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The Art of Clean: A Guide to Sparkling Wood Cabinets


A clean, rustic kitchen with gray cabinets.
Clean Results details a plan to clean wooden cabinets.

The heart of your kitchen (and sometimes bathroom!), wood cabinets take a beating. Between splatters, spills, and everyday grime, they can go from gleaming to greasy in no time.


But fear not, fellow homeowner! Bringing your cabinets back to their beautiful state is an achievable feat. This guide will equip you with the knowledge and methods to effectively clean your wood cabinets, leaving them fresh and shining.


Before You Dive In: Safety and Knowing Your Enemy

Safety first! Always remove any cleaning products from the reach of children and pets. When using any cleaning solution, make sure the area is well-ventilated. It's also a good idea to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands, especially if you're using a commercial product.


Now, let's get to know your opponent: the grime! Understanding the type of finish on your cabinets will guide your cleaning strategy. There are two main categories:


  • Unsealed Wood: This is less common, but if your cabinets have a raw, matte finish, they likely have no protective coating.

  • Sealed Wood: Most cabinets today have a sealed finish, which can be further categorized as lacquered, painted, or stained with a polyurethane topcoat. A sealed finish makes cabinets easier to clean and protects them from moisture and stains.

Test, Test, Don't Regret!

Before tackling the entire cabinet kingdom, it's crucial to test your cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area, like the inside of a cabinet door. Apply a small amount of the solution and wipe it off. Wait a few minutes to see if the finish is affected. Discoloration or cloudiness indicates the solution is too harsh.


The Cleaning Arsenal: DIY vs. Commercial Options

You have two main choices for tackling cabinet grime:

  • The DIY Way: This eco-friendly and budget-conscious approach utilizes common household items. A popular solution is a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. For stubborn grease, add a few drops of dish soap.

  • Commercial Cleaners:  Many wood-specific cleaners are available. Look for products labelled "gentle" or "for wood cabinets." These cleaners are formulated to be safe and effective on sealed wood finishes.

Now for the Cleaning Cavalry: Tools and Techniques

  • Microfiber Cloths: These are your gentle giants. Use them damp (not soaking) to avoid saturating the wood.

  • Soft Sponges: Opt for non-abrasive sponges for tougher grime.

  • Toothbrush: A trusty tool for tackling tight corners and crevices.


Let's Get Cleaning!

  • Clear the Decks: Empty the cabinets and remove any hardware like pulls and knobs. Place them in a bowl of warm soapy water, then wipe them clean and dry thoroughly before reattaching.

  • Dust Busters: Use a microfiber cloth to remove loose dust and cobwebs.

  • Cleaning Solution at the Ready: Spray your chosen cleaning solution onto the microfiber cloth, not directly on the cabinets. Wipe down the cabinet doors and frames with the damp cloth, following the grain of the wood.

  • Taming the Beasts: For stubborn grime, use the damp sponge for a gentle scrub. If necessary, use a paste of baking soda and water on the sponge for extra cleaning power.

  • The Final Rinse: For a vinegar solution, there's no need to rinse unless the cabinets feel sticky. For other cleaning solutions, follow the product's instructions regarding rinsing.

  • Drying Up: Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to remove any moisture and prevent water spots.


Dealing with Deep Stains: Special Forces

For those persistent warriors of grime, here are some additional tips:

  • Grease Stains: Make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply it to the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing gently with a soft brush. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

  • Water Stains: Believe it or not, mayonnaise can be your friend! Apply a small amount to the stain and buff it out with a microfiber cloth. Wipe clean with a damp cloth and dry completely.

  • Sticky Residue: Use a plastic putty knife to carefully scrape off any excess residue. For stubborn spots, apply a bit of olive oil to a soft cloth and rub gently.


Remember: Patience is key. For heavily stained cabinets, multiple cleaning sessions might be necessary. Always work in small sections and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbing pads, which can damage the wood.


Clean Results is here for you!

And there you have it! With a little elbow grease and the right knowledge, your wood cabinets can shine like new again. For those times when life gets too busy, or your cleaning battles seem too daunting, remember that Clean Results is here to help!


We are the premier residential and commercial cleaning company in Bartlesville, OK, dedicated to providing exceptional cleaning services that leave your home sparkling. Contact us today for a free quote and let us help you achieve that clean you crave!


Learn more about Clean Results residential cleaning services today. Click here.



More peace!

That Clean Results feeling. You walk through the front door and feel the weight has lifted. Your home is clean. It smells clean. The floor feels clean. And now you can spend the rest of your day relaxing in the beauty of your home and/or doing what you love. Let Clean Results take the pressure off and help you enjoy more of your life.


Clean Results, LLC

3400 E Tuxedo Blvd Bartlesville, OK 74006

Tel: (918) 331-9082

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