Kitchen cabinets can get pretty dirty, pretty quickly. I’m always touching mine while chopping up food, baking, and cooking. So, 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 my kitchen cabinets pretty often.
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Luckily, cleaning white 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.
Table of contents
- How To Clean White Cabinets
- 3 Best Ways To Clean White Kitchen Cabinets
- 3 Bad Cleaners For Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets
- How To Keep White Kitchen Cabinets Clean
- What Is The Best Way To Clean White Cabinets?
- How Do You Clean White Kitchen Cabinets Without Removing The Finish?
- Can You Use A Magic Eraser On Cabinets?
- How To Clean Grease Off White Kitchen Cabinets
How To Clean White Cabinets
You can see how I use my my favorite white kitchen cabinet cleaners in this video. Keep scrolling for the written guide.
3 Best Ways To Clean White Kitchen Cabinets
Let’s get started with how to clean white cabinets, the safe and easy way.
Cleaning White Kitchen Cabinets 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.
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).
Cabinet-Safe All-Purpose Cleaners
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.
Here’s 3 multi-purpose cleaners that ARE SAFE for cleaning cabinets.
- Lysol’s Hydrogen Peroxide Multi-Purpose Cleaner
- Windex Multi-Surface Disinfectant Cleaner
- Mrs. Meyers All-Purpose Cleaner
Cleaning White Cabinets With Vinegar
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 for cleaning white 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 Bad Cleaners For Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets
Now, that you’ve seen my picks for the best way to clean white kitchen cabinets, let’s go over the 3 bad cleaners for cabinets (that many people use).
As promised, here are 3 examples of cleaners you should not use on kitchen cabinets.
- Chlorine Bleach
- Undiluted Vinegar
- Abrasive Cleaners and 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.
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.
UPDATE: See the 7 Beautiful DIY Kitchen Makeover Ideas I made in this kitchen in 2023!
What Is The Best Way To Clean White Cabinets?
The best cleaner for white kitchen cabinets 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.
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.
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.
That’s it for how to clean white kitchen cabinets. Here’s more of my favorite Home Cleaning tips, you might like.
- Easy Steps for Using Easy Off Oven Cleaner Fume Free
- 8 Popular Cleaners People Use That Damage Your Grout (and Grout Sealer)
- Is A Steam Mop Good For Tile Floors? With Tips For Cleaner Floors!
- How to Clean Marble Shower Tile & Grout (Easy & Safe)
- Testing 7 Easy Ways To Get A Heat Stain Out Of Wood (With Video And Tips)
- Does Grout Renew Work: Easy Steps & Full Review
- 3 Easy Ways To Get The Sweat Smell Out Of Shirts And Gym Clothes
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Feeling inspired? Now that you’ve seen the best way to clean white cabinets, you can do it! Go get to it! 🙂
Stephanie Abbott has been remodeling homes, updating & building furniture, and working on DIY home maintenance and cleaning tips for over 20 years. Her remodeling has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. And, her DIY YouTube channel has had more than 8 million views.
Most of the DIY tutorials and videos on this site focus on beginner to intermediate level DIY Projects that can be done in an affordable way without high-end, expensive tools. All of the cleaning tips on this website have been tested in her home.