Cabinet Cleaner: How to Choose a Cabinet Cleaner for Custom Cabinets

Hardwood planks

When choosing a wood cleaner, you're confronted by a dizzying array of options that seemingly all do a great job. Finding the right cabinet cleaner, however, requires you to know what type of cabinet you have, the purpose of the cleaner and the final appearance you're looking for. Here's a guide that covers all kinds of cleaning jobs for all kinds of cabinetry.


The cabinet cleaner that's best for your home often depends on the type of wood. Cherry, for example, is a fairly dark wood, and can look terrific after just a soft dust rag or a non-alkaline soap. Painted wood cabinets require slightly different care than stained or finished wood. In this case, take care not to damage the paint when using natural or multipurpose cleaners. On oak, you should apply a wood-cleaning product whether you're looking to spot-clean or make the entire surface shine.


Natural Cabinet Cleaner

Manufacturers of safe Oil-Based Products have been around forever, and for a good reason. These versatile cleaners are made from natural vegetable oils, and are safe to use on any kind of wood—including flooring, chairs and cabinets. Dilute a gallon of warm water with this soap, and use a soft rag dipped in the solution to wipe down your cabinets.


Products that polish wood can give your custom cabinetry a quick pick-me-up. They also leave a thin film of the solution behind, essentially providing a layer of short-term protection for the wood. Spray the polish on a soft cloth, and carefully wipe down each cabinet.

Multipurpose Cleaners

In a pinch, you can turn to a multipurpose cleaner; however, be sure the label specifically says that the cleaner is safe to use on wood products. Even then, some of these solutions may contain abrasive chemicals that wear down more delicate cabinetry, so choose wisely. Don't opt for something aggressive for the sake of speed; cleaning is a process, and wood is no exception.

Keep your custom cabinetry in great condition. With a little TLC, the right cabinet cleaner and proper identification of the wood material, your cabinetry will sparkle.

This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.