How to Clean Painted Cabinets

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If you've got children, pets, or you're just a messy cook, then you'll know about the hassle of cleaning kitchen cabinets that have been covered with paint, lacquer, or a similar finish.

While some stains will wipe away easily, others require more complex cleaning to clean them without damaging the paint underneath. Whether you're caring for granite countertops or kitchen cabinets. Kitchen Infinity has you covered.

Here we give you the 3 best methods for cleaning painted cabinets without damaging the paint!

How do you clean painted kitchen cabinets?

When it comes to everyday cleaning, taking care of kitchen cabinets is actually pretty easy. Here are a couple of methods for everyday cleaning:

Warm Water & Dish Soap

This method is great for removing minor grease, sticky fingerprints, splashed food, spills, and various other types of everyday kitchen grime and grease.

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix warm water with a few drops of dish soap until you get a nice, bubbly consistency.
  2. Soak a cloth (or sponge) in the solution until you have an evenly damp cloth.
  3. Wipe down the cabinets with your damp cloth, paying special attention to any cracks, crevices, and spots where you see grease or food spills. Use a circular motion for the larger parts of the cabinet.
  4. Leave to airdry or use a soft cloth to dry the surface.
water and dish soap to clean cupboard
Image credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

Warm Water & White Vinegar

Similar to baking soda, vinegar is one of those everyday kitchen items that doubles as one of the best cleaning products you can find! With the acidicty making it the perfect cleaner for icky grease and grime spots, give this cleaning method a try.

  1. Using a spray bottle, make a solution that is 5 parts H2O to 1 part distilled white vinegar. This is usually strong enough, but you can try a 2:1 ratio if you've got tough stains.
  2. Spray liberally on your surfaces and then wipe them down with a damp sponge, being careful to use a circular motion and gentle strokes when wiping. The sponge should remove grease and stains easily.
  3. Allow the cabinets to airdry or try a soft cloth to dry them more quickly.
second coat of paint
Photo Credit: 518Painters

How do you clean sticky painted cabinets?

Okay, so if you've got really tough grease stains and grime that you need to remove without causing damage to the cabinets, we have to get a little more technical. Conventional kitchen cleaners could damage your surfaces, but using this method to clean your sticky kitchen cabinets could do the trick to get rid of grease without causing damage!

Water, Rubbing Alcohol and Dish Soap

  1. Fill a spray bottle with 1/8th rubbing alcohol, a few drops of Dawn dish soap, and then water. If you want to leave a nice scent after you're done, consider a few drops of essential oil too.
  2. Gently spray your cabinets with the cleaners and then use a soft, microfiber cloth to wipe down the cabinet fronts. It's important to use a microfiber cloth, as ordinary cloths could be too scratchy and remove color.
  3. Use a large Q-Tip to clean hard-to-reach areas and small nooks and crannies in the cabinets. Spray the cleaners onto the Q-Tip and wipe around the spots carefully.
  4. Leave to airdry or use a dry cloth to wipe down the cabinets.
water rubbing alcohol and dish washer
Image credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

What if my painted cabinet has paint missing?

If your cabinet has pigment missing in spots, it's important to thoroughly wash the spot (or spots) with one of the above cleaning methods first. Once the spot is clean and dry, we recommend using a large Q-Tip to gently dab touch-up paint over the spot.

DO NOT paint over any grease or dirt, as tempting as it may be. The stain will just come back to haunt you down the line.

The Bottom Line

Sometimes soft cloths and dish soap are all you need. Other times, you need to break out some more unconventional cleaners to get your cabinets looking great without causing damage.

Whichever method you use, we wish you luck!

Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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