Have you taken a good look at your kitchen cabinets lately? You might notice grease and grime buildup, especially around the handles and knobs! You spot clean your kitchen and clean up spills and drips daily, but life is so busy that deep cleaning can be overlooked…

Those cabinets get touched multiple times a day, and grime can build up quickly. Check out these simple, EASY ways to make those cabinets sparkle!

2-photo collage of Best Natural Ways For Cleaning Wood Cabinets - assorted cleaning items such as brush, rag, piece of lemon, bottle of essential oil, bottle of a clear liquid, and a gloved hand wiping cabinets with rag.
Best Natural Ways for Cleaning Wood Cabinets

Best Natural Ways for Cleaning Wood Cabinets

Before getting started, I always recommend testing an area on the cabinet (to ensure your cabinets do not react to the cleaners). Test a small area that isn’t readily visible. Spot clean the area, wait an hour or two, and then go back to check that it didn’t cause any damage. It’s always better to be safe, than sorry!

cleaning wood cabinets - assorted cleaning items such as brush, rag, piece of lemon, bottle of essential oil and bottle of a clear liquid.

Why Is Cleaning Wood Cabinets Important?

Cleaning your home’s wood cabinets is a huge part of having maintaining a neat house. If cleaned and well maintained, wood cabinets will last a really long time, say up to 50 years! Your kitchen is probably the most overworked room… take care of it, and it will continue to take care of you!

Wood cabinets that aren’t well maintained will need to be replaced in about 20 years. A kitchen cabinet replacement is approximately 60-70% of the cost of a full-scale kitchen renovation. According to HomeAdvisor, the average full kitchen renovation runs about $24,000 for $150 per square foot. Using those numbers, means up to $17,000 of that $24,000 budget will go to your kitchen cabinets.

My Personal Incentive For Cleaning Wood Cabinets

I don’t know about you, but unless you’re rolling in dough, this cost is nothing to sneeze at. Personally, that’s all the motivation I need to keep my kitchen wood cabinets well-cleaned and regularly maintained!

When I was house hunting, the kitchen was the “make or break” point for me.

Now that I’m settled, my kitchen hasn’t had an easy time. While I’m not a messy cook, I have my kiddos to create all the messes my kitchen ever needed. They’re always eager to turn on the blender before the lid is attached–and so many other messy scenarios! Don’t even get me started on baking days. We do have an amazing time, because we end up with all sorts of yummy pastries, but the wood cabinets bear the brunt of it all. Talk about grease, grime, sticky fingerprints, raw dough, and oil spills!
It’s a good thing that I’ve gotten the cleaning of my wood cabinets down to a science…

How to Remove Grease and Grime from Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Vinegar is always the go-to natural cleaner and disinfectant when you need to tackle removing grease and grime from wood cabinets.

1. Vinegar, Oil, and Water For Cleaning Wood Cabinets

Most people naturally go for the 50/50 mix of vinegar and water–but the secret is to start grease and grime fighting recipes with a mixture of vinegar, oil, and water.

This recipe is often met with mixed reactions, because some say the vinegar will strip the paint, remove the wood vanish, and destroy the coatings on other surfaces, such as the cabinet hardware. It’s also thought that vinegar slowly melts away furniture finishes and creates a thinner surface.

On the other hand, olive oil is what’s referred to as a non-drying oil, so when applied to surfaces, it stays in liquid form. It’s been said to eventually create a stench and attract bacteria to the surfaces it’s been used on.

Our Favorite DIY Wood Cabinet Cleaner Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 2 cups of warm water

Combine all the ingredients in a spray bottle.

Using the Homemade Wood Cabinet Cleaner Recipe Effectively

  1. Shake the bottle really well.
  2. Spray onto the doors and handles.
  3. With a soft rag, start to wipe and scrub the gunk away. The vinegar works great at removing any buildup, while the olive oil will leave a nice shine to the cabinets.
  4. End with a rinse of warm water, and dry it off with a clean rag.
  5. Shake the bottle in between each use, to keep the oil mixed.

2. The Go-To 50/50 Vinegar and Water Mix for Cleaning Wood Cabinets

Vinegar is a natural cleaner and works great when it comes to breaking down grease. Although it’s a fantastic natural disinfectant, vinegar is an acid. If you use it undiluted, it will ruin your wood’s finish. No one wants that to be the outcome of their cleaning efforts–so here’s what you should do:

  • In a spray bottle, mix a 50/50 solution of vinegar and warm water.
  • Shake up the bottle, and spray the solution onto your wood kitchen cabinets.

Let it sit for 3-5 minutes, and then with a soft cloth, wipe down the cabinets. This should do the hard work of breaking all the grease and grime. If this isn’t working, add a teaspoon of dish soap into the bottle. Shake well, and then spray down cabinets again. This is a more powerful cleaner with the dish soap. Let it sit for five minutes before you wipe it off. Do not forget to rinse with warm water and dry with a clean rag.

3. DIY Heavy-Duty Cleaner For Wood Cabinets – Baking Soda & Vegetable Oil

This might come as a surprise, but regular vegetable oil works well to soften and lift stubborn stains.

For improved cleaning of your wood cabinets, take 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, and 1 cup of baking soda, and mix in a bowl. This will form a thick paste. If it seems a little runny, add more baking soda to the mix.

the Apply the mix to the cabinets and handles. Let it sit for 4 minutes. With a wet soft rag, wipe away the dirt and grime, and finish cleaning wood cabinets by washing them with warm water and some dish soap. Finally, rinse and dry.

The paste can also be used to restore the shine to grimy hinges, handles, and cabinet pulls!

4. Use Vinegar and Salt For Cleaning Stubborn Wood Cabinet Stains

Sometimes you’ll come across stubborn stains that just don’t want to play nice. Worry not! There’s always a cleaning trick that works! To make this unstoppable cleaning machine:

  • Mix a paste of 50/50 vinegar and salt.
  • Add 1 cup of each in a bowl, and stir well.

Apply the paste to the troubled area, and let it sit for a few minutes. With a soft-bristle toothbrush, scrub the stained or stuck-on area. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as you could scratch the wood. Rinse the paste off with a wet cloth, and dry clean with a towel.

5. How About Regular Toothpaste For Cleaning Wood Cabinets?

We love our toothpaste when it comes to getting fresh breath and clean teeth, but that’s not all that toothpaste is good for! It can also be used to remove the grease from cabinets, too.

Remember–grease and grime aren’t limited to our kitchens, so feel free to use this for all cleaning wood cabinets in the rest of your home, too.

On its own, toothpaste isn’t enough. You’ll need to add baking soda, as well. To make this wood cabinet cleaning mixture:

  • Mix a cup of water, a teaspoon of white toothpaste, and 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
  • Mix well, using your finger or a spoon.
  • Dip a sponge in the mixture, and give your cabinets a good, gentle scrub down.
  • Rinse with a damp cloth, until all residue is gone.

cleaning wood cabinets - gloved hand wiping wood cabinets with rag
















Easy Cleaning Hacks:

How do you handle the cleaning of wood cabinets–in the kitchen, and everywhere else in your home?

You Might Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *