How to Clean Sticky Wood Kitchen Cabinets Easily

Jump to Section

It’s quite easy for grease to form on wood cabinets and tarnish its shine over time.

But getting them off… Not so much.

And if you’re like most people, one of the things you don’t want in your kitchen environments (and home) is having a sticky film of grease soil your kitchen wood cabinets.

And if you don’t know how to clean sticky wood kitchen cabinets, we’ve compiled the easiest ways to do so in this article. But first, how does greasy grime form on a wood cabinet.

Previously, we have talked about how to get rust and mold off cabinet handles, how to clean marble shower, how to clean painted cabinets, how to remove stains from silicone, how to clean grease off of kitchen cabinets, how to clean stove drip pans, how to clean stucco, how to clean gas stove burner heads, how to clean tile floors in kitchen, how to get rid of mold in top load

ing washing machine, how to clean toto toilet, bleach on vinyl floor and how to deep clean carpet to cover the maximum cleanliness topics on our site.

Why Your Wood Kitchen Cabinets Have Sticky Buildup on It

Grime forms on your wooden cabinet when vapor, cooking grease, and cigarette smoke rests on its surface. Even the cabinet polish and finish can break down to make the surface look greasy.

And touching kitchen cabinets with moist and/or dirty hands also has adverse effects.

But not to worry. Here’s how you can get your kitchen cabinets shining again.

3 Easy Cleaning Ways to Clean Grease layer

A. How to clean sticky wood kitchen cabinets with white vinegar and hot water

It’s common knowledge that white vinegar is a staple natural cleaning product with outstanding superpowers in cutting through grease. It owes much of its cleansing abilities to its acidic nature.

Here’s what you’ll need;

  • Warm water
  • White vinegar
  • Soft clean cloth
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Old toothbrush, steel wool, or scrub brush

So when using white vinegar, the idea is for it to loosen up the sticky grease so the residue can be easily wiped off. Here, we can apply two strategies;

General Cleaning

  1. First, thoroughly dust the wood kitchen cabinet surface with a soft or microfiber cloth.
  2. Create a vinegar solution by mixing equal parts of vinegar and a cup of water (in the ratio of 50:50) in a spray bottle.
  3. Spray the vinegar solution on the wood cabinets and let it sit for around 2 – 3 minutes. This will allow the vinegar to dissolve the grease residue and weaken its bond with the wood kitchen cabinet surfaces.
  4. Next up, dampen the cloth in hot water, and wring it out very hard. This is a safety precaution as too much water can damage your wooden cabinets.
  5. Then wipe the wood kitchen cabinets with a damp clean cloth. This should remove the grease stains from the cabinet.
  6. For tough stains, you’ll want to add a few drops of the dishwashing detergent to the vinegar solution. This will take care of really sticky grime.


For stubborn stains like chocolate and marmite, the second strategy goes thus;

Deep Cleaning

  1. First, you’ll have to form a paste of white vinegar and salt.
  2. Use your old toothbrush to collect some of the paste and scrub the affected area. Try not to scrub too hard to avoid scratching the wood. Or use steel wool if you can.
  3. When you’re done, use clean water to rinse off the paste.
  4. Then dry with a clean cloth or towel.

Caveat: for cleaning kitchen cabinets (general), you might have to apply the vinegar a couple of more times to ensure your kitchen cabinets are thoroughly clean.

Another method we can use to clean sticky goo, grime and other tough sticky stains off our kitchen cabinet surface is by using dishwashing detergent.

B. How to clean sticky wood kitchen cabinets with dish soap

As an alkaline-based product, liquid dish washing soap is another very effective household degreaser solution: plus mixing it with hot water makes it all the more powerful in loosening sticky residue.

And this will likely be the first cleaning agent you might want to try.

Some dish soaps are powerful enough to cut through stubborn stains and buildup without damaging the finish of your wood kitchen cabinet.

What you’ll need;

  • Dishwashing soap or oil soap
  • Warm water
  • Soft cloth
  • Cleaning sponge or nylon scouring pad
  • Dish soap or oil soap

Now here’s how to clean sticky wood kitchen cabinets with liquid soap. Here we go.

