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Your Quick Guide to Cleaning Cabinet Doors Without Damaging Them

Your Quick Guide to Cleaning Cabinet Doors Without Damaging Them

Light-colored cabinet doors can make the kitchen look brighter and roomier, which is one reason they’re so popular. Unfortunately, between grease, smudges, little kids and food splatters, keeping wood cabinets spotless is challenging. Cleaning cabinet doors requires finesse to avoid damaging the protective finish. What should you do?

1. Choose The Right Products for Cleaning Cabinet Doors

You need a cleaning solution that’s gentle enough to avoid damaging the finish but effective enough to remove grease. Use one of these options:

  • Dishwashing soap: Mix one part dish soap with two parts hot water, for example, half a cup of dish soap with one cup of hot water. Choose dishwashing soap made for cleaning glassware or similar mild products. Avoid heavy-duty cleaners or bright colors.
  • Vinegar: For everyday wipe-downs, mix one part white vinegar with two parts hot water. For grease, it’s safe to go with a 50/50 ratio. Mix one cup of warm vinegar per one cup of water.
  • Baking soda and water: Baking soda can penetrate dirt and oil more easily, so it’s a great choice for deep cleaning. Make a paste by mixing baking soda in a bowl with hot water. Apply, let sit for a few minutes and then gently wipe off.

Hot water makes a big difference. It helps loosen grease and dirt from the surface so you can just wipe it away.

2. Grab a Microfiber Cloth or Sponge

Microfiber towels and spray bottle

Never use abrasive materials with your cabinets, no matter how dirty they look. Avoid bristled brushes or scrub pads. Even paper towels are a bad choice because they can scratch the finish.

Your best bet is to choose microfiber cloths for cleaning cabinet doors. Sponges are convenient, too. These options are safe for painted cabinets, finished wood cabinets and laminate surfaces.

3. Use a Spray Bottle

Keep moisture to a minimum when you clean wood cabinets. Follow these steps:

  • Add your preferred cleaning solution to a spray bottle.
  • Spray the microfiber cloth first, then wipe down the cabinet door.
  • Make sure the cloth is only damp, never soaking wet.
  • Don’t spray cabinets directly.

4. Get Rid of Stains Right Away

To avoid staining, act quickly when you notice splatter, especially red foods such as wine or spaghetti sauce. Wipe up immediately with a microfiber cloth and water. If you still see a shadow, apply the baking soda paste, wait a few minutes, then wipe it off with a clean cloth.

5. Rinse and Dry

After cleaning cabinet doors, rinse them off with a damp (not wet) cloth. Start from the top and work to the bottom. This gets rid of any residue that could attract dust.

For the best results, use a microfiber cloth to dry surfaces as the last step. This gives you the opportunity for some shine action, too.

Know When It’s Time for Cleaning Cabinet Doors

Woman cleaning cabinets

You only need to spot clean cabinets when you’re worried about stains. Otherwise, give doors a quick wipe-down once a week to get rid of fingerprints and grease. Make time for deep cleaning every three or four months.

Cleaning cabinet doors the right way can help them last a decade before needing repainting or refinishing. Discover more cabinet pro tips from our experts to keep yours looking great.