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How To Clean Wood Cabinets & Make Them Shine

Home Maintenance, Kitchen
By on Jun 6, 2018
How To Clean Wood Cabinets & Make Them Shine

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Wood cabinets are a beautiful addition to any kitchen. However, over time they can become dirty and dingy. It’s likely that you’re familiar with the sticky and greasy feeling that can occur from just working in the kitchen. It’s time to make your kitchen cabinets like new again.

If you want to refresh your kitchen cabinets, you don’t have to look very far. There are some DIY methods you can try to make them shine again, among other techniques. See a few methods on how to clean wood kitchen cabinets and make them shine again.

Even with DIY cleaning methods, some cabinets need to be cleaned by a professional to really get them looking new again. Contact a cleaning pro today for quotes from contractors in your area, for free!

Clean Wood Cabinets

Clean Wood Cabinets

Keeping your wood kitchen cabinets clean isn’t a one-time chore. To keep wood cabinets looking their best, you must develop a cleaning routine. This can include a lighter daily clean and a deep cleaning every six months. By creating a routine, you can avoid sticky stains and blemishes in the future. Here are a few techniques to try when cleaning wood kitchen cabinets:

  • Wipe Down After Cooking
  • Regularly Dust Inside of Cabinets
  • DIY Vinegar Wash
  • Baking Soda Stain Remover
  • Use An Oil Soap
  • Deep Clean Cabinet Hardware
  • Restore Shine With Polish

Wipe Down After Cooking

Wipe Down After Cooking

To prevent build-up on your kitchen cabinets, create an after-dinner routine. In between washing dishes and sweeping a floor for crumbs, take a damp cloth and wipe down your cabinets and knobs. This will help to remove any grease and grime before it’s difficult to get off, resulting in better-looking kitchen cabinets long term. This simple habit makes a big difference.

Regularly Dust Inside Of Cabinets

Similarly, you’ll want to regularly dust the inside of your wood kitchen cabinets to get rid of any build-up that may occur over time. Since there are often plates, pots and pans stored here, you’ll want to keep it as sanitary as possible. For lower cabinets, be sure to check the corners for any food spills and mess that may have fallen in as you were cooking. This can attract ants, fruit flies and more pests you don’t want in your kitchen.

DIY Vinegar Wash

As I mentioned before, you often don’t need to invest in expensive cleaners to get your wood kitchen cabinets looking and feeling great again. A vinegar cleaner is an easy and non-toxic way to make your cabinets good as new. In a clearly labeled spray bottle, mix one part vinegar and one part warm water. Shake to mix. Spray on your cabinets and let it sit for a minute or two before wiping off with a sponge. If you come across any particularly sticky spots, you may want to try a little dish soap and scrub. But, don’t scrub with the abrasive side of the sponge as that may leave scratch marks. Let dry completely.

Baking Soda Stain Remover

Baking Soda Stain Remover

If you come across any particularly challenging stains, you’ll want to try another DIY solution. Often, these spots will be darker than the wood itself, showing where many hands have touched it and where grease has built up. To make this stain-fighting cabinet spot remover, you’ll need:

  • Orange Essential Oil
  • Sponge
  • Olive Oil
  • Baking soda
  • Small Bowl

In the small bowl, mix one part oil, two parts baking soda and two to three drops of orange essential oil. Mix together thoroughly. With the sponge, wipe the stained and sticky surface with this mixture. Let it sit for about five minutes, then scrub. You’ll need a bit of elbow grease here. Wipe down any of the remaining mixture with water and reveal your stain-free shine.

Use An Oil Soap

If the DIY methods are not working, there are certain commercial cleaners that might do the trick. If you’re dealing with tough grease, an oil-based soap will be the best bet. Often, the best way to get grease and oil stains off a surface is with another oil. If you’ve exhausted every other option, try this.

Dust Inside Of Cabinets

Deep Clean Cabinet Hardware

Your kitchen cabinet hardware can be one of the dirtiest items in the kitchen, with many different hands touching them throughout the day. As a part of your daily cleaning routine, be sure to wipe them down with a disinfectant to stop the spread of germs. When deep cleaning, use a toothbrush and hot, soapy water to scrub your handles and knobs. This will get rid of any build-up that has accumulated over time.

Restore Shine With Polish

Cleaning solutions and daily use can take a toll on the look of your wood cabinets. A wood polish can restore the natural shine of your wood kitchen cabinets. I recommend a commercially-made wood polish you can apply using a cloth. Be sure to match the type of wood you have, light or dark, to the polish choice for best results.


If you’re kitchen cabinets are looking like they can use a refresh, don’t lose hope! Start with a deep clean and then change your kitchen cleaning routine to help you keep them looking fresh. Your cabinets will be sparkling in no time!

Looking for more ways to rejuvenate your kitchen? Read 6 Tips To Ensure A Clean & Organized Kitchen Countertop.

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