How to Clean Kitchen Cabinets

Hardwood planks

Kitchen cabinets are subject to elements that wood in other places of the home isn't, and therefore require specialized care. High heat, moisture, grease and food germs are just a few of the things that can damage your cabinetry. Learn how to clean wood cabinets in the kitchen to keep them from suffering these undue stresses.

Successfully cleaning wood cabinets is a balancing act that satisfies the need to scrub grime, grease and germs without going overboard. Too much scrubbing wears away at the wood's protective finish, which keeps it immune to heat and moisture. Here's how to proceed:


One of the best steps you can take to protect the wood cabinets involves drying them frequently, as advised by Better Homes And Gardens. This action prevents damage by heat, temperature changes and condensation that comes from lengthy cooking practices. Whenever you notice stove top steam or dishwasher moisture resting on the cabinets, wipe them down.


Tackle grease with a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Pay special attention to areas around the handles, where greasy hands come into contact with cabinet knobs and the wood around it. Be sure to also scrub cabinets near the sink and stove, where grease spatter is common.


Take control of germs by using a mixture of water and vinegar. Work your way over each cabinet to ensure that you kick germs like salmonella out of your cooking space. For areas where grime and dirt are more frequently evident, attack with a mix of baking soda and water. Use a wet sponge or toothbrush to gently scrub the germ traps in question.

Once you've completed these steps, rinse the cleaning solutions away with a wet rag, and then pass over all of the cabinets with a towel to remove lingering moisture.

Follow these maintenance steps once or twice a year, but also give your cabinets weekly cleanings. Vegetable- and coconut-based oils are safe to use on an ongoing basis, and won't damage or strip the finish away. In knowing how to clean wood cabinets, that's half the battle. Now, you just need to stay on top of the challenge to ensure your cabinets welcome groceries with a glimmer.

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.