how to clean wood cabinets and make them shine

How to Clean Sticky Wood Kitchen Cabinets – Ultimate Guide 2021

How to clean sticky wood kitchen cabinets? At first, it seems like a fairly trivial question, which is easy to find the answer to. That’s what we all think at first. But when you carefully study the advice of real masters, you find that it’s not that simple and there are quite a few nuances.

Why Clean Kitchen Cabinets?

stained wood kitchen cabinets

There is no denying the fact that cleaning kitchen cabinets are an essential part of cleaning your home. But did you know such an interesting detail that if you clean your cupboards correctly and use them rationally, they will last you longer? The kitchen is a space that is constantly in intensive work and if you can extend the life of the cupboards in it, you will save a great deal of money. With the right care, your cupboards will last longer than normal furniture. We will even let you say that you will not change them all your life.

But if you don’t look after your kitchen cabinets properly, they can become unusable quickly, it will only take a couple of decades. And you will have to buy new furniture.

Replacing kitchen cabinets is very expensive in terms of price. According to expert data, it will cost you 70 percent of the total overhaul of the entire kitchen space. And now let’s take a look at the prices. On average, a complete refurbishment of a kitchen today will cost you $24,000. This means that approximately 14,000 will be spent on new kitchen cabinets. You have to admit that the price is very high and not everyone is willing to pay it. So it should be enough for you to come to the conclusion that cleaning the cupboards must be right and bring the furniture durability, not fading.

Who Are The Experts?

wooden cabinets

So what is the best cabinet cleaner? We have consulted with experts in this field. The experts ranged from large cable networks and renowned kitchen furniture manufacturers to enterprising bloggers. We made a list for you which is numbered alphabetically.

  • DIY Network is a fairly large website of one of the largest cable networks.
  • Everyday Cheapskate is a blog written by Mary Hunt, who has received numerous awards for her books and articles; she has also been frequently invited to well-known American shows. Her advice about homemade cabinet cleaner is followed by a lot of people, and it is really useful.
  • Grapes and Splendor is a blog where you will find a lot of useful tips and lifehacks on how to keep your house clean. Unfortunately, little is known about the authors, but the blog is quite popular.
  • The Spruce is one of the top 10 websites that give advice about lifestyle. It employs only professional writers who publish only proven methods and write in a rather interesting language. Their articles inspire change in your home and make you feel better about your home.
  • Thomasville is the largest manufacturer of kitchen cabinets on the American continent. The company has been working for over a hundred years and provides quality furniture.

How to clean wood cabinets and make them shine? After reading a few articles, we were very surprised by the variety of ways to clean kitchen cupboards, and we realized that this would result in a very lengthy article. And before we move on to these methods, we would like to give you some useful recommendations:

  • The most important rule: before you start cleaning your kitchen, ALWAYS test the cleaner on a discreet spot. Treat it, then wipe it clean and dry, wait 1-2 minutes and see if the color of the coating has changed, if the shine has disappeared, and so on.
  • Fatty deposits on kitchen cabinet wood are a mixture of dust and fumes and the tiniest bit of fat that is formed during cooking. The older the plaque, the harder it is to get rid of it. This is why the optimal schedule for “general” fat cleaning of the kitchen is 1-2 times a year, “capital” fat cleaning every 2 months with the use of mild agents and, of course, if necessary.
  • To clean hard-to-reach places, crevices or decorative finishes, use a toothbrush soaked in cleaning agents from our article. You can also clean narrow slots with a knife wrapped in fabric.
  • Do not use hard abrasives, only soda, a soft toothbrush or the hard side of a regular foam sponge is acceptable. This applies especially to wooden kitchens, as well as any painted headset without top cover.
  • It is better to use a new sponge with a clean abrasive side for washing your kitchen. An old, greasy sponge can do even more harm.
  • When the cleaning is complete, it is advisable to wipe the woodwork cupboard clean: clean with a damp microfibre cloth and dry with a clean dry microfibre cloth as well. This way you will avoid divorces and the remains of the cleaning agent itself. Particular attention should be paid to the lockers above the cooker when cleaning the kitchen.
  • The stained wood kitchen cabinets require the most delicate care. Most ‘folk’ products such as peroxide, ammonia, alcohol, or citric acid are contraindicated, as are conventional alkaline-based household chemicals.
  • When wiping the kitchen, try to move along the wood pattern, not against or across it. This will make it possible to clean the pores of the material better and affect the fibers more gently.
  • The rag should not be too wet. Excess moisture is harmful to wooden surfaces.
  • After washing and cleaning wooden furniture, be sure to treat it with a protective wax, oil or polish.

