How to Clean Wood Kitchen Cabinets (Grease + Dust)

Do your kitchen cupboards have dust, build-up or greasy gunk on them? Find out how to clean your wood kitchen cabinets to remove tough stains, grease, and dust build-up the easy way. Plus I’ll show you how to do it with natural ingredients you likely already have in your home like white vinegar, baking soda, olive oil, and my one of my favorite cleaning ingredients, lemon essential oil.

How to Clean Wood Kitchen Cabinets

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You spend most of your time in the kitchen, so it’s normal to get a build-up of dust, grime, grease (from cooking or food preparation), and even food splatters on your kitchen cabinets. However, with wood cabinetry, you want to take caution to avoid harsh, abrasive cleaners that may strip the paint, finish or wood, and avoid getting the cabinets too damp with cleaners that may rust the hardware, hinges or make the wood swell up. The best way to clean kitchen cabinets is with gentle cleaning products and using a microfiber cloth to wipe away any excess liquid.

When to Clean Your Kitchen Cabinets

  • As Needed – Clean the cabinets when you’ve got food platters or greasy kitchen cabinets from cooking meals (like fried foods or hamburgers)
  • Weekly – Clean your kitchen cabinets at least weekly for everyday maintenance
  • Every 3 months – Make sure you’re deep cleaning the inside of the cabinets (including shelves) as well as the outside of your cabinets and the top (if yours has space between it and the ceiling) every quarter to prevent build-up

Cleaning Supplies You’ll Need

Before you begin cleaning, be sure to gather your cleaning supplies together:

  • Warm water – Avoid cold or hot water as it may damage the wood. Warm water helps to gently clean and remove build-up
  • Mild dish soap – Use a natural or mild dish soap to degrease surfaces
  • White vinegar – Helps to remove grease stains, fingerprints, food particles, and more
  • Baking soda – Use separately from white vinegar to remove tougher stains and build up
  • Lemon essential oil – My secret ingredient that helps to remove sticky residue, gunk, and grease. It works so well to degrease surfaces easily
  • Microfiber cloths, soft sponges or paper towels – Use to swipe away dust and build-up, and keep cabinets from getting too wet
  • Spray bottle
  • Old toothbrush
How to Clean Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Precautions Before Cleaning

  • You may want to avoid using white vinegar on waxed kitchen cabinets as the vinegar may strip the wax. Just omit the vinegar and use 1 cup of water, 1/2 tsp dish soap, and 5 drops of lemon essential oil.
  • You may want to avoid using baking soda on painted wood cabinets. Baking soda is generally a gentle abrasive for all surfaces, but to be safe you could test an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t scratch the surface or omit altogether. Lemon oil is a great degreaser and works well to remove tough stains as well.

Best Cleaner for Kitchen Cabinets

Here’s a quick recipe to make your own DIY Kitchen Cabinet Cleaner that will cut through grease, food stains, and everyday dust and build-up.

  1. Add 1/2 cup each of white vinegar and warm water to a spray bottle.
  2. Add a few drops of mild dish soap.
  3. Shake well and it’ll be ready to use.

If you don’t love the smell of a vinegar solution, you could omit the vinegar, use this DIY Kitchen Cleaner recipe (made without vinegar) or use Thieves Cleaner (a natural all-purpose cleaner concentrate) as an alternate cleaner.

For tougher food stains or grease and dust build-up, use baking soda. Keep reading to find out below.

How to Clean Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Step by Step Directions

For everyday cleaning:

  1. Start with the top cabinets first, and then work you way to the lower cabinets.
  2. Spray the doors and outside surfaces of the cabinets, and let the vinegar solution sit for a minute.
  3. Use a microfiber cloth or clean paper towel to wipe the surfaces clean.
  4. Repeat until all outside surfaces are cleaned.

For deep cleaning:

  1. Remove contents of inside of cabinets and place on the counter.
  2. Repeat steps for everyday cleaning, plus wipe down surfaces on the side of the cabinets, as well as hinges, drawer fronts, and cabinet hardware.

