A person using a sponge to safely remove grime and clean greasy kitchen cabinets.

The Best Way to Clean Greasy Kitchen Cabinets

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Cleaning greasy cabinets isn’t difficult, but you need to use the right de-greasers and methods. Otherwise, you may wind up with stripped or scratched cabinet doors that have to be replaced. So, step away from the TikTok tips and read on.

Ever looked at your kitchen cabinets and thought, “How did they get so greasy?” You’re not alone. But before you grab just any cleaner, let’s talk about how to tackle those greasy cabinets without causing damage. Because, let’s face it, new cabinet doors are an expense we can all do without.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cabinet Cleaning

First things first, your cabinet doors are delicate creatures. They’re softer than the rest of the cabinet to make swinging open and shut a breeze. But this also means they’re more prone to damage.

Here’s what you need to avoid: abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, steel wool (big no-no), and harsh chemicals like ammonia or bleach. And if you have wood cabinets, steer clear of furniture polish—it’s like a grease magnet.

Steps to Clean Greasy Cabinets

How long it will take to clean your kitchen cabinets depends on just how greasy they are. I’ve spent 5 minutes per door on them when we bought a house that the previous owners either didn’t clean or fried food in every night for a decade. But usually, it’s just a minute or two per door.

Step 1: Prep Your Space.

Lay towels at the base of your cabinets or on the counters. This saves you from dealing with a secondary mess of drips and overspray. It also gives you a comfortable place to kneel when cleaning the lower cabinets.

Step 2: Mix a Cleaning Solution.

Equal parts warm water and white vinegar in a spray bottle or bucket will be your best friend here. Add a few drops of dish soap or Castile soap for that extra grease-fighting kick.

Step 3: One Cabinet at a Time.

Spray each cabinet lightly with your homemade degreaser. Use the old toothbrush for any built-up gunk around the hardware. Dip that brush into baking soda to tackle food stains.

Then, gently wipe with a clean cloth: if it’s wood, go with the grain; if not, top to bottom does the trick. Rinse with a water-dampened cloth.

Step 4: Swab the Stubborn Grease

For really stubborn grease, especially in those hard-to-reach corners, dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol. Apply, wait, then hit it with your degreaser and wipe. Keep it away from any open flames, though.

Step 5: Final Rinse.

Always finish with a fresh, water-rinsed cloth to remove any leftover cleaner residue. Buff wood cabinets dry with a soft cloth, otherwise you can let things air dry while you put away your cleaning gear.

When to Clean Your Cabinets

To keep your kitchen looking and feeling fresh, aim to tackle those cabinets every few months or when you start seeing buildup. If you have a busy kitchen or pets, you might need to do it more frequently.

How to Keep Your Cabinets from Getting Greasy

Once you’ve cleaned your greasy kitchen cabinets, you only need to take a few easy steps to keep them from getting greasy again.

  • Use a splatter screen. Putting a mesh splatter screen over your skillet when frying or sautéing food keeps almost all of the grease in your pan.
  • Run your extraction fan. Your kitchen exhaust fan extracts greasy air to keep it from coating your cabinet. Keep the range hood filter clean so it works well.
  • Wipe cabinet fronts. Make wiping cabinet door fronts part of your weekly kitchen cleaning so grease doesn’t have a chance to build up.

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