How to Clean Sticky Wood Kitchen Cabinets

how to clean wood cabinets and make them shine

The reliefs of the wooden kitchen are the hardest to clean. But with a proper and thorough cleaning and maintaining cleanliness, you can safely forget about such a concept as general cleaning for many years.

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When cleaning, you should pay particular attention to facades and panels between them – bevels and corners, carved and other decorative elements. And it is these decorative delights that will force you to resort to the most ultimatum cleaning methods.

  • Flat surface doors. In this case, you should only pay attention to them. The easiest way to clean a flat surface is to use conventional polishes that absorb dust and remove dirt. If you simply spray the product on the façade surface and leave it soaked for a few hours, this way you can remove any residual grease. It is also important to note that you should not use abrasive agents on wood that will damage the outer layer of the façade, leaving scratches on it. This can lead to faster and more severe surface contamination in the future.
  • Threaded facades. This type of façade has the heaviest amount of dirt removed from decorative elements. Therefore, be patient and take note that the cleaning process will be time-consuming, dictated by the fact that it will not be possible to simply dissolve the liquid mixture. Contamination will have to be removed in more than one go using soapy water and a sponge that can penetrate into the depth of the thread with some pressure applied. Using steam units in this case simply makes no sense, due to the fact that they only affect the upper layer of the contamination.
  • An array of wood. Wood is a structure that does not have a uniformity, which is why the care process is complicated precisely at the time of cleaning. If you have a legitimate question, what is the correct way to clean solid wood facades? In this case, you should use an alcohol-based solid wood solvent. The alcohol is weathered, so there is no liquid left on the surface of your kitchen facades. This approach will allow you to use chemicals for a long time, but it is important to note that the duration should not exceed 2 hours.
  • The facades are slatted. In the case of this type of façade, it is best to resort to dry cleaning, as laths allow you to clean deep into the surfaces and remove dirt from different sides.

Let us give you a little advice. Take a look at the instruction manual for your kitchen headset and you will find information on the correct choice of cleaning products for your kitchen facades and on how to clean decorative elements. If you do not have such a manual in your hands, in this case we recommend that you use the means described in this article.

DIY Network

In an article from this edition, “How to Clean Wooden Cabinets”, we found two methods for surface and in-depth cleaning of kitchen cabinets.

General cleaning:

  • Vinegar is a natural cleanser when you need to get rid of grease stains in your cupboards. Prepare a solution that consists half of vinegar and half of warm water and pour it over in a sprayer. Spray to the grease spots, just wait for a minute or two, and then gently wipe the spots with a soft cloth.
  • You do not have to take the next step, but you can. Add a couple of drops of dishwashing detergent to the solution described above if your kitchen cabinets are very dirty.

Deep cleaning:

  • Mix the vinegar and salt into a paste. Take a toothbrush and dip it in the resulting product and wipe the selected area of your kitchen cabinet without pressure. Do not press the toothbrush too hard and do not use a steel sponge, as you risk damaging the wood covering, leaving a lot of scratches on it. Then wash the place with clean water and wipe it dry using a cloth or kitchen towel.
  • There is another way: you can take a slightly soaked sponge and pour a small amount of baking soda on it and then wipe the stain with it. You can also use a regular toothbrush if you don’t want to scratch or damage the wooden surface. We remind you to be careful in this process.

