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How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets, Including Tough Grease Stains How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets, Including Tough Grease Stains

Kitchen Storage

How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets, Including Tough Grease Stains

Written by: Chloe Davis

Learn effective kitchen storage ideas and how to clean your cabinets, including tough grease stains. Enhance your kitchen organization with these expert tips.

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Table of Contents


Welcome to the world of kitchen storage ideas! The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, and keeping it clean and organized is key to maintaining a functional and inviting space. One of the most essential aspects of kitchen maintenance is cleaning kitchen cabinets. Cabinets not only store your cookware, dishes, and utensils but also play a significant role in enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of your kitchen.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the importance of cleaning kitchen cabinets, the tools and materials you will need, and step-by-step instructions on how to effectively clean your cabinets, including tackling tough grease stains. So, put on your cleaning gloves and let’s dive in!

Why is cleaning kitchen cabinets important, you ask? Well, let’s start with hygiene. Over time, kitchen cabinets accumulate dust, dirt, and food particles that can harbor bacteria and potentially contaminate your food. Regular cleaning helps maintain a clean and healthy environment in your kitchen.

Cleaning kitchen cabinets also helps to preserve their condition and longevity. Without proper maintenance, cabinets can become discolored, damaged, or even develop mold growth. By regularly cleaning and maintaining your cabinets, you can extend their lifespan and save yourself from expensive replacements.

Additionally, clean cabinets contribute to an aesthetically pleasing kitchen. You’ve invested time and effort into designing your dream kitchen, and dirty or grimy cabinets can detract from its overall appeal. Clean cabinets create a sense of cleanliness and organization, making your kitchen a more inviting space for cooking and entertaining.

Now that we understand the importance of cleaning kitchen cabinets, let’s dive into the tools and materials you will need to get the job done effectively.

Importance of Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

Regular cleaning of kitchen cabinets is essential for several reasons. Let’s explore the importance of keeping your cabinets clean and well-maintained.

1. Hygiene

One of the primary reasons to clean kitchen cabinets is to maintain a hygienic environment in your kitchen. Over time, cabinets can accumulate dust, dirt, and food particles, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. This can pose a risk to your health and contaminate the food you prepare. By regularly cleaning your cabinets, you can eliminate these potential health hazards and ensure a clean and safe kitchen.

2. Preservation

Cleaning kitchen cabinets is crucial for preserving their condition and extending their lifespan. Cabinets are often exposed to steam, heat, and residue from cooking, which can lead to discoloration, warping, or even the growth of mold or mildew. Regular cleaning helps remove these contaminants, preventing damage and maintaining the integrity of your cabinets. It also allows you to identify any signs of wear or damage, enabling you to address them promptly and prevent further deterioration.

3. Aesthetic Appeal

Clean and well-maintained cabinets significantly contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of your kitchen. Your cabinets are one of the first things people notice when they enter your kitchen, and dirty or grimy cabinets can give the impression of an unkempt space. By keeping your cabinets clean, you can enhance the visual appeal of your kitchen and create an inviting and pleasant ambiance for cooking and entertaining.

4. Organization

Regularly cleaning your kitchen cabinets is an excellent opportunity to declutter and organize your storage space. As you clean, take the time to sort through your items, discard any expired or unused products, and reorganize your cabinets for better functionality. A clean and organized cabinet space not only makes it easier to find what you need but also helps optimize storage and improve workflow in the kitchen.

5. Prevention of Pest Infestation

Dirty cabinets can attract pests such as ants, cockroaches, and pantry moths. Food spills, crumbs, and residue are enticing for these unwanted visitors. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your cabinets help prevent infestations and keep your kitchen pest-free.

Now that you understand the importance of cleaning kitchen cabinets, let’s move on to the tools and materials you will need to effectively clean your cabinets.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before you begin cleaning your kitchen cabinets, gather the following tools and materials:

1. Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths are perfect for cleaning cabinets as they are gentle on surfaces while effectively capturing dust and dirt. They are reusable and can be easily washed, making them a cost-effective and eco-friendly choice.

2. Sponge or Soft-Bristled Brush

A sponge or soft-bristled brush will come in handy for removing stubborn stains, residue, or dried-on spills from your cabinets. Look for a non-abrasive option to avoid scratching the surface of your cabinets.

