Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

How do you get a musty smell from kitchen cabinets?

Theresa from Ashe Co, NC

Tips for cleaning kitchen cabinets. Post your ideas.


Cleaning Wooden Kitchen Cabinets

Use a solution of 50% water and 50% white vinegar in a spray bottle to clean your wooden kitchen cabinets. You'll never get buildup or streaks.


By Brenda Cole (02/23/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Kitchen Cabinets - Special Cleaning

Some wood cabinet cleaners contain waxes which leave a shine or medium luster on the surface, and protect the wood. If the wood finish seems dull after cleaning, you may want to apply a solvent-based wood wax, which may or may not require buffing to create a luster.

Painted, plastic, and metal surfaces, may be cleaned occasionally with a creamy liquid wax which leaves a protective coating which retards soiling. If the finish is hard and in good condition, this extra step may not be needed.

Never use scouring powder or other abrasives on cabinets as they will damage the finish. On painted metal, or plastic surfaces, using an appropriate spray-on all-purpose household cleaner on stubborn sticky spots should remove them; rinse thoroughly afterward.


On natural finished wood, with a heavy buildup of grease and grime, that will not come off with special wood cleaners, you may need to use a straight solvent such as paint thinner. This is highly flammable and toxic to breathe. "Be sure there are not open flames or pilot lights or sparks in the kitchen or in rooms around the kitchen. Have the windows open for good ventilation. Removing doors and drawers and working outdoor, with not flames or sparks nearby, may be a good alternative."

Test on the inside of a door to be sure it will not harm the finish. Dampen a cloth with the thinner or solvent and rub vigorously on the cabinets. Refold the cloth as it picks up dirt, and change to clean cloths when needed, storing used cloths in a closed metal or glass container for disposal. If after this heavy cleaning, the finish looks dull, apply furniture wax or polish, following the label directions, and buff. If, after cleaning, the finish looks too bad, they may need refinishing.


This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus with references from the Soap and Detergent Association.
MSU Extension

By ThriftyFun

Refurbishing Kitchen Cabinets

Get kitchen cabinets looking new. Clean with 1:6 ratio of Dawn dishwashing detergent to water, sponge dry and apply light coat of boiled linseed oil (at any hardware store). Your cabinet (or any wood product) will shine like new.

By Kathleen (02/23/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

After cleaning with the suggestions mentioned, I'd also use an opened box of baking soda inside the back of each cabinet for about a month to see if that helps, remembering to keep the doors shut all of the time when not in use. Often times previous owners have sprayed insecticide which leaves a bad odor, or perhaps the house sat vacant for too long?


Once cleaned well, they should improve, especially with
the inexpensive boxes of soda that can be used for floor cleaning afterward. Hope this helps. God bless you for trying to improve your home. (10/29/2006)

By Lynda

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