After you have cleaned the cupboard, this website recommends a small manipulation to reduce the number of stains later:

  • Mix 50/50 vegetable oil and vinegar and cover the entire kitchen cupboard surface with a thin layer of this mixture. Wipe the mixture thoroughly with a clean cloth and then polish until you notice a pleasant shine.

Everyday Cheapskate

Mary Hunt, who runs her own blog, usually answers questions from those who read her articles. This time, she answers how best to clean the wooden kitchen cupboard from contamination:

  • If you are looking for a brand of commercial products to clean your wooden cabinets, then you should pay attention to a fairly effective product called orange oil polish, which is designed to melt greasy stains, dirt, polish, and accumulated wax, leaving a pleasant scent and tempting shine behind. If you have chosen this way, you can clean up the entire kitchen with this commercial product.

Howard Orange Oil

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But this article does not end there, because it gives the reader a few more tips on how to prepare mixtures at home for cleaning wooden kitchen cabinets. After the procedure, you will not need to polish or cover the furniture with anything.

General cleaning:

  • We take a bottle with a sprayer, put two tablespoons of olive oil, four spoons of white vinegar and add warm water until the bottle is filled. Usually, a couple of glasses are required. Thoroughly shake so that all the components blend into one, then apply directly to the surface of one of the kitchen cabinet parts. We wipe the surface with a rag to get rid of any unpleasant stains, then polish it to a pretty shine. Shake the bottle before starting the new spraying process so that the mixture is always thoroughly mixed, otherwise, you will not get the effect.

Deep cleaning:

  • Take a small plate and measure one-two tablespoons of oil and four tablespoons of soda. The amount may vary with the amount of work to be done, but always keep the ratio of one part of the oil to two parts of the soda.
  • You mix these substances with your hand to form a thick paste. Cover the surface of the dirty kitchen cupboard with it in small portions, without missing the places next to the handles, because they are often the ones that are used and come into direct contact with your hands.
  • Use a rag, sponge, or your fingertips to rub the paste for better absorption. Use an unnecessary toothbrush to rub the paste into all the hard to reach areas and cracks on the surface. This paste has a strong density and when you apply it with a toothbrush, it peels off along with the dirt.
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Now we carry out a thorough polishing process and move a little away from the kitchen cabinet to evaluate the work you have done.

Grapes and Splendor

Bloggers from this website have another useful home recipe for you to effectively clean kitchen cabinets, avoiding damage to the wooden surface.

General cleaning:

  • Prepare a solution that includes a glass of water, a teaspoon of toothpaste, and two tablespoons of the food garden. Dip a sponge or rag in the solution and walk through all contaminated areas of the kitchen cupboard surface.

Deep cleaning:

  • Place about half a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent on your sponge. Non-soak the sponge and wipe the body very carefully so that the result is foam. Then wipe with a damp cloth, which we first soak in freshwater. The surface should be dried with a microfibre cloth.
  • We prepare pasta from water and baking soda, place it on greasy spots, rub it carefully in a circle, apply low pressure to use the abrasive capabilities of baking soda to get rid of grease pollution, and do not touch the surface for ten minutes. Then wet the rag, wipe off all the pasta without leaving a drop on the surface.

The Spruce

In the article “Tips for cleaning kitchen cabinets from grease” in this edition, everything looks a little different than in other sources, because they have paid more attention to the products themselves than to household advice, except for one that you will read first.

  • Hot water and soap for dishes: the latter is an alkaline-based product that effectively breaks down fat, especially in conjunction with hot water. Spray two jets of liquid product into a bucket of boiling water (the water should be as hot as possible) and use a sponge to remove all the fat from your kitchen cabinet. The water must keep its temperature and the sponge should not be pressed too hard to avoid scratches on the wooden surface. Once you have done the procedure, wash and dry all your kitchen cupboards.
  • Goo Gone: you should have rubber gloves, without which we advise you not to use the product, put the cleaner on and apply it to the surface, then wait a couple of minutes. Heat the wet microfiber in your microwave oven by placing it there for half a minute, then get rid of the fat as quickly as possible. Then wash the area with soapy water and dry it out.

