How to clean kitchen cabinets without removing finish

How to clean kitchen cabinets without removing finish

Kitchen cabinets are one of the most attractive parts of a kitchen. It increases kitchen beautification with wooden, laminated, steel, and glass material finish. Also, it becomes dirt after every kind of cooking in the kitchen.

Dirt, oil, and dust are the common elements to generate stain while cooking. These things damage the appearance of the kitchen cabinets. You should clean them after completing every cooking on a regular basis.

If you have a painted wood or laminate surface for your kitchen cabinet, you should take extra care of them. While cleaning the surfaces, you need to use proper cleaners and follow proper procedures. 

In this article, we will share how to clean kitchen cabinets without removing finish. So keep calm and stay with us for a while to know the secrets to keeping your kitchen cabinets.

Do’s and Don’ts to Clean Kitchen Cabinets

Do’s and Don’ts to Clean Kitchen Cabinets

Before sharing the procedure of cleaning the kitchen cabinet, we will share your do’s and don’ts to keep the finish smooth. Then you can learn how to clean your kitchen cabinets. We hope the things will make you satisfied to maintain your kitchen looks. Let’s follow then – 

Use Gentle Cleaning Solutions

what is the best homemade cleaning solution

Scrub brushes and abrasive cleaners are not good to clean kitchen cabinets. Thus, you can make a cleaner yourself by using cleaning soap and warm water. However, you can use distilled vinegar instead of warm water to bleach kitchen cabinets.

To use your homemade cleaner, you can pour them into a spray bottle. Then, you can spray them on the surface of the cabinet. This cleaning solution is good to clean wood or laminate-made kitchen cabinets.

Never Leave the Cabinet Wet

Exceed wetness can damage the finish or the paint of the cabinet. In that circumstance, you need to use a microfiber cloth to clean the surface. However, you can spray the cleaning solution on the surface. But, using a cloth to wipe the surface can keep your cabinet dry quickly.

When you are going to clean your cabinet, start it from the upper part. In that way, your cabinet will not stay wet for a long time. Also, do not forget to clean the cabinet handle and other narrow areas. It becomes dirt like the cabinet surface.

Use Old Toothbrush to Tackle Narrow Area Spots

The design of all kitchen cabinets is not the same. Some of them have narrow areas or deep grooves. You can not reach there with your hand and wet clothes. In that situation, an old toothbrush can be a great solution.

You can dip your old toothbrush into the solution. Then you can rub the narrow areas with your wet toothbrush. Do not forget to rub all the areas where a wet rag can not reach. Surrounding the handle and edge of the inside door are such areas to clean with a toothbrush.

Do not Make Wet The Hinges

Cleaning solutions are safe to use on wood and laminate surfaces. But, it can gather rust on the metal surface. Most of the hinges of the cabinets are made from metal. 

Thus, you have to be careful to clean cabinets to keep the hinges dry. If they get wet unwillingly, try to make them dry as early as possible.

Use Clothes Twice to Keep Dry

kitchen cabinet surface

After using cleaning solutions, your kitchen cabinet surface will be clean. But, you should wipe twice to remove the cleaning solutions from the surface. Try to use another microfiber cloth to remove the cleaning solution permanently. 

Not only removing cleaning solutions but also keeping dry is the factor. If your cabinet surface becomes wet after cleaning, the finish may damage. So, you can use a dry cloth to keep the cabinet dry after cleaning properly.

Do not Use Acidic Products or Oils

cleaning kitchen cabinets with baking soda

Lemon juice or vinegar damages the paint or finish of the wood materials. Baking soda is also another product that can remove stains from the kitchen cabinet. But also, it can damage the appearance of the cabinet.

Besides, using olive oil to clean the kitchen cabinet can not bring a good result. Initially, olive oil may create a lucrative appearance, but after a while, it grabs dirt faster. So, you should not use lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda, or olive oil to clean the cabinet surface.

