7 Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

Blossom Lady
Sep 27, 2022 06:15 AM
7 Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

You probably spend most of your time cleaning your kitchen, focusing on the big three - sink, countertops and floors - but your cabinets need regular attention, too, especially the doors. Tiny droplets of cooking grease, food splatters and steam settle there, which then attract and hold dust, resulting in dingy, dull or streaky surfaces.

Fortunately, cleaning kitchen cabinets, while a bit tedious, isn't difficult, nor does it require smelly or potentially toxic chemicals. Whether your cabinets are painted or made of wood, a few common household items and a little diligence will spruce them up. Just make sure you don't damage the finish by being overzealous. Here's how to do the job right.

1. DO Use a gentle cleaning solution.
Leave abrasive cleaners and scrub brushes in the sink; harsh scrubbing can damage the surface or paint of kitchen cabinets. Instead, prepare your own gentle cleaner by mixing one part mild dishwashing liquid with two parts hot water or the same ratio of distilled white vinegar to hot water. (The heated water will help soften dirt and grease, making it easier for you to wipe away). Pour your cleaning mixture into a spray bottle and you're ready to go.

2. DO Tackle tight spots with an old toothbrush.
Some cabinets have squiggly trim or deep grooves that a rag just won't fit into. In these cases, dip an old toothbrush into your cleaning solution and use it to gently scrub those hard-to-reach areas. Don't forget the areas around cabinet handles or knobs and the edges of cabinet doors, which are difficult to reach with a rag.

3. DO Remove the cleaner with a final rinse.
After cleaning your cabinets, wipe them down again with a clean cloth lightly dampened with warm water. This way, you'll remove all remnants of the cleaning solution and dirt. As with the cleaner, it's best to work from the top down so that no drips are left behind.

4. DO Dry the cabinets after cleaning.
Allowing the cabinets to air dry after cleaning can damage or blister the finish or paint. Instead, use a soft cloth to dry all damp surfaces and promote shine.

5. DON Don't soak your cabinets.
Spray the cleaning mixture on a microfiber cloth or soft rag until it's damp but not soaked. Too much moisture can damage the paint or finish of your cabinets. Now wipe each cabinet door from top to bottom. Pay special attention to trim and moldings where dust and dirt can collect. Don't forget to also wipe down the handles and knobs, as well as the insides of the cabinet doors. Spray more cleaning solution on your cloth if needed, but never let the cloth get so wet that it drips. Squeeze excess solution into the sink if necessary.

6. DON Don't allow water to run into the hinges.
Although the cleaning solution is for painted wood and laminate, it's not for the hinges of your cabinets. You don't want your time spent cleaning kitchen cabinets to end up with rusted hardware. Instead, use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe dust and dirt off the metal. If you've a particularly greasy or dirty area, spray a drop or two of cleaning solution on your cloth, scrub the dirty area, and then wipe the metal dry.

7. DON Don't forget the glass.
If your cabinets have glass inserts, spray a clean cloth with your vinegar mixture or a commercial glass cleaner and wipe the glass thoroughly on both sides. Dried-on food residue, grease and other kitchen grime is generally fairly easy to remove from glass, but you may need to work the area twice to remove it completely. Don't use abrasive cleaners on the glass, and wipe the panes dry after cleaning.

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1 comment
sarah taylor
Sep 29, 2022 06:13 AM

You are absolutely right about not letting water get into hinges. My kitchen is old and now every time I open a cupboard, it’s so squeaky that the entire household gets to know I am in the kitchen. Well, it has stopped my kids from cooking midnight meals. Haha! Can you suggest to me which cleaner you use for wood and glass?