How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets And Remove Grease

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how to clean sticky wood kitchen cabinets the easy way

When a kitchen is used, it takes a bit of wear and tear. This is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, the reason we have a kitchen is so that it can be used and enjoyed. However, there are times that the cabinets start to get a little greasy or sticky.

Knowing how to remove grease from kitchen cabinets can help save the finish and keep your kitchen looking great for years to come. Here’s how to clean sticky wood kitchen cabinets the easy way.

How To Clean Sticky Wood Kitchen Cabinets

The great thing about cleaning kitchen cabinets is that you won’t need expensive cleaners. Most of the time, you can use something that you already have in your pantry. 

Clean Wood Cabinets With Dish Soap And Water

One of the simplest ways to clean kitchen cabinets is to use soap, water, and a sponge. Make a bowl of warm water and add some dish soap to it. Once your bowl is mixed and soapy, you can put a sponge in and get it wet. 

You won’t want your sponge to be completely soaked as too much water on your cabinets can be a bad thing. Simply did the sponge and then start scrubbing the cabinets. Use a very soft, non abrasive sponge. You can also use a microfiber cleaning cloth if needed. 

The soap works to cut the grease and eliminate and sticky residue on the cabinets. After you scrub the cabinets and get them feeling clean, it is usually good to use a dry towel and wipe the cabinets down again. 

Remove Grease on Kitchen Cabinets With Baking Soda 

Baking soda is one of our favorite kitchen cleaners. The power of baking soda is sometimes unmatched when it comes to cleaning in the kitchen. It is important to remember that baking soda is a bit more abrasive than other cleaners. 

Since this is a more abrasive cleaner, you will have to be careful that it does not scrape or scratch your cabinets in any way as you are working on them. The first step here is to mix a paste consisting of about 50 percent baking soda and 50 percent water. 

Once you have the paste, you can put a small amount on a microfiber cleaning cloth and start rubbing it into the stained area of the cabinet. Be gentle in your motion so that you do not scratch the cabinet. Once you have worked the solution in, you can then wipe it with a clean wet rag. 

The baking soda solution works quite well for cabinets that are located directly above a stove. These tend to get a bit more grease on them than others in the kitchen. 

How to Clean Grease Off Kitchen Cabinets With Vinegar 

Vinegar is another natural cleaning aid that can be very helpful in the kitchen. Using vinegar will help to cut the grease and get your kitchen shining again.

Something important to remember about vinegar is that it can be quite strong. If you don’t dilute vinegar, you can sometimes see it do damage to the finish on a kitchen cabinet. 

We recommend mixing 50 percent vinegar with 50 percent water. If you have a small spray bottle, you can use that to disperse the cleaning solution on your cabinets. The spray bottle does the best job of leaving a light but complete coverage of the solution across the cabinets. 

After you spray the vinegar solution on your cabinets, let it sit for about five minutes. Once it has worked to clean the grease and sticky residue off of your kitchen cabinets, you wipe it off. Wiping off the vinegar, you will also wipe off the grease that has now been removed from the cabinet. 

You can keep a small water and vinegar bottle filled and ready in your kitchen. Not only is it a good choice for your cabinets, but it works quite well on other kitchen cleanup projects

How To Clean Wood Cabinets And Make Them Shine With Toothpaste 

Toothpaste can be a great way to cut into the really tough grease on your cabinets. The good thing about toothpaste is that it is thick and will stick to the cabinets to make your cleaning process easier. We recommend using toothpaste with a baking soda and water solution. 

Try to use white toothpaste when you use this cleaning method. If you use something that is colored, it can sometimes be difficult to remove, especially if you are working on white cabinets. Create a mixture of 50 percent baking soda and 50 percent water. Then squeeze in a bit of toothpaste to your solution. 

Once you have toothpaste in your solution, you can mix it around and apply it to a sponge or microfiber cloth. Gently rub this solution into your cabinet. After you have put the solution on your cabinet, let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off. 

This is a process that you can repeat should you find that it doesn’t work to eliminate grease or sticky residue from your cabinet. 