3. All-Purpose Cleaner

An all-purpose cleaner is a versatile cleaning solution that can be used on a variety of surfaces, including kitchen cabinets. Look for a cleaner that is appropriate for the material and finish of your cabinets. Alternatively, you can make your own all-purpose cleaner using natural ingredients like vinegar and water.

4. Dish Soap

Dish soap is a great option for cutting through grease and grime on kitchen cabinets. Mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water to create a gentle cleaning solution.

5. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a powerful yet gentle abrasive that can help remove tough stains and residue from your cabinets. It is especially effective for tackling grease stains. Mix baking soda with water to form a paste and use it to scrub away stains.

6. White Vinegar

White vinegar is an excellent natural cleaning agent that can be used to sanitize and deodorize your cabinets. Dilute vinegar with water and use it as a cleaning solution or as a final rinse after using other cleaning products.

7. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is useful for removing sticky residue or adhesive from cabinet surfaces. Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a cloth and gently rub the affected area.

8. Toothbrush

A toothbrush can be a handy tool for cleaning hard-to-reach corners, crevices, and intricate details on cabinet hardware.

With these tools and materials at hand, you are now ready to begin the process of cleaning your kitchen cabinets. In the next section, we will discuss the preparation required before cleaning.

Prep Work before Cleaning

Before you start cleaning your kitchen cabinets, it’s essential to do some prep work to ensure a smooth and effective cleaning process. Here are a few steps to follow:

1. Empty the Cabinets

To make the cleaning process easier, remove all the contents from your cabinets. This includes dishes, cookware, food items, and any other items stored inside. Place these items in a safe and clean location, such as the kitchen countertop or dining table.

2. Sort and Declutter

While your cabinets are empty, it’s an excellent opportunity to sort through your items and declutter. Discard any expired or unused products, donate items you no longer need, and organize the remaining items for easy access and better storage efficiency.

3. Remove Knobs and Hardware

If possible, remove knobs, handles, and other cabinet hardware. This will allow you to clean the surfaces underneath and ensure a thorough cleaning. Use a screwdriver or a suitable tool to loosen and remove the hardware carefully. Keep the hardware in a safe place to avoid misplacement.

4. Protect the Surrounding Areas

Before you start cleaning, protect the surrounding areas of your kitchen to prevent any damage or mess. Cover countertops, appliances, and floors with plastic sheets, old towels, or newspapers to catch any drips or spills.

5. Test Cleaning Products

If you’re using a new cleaning product or homemade cleaning solution, it’s a good idea to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of your cabinets first. This will ensure that the product doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration to the cabinet surface.

Once you’ve completed these prep work steps, you’re ready to proceed with cleaning your kitchen cabinets. In the following sections, we will dive into the step-by-step process for removing surface dust and dirt, making and applying an all-purpose cleaner, tackling tough grease stains, and more. Let’s get those cabinets gleaming!

Removing Surface Dust and Dirt

Removing surface dust and dirt is the first step in cleaning your kitchen cabinets. Follow these steps to effectively eliminate the build-up of dust and grime:

1. Start with Dry Dusting

Using a dry microfiber cloth, gently wipe down the exterior surfaces of your cabinets. Begin from the top and work your way down, ensuring you cover all areas, including the sides, front, and edges. This dry dusting step will help remove loose debris and particles.

2. Pay Attention to Corners and Edges

When dusting your cabinets, pay special attention to the corners, edges, and crevices where dust tends to accumulate. Use a soft-bristled brush or a toothbrush to reach these hard-to-reach areas and dislodge any trapped dust or dirt.

3. Clean Inside the Cabinets

Don’t forget to clean the interiors of your cabinets as well. Use a microfiber cloth or a vacuum attachment to remove any dust or crumbs from inside your cabinets. This step is especially important for kitchen cabinets that store food items.

4. Apply a Damp Cloth

Once you’ve finished dry dusting, dampen a clean microfiber cloth with water or a mild dish soap solution. Wring out any excess moisture to prevent water damage to your cabinets. Gently wipe down the surfaces of your cabinets, removing any remaining dust or dirt.

