How To Clean Kitchen Cabinets

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Kitchen is the heart of every home. It is the place you cook delicious dinner for the whole family and make coffee after a long day’s work. Your family’s health more often than not, depends upon the hygiene you maintain in the kitchen. A clean kitchen is a cook’s delight and perhaps keeps the doctor away.

Cleaning the kitchen, just like the whole house, is a routine task followed in every home. You might make your entire kitchen shine in a matter of minutes except one place-you guessed it- the kitchen cabinet.

A kitchen cabinet is a centre of attraction of every kitchen due to space it occupies and its utility. Its location, just above the stove, makes it prone to attracting dust and grease alike. A lot of oils, food splatters, cooking residues and dirt get stuck over the kitchen cabinet. So much that it gets difficult to clean by just a swipe of a damp cloth.

These substances not only spoil the look of your kitchen cabinet but the bacteria in these stains and grease can contaminate the handle and interior of your cabinet. But does it require some rocket science to get rid of these stains and dirt? 

Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to clean up the kitchen cabinet using a few easy tricks. This detailed guide will address cleaning all kinds of cabinets including wooden, glass, metal and laminate cabinets. We would help you clean your cabinet using household cleaning agents like vinegar and baking soda to complete the job.

How Often Should You Clean Your Kitchen Cabinet?

You should clean the exteriors of your regularly used kitchen cabinet at least once a week. The frequency depends upon the usage and bachelors who sporadically use the kitchen should still clean the exterior once a month. You should also deep clean your kitchen cabinet once every three months.

You have to empty your cabinet and clean up the interior. Deep cleaning prevents extensive damage from termites, condensation in wooden cabinets and ensures hygienic conditions in cabinets made up of other materials.

Materials required:

Different kinds of kitchen cabinets require different cleaning agents, but these are the possible cleaning agents and other material required to clean a kitchen cabinet properly:

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Dishwashing soap
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Detergent
  • Vacuum cleaner
Testing Cleaners:

You can use a simple solution of detergent and water or dish soap and warm water to clean most kitchen cabinets including laminate, wooden, glass and vinyl. Dish soap and warm water can help remove sticky stains and grease. Using an all-purpose cleaner or vinegar may be more helpful in some cases. 

It’s recommended first to test the cleaner to see how it reacts on your cabinet. Apply the cleaner on a hidden spot, wipe it softly using a damp cloth and let it dry to ensure the cleaner doesn’t discolour your cabinet or react adversely.

Cleaning Wooden Cabinet

Wooden cabinets have different kinds of finishes over them, and it’s better to use gentle, non-abrasive cleaners over them to prevent damage to the finish. Oil-soap cleaners work best for wooden cabinets, but you can also use some household cleaners.

What to do?
  • Try to use liquid detergents that cut oil and grease with water as a cleaning agent. Make the solution thick by adding two units of water to a unit of detergent. Apply the detergent over the cabinet, wipe it with a damp cloth and then wipe it with a dry cloth. 
  • Use baking soda with water to remove tough stains. Wipe it with a damp cloth afterwards.
What to avoid?
  • Avoid overwetting the cabinet to prevent damage to the finish. Use a damp cloth rather than a soaked cloth.

Cleaning Metal Cabinets

Metal cabinets are pretty easy to clean. You can mostly use just a damp cloth to wipe off the dust frequently. Follow these tips in case of deep cleaning.

What to do?
  • Use dish soap and warm water or vinegar with a damp cloth and wipe off the stains.
  • If some stains are left after cleaning with warm water and vinegar, you can use rubbing alcohol on a microfibre cloth and apply it on the surface to remove grease and sticky stains.
  • You can use steel wool to remove rust stops, but do it with utmost care to avoid spoiling the metal finish.
What to avoid?
  • Avoid using a soaked cloth. Exposure to too much moisture may lead to rusting of your cabinet. A damp cloth is a better option for metal cabinets.
  • Don’t use baking soda over metal cabinets as it would be ineffective on metal.

Cleaning Painted Cabinets

Painted cabinets are hugely popular in modular kitchen interiors. The latex-based paints are tough to maintain as they get washed off easily on cleaning. Oil-based paints are much more durable and easy to clean. The following tips will help you in cleaning your painted cabinets, ensuring they retain their shine without washing off the paint.

What to do?
  • An accessible homemade cleaning agent for painted cabinets is baking soda. Mix up one cup baking soda with half cup water. Apply it thoroughly on the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes. Clean it up with a damp cloth (checkout other baking soda hacks).
  • Use a toothbrush to reach the edges and corners of a painted cabinet. Avoid using other abrasive objects that might chip off the paint.
  • For mild cleaning, mix one teaspoon liquid dish with 1 litre of water. Soak a soft sponge and rinse out excess water. Clean up the surface of your painted cabinet. You should apply pressure to scrub off sticky stains using the sponge as it won’t ruin the paint.
  • A stain grease can be hard to remove from a painted cabinet. Apply a diluted solution of ammonia using a damp cloth to scrub the sticky grease until it’s visibly lightened.
What to avoid?
  • Don’t leave the painted cabinet surface to dry in the air as it may cause permanent spots on the surface. Wipe the cabinet with a dry cloth after cleaning until it completely dries out.
  • Don’t use abrasive all-purpose cleaners, oil-based wax cleaners and citrus oils to clean painted cabinets as they may ruin the paint.

Cleaning Laminate Cabinets

Laminates are a cleaner’s best friend. You are lucky if you chose the laminate cabinets in your kitchen as they are very low maintenance and easy to clean. You just need to wipe them off in a week or two, and you’re good to go. Here are some tips for cleaning laminate cabinets.

What to do?
  • Use a vinegar solution with water on 2:1 ratio. Wipe the surface with a damp cloth. In the case of grease and sticky stains, use the baking soda paste suggested in painted cabinets to clean off the surface. Wait for 10-15 minutes from applying the paste and clean it up with a dry cloth (check out other amazing vinegar hacks).
  • Use a microfiber cloth and soft pads to clean laminate cabinets. You can alternatively use full-strength white vinegar directly on the surface to remove grease. Let it sit for 5 minutes and wipe it off with a damp cloth dipped in hot water.
What to avoid?
  • Don’t let it dry in the air after cleaning. Dry the surface using a clean cloth.
  • Avoid using abrasive objects like metal pads that can dull or scratch the finish.

Cleaning Glass Cabinets

Glass cabinets can withstand abrasive cleaners as glass doesn’t react with them. You may have to consider your cleaner in case your cabinet is made up of glass mixed with laminate or has a wooden door.

What to do?
  • Use ammonia glass cleaners or white vinegar with a wet cloth to wipe off mists, dirt and fingerprint stains from the surface
  • Clean up the glass from the inside by opening the door even when you’re just wiping off the exteriors.
What to avoid?
  • You may use abrasive oil-based cleaners on glass but avoid using these cleaners on wooden doors or handles over your glass cabinet.

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