How to Clean Sticky Grease Off Kitchen Cabinets

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Caused by cooking, sticky hands, and general oil or food splashes, grease stains on your kitchen cabinets can be a very annoying thing to deal with as a homeowner.

Greasy cabinets are not a good look for your home!

However, certain types of wooden kitchen cabinets can be delicate, and not all cleaning methods can clean greasy stains off and of kitchen cupboards. It's essential to have the right products and techniques by your side. 

From white vinegar to dish soap and baking soda, here we explore how to clean sticky grease off kitchen cabinets!

5 Ways To Clean Grease Stains Off Wood Kitchen Cabinets

1. Hot Water & White Vinegar

White vinegar has natural degreasing properties because it's acidic, so it's a brilliant natural way to remove grease. Hot water has heat (obviously) which can also help to break down grease and grime that is stubbornly stuck to your wood cabinets.

Things You'll Need

  1. Fill the spray bottle with 50% white vinegar and 50% hot water
  2. Spray the solution onto the wood cabinets and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes
  3. Wipe away the solution with a damp cloth soaked in regular water
  4. Allow to air dry or use a paper towel to dab the surface dry

This is one of the easiest and simplest ways to clean sticky grease off kitchen cabinets, so make sure to give it a try before spending money on more expensive cleaning solutions.

2. Salt & White Vinegar Paste

Here's another way to remove grease from wood kitchen cabinets without spending a ton of money on fancy cleaning products – salt and vinegar. Vinegar naturally breaks down cabinet grease, while salt can be used as a scrub to physically dislodge cabinet grease and grime.

Things You'll Need

  1. In the small mixing bowl, combine the salt and vinegar until they form a paste-like consistency
  2. Dip the old toothbrush into the mixture, covering the bristles liberally
  3. Scrub the kitchen cabinet carefully
  4. Wipe down with a damp cloth to remove the mixture and reveal your clean kitchen cabinet!

This one is great for kitchen grease that is stubborn and needs a little extra elbow grease (no pun intended) to dislodge the built-up residue. Your kitchen cupboards will be clean in no time.

Cleaning grease off of cabinets

3. Citrus Oil Multipurpose Cleaner

Citrus oil is a natural product that you'll often find in cleaning products because it can remove grease easily. As well as its ability to remove grease from kitchen cabinets, citrus oil also has a very pleasant smell without the need for artificial perfumes.

Things You'll Need

  1. Spray the cleaner onto the greasy kitchen cabinets and leave it for 5 minutes
  2. Use a damp cloth to remove the grease
  3. Use a clean cloth to wipe over the kitchen cabinets, getting the surface clean
  4. Dry the kitchen cupboards with a dry cloth

This is one of the simplest ways how to clean sticky grease off kitchen cabinets, so it may be worth a try if you'd prefer to buy a specialized cleaner over a DIY product.

4. Baking Soda & Lemon Juice

Baking soda isn't abrasive, yet it can help to dislodge grease and stains from your sticky kitchen cabinets. Baking soda and lemon juice are both known for their natural cleaning ability, with the acidity of the lemon juice helping to cut through kitchen cabinet grease.

Things You'll Need

  1. In the spray bottle, combine 1 part baking soda, 2 parts warm water, and the juice of 1 lemon. Mix them together thoroughly.
  2. Spray onto the kitchen cabinets and leave for 5 minutes to remove grease
  3. Gently scrub the solution away with a soft sponge damp with clean water
  4. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe over the area and remove grease and any leftover residue
  5. Buff the cabinets dry with the dry microfiber cloth, getting rid of any moisture and leftover dirt

As well as cleaning kitchen cabinetry and getting rid of grease, the lemon juice in this product has a fresh, citrusy smell that fills your home after cleaning. You can clean greasy kitchen cupboards AND make your home smell nice simultaneously!

citrus cleaning for kitchen
Image credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

5. Dish Soap & Warm Water

When it comes to cutting grease, don't forget about dish soap! While natural products like baking soda and vegetable oil can help to get rid of grease stains from kitchen cabinets, good old dish soap is designed to remove grease easily.

It's basically a degreaser!

Things You'll Need

  1. Mix a few drops of your dish soap in a bowl of warm water, getting the water nice and bubbly
  2. Dip your cleaning sponge in the soapy water and ring it dry
  3. Gently rub the grease stains on the cabinets, wiping in the direction of the wood grain
  4. If a grease stain is very stubborn, apply a little dish soap directly to the grease and scrub again
  5. Use a cloth soaked in clean water to go over the cabinet, getting rid of any remaining grease or solution
  6. Pat the cabinets dry with paper towels or allow to air dry naturally

Dish soap products like Dawn and Fairy Liquid are designed to remove grease stains naturally, so sometimes these everyday kitchen washing-up products are the best thing to use for grease. Soaps, sponges, and water can do wonders with a little elbow grease.

dish soap and warm water for kitchen clean
Image credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

3 Cabinet Cleaning Products To Try

While natural cleaners like baking soda and vegetable oil can help to remove grease from wood kitchen cabinets, there are some products out there that may be worth buying if you're having cabinet grease issues.

  1. Castile Soap – these vegetable-based soaps are 100% vegan and cut through tough grease really well with a little warm water. Dr Bronner's is a popular brand that most homeowners know about
  2. Murphy Oil Soap – this product safely cleans wood and cuts grease for various different materials, including wooden kitchen cabinets. Infused with citronella oil, this product will get rid of grease from wooden surfaces and give the cabinets a natural shine
  3. Linseed Oil – while not technically a cleaning product, Linseed Oil is brilliant for finishing your kitchen cabinets with a brilliant sheen, protecting the surfaces from grease and other stains in the future. Boiled Linseed Oil is very popular, as this variant dries faster and tends to last longer

So yes, while vinegar and baking soda have their place, it may be time to buy a specialized grease-cleaning product for your kitchen.

Best Degreaser for Kitchen Cabinets Before Painting

If you're cleaning your kitchen cabinets before painting them, you need to make sure that there is NO GREASE left on those surfaces before you go in with paint.

Painting over grease is a very bad idea!

We have also covered how to clean the inside of kitchen cabinets.

Luckily, there are many natural and man-made degreaser solutions that can help. Here are the main ones to consider:

  • Warm water with dish-washing soap
  • Hot water & white vinegar spray
  • Baking soda and lemon juice
  • Specialized wood cleaner

Combined with a high-quality sponge and a microfiber cloth, these are effective ways to eradicate grease before painting your cabinets.

dish soap and warm water for kitchen clean
Image credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

Can I Use Dawn to Clean Kitchen Cabinets?

Yes, you can use Dawn to clean kitchen wood cabinets.

As a dish-washing soap, Dawn is designed to be a degreaser. This means that it can easily cut through the grease and dirt on a sticky cabinet, making it easy to get them clean with a simple sponge or cloth and some warm water with Dawn.

Dawn Blue is said to be particularly good at cleaning cabinetry and getting rid of grease.

The Bottom Line – Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets Is Easy With These Tips

Whether you need a damp sponge, microfiber cloth, or just a harsh scrub with some baking soda and lemon juice, one of these methods is sure to get the grease away from your wooden cabinets in no time.

Grease can be a real pain to deal with on cabinets, but hopefully this guide has helped you to know how to clean sticky grease off kitchen cabinets easily.

Whichever grease-cleaning method you go for, 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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