Do a Regular Cleaning Schedule

Yearly twice cleaning a kitchen cabinet surface can keep you healthy. Besides, regular maintenance can protect the surfaces from growing permanent stains. Furthermore, cleaning twice a year can reduce the hassle of removing the darts produced from oil and other spices.

However, you should keep it clean inside of your kitchen cabinet too. While cleaning the surface, try to clean the inside of the cabinet. Remove old and unnecessary things first from the outside. Then wash the wooden or laminated surface of your kitchen cabinet.

Do not Forget to Clean Others

Many kitchens are decorated with a combination of wooden and glass surfaces. Similarly, many kitchen cabinets are decorated with marble surfaces, plastic boards, and laminated boards. If your kitchen cabinet has multiple surfaces, you should clean them all.

If you clean only the wooden or laminated surface, your kitchen will not look good. So then, do not forget to clean marble, glass, or plastic surfaces after cleaning wood surfaces. If your cabinet has door knobs, wash them too.

How to clean kitchen cabinets without removing finish: Step by Step

Already you have understood what to consider to clean your kitchen cabinet. Now we are sharing the steps on how to clean kitchen cabinets without removing the finish. By following these steps you can know how to clean old stained kitchen cabinets. Let’s follow the steps – 

Step 1: Empty your Cabinet

To clean your kitchen cabinet, you need to empty them first. Otherwise, you will not get fully satisfied with your cleaning task. So remove all the contents from your kitchen cabinet and place them in another space. 

While your cabinet becomes empty, clean the inside of the area. You can use a vacuum cleaner to remove all the dust and dirt from the inside cabinet. Besides, you can wipe the inside to make it deep clean.

Step 2: Clean the Top

Every kitchen cabinet has a top that gathers a lot of dust. It is one of the toughest tasks to clean the top of the cabinet. Thus, the height of the top of the cabinet is far away from human height. To clean the top, you need to manage a tool or a ladder.

After adjusting a ladder or a tool. You can remove the dust from the top. To remove dust from the top of the cabinet, you can use a vacuum cleaner. For better results, you can use a duster or a sponge.

You can spray distilled vinegar or baking soda to make your task smoother. After spreading the cleaner, wipe the dust first, then scrub the surface with a wet cloth. A Paper towel is another tool to clean the cabinet top surface too.

Step 3: Prepare a Gentle cleaner

While you have complete tackling on the top of the cabinet, prepare some homemade cleaner. To prepare homemade cleaner, you need to mix dish soap with warm water. You can use distilled vinegar instead of using warm water too.

After preparing your cleaner mixture, pour them into a spray bottle. As pressing too much-wet cleaner may damage the wooden finish, you have to spray them slightly. To control using a cleaner, a spray bottle can be a great solution.

Also, you should use a microfiber cloth or sponge to remove dirt from the cabinet surface. Spraying cleaner directly may damage the finish. So, wet your cloth or sponge with the cleaner spray first. Then start wiping on the surface of the wood or laminate cabinet.

Step 4: Clean from Upper to Lower Part

Start cleaning the side and back areas of the cabinet. Then clean the inside, the Dwyer, and other narrow areas. And finally clean from the upper areas to the lower areas of the cabinet. In this way, you can protect your wooden finish from becoming wet for less time.

Moreover, you need to clean the areas where you can not reach. In fact, your clothes or sponge can not reach some special areas of the cabinet. Such as the surrounding of the handle you can not clean with your clothes. To clean them, you can use an old toothbrush. 

Step 5: Extra Time for Removing Grease

Removing regular dirt from the cabinet surface is not the same as removing grease. To remove grease from your cabinet, you need to deliver extra time. Using a mixture of one part baking soda and two parts warm water can be a great solution.

To remove the grease from the cabinet, use a soft cloth or sponge. You can rinse your cloth and clean it for a while. After making the surface wet, wait for a few minutes. Then you can scrub them with gentle pressure. A soft bristled brush is an effective tool to remove grease without damaging the finish.

Step 6: Dry the Surface

cabinet surface

Using distilled vinegar or dishwashing soap is not harmful to wooden finish or paint. But, the finish may damage due to the wetness of the cleaning solutions on the surface. So, you need to dry the cabinet surface well after cleaning them.

