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How to Remove Grease from Kitchen Cabinets: An Easy Guide

Are your kitchen cabinets in need of a makeover? Maintaining clean and grease-free kitchen cabinets is vital for a pristine culinary space. Over time, grease can accumulate on surfaces, tarnishing their appearance. Fear not! We’ll delve into how to remove grease from kitchen cabinets, unveiling expert techniques to revive their sparkle.

Left unchecked, grease buildup can evolve into a formidable adversary, stubbornly clinging to your cabinets. But fret not, for there’s hope! Armed with the right knowledge and supplies, you can banish grease and restore your cabinets to their former glory. Say goodbye to dullness and hello to radiance!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unravel the mysteries of grease removal from kitchen cabinets, offering you a roadmap to cleanliness and hygiene. From gentle cleansers to powerful degreasers, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions tailored to your needs. Elevate your kitchen’s aesthetic and ensure a pristine environment for culinary adventures!

Understanding the Challenge: Why Kitchen Cabinets Attract Grease

Kitchen cabinets are exposed to various sources of grease, including cooking oils, food splatters, and steam. These substances can settle on the cabinet surfaces and form a sticky residue that attracts more dirt and grime.

Additionally, the warmth and humidity in the kitchen create an ideal environment for grease to accumulate and harden over time. As a result, the cabinets can become coated with a layer of stubborn grease that requires proper cleaning techniques to eliminate.

Importance of Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning of kitchen cabinets is essential to prevent grease buildup and maintain a clean and healthy kitchen environment. Neglecting the cleaning process can lead to the accumulation of not only grease but also bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.

Moreover, the grease can penetrate the cabinet surfaces, causing discoloration and damage to the wood or other materials. By incorporating routine cleaning into your kitchen maintenance, you can prolong the lifespan of your cabinets and ensure they remain visually appealing.

Preparing for Grease Removal

Before you embark on the task of removing grease from your kitchen cabinets, it is important to gather the necessary supplies. Having the right tools and products on hand will make the process more efficient and effective. Here are some items you will need:

  • Dish soap or a grease-cutting detergent
  • Warm water
  • Microfiber or soft cleaning cloth
  • Sponge or soft-bristle brush
  • White vinegar or lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • Optional: Cabinet cleaner or degreaser (commercial or homemade)

Safety Precautions

When dealing with grease and cleaning products, it is important to take safety precautions to protect yourself and the surrounding area. Here are some safety measures to consider:

  • Wear protective gloves to shield your hands from harsh chemicals and potential skin irritation.
  • Ensure that the area is well-ventilated by opening windows or using a fan. This will help dissipate any fumes or odors from the cleaning products.
  • If using commercial cleaners, read and follow the instructions and warnings provided on the packaging. Some products may require specific handling or dilution ratios.
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Now that you have gathered the necessary supplies and taken the proper safety precautions, you are ready to begin removing the grease from your kitchen cabinets.

Method 1: Dish Soap and Water

Dish soap and water are a popular and effective combination for removing grease from kitchen cabinets. This method is gentle yet powerful enough to tackle moderate grease buildup. Follow these steps to successfully clean your cabinets using dish soap and water:

  1. Mixing a degreasing solution: In a bucket or sink, fill it with warm water and add a few drops of dish soap or a grease-cutting detergent. Swirl the water to create a soapy solution.
  2. Gentle scrubbing technique: Dip a microfiber or soft cleaning cloth into the soapy water and wring out excess moisture. Gently scrub the greasy areas of the cabinet surfaces, applying light pressure. For stubborn grease, use a sponge or soft-bristle brush.
  3. Rinsing and drying: Once you have removed the grease, rinse the cabinets with clean water to remove any soap residue. Use a separate cloth or sponge dampened with clean water for rinsing. Finally, dry the cabinets thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth to prevent water spots or streaks.

Method 2: Citrus-Based Multipurpose Cleaner

If you prefer a natural and fragrant option to remove grease from your kitchen cabinets, a citrus-based multipurpose cleaner is an excellent choice. The natural oils in citrus fruits have degreasing properties that can effectively break down and remove grease buildup. Follow these steps for using a citrus-based cleaner:

  1. The power of citrus oil: Citrus oils, such as orange oil or lemon oil, are known for their powerful degreasing abilities. These oils help dissolve grease and leave a pleasant scent behind.
  2. Choosing the right cleaner: Look for a citrus-based multipurpose cleaner at your local store or make your own by combining citrus oil with water or vinegar. Ensure that the cleaner is safe for the type of cabinet material you have.
  3. Application and wiping process: Spray the citrus-based cleaner directly onto the greasy areas of the cabinets. Allow the cleaner to sit for a few minutes to penetrate the grease. Then, using a soft cloth or sponge, gently wipe away the grease in a circular motion. Repeat if necessary.

Note: Before using any cleaner, it’s important to test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the cabinet to ensure it does not cause any damage or discoloration.

By utilizing the power of citrus oil and following the proper cleaning technique, you can effectively eliminate grease from your kitchen cabinets and enjoy their renewed cleanliness.

Now that you have learned about two effective methods for removing grease from kitchen cabinets, let’s explore another method that utilizes vinegar and hot water.

Method 3: Vinegar and Hot Water

Vinegar is a versatile and natural cleaning agent that can effectively dissolve grease from kitchen cabinets. When combined with hot water, it becomes an excellent solution for tackling stubborn grease buildup. Follow these steps to remove grease using vinegar and hot water:

  1. Creating a vinegar solution: In a spray bottle, mix equal parts of white vinegar and hot water. Shake the bottle gently to combine the ingredients.
  2. Letting it sit: Spray the vinegar solution onto the greasy areas of the cabinets. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to penetrate the grease and soften it.
  3. Wiping away grease residue: Using a soft cloth or sponge, gently wipe away the grease residue from the cabinet surfaces. For tough stains, you can use a soft-bristle brush to scrub the area. Repeat the process if needed.
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Note: Avoid using vinegar on cabinets with a natural wood finish, as it may cause discoloration.

