Person wearing pink rubber gloves wiping kitchen gray kitchen cabinets with a green cloth.

How to Clean Your Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Keeping your kitchen clean can sometimes seem impossible. And although many people regularly tackle the visible mess of dirty countertops, stoves, and floors, cabinets are more often overlooked. Between the many splatters, spills, and grimy fingerprints, you might be surprised to find how much of this buildup lingers and further collects dust and grime. Over time, safely removing this buildup can become more difficult, especially when harsher cleaning materials can damage the paint on your cabinets.  

So when it comes time to clean your painted cabinets, you’ll need to take a gentle cleaning approach. To learn about the best methods for this process, keep reading.  

How Often to Clean Kitchen Cabinets 

Ideally your kitchen cabinets should be wiped down once a week or every other week. However, this amount will be different depending on the amount of use they get. Overall, the more often you wipe down your cabinets, the less grease and hard-to-remove stains build up. With regular cleaning, you prevent unwanted dirt, bacteria, and grease. And for painted cabinets, regular cleaning will help extend their coat.  

Related Topic: How Often Should You Replace Kitchen Cabinets?  

How to Clean Painted Wood Cabinets 

When cleaning your painted wood cabinets, you need to be mindful of the damage that excessive water and harsh abrasives can do to the wood and paint. So, there are a few different gentle-cleaning methods you can try, depending on the amount of dirt and grease buildup. These various methods include: 

  • For light splatters and dust: Use a damp, soft cloth (microfiber will work best) to gently wipe down your cabinets. Then, use another cloth or towel to dry them off. 

  • For some grease and grime buildup: Use dish soap and warm water to make a slightly sudsy mix for a cleaning solution. Take a soft cloth and dip into this mix (careful not to oversoak your cloth), then use it to remove the grease from your cabinets with circular motions. Once you’ve worked out the grease, take another cloth and use nonsoapy water to remove any remaining suds or spots. Wipe the cabinets dry. 

  • For heavier grease and stains: Use a mix of vinegar (1 cup), warm water (2 cups), and baking soda (1 tablespoon) as a cleaning solution (tip: add a small amount of dish soap for extra-strength). Take a soft cloth, dip into this mix, and work out the heavier grease and stained areas of your cabinets. Or, use a sprayable solution of vinegar and water, and let it sit on the heavier grease stains for a few minutes before cleaning them off. Once finished, take another cloth and use nonsoapy water to remove any residue. Wipe the cabinets dry. 
     

You can also use paint-safe cleaners if the natural solutions listed above aren’t cutting the grease—just make sure to spot-test before proceeding. But with more frequent cleaning, you can avoid a more heavy-duty clean, which can be harsh against your painted cabinets. 

If you discover water damage on or inside your cabinets during your cleanup, reach out to our Neighborly partners at Rainbow International for water damage restoration services. With their expertise, you can ensure your water-damaged cabinets won’t harbor harmful mold or bacteria.  

Related Topic: Revive Your Kitchen: Paint Your Cabinets 

What to Avoid When Cleaning Your Painted Cabinets  

  • Abrasive scrubbers or sponges 

  • Cleaners with bleach, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals 

  • Soaking your cabinets  

  • Soaking hinges or getting water inside your cabinets 

  • Leaving cabinets wet to air dry 
     

How to Keep Painted Cabinets Clean 

The best way to keep your cabinets clean from stains, grease, dust, and debris is with regular, gentle cleaning. Some helpful tips for further maintaining clean kitchen cabinets are: 

  • Regularly wipe them down 

  • Clean as you go after using the kitchen 

  • Immediately clean up spills 

  • Don’t hang damp towels over cabinets doors or drawers 

  • Deep clean the exterior and interior 1–2 times a year 

  • Refinish the paint when needed 
     

Do Your Newly Cleaned Cabinets Need Refinishing?  

Now that your cabinets are free from grease and dirt, are you noticing they still look a little worse for wear? Whether the paint is dull or chipped, it may be time for a new coat of paint. For superior cabinet paint refinishing quality, count on your local experts at Five Star Painting. We can help make your cabinets, and other parts of your home look new again—both inside and out. To learn more give us a call at (888) 261-3633, or schedule an estimate online today.