In that case, you can use another dry microfiber cloth. First, you need to remove all the wet cleaners by scrubbing them with a dry cloth. Then, you can make another wipe with a dry cloth to finalize the dryness. 

After wiping with dry clothes, you can leave the cabinet for a while. At that time, you can use air with a table fan to dry quickly. However, you should open the door of the cabinet, if you wipe the inside with wet water or cleaner.

Step 7: Clean all the Contents

cleaning kitchen cabinet hardware

In the final step of cleaning the kitchen cabinet, you need to clean the contents you have removed earlier. So, check all the components like dishes, containers, drawers, food packets, and cookware. If found any dir, remove them with another soft cloth or sponge.

While cleaning all the contents, place them into the cleaned kitchen cabinet. You can arrange the contents as per your requirements. But, be prepared to clean them as per a schedule. Yearly cleaning twice is a better decision to keep your kitchen, cabinet, and contents fresh and healthy.


#1. How do you clean painted kitchen cabinets without removing the finish?

Most of the kitchen cabinets are made with wood or laminate boards. And growing dirt and sticky grease over the surface is a common issue for all kitchens. If you use acidic material to clean your kitchen cabinets, the finish may damage.
To clean them without removing the finish, you can use a homemade cleaning solution. To prepare a laminate cabinet cleaner at home, you can mix warm water and dish soap. Besides, you can mix one part of distilled vinegar with two parts of warm water to clean your cabinet. These solutions will not damage your wooden finish.

#2. How do you clean grime off kitchen cabinets?

To clean the grime of a kitchen cabinet you need simple materials. You can prepare a cleaning solution by mixing dishwashing soap and warm water. Using white vinegar and warm water is another solution to clean the kitchen cabinet.
However, you should not use lemon juice or baking soda as a cabinet steam cleaner. Especially wooden kitchen cabinets that have paint or finish on the surface. By using lemon juice to clean the cabinet surface, the finish may be damaged.

#3. What is the best way to clean wood kitchen cabinets?

The best way to clean a wood kitchen cabinet is with a homemade solution and microfiber cloths. You can prepare a cleaning solution by mixing warm water and dishwashing soap. And also using warm water with white vinegar is the best way to clean a wood cabinet.

#4. How do you clean dirty kitchen cabinets without damaging the paint?

Cleaning laminate kitchen cupboard doors is easy with a microfiber cloth or a sponge. But you need to prepare a cleaning solution at home. You can mix dishwashing soap or white vinegar with warm water to make a cleaning solution.

#5. Can you use dish soap to clean kitchen cabinets?

Dish washing soap is safe to clean the dirt of the kitchen cabinets. But you should mix the soap with warm water and pour it into a spray bottle. Then you can use them by wetting your soft clothes or sponge. Using dishwashing soap directly may damage the finish of the surface.

#6. How do I clean grease off of kitchen cabinets?

Grease is hard to clean off from the kitchen cabinet surface. To remove the grease, you need to make them wet and leave them for a while. You can wet them with a homemade cleaning solution. After a few minutes, you can scrub gently with an old toothbrush to get rid of grease.


Cleaning the kitchen without removing the finish is not a hard task. You just need to know the right way with the right tool. Such as, using dishwashing soap with warm water to clean a cabinet is a low-cost and effective way. Accordingly, using a mixture of warm water and white vinegar to clean the cabinet surface is the best way.

In this article, we have shown how to clean kitchen cabinets without removing finish. We hope that you have learned the appropriate way of kitchen cabinet maintenance. Let’s follow the above steps to keep your kitchen clean and lucrative. And, try to maintain a schedule of cleaning twice a year for better results.

About Travis K. Foster

Hi, this is Travis K. Foster speaking, a passionate and expert cook. This blog is to introduce you to the best kitchen gadgets. Here I inform you how I find out the best tools for my kitchen. And I review all products after good research to help you to get the best options with more kitchen tips. Stay on, Have fun! Learn more...

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