Goo Gone Original Liquid

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  • Universal Orange Oil Cleaner: if your cupboards are very dirty, spray this cleaner and leave them alone for ten minutes; after this procedure, simply wipe with a warm, damp cloth.

Howard Orange Oil

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  • A special product for cleaning wooden surfaces with Brazilian carnauba wax, which is usually added to high-quality products designed to effectively clean wooden products. They come in different types, but we recommend an option that you can spray. This is much more convenient and has proven to be very effective in fighting old-fashioned fat.

Magic Wood Furniture Cleaner and Polish

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Thomasville

This well-known manufacturer and distributor of kitchen cabinets have also collected a lot of tips for cleaning furniture on its website. These are included in the Homeowner’s Care and Cleaning Guide.

  • Often you will have enough clean cotton cloth or napkin for most surfaces. Just wet it in warm water and wipe the dirty surface. If you do wet cleaning regularly, the fat will simply not build up in time.
  • To get rid of the dirt easily, you will need a solution of dishwashing liquid diluted with warm water. This effectively combats most dirt and grease stains. The ideal ratio is 95 percent water and five percent liquid.
  • If your cabinets are covered with paint, you should remove absolutely all moisture after cleaning to prevent damage or rotting of the wood.

Several More Ways From Other Blogs

homemade cabinet cleaner

Ammonia alcohol

Do you have ammonia in your medicine cabinet? If so, then congratulations – half the case is done!

How to use: Dissolve 1 tablespoon per liter of water and treat the surface with a wet cloth. And if you do not want to climb into the alcohol and dirt with your hands, use a sprayer. Leave the cupboards for 20 minutes and wash off all with warm water.

Nuances: Be sure to work with gloves and open windows! A couple of drops of essential oil will help you get rid of the unpleasant smell.

Mustard powder

If a box of unnecessary mustard powder has been dusting in your wardrobe for a long time, you are wasting your time neglecting such a valuable tool. It is an excellent multifunctional cleaner, including for kitchen cupboards, tiles, sinks, and appliances.

How to use: You don’t even have to dilute the mixture – just powder the previously wet surfaces. Wait 10 minutes and remove the mustard with a dry cloth. Most of the plaque should stay on it.

Nuances: Keep in mind that mustard powder is not suitable for cleaning wooden cabinets.

Citric acid

Slime easily removes stains, fat, scale, lime, and deposits.

How to use: Mix 15g of acid with a liter of water for kitchen furniture processing. Pour the solution into the spray bottle and splash all surfaces well. Wait for half an hour and walk around the facades with a sponge.

Nuances: For new stains, a normal slice of lemon will suffice. Cut a slice and rub it generously on the surface. And then the mechanism is still the same – wait, wash and wipe. A pleasant bonus will be a light and fresh fragrance.

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It does not matter what means you choose. Be sure to consider the material and coating of your cabinets so as not to spoil the surface irrecoverably. Or better yet, try the product first in an inconspicuous remote area.

It’s a great temptation to literally rip off all the extra fat and not waste time on it, but take your time with drastic measures! We recommend putting aside knives, scrapers, metal sponges and too abrasive products. After all, you probably do not want to remove stains with a layer of paint and wood or hopelessly scratch glossy acrylic.

Vinegar and Olive Oil: Good or Bad?

how to clean cabinets

We start with vinegar. Few people know that with cheap 9% vinegar you can wash almost everything in your house – from floors to a kettle of limescale.

The only downside to a vinegar cleaner is the smell. You can reduce it by 20-30 drops of essential oil (to taste) and an open vent. However, the vinegar wears off fairly quickly and takes away all the other unpleasant odours with it, leaving us with the very clean smell we need.