Best Degreaser For Kitchen Cabinets

If you are looking to use a commercial cleaner to take care of grease and grime on your kitchen cabinets, there are a few good options out there. 


Krud Kutter is a cleaner and degreaser that also works as a stain remover. This is a commercial-grade cleaner, and it claims to be non-toxic and safe to use. Krud Kutter comes in a spray bottle, and you can use it directly on the cabinet or dilute it and use it as a preventative measure on the cabinets. 

The great thing about Krud Kutter is that it cleans more than just grease. You can use this to remove grime, wax, oil, tar, smoke, and marker as well. Always read the back of the packaging to make sure it is not going to affect the finish on your cabinets. 

Parker & Bailey Kitchen Cabinet Cream

Parker and Bailey Kitchen Cabinet Creme is a wood polish; however, as it works, it also removes grease and oils. This kitchen cabinet cream is an excellent choice if you have a lot of fingerprints on your cabinets from helpers that choose not to use the handles when opening the doors and drawers. 

The Parker and Bailey are used for wood kitchen cabinets. Once you have your kitchen cabinets restored, you can then use this cream as a preventative measure.

Keeping your wood cabinets protected from grease is much easier than treating a grease problem after the fact. Just like all kitchen cleaners, always check to make sure that the cabinets you have are not going to be damaged with a commercial cleaner. 

MiracleWipes for Wood Surfaces

Miracles Wipes are an excellent cleaning solution for all areas of your house. The MiracleWipes formula changes depending on the type of surface that you are working on. These wipes are simple and a great way to quickly clean cabinets on a weekly basis. 

Miracle Wipes do a great job on fingerprints and general grime and dirt. For really bad grease situations, you may need something a bit more powerful. One option to consider is a thorough clean with one of our ideas from above, and then general maintenance with the MiracleWipes. 

Green Gobbler Cold Pressed Orange Oil Concentrate

Citrus can be a great way to help remove grease. The thing to remember about citrus is that it is also quite strong and could end up pulling some of the paint or stain from a wood surface. Always check to make sure that your cabinets are ready to handle these types of solutions. 

One of the things we like the best about the Green Gobbler is that it is made from natural ingredients, and it is truly a multipurpose cleaner. Multi-purpose cleaners help to ensure that they can be used on a variety of surfaces.

Sometimes making a purchase like this makes more sense than buying a cleaner that is specifically for a kitchen cabinet. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is Murphy Oil Soap good for kitchen cabinets?

Murphy Oil Soap is a great choice to use on kitchen cabinets. This cleaner has been around for many years, and it does a very good job of removing grease and grime from your cabinets. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when using Murphy Oil Soap. 

The most important thing to remember is not using an abrasive cleaning rag or sponge when working on your cabinets. Try not to use steel wool or any kind of cleaning pad that has a scratchy surface. 

Also, make sure that you are not coating your cabinets in murphy oil soap. A light layer applied with a soft cloth is all that you will need. If you have a cleaning solution dripping off the cabinet, you are using way too much. 

How do I clean the sticky top of my kitchen cabinets?

The top of the kitchen cabinets is a very common place for grease to accumulate. Not only are cabinets exposed to the oils of the kitchen, but they are also exposed to dirty hands. To get the dirt off your cabinets, you will need something like baking soda, vinegar, soap, or citrus to cut through the grease. 

Always make sure that the rag or sponge you are using to clean with is not abrasive or damaging. 

Final Thoughts 

It is not uncommon for kitchen cabinets to get sticky and need a good cleaning. When you are working in the kitchen, sometimes you may be unaware of your hands and how they may have food or oils on them.

At least once a month, you should do a deep clean of your kitchen cabinets. This clean should consist of a cleaning solution and a full wipe down and rinse off all cabinet faces. 

Pay close attention to the handles of cabinets as well. If you spend time on the face, you will want to make sure the handles do not have additional residue. Make cleaning your kitchen cabinets part of your cleaning routine, and your cabinets will last much longer.