tasks. To learn more, call us at 647-822-0601 or contact us online.

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