Method 4: Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

Baking soda and lemon juice are two common household ingredients that, when combined, create a powerful natural degreaser. This method is particularly effective for stubborn grease stains. Follow these steps to use baking soda and lemon juice to remove grease from your kitchen cabinets:

  1. Homemade natural degreaser: In a small bowl, mix baking soda with freshly squeezed lemon juice to create a paste-like consistency. The lemon juice provides acidity and degreasing properties, while the baking soda acts as an abrasive.
  2. Spraying and scrubbing: Apply the baking soda and lemon juice paste directly to the greasy areas of the cabinets. Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub the paste into the grease, applying light pressure. Focus on stubborn areas.
  3. Rinsing and drying: After scrubbing, rinse the cabinets with clean water to remove any residue. Use a separate cloth or sponge dampened with clean water for rinsing. Finally, dry the cabinets thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth.

Note: Test the baking soda and lemon juice paste on a small, inconspicuous area of the cabinet to ensure it does not cause any damage or discoloration.

By utilizing the natural cleaning power of vinegar and hot water, as well as the combination of baking soda and lemon juice, you can effectively remove stubborn grease from your kitchen cabinets, leaving them clean and refreshed.

Targeting Stubborn Areas

When cleaning kitchen cabinets, some areas may require extra attention due to stubborn grease buildup. Here are a few techniques to effectively target those areas:

  • Focusing on handles, knobs, and edges: Grease tends to accumulate around cabinet handles, knobs, and edges. Use a soft toothbrush or small cleaning brush to scrub these areas gently.
  • Using cotton swabs for crevices: Crevices and tight spaces can be challenging to clean. Dip a cotton swab in your chosen cleaning solution and carefully maneuver it into the crevices to remove trapped grease.

Preventive Measures

Taking preventive measures can help minimize the buildup of grease on your kitchen cabinets. Here are some tips for regular maintenance and protecting your cabinets:

  • Regular maintenance tips:
    • Wipe down your cabinets regularly with a soft cloth or microfiber cloth to remove any surface grease or dirt.
    • Clean up spills and splatters immediately to prevent them from settling and hardening into grease.
  • Protective coatings (wax or sealants): Applying a protective coating can create a barrier on your cabinets, making it easier to remove grease and preventing it from seeping into the material. Consider using a furniture wax or cabinet sealant suitable for your cabinet material.
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Special Considerations for Different Cabinet Materials

Different cabinet materials may require specific care when removing grease. Here are some guidelines for cleaning grease off various types of kitchen cabinets:

Wood cabinets

  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on wood cabinets, as they can damage the finish.
  • Use a gentle cleaning solution, such as a mixture of dish soap and water, to remove grease from wood cabinets.
  • Follow up with a wood cleaner or polish to restore the shine and protect the wood.

Laminate cabinets

  • Laminate cabinets are more resistant to moisture and stains, making them easier to clean.
  • Wipe down laminate cabinets with a mild detergent solution or a non-abrasive household cleaner to remove grease.
  • Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly to prevent water damage.

Painted cabinets

  • Painted cabinets can be sensitive to certain cleaning agents.
  • Use a mild dish soap and water solution or a gentle all-purpose cleaner to remove grease from painted cabinets.
  • Test any new cleaning product in a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire cabinet.

By targeting stubborn areas, practicing preventive measures, and considering the specific care requirements for different cabinet materials, you can maintain clean and grease-free kitchen cabinets.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While cleaning your kitchen cabinets, you may encounter some common issues. Here are a few troubleshooting tips:

  • Discoloration after cleaning: If you notice discoloration on your cabinets after cleaning, it could be due to the cleaning solution or technique. Try the following:
    • Test any new cleaning product in a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire cabinet.
    • Adjust the cleaning solution or technique to be more gentle.
  • Residue buildup: Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may still experience residue buildup on your cabinets. To address this issue:
    • Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe away any residue.
    • Consider using a mild vinegar solution to dissolve and remove the residue effectively.


Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to remove grease from kitchen cabinets, leaving them clean and refreshed. By implementing the techniques and tips outlined in this guide, you can enjoy sparkling, grease-free cabinets in your kitchen.

Remember, consistent cleaning habits are essential for maintaining the cleanliness of your cabinets. Regularly wipe down your cabinets and address any spills or splatters promptly to prevent grease buildup. By staying proactive in your cleaning routine, you can keep your cabinets looking their best for years to come.

In conclusion, here are a few key takeaways:

  1. Celebrate your sparkling, grease-free cabinets by showcasing their renewed beauty to friends and family.
  2. Embrace the habit of consistent cleaning to prevent grease buildup and maintain the cleanliness of your cabinets.
  3. Don’t hesitate to troubleshoot common issues, such as discoloration or residue buildup, using the tips provided.

With these practices and knowledge, you can confidently tackle grease and keep your kitchen cabinets looking pristine and inviting. To further enhance your kitchen cleaning prowess, consider exploring our other articles on maintaining a spotless kitchen and effective cleaning techniques for different surfaces.

Adan Rohan

Adan Rohan is an Editorial assistant at, a crowdsourced home design company that offers affordable, modern home plans. Previously, he worked at Curbed as a staff writer, covering both architecture and design. Adan has a bachelor's degree in English from Skidmore College, where he focused mainly on creative writing and design.

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