5. Dry with a Clean Cloth

After wiping down with a damp cloth, use a dry microfiber cloth to dry the cabinets thoroughly. This step helps prevent water spots and streaks from forming on the cabinet surfaces.

6. Repeat if Necessary

If you notice stubborn or heavy dirt or grime on your cabinets, you may need to repeat the wiping process using a slightly stronger cleaning solution. However, be cautious not to use harsh or abrasive cleaners that can damage the cabinet finish. Test any stronger cleaning products on a small, inconspicuous area first.

Removing surface dust and dirt is a crucial first step in cleaning your kitchen cabinets. It creates a clean canvas and prepares your cabinets for more targeted cleaning, such as removing tough grease stains, which we will cover in the next section. So grab your microfiber cloth and let’s continue the journey to cleaner cabinets!

Making and Applying an All-purpose Cabinet Cleaner

An all-purpose cabinet cleaner is a versatile solution that can effectively clean and sanitize your kitchen cabinets. Here’s a simple recipe for making your own all-purpose cleaner:


  • 1 cup of distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 5-10 drops of essential oil (such as lemon, orange, or lavender) for a fresh scent (optional)


  1. In a spray bottle, combine the white vinegar and water.
  2. If desired, add a few drops of essential oil to give your cleaner a pleasant scent and enhance its cleaning properties.
  3. Close the spray bottle tightly and shake well to mix the ingredients thoroughly.

Now that you have your all-purpose cabinet cleaner ready, follow these steps to apply it to your kitchen cabinets:

1. Test the Cleaner

Before using the all-purpose cleaner on your entire cabinet surface, test it on a small, inconspicuous area. This step ensures that the cleaner does not cause any damage, discoloration, or adverse reactions with the cabinet material or finish.

2. Spray the Cleaner

Once you’ve confirmed that the cleaner is safe to use, spray the all-purpose solution onto a clean microfiber cloth or directly onto the cabinet surface. Ensure an even and light application of the cleaner.

3. Wipe Down the Cabinets

Using the dampened microfiber cloth, gently wipe down the cabinet surfaces, including the fronts, sides, and edges. Pay extra attention to areas with visible stains or sticky residue. The vinegar in the cleaner helps to cut through grease and grime, while the microfiber cloth absorbs and traps the dirt.

4. Let it Sit (Optional)

If you encounter tough or stubborn stains, you can let the all-purpose cleaner sit on the affected area for a few minutes before wiping it away. This gives the cleaner more time to dissolve and loosen the dirt, making it easier to remove.

5. Dry with a Clean Cloth

After wiping down the cabinet surfaces, use a dry and clean microfiber cloth to remove any excess moisture and ensure the cabinets are completely dry.

That’s it! You’ve successfully made and applied an all-purpose cabinet cleaner to refresh and sanitize your kitchen cabinets. In the next section, we will tackle the challenge of removing tough grease stains. Let’s keep those cabinets looking their best!

Removing Tough Grease Stains

Tough grease stains can be common on kitchen cabinets, especially in areas near the stove or oven. Fortunately, with the right approach, you can effectively remove these stubborn stains. Follow these steps to tackle tough grease stains on your cabinets:

1. Mixing a Grease-fighting Solution

In a small bowl, combine equal parts baking soda and water to create a paste. Baking soda is an excellent natural abrasive that helps break down grease and remove stains.

2. Applying the Paste

Using a clean cloth or sponge, apply the baking soda paste directly onto the grease stain. Gently rub the paste into the stained area, focusing on the toughest spots. Allow the paste to sit on the stain for about 5 minutes to penetrate and loosen the grease.

3. Scrubbing the Stain

Take a soft-bristled brush or a toothbrush and scrub the grease stain in a circular motion. Apply gentle pressure to avoid damaging the cabinet surface. The combination of the baking soda paste and the scrubbing action helps to lift and remove the grease stain.

4. Wiping Away the Paste

Using a clean, damp cloth, wipe away the baking soda paste and the loosened grease. Rinse the cloth frequently to prevent transferring the grease back onto the cabinet surface. Continue wiping until all traces of the paste and the grease stain are removed.

5. Drying the Cabinets

After removing the grease stain, use a clean and dry cloth to dry the cabinet surface thoroughly. This step helps prevent any moisture from causing damage or streaking.

