How to Clean Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets take a distribute of pervert, suffering accidental spills, cooking splatters, and a continuous barrage of fingerprints. Yet those hardworking uppers and lowers tend to get short shrift during regular weekly clean, so by the time you realize they ’ ve been neglected, grease, dirt, dirt, and smears may have built up well .

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This is not merely unsightly : Oft-handled cabinet hardware can harbor germs, and food crumbs obscure in back corners can invite bugs and vermin. Plus, most kitchen cabinets are made of wood, a porous material that can become stubbornly muggy yet calls for a gentler approach than you might use on metal or laminate .

Steps for Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

To get those all-important cupboards into pristine condition, follow this bit-by-bit guide—and make cleaning kitchen cabinets an open and closed shell !

Step 1: Empty them out

  • You may opt to stagger cabinet cleaning rather than attempt it all in one day since you’ll need to remove and temporarily store the contents on countertops or elsewhere.
  • Once cabinets are empty, peel off and discard past-its-prime shelf paper if necessary.
  • Vacuum or wipe crumbs and dust from the shelves and drawers.

Step 2: Tackle the tops

When cabinets aren ’ metric ton ceiling height, those few inches atop the uppers can be a major mess magnet. Go at it on a sturdy footprint stool or ladder. If it ’ sulfur precisely dust, deal with it using a long-handled duster or the little round of golf brush attachment of a vacuum .
If grease has combined with dust, removing it may be the nastiest separate of your cabinet cleaning mission.

  • Squirt the surface with straight white vinegar, sprinkle on some baking soda, and give it several minutes of dwell time.
  • Scrub with a sponge, then scrape with a firm straight edge, like an old credit card, wiping off the gunk with a rag or paper towels.
  • Spray again lightly and wipe dry with a clean cloth.

Step 3: Mix up a gentle cleaner

The goal is to clean, not damage, your cabinets .

  • A few squirts of mild dish soap in hot water is a safe and effective formula to use on painted and finished wood (as well as metal, laminate, and vinyl). It will purge dirt, smudges, and moderate grease buildup; to give the solution sanitizing oomph, add some white vinegar, which has antibacterial properties.
  • To use: Mix in a spray bottle, but apply onto a microfiber cloth or sponge rather than directly on the cabinet surface, as it’s best to avoid saturating wood.

Step 4: Clean high to low

  • Start with the uppers and work your way down. Do interiors first: the back wall, then the sides, then the shelves and drawers. Give extra attention to corners, spritzing cleaning solution on a toothbrush and scrubbing gently if necessary.
  • Follow with a cloth/sponge lightly moistened with plain water to remove any soap residue. Wipe dry completely after rinsing, then close the cabinets.
  • Clean the sides of the boxes and do the doors/drawer fronts last.

Step 5: Go at the grease

A meek abrasive spread of one-part bake pop to two-parts water is a natural, cost-efficient weapon against sticky, yellow dirt buildup that could do the trick.

  • Apply to stuck-on grease, let it penetrate for several minutes, then scrub gently (no scraping!) with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Rinse with a moist rag, sponge, or microfiber cloth, then dry.

If opting to tackle dirt with a commercial intersection, spot test first on an inconspicuous area. Be particularly cautious with magic erasers ; these blocks of non-toxic melamine foam have the texture of super-fine emery paper that can damage varnish wood and glistening rouge finishes .

Step 6: Treat the trim

Grease and soil beloved crevices, so both are bound to settle in cabinet trim—the more flowery, the cruddier it can become .

  • Patiently purge with your basic cleaning solution and a soft toothbrush or cloth wrapped around your index finger.
  • Rinse with a clean cloth moistened with plain water and dry.

Step 7: Handle hinges and hardware right

Go at metallic element aspects of cabinets by rights .

  • Wrap a dry cloth on your index finger to clean the hinges. If you encounter stubborn grease, spray a 50/50 water-white vinegar mixture on an old soft toothbrush to scrub it off, then dry.
  • Employ the toothbrush approach to metal or ceramic hardware, and the areas around these handles, knobs, and pulls, all of which can accumulate grime and grease.

Step 8: Get the glass gleaming

  • If you’ve got glass-fronted cabinet doors, use commercial glass cleaner or a homemade spray solution of one cup of rubbing alcohol, one cup of water, and one tablespoon of white vinegar on inner and outer panes.

Step 9: Clean the contents

  • Before refilling shelves and drawers, inspect the cookware, dishes, food packages, etc. to ensure that those items aren’t dusty or dirty. Even if everything looks pristine, giving the contents a swipe with a microfiber cloth will warrant it worthy of returning to your sparkling clean cabinets.

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