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3 Easy And Best Ways To Clean White Kitchen Cabinets – Plus, 3 To Avoid!

White cabinets aren’t hard to clean. I’ve had them for 10 years. Here’s 3 easy ways to clean white kitchen cabinets (2 natural) & 3 to avoid.

How To Clean White Cabinets In Kitchen

Kitchen cabinets can get pretty dirty, pretty quickly. I’m always touching mine while chopping up food, baking, and cooking food. And, my fingers aren’t always perfectly clean when I do that.

Then, add in to the mix my 2 little boys who are also opening and closing cabinet doors and drawers with sticky fingers and that means I have to clean grease and fingerprints off kitchen cabinets pretty often.

Examples of cleaners that don't damage the finish on kitchen cabinets for a post with 3 ways to clean white kitchen cabinets.
Here’s a few things you might use to clean white kitchen cabinets without damaging the finish.

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Luckily, cleaning kitchen cabinets isn’t hard. The key is just adding it to your normal routine. And, you don’t even need any strong or expensive cleaners to do it properly.

You can effectively disinfect and clean white kitchen cabinets, and stained wood cabinets, with natural cleaners you probably have in your kitchen. Or, by using affordable and safe store-bought cleaners.

Let’s get to the 3 best ways to clean and degrease kitchen cabinets! Then I’ll follow that up with some answers to common questions and cabinet cleaning tips.

How To Clean White Kitchen Cabinets

Let’s get started with the safe and easy ways I keep my kitchen cabinets clean.

1. How To Keep White Kitchen Cabinets Clean With Dawn Dish Soap

About once every week or two, I mix 1 cup of hot water and with 1 tablespoon of dawn dish soap. Diluted dish soap is a safe cleaner on painted or stained and sealed kitchen cabinets.

And, Dawn dish soap is pretty good at removing average grease build up, dirt, and stains.

For an extra grease removing boost, you can add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the mix. That vinegar is also great at killing MOST bacteria and viruses.

Examples of cleaners that don't damage the finish on kitchen cabinets for a post with 3 ways to clean white kitchen cabinets.
I LOVE those microfiber rags for cleaning everything around my house!

When the mix is ready, I dip a clean microfiber cloth or dishrag into it. Then I ring the liquid mostly out before quickly wiping down any dust, dirt, and grease on my kitchen cabinets.

Be sure to clean and disinfect the cabinet pulls and drawer pulls too. You can use a soft bristle toothbrush to get into any crevices and details in your cabinets.

As I’m working, I wipe off that dish soap mix with a dry kitchen towel or microfiber cloth to prevent water spots from showing up on the finish.

One More Tip: After cleaning the cabinets, I clean my counters with this mix, give the inside of my oven a quick clean to remove oil and dirt before it can build up, and I clean the inside of the microwave too.

Check out this post to see another way to clean with Dawn Dish Soap: How to Clean Marble Shower Tile & Grout (Easy & Safe).

An example of a cleaner that cannot be used to clean kitchen cabinets.
The Pink Stuff is a super popular cleaner. BUT, it can’t be used on everything. It specifically says on the back that it should not be used on painted or varnished surfaces. So, don’t use it to clean cabinets.

2. How To Use All-Purpose Cleaners On Kitchen Cabinets

You can also use a cabinet-safe, all-purpose cleaner for weekly spot-cleaning. Just spray a little on the cabinets, then wipe it off with a microfiber towel.

And, you can get crevices and grooves in your cabinets clean with a soft bristle toothbrush with a little of the cleaner on it.

I absolutely love how easy it is to clean kitchen cabinets with an all-purpose spray or multi-surface cleaner. BUT, you have to be careful about which one you use.

Check the product description and recommended uses on the back to be sure that it is safe to use on cabinets. Many all-purpose products aren’t safe on sealed wood cabinets or painted surfaces.

Test new cleaners on a hidden part of your cabinets, if you’re not sure that it’s safe.

2 good examples of a cabinet-safe cleaner is the Lysol with Hydrogen Peroxide Multi-Purpose Cleaner and the Windex Multi-Surface Disinfectant Cleaner.

This Lysol multi-surface cleaner should be safe to use to clean kitchen cabinets.
The back of this Lysol with Hydrogen Peroxide spray says that it CAN BE used on cabinets.

3. How To Use Vinegar To Clean White Kitchen Cabinets

For a homemade cabinet cleaner, you can use a 1 part vinegar 2 parts water mix in a spray bottle. Vinegar is a popular natural cleaner that is great at killing MOST bacteria and viruses.

Vinegar is also great at breaking down grease, so you can easily wipe it away before grease builds up on your kitchen cabinets.

Spray the vinegar mix onto your cabinets. Don’t use too much. You don’t want to saturate your cabinets with any kind of liquid.

Too much liquid might damage cabinets made with MDF, plywood, compressed boards, or even some woods..

Then use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the entire surface of the cabinets. Don’t forget to clean the handles and pulls too.