6. Repeat if Necessary

If the grease stain persists after the initial attempt, repeat the process of applying the baking soda paste and scrubbing. Stubborn stains may require multiple attempts to completely remove.

By following these steps and using the power of baking soda, you can successfully remove tough grease stains from your kitchen cabinets. In the next section, we will address how to deal with stubborn residue. Let’s keep working towards pristine cabinets!

Dealing with Stubborn Residue

Stubborn residue on kitchen cabinets can be a challenge to remove, but with the right approach, you can effectively tackle it. Follow these steps to deal with stubborn residue on your cabinets:

1. Assess the Residue

First, identify the type of residue you’re dealing with. Common types of residue include sticky residue from labels or adhesive, dried-on food spills, or residue from cleaning products. Understanding the nature of the residue can help determine the best approach for removal.

2. Apply a Gentle Solvent

Choose a gentle solvent that is suitable for your cabinet material and finish. For example, you can try using rubbing alcohol, vinegar, or dish soap mixed with warm water. Apply the solvent to a clean cloth and gently rub the residue, focusing on the affected areas.

3. Let the Solvent Penetrate

Allow the solvent to penetrate the residue by letting it sit on the surface for a few minutes. This gives the solvent time to break down the residue, making it easier to remove.

4. Gently Scrub the Residue

Using a soft-bristled brush, toothbrush, or a non-scratch scrubbing pad, gently scrub the residue in a circular motion. Apply minimal pressure to avoid damaging the cabinet surface. Continue scrubbing until the residue starts to loosen and dissolve.

5. Wipe Away the Residue

With a clean cloth, wipe away the loosened residue, frequently rinsing the cloth to prevent reapplying the residue. Repeat this process until all traces of the stubborn residue are removed.

6. Dry the Cabinets

After removing the residue, use a clean, dry cloth to thoroughly dry the cabinet surface. This step helps prevent moisture from causing damage or streaking on the cabinets.

7. Assess the Need for Further Treatment

If the residue persists after the initial attempt, you may need to repeat the process or try a different cleaning method. For tougher residue, you can consider using a specialized residue remover or seeking professional advice.

By following these steps and using a gentle solvent and scrubbing, you can effectively remove stubborn residue from your kitchen cabinets. In the next section, we will discuss how to clean cabinet hardware. Let’s keep going towards beautifully cleaned cabinets!

Cleaning Cabinet Hardware

When cleaning your kitchen cabinets, it’s important not to overlook the cabinet hardware. Cabinet hardware includes knobs, handles, hinges, and other accessories that can accumulate dirt, grime, and fingerprints. Follow these steps to effectively clean your cabinet hardware:

1. Remove the Hardware

If possible, remove the cabinet hardware to ensure a thorough cleaning. Using a screwdriver or appropriate tool, gently loosen and remove the knobs, handles, hinges, or any other hardware from the cabinets. Keep the hardware organized and in a safe place to avoid misplacement.

2. Soak in Warm, Soapy Water

Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild dish soap. Place the hardware in the soapy water and let it soak for a few minutes. This will help loosen any dirt or grime on the hardware surfaces.

3. Scrub with a Soft Brush

Using a soft-bristled brush, gently scrub the hardware, focusing on areas with visible dirt or residue. Pay attention to any crevices or intricate details on the hardware. Ensure that you scrub all sides and angles of the hardware to remove any embedded dirt.

4. Rinse and Dry

After scrubbing, rinse the hardware under running water to remove any soap or cleaner residue. Pat dry with a clean cloth or towel to prevent water spots or streaks. Allow the hardware to air dry completely before reattaching them to the cabinets.

5. Clean Metal Hardware with a Metal Polish

If you have metal hardware, such as brass, stainless steel, or copper, you can use a suitable metal polish to restore their shine. Apply a small amount of the metal polish to a clean cloth and gently rub it onto the hardware. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific metal polish you are using.

6. Reattach the Hardware

Once the hardware is dry and clean, reattach them to their respective positions on the cabinets. Ensure that they are securely tightened to avoid any issues with loose or wobbly hardware.

By following these steps and giving proper attention to your cabinet hardware, you can ensure that every detail of your kitchen cabinets is clean and well-maintained. In the next section, we will discuss how to maintain clean kitchen cabinets for long-lasting results. Let’s keep up the good work!