When DO NOT use vinegar? What makes vinegar an effective cleaner – its acidity – is also the reason why it cannot be used to clean certain surfaces. The acetic solution can damage natural stone (e.g. granite or marble), waxy and untreated wood, as well as silk and wool.

Olive oil is non-drying oil, so when applied to a tree it remains liquid and spoils.  After all, it creates a stench and attracts poisonous bacteria.

Inventory for Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

how to clean sticky wood kitchen cabinets

Various sponges, brushes, rags or other items are used for cleaning. There are also materials that have recently appeared on the market but can effectively cope with cleaning surfaces.

  • Melamine sponge. It looks similar to a normal sponge in appearance but resembles rubber when compressed. It removes pencil or felt-tip marks from any surface and also copes with other serious impurities. Over time, the sponge rubs off like an eraser. The material it is made of is safe for use.
  • Steam cleaning. Housewives who are interested in cleaning their kitchen sets from grease and dirt often choose steam cleaning. This is possible with a steam generator at home. After such treatment, the dirt easily escapes from any surface, so even the oldest plaque is removed. Steam removes soot and limescale. High temperatures contribute to the destruction of germs and fungus, which is why disinfection is carried out simultaneously with cleaning.

How to Care for Natural Wood Furniture

best cabinet cleaner

  • Wood furniture should not be wiped with a wet or even damp cloth, as it is very sensitive to moisture.
  • In order to cause minimal damage to your favorite furniture, you should only clean it with a cloth material or a dry flannel rag.
  • Furniture made of precious woods should be treated with special care. Such furniture must be restricted in contact with very hot and very cold dishes, as it can leave traces. In order to avoid this, you need to use various stands, tablecloths, etc.;
  • Veneer furniture should be wiped with a slightly damp CB cloth. Among other things, there are a number of delicate products that will help with the care of this type of furniture;
  • To care for wooden furniture, products in the form of liquids, aerosols, pastes and special napkins are now available. There is also no need to use solvents for this type of furniture.
  • Cleaning agents for this type of furniture can be: oil-based and wax-based:
  • Oily-based products are perfect for cleaning and protecting any wooden surfaces. Oil-based cleaning formulas gently take care of wood, clean dirt and give it a shine and fresh color;
  • Wax-based products are used for polishing purposes. Wax-based products prevent the formation of dirt, scuffs and minor scratches. They leave no streaks, have dust-repellent properties, and have an antistatic effect, all of which together help to keep polished furniture in perfect condition.

Conclusion

How to clean cabinets? The kitchen is one of the most visited rooms in any flat or house, so it requires daily care, cleaning and other procedures to keep the room clean. And a solid wood kitchen is an absolute indicator of luxury, but you buy such furniture not only to show people around you the high status of the owner himself.

A kitchen made of natural material looks harmonious, forms a coziness, and in general, being here is a seeming unity and closeness to nature. This feeling is particularly appreciated in stuffy metropolises, where there is practically nothing natural left.

But natural wood products, together with a demonstration of beauty and aesthetics, call for responsibility. To preserve luxury for a long time, you need to take care of your furniture with reverence, not just regularly, but also with the right cleaning products.

Wooden kitchen furniture requires careful care, especially in terms of cleaning up fatty substances. It is not always safe to use traditional products, but they can be easily replaced with any of the above folk recipes. The effectiveness of cleaning is guaranteed.

Surface cleaners must be selected with extreme care. All kinds of solvents and esters should be excluded. All this, after regular use, will eventually dry the wood or spoil the varnish if it is applied to the surface. When choosing suitable detergents, you should pay attention to PH-neutrality, oil, wax and silicone content. You do not need to look for the full range of qualities, but you should consider them if possible. All this is important, as a natural wood kitchen continues to breathe even after processing and reacts to external stimuli.

Natural wood is a capricious material that requires a lot of attention. But the rules for taking care of it are not complicated at all, and if you develop a habit of using them regularly, the work will seem not only easy but also enjoyable.

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