And, as I said in the first 2 options to clean white kitchen cabinets, you can use a little cleaner on a soft bristle toothbrush to get into the details and crevices on your cabinets.

Check out this post to see another way to clean with vinegar: The Easy Way To Clean A Dishwasher Filter.

3 Cleaners That Are Bad For Kitchen Cabinets

Bleach and cleaning products that contain bleach should not be used on kitchen cabinets.

As promised, here are 3 examples of cleaners you should not use on kitchen cabinets; chlorine bleach, straight vinegar, and abrasive cleaners or scrubbers.

Let’s start with why you shouldn’t use bleach on cabinets.

Chlorine bleach is a corrosive solution that can eat away at the finish on painted and stained cabinets. After just one use, it can dull the clear coat and lighten the color of the paint of stain on your cabinets.

Straight, or undiluted, white vinegar is a strong acid. It can clean and kill bacteria and viruses.

But, if you are cleaning cabinets with vinegar that isn’t diluted, the acid can also break down the finish on your cabinets, dulling the sheen and eventually removing the paint or stain.

And, last but not least on this list, you should not use a Magic Eraser, heavy duty scrubbing pad, or any other abrasive scrubbers on your cabinets. Again, it’s all about protecting your finish.

A Magic Eraser is abrasive and SHOULD NOT be used on kitchen cabinets.
A Magic Eraser is as abrasive as fine grit sandpaper and SHOULD NOT be used on kitchen cabinets.

Abrasive scrubbers can sand down the clear top coat on your cabinets, making the sheen look permanently dulled in spots. Persistent scrubbing will also remove the paint and stain on your cabinets.

These ARE NOT the only products that CANNOT be used on your cabinets. Read the tips in the 3 recommended cleaners above for easy ways to safely clean kitchen cabinets without damaging the finish.

Check out this post to see another way to clean with bleach: Remove Water Stain from Ceiling Without Paint – 1 Easy Step.

How To Keep White Kitchen Cabinets Clean

The best way to keep white kitchen cabinets clean is with regular cleaning to remove grease before it can build up. Cleaning cabinets doesn’t have to take long.

Just quickly wipe down around all cabinet handles and any dirty areas with a cabinet-safe cleaner and a microfiber cloth. You can see my 3 favorite white kitchen cabinet cleaners near the beginning of this post.

Also, be aware that the finish on cabinets will slowly yellow overtime IF EXPOSED TO A LOT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT.

What Is The Best Way To Clean White Kitchen Cabinets?

The best kitchen cabinet cleaner I’ve tried is a homemade cleaner made from Dawn dish soap and vinegar. I make it with 1 cup of hot water, 1 tablespoon of Dawn dish soap, and 1/4 cup of vinegar.

The dish soap is a great cleaner and degreaser. The vinegar adds more degreasing power and it’s an effective way to kill most bacteria and viruses.

Before and after kitchen makeover photos of a kitchen with Starmark white cabinets and Lusso quartz counters from Cosentino.
I’ve been cleaning my white kitchen cabinets with mostly Dawn dish soap and hot water since they were installed.

How Do You Clean White Kitchen Cabinets Without Removing The Finish?

You can safely clean kitchen cabinets without removing the finish by using mild, cabinet-safe cleaners, non-abrasive rags and sponges. Always avoid using bleach, pure vinegar, and abrasive scrubbers and pads that can damage the finish on your cabinets.

You can see my 3 favorite homemade and store-bought cabinet cleaners near the top of this post.

Can You Use A Magic Eraser On Cabinets?

No, you cannot use a magic eraser on cabinets. A magic eraser is as abrasive as a high grit sandpaper. A Magic Eraser will remove the finish on your cabinets.

So, scrubbing a painted or stained cabinet with a Magic Eraser will scrub off the top coat and eventually remove the paint or stain, if you keep scrubbing.

An example of the finish on cabinets being removed by the Magic Eraser.
8 years ago, my toddler wrote on my white cabinets. Without knowing anything about the Magic Eraser, I used one to scrub those spots. You can see here that I scrubbed off the finish before I realized what was happening.

How To Clean Grease Off White Kitchen Cabinets

You should use a proven cleaner and degreaser to clean grease off white kitchen cabinets.

A 1 to 2 mix of vinegar and water, diluted Dawn dish soap in hot water, and all-purpose cleaners that are safe on kitchen cabinets can clean dirt and grease off of kitchen cabinets.

For extra thick grease, apply a paste of baking soda and a little water to greasy spots. Let that sit for 15 minutes, then wipe away.

Examples of cleaners that don't damage the finish on kitchen cabinets for a post with 3 ways to clean white kitchen cabinets.
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That’s it for how to clean white kitchen cabinets. Here’s more of my favorite Home Cleaning tips, you might like.

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Feeling inspired? Now that you’ve seen 3 ways to clean kitchen cabinets, you can do it! Go get to it! 🙂