Maintaining Clean Kitchen Cabinets

Once you have cleaned your kitchen cabinets and they are looking fresh and sparkling, it’s important to implement some practices to maintain their cleanliness. By following these tips, you can ensure that your cabinets stay clean and in excellent condition for years to come:

1. Regular Cleaning Routine

Establish a regular cleaning routine for your kitchen cabinets. Dust them weekly using a microfiber cloth or duster to prevent the build-up of dirt and dust particles. A quick wipe down with a damp cloth can help remove any surface grime or spills. Regular maintenance will prevent dirt and grease from accumulating and becoming more difficult to remove.

2. Avoid Harsh Chemicals

When cleaning your cabinets, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the cabinet finish. Stick to mild, non-abrasive cleaners or natural cleaning solutions such as vinegar and water. Always test any new cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire cabinet surface.

3. Wipe Spills Immediately

Accidental spills happen in the kitchen, but it’s important to wipe them up immediately to prevent staining or damage to your cabinets. Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe away spills as soon as they occur. This will prevent the residue from settling, making it easier to clean and avoiding any potential harm to your cabinets.

4. Use Cabinet Liners

Consider using cabinet liners to protect the interior shelves and the bottom of your cabinets. Liners provide an extra layer of protection against spills, moisture, and potential stains. They are also easy to clean and replace if needed, helping to maintain the cleanliness and longevity of your cabinets.

5. Avoid Excessive Steam and Moisture

Excessive steam and moisture can be damaging to your cabinets, leading to warping, discoloration, or the growth of mold or mildew. When cooking, ensure proper ventilation to minimize the amount of steam that reaches your cabinets. Use exhaust fans or open windows to allow the steam to escape. Wipe down any moisture that accumulates on the cabinet surfaces promptly.

6. Handle Cabinets with Care

Handle your kitchen cabinets with care to prevent scratches, dents, or other damage. Avoid using abrasive materials or rough scrubbing brushes that can scratch the cabinet surface. Use gentle, non-abrasive cleaning tools and handle the cabinet doors and drawers gently when opening and closing them.

By implementing these maintenance tips, you can keep your kitchen cabinets clean, well-maintained, and looking their best. Remember, regular cleaning and proper care will ensure that your cabinets continue to shine and provide you with a functional and beautiful space in your kitchen.

Now that you have all the knowledge and tips to maintain clean kitchen cabinets, it’s time to put them into practice. With consistent cleaning and maintenance, your kitchen cabinets will be a source of pride and joy in your home. Happy cabinet cleaning!


Cleaning and maintaining kitchen cabinets is an essential part of kitchen maintenance. By keeping your cabinets clean and organized, you create a healthier, more functional, and aesthetically appealing space in your home. Throughout this comprehensive guide, we have explored various aspects of cleaning kitchen cabinets, from removing surface dust and dirt to tackling tough grease stains and dealing with stubborn residue. We have also discussed the importance of regular maintenance and provided tips for maintaining clean cabinets for the long term.

Remember, a regular cleaning routine, using the right tools and materials, and adopting good cleaning practices will help you achieve the best results. Make use of gentle cleaning solutions, such as homemade all-purpose cleaners or mild dish soap and water, to protect the integrity of your cabinet surfaces. Take the time to remove and clean your cabinet hardware, keeping every aspect of your cabinets in pristine condition.

Beyond the immediate benefits of cleanliness and hygiene, maintaining clean kitchen cabinets also prolongs their lifespan, preventing unnecessary damage or deterioration. With proper care, your cabinets will continue to serve you well for years to come.

So, embrace the joy of having clean and organized kitchen cabinets. Let them be a reflection of your personal style and a testament to your commitment to a clean and inviting kitchen. Whether you’re a cooking enthusiast, a busy parent, or someone who simply appreciates a well-kept home, clean kitchen cabinets contribute to a positive and enjoyable culinary experience.

Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves, gather your cleaning supplies, and embark on the journey to clean and beautiful kitchen cabinets. Your efforts will be rewarded with a kitchen space that is not only visually appealing but also functional and a joy to work in.

Happy cleaning and here’s to clean and well-organized kitchen cabinets!

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