It can be easy to overlook cabinets when cleaning the kitchen. But the buildup from cooking grease, in particular, can leave your kitchen cabinets looking dull and dirty, and feeling sticky to the touch. Degreasing kitchen cabinets is a straightforward cleaning job, but there are some important things to know before you get started. The cabinet material will dictate what types of cleaning agents are safe to use, and which ones are best to avoid. Additionally, because degreasing can be a heavy-duty cleaning task, there are a number of common household cleaning agents, such as distilled white vinegar, that simply won’t be tough enough for the job.
Before Getting Started
Before degreasing kitchen cabinets, you’ll need to know the material you’re working with. Take the time to review the owner’s manual, look the cabinets up online, or consult a professional if you’re unsure as to the cabinet material type to avoid causing costly damage. Degreasing typically requires heavy duty cleaning agents and tools that day-to-day cabinet cleaning doesn’t call for. When degreasing cabinets, it’s especially important to understand what the material can and cannot tolerate.
Choose the Right Cleaning Method for Your Cabinet Type
Wood kitchen cabinets vary in fabrication, with different finishes and seals. The seals, in particular, can be damaged by exposure to the wrong cleaning agents, so it’s critical that you consult the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning wood cabinets.
When cleaning painted cabinets, apply the cleaning agent to the cloth, rather than spraying it directly on the cabinets. Painted surfaces do not like to be oversaturated with moisture. In addition, after applying the cleaner of your choice to the cloth, wring it out so that it is damp but not dripping.
Laminate is a forgiving material that can be safely degreased with most cleaning agents. However, avoid using abrasive cleansers or scouring pads to degrease laminate cabinets, as they can scratch the finish.
Glass-front cabinets are usually mounted into another material, such as painted wood or laminate, so it’s important to use a cleaning agent that’s safe on the non-glass cabinet material. Additionally, avoid using oil-based cleaners to clean the non-glass cabinet material, as it can leave streaks or dull spots on the glass. Use a glass cleaner with ammonia and a microfiber cloth or, if you prefer to use a gentler cleaning agent, a grease-cutting dish soap like Dawn, diluted in water. If using dish soap, you may need to go over the glass with a traditional glass cleaner after degreasing to remove streaks and water spots left behind by the dish soap solution. When degreasing glass cabinets, be sure to clean both the outside and inside panels.
What You’ll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Microfiber cloth
- Non-scratch abrasive sponge (optional)
- Rubber gloves (optional)
- Degreasing agent
How to Degrease Kitchen Cabinets
Using the degreasing agent of your choice, follow these steps to remove sticky grease from kitchen cabinets.
Degrease Cabinet Door Fronts
Apply the degreaser of your choice to a microfiber cloth. Working from the top down, wipe the front of the cabinet doors to remove the sticky film of grease. If your kitchen cabinets have glass panels, clean both the front face and the inside of the glass.
Degrease Cabinet Door Edges
After degreasing the cabinet door fronts, open the doors. Using the same cloth, applying more degreaser if needed, wipe the top, side, and bottom edges of the cabinet doors.
Degrease Cabinet Frame
Leave the cabinet doors open to allow access to the frame. Using the same cloth, reapplying the degreaser if needed, wipe the frame around the cabinet doors.
SOURCE: Better Homes & Gardens