For greasy cabinets and dust build-up:

  1. Sprinkle a few drops of lemon essential oil on cabinet door, interior shelves or on the microfiber cloth (if it’s a hard to reach area).
  2. Spray surfaces with the vinegar cleaning solution and let sit for a few minutes.
  3. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe clean. It make take a few wipes to get out all the dust. The lemon oil works as a natural degreaser.

For tough food stains or build-up:

  1. Test an inconspicuous spot first to make sure the baking soda is not too abrasive. Typically, it’s gentle enough for all kitchen cabinet surfaces but if you’ve got painted wood cabinets, you might want to test it first to be sure.
  2. Mix baking soda, water and a few drops of lemon essential oil to make a thick paste. This Homemade Soft Scrub can be used as a mild abrasive to remove stubborn stains like food particles or splatters.
  3. Use a damp sponge and the soft scrub to gently clean surfaces.
  4. Use an old toothbrush to get hard to reach areas or to clean grooved surfaces.
  5. Rinse the sponge with warm water and clean surfaces until all soft scrub residue is gone.
  6. Use a dry cloth to dry wood cabinets.
How to Clean Wood Kitchen Cabinets

For wood cabinets that are stained:

  • You may also want to polish the wood every 3 months to condition the wood.
  • Use this DIY Furniture Polish Spray made with just white vinegar, olive oil, and lemon oil. This can work well to remove water stains as well.
  • Or use your favorite wood furniture polish.

For wood cabinets with glass doors:

  • Use this DIY Glass Cleaner to clean glass or mirror doors, shelves or other surfaces.
  • Buff as needed with a dry microfiber cloth.

Decluttering Tip

After your cabinets have been cleaned and polished, reorganize and reassemble your kitchen items. Take this opportunity to declutter and arrange things neatly.

Maintenance Tips

To keep your wood kitchen cabinets looking their best:

  • Wipe spills immediately to prevent staining.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive materials.
  • Dust regularly to prevent the buildup of dirt and grime.
How to Clean Wood Kitchen Cabinets


Can I use any cleaning product on wood cabinets?

It’s best to stick to mild, non-abrasive cleaning products. Harsh chemicals can damage the wood finish. A mixture of warm water, white vinegar, mild dish soap, and a few drops of lemon oil are really all that you need.

What is the best degreaser for wood kitchen cabinets?

Mild dish soap and lemon essential oil will work best to degrease kitchen cabinets. Dish soap has surfactants that help to break down grease, food particles, and dust build-up. Lemon oil is a natural degreaser that works well for sticky residue, greasy dust, and even gum (yes, I’ve tried it myself).

How do I clean laminate cabinets?

You can actually use the same method to clean laminate kitchen cabinets and other surfaces. Simply spray the vinegar solution on laminate, and use a cloth or paper towel to wipe clean. You won’t need to polish or condition the laminate as you would need to with wood.

How do I prevent water damage on wooden cabinets?

To prevent water damage, always dry cabinet surfaces immediately after cleaning. Use a dry microfiber cloth or clean paper towels to wipe surfaces.

How to Clean Wood Kitchen Cabinets

How to Get Started with Essential Oils

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Did you try these tips to clean your wood kitchen cabinets? Don’t forget to comment below to let me know how it went. You can also FOLLOW ME on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

How to Clean Kitchen Cabinets

Best Cleaner for Kitchen Cabinets

Don’t Mess With Mama
Find out how to clean your wood kitchen cabinets to remove tough stains, grease, and dust build-up the easy way with this easy homemade kitchen cabinet cleaner.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes


  • 1 12-16 oz spray bottle
  • 1 soft sponge
  • 1 old toothbrush
  • 1 1 microfiber cloth or paper towels



  • Add 1/2 cup each of white vinegar and warm water to a spray bottle
  • Add a few drops of mild dish soap.
  • Screw on the spray nozzle on top of the bottle. Shake well before use.


You could sprinkle a little baking soda to the cabinet and use a a few sprays of this cleaner and gently wipe with a soft sponge. Repeat as needed to wipe up greasy gunk, dust, etc. 
Keyword homemade cabinet cleaner, how to clean kitchen cabients, how to clean wood kitchen cabinets, wood kitchen cleaner
Tried this recipe?Mention @dontmesswithmama on Instagram

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