  1. Mix a few squirts (or two (2) tablespoons) of dish washing soap and around two cups of warm water in a bowl.
  2. Dampen the cleaning sponge or scouring pad in the soapy water and squeeze it.
  3. Then scrub the kitchen cabinet back and forth till the sticky grease residue is gone. Apply light pressure while scrubbing so you don’t damage the surface of your cabinet.
  4. If you get faced with a tough sticky grease stain or grime, apply a little amount of the soap directly to the scouring pad and wipe the cabinet again.
  5. You might have to repeat the previous step multiple times to ensure the grease stains are gone and the cabinets are clean again.
  6. When you’re done, wipe away every remaining soap or grease residue with a dry soft cloth.

But that’s not all. Here’s another technique to keep in your interior design maintenance playbook for whenever.

Deep Cleaning

  1. Slightly dampen your nylon scouring pad or sponge.
  2. Put a few drops (or half teaspoon) of oil soap wood cleaner or dish soap on the scouring pad.
  3. Then scrub the kitchen cabinet gently allowing it to form lather.
  4. Afterward, wipe the cabinets with a damp cloth, and dry with a microfiber cloth.
  5. But that’s not all. You’re going to make a paste with water and baking soda. And in repetitive circular motions, you’ll apply by pressing it onto the sticky spot to remove grease.
  6. Leave it to soak for 10 minutes.
  7. Then finally, wipe off the residue with a clean damp cloth. And you’re done here.

We can also clean sticky pigment from sticky wood kitchen cabinets by using baking soda.

C. How to clean sticky wood kitchen cabinets with baking soda

Baking soda and lemon or vegetable oil are exceptional natural cleaning products for getting rid of sticky pigments from your kitchen cabinets. We’ve already seen what baking soda can do.

Let’s explore more!

In this section, we’re going to show you how to go about both procedures.

What you’ll need;

  • Baking soda
  • Juice of lemon
  • Vegetable oil
  • Scouring pad
  • Soft cloth
  • Warm water
  • Spray bottle
  • Old toothbrush

It’s time to get to work!

Cleaning cabinets with baking soda and lemon

  1. We’re going to make our household degreaser solution by mixing baking soda and water (in the ratio; 1 part baking soda to 2 parts water) to our lemon juice.
  2. Then we’ll pour the solution into our spray can and spray it onto the wood kitchen cabinets.
  3. And we’ll allow it to sit for 2 – 3 minutes so the baking soda can loosen the goo from the sticky wood cabinets.
  4. Then gently scrub the sticky pigment away with your soft scouring pad.
  5. Rinse the pad and repeat the previous step a couple of more times till you’re satisfied.
  6. Finally, use a clean cloth to clean the kitchen cabinet surfaces dry. And your cabinet will be as good as new!

Now we know this method, here’s another cleaning method using baking soda to keep in your wood cabinet cleaning playbook.

Cleaning goo with baking soda and vegetable oil

  1. We’re going to create this degreaser by mixing 1 part vegetable oil and 2 parts baking soda into a thick paste. The oil will loosen up the sticky goo and grime while the soda will help to scrub loose stubborn cabinet grease stains.
  2. Apply this baking soda paste, a little bit at a time, to all the cabinet surfaces. Also, do this for the areas and hardware that receive the most human contact including the hinges.
  3. Then use the toothbrush to get the paste into the edges and cracks.
  4. Scrub with a soft sponge and dry cloth to remove the greasy residue.
  5. And finish the cleaning exercise by using soap and water to wash the wood kitchen cabinet surfaces. This will remove the remaining dirt and residual oil.
  6. Finally, clean the cabinets with a dry cloth to make them glow.

Here are other very effective cleaning products and methods you can use to get sticky residue off wood kitchen cabinet doors.

The 7 Best Cleaning Products and Ways to Remove Grease from Wood Kitchen Cabinets

This DIY guide on how to clean sticky wood kitchen cabinets won't be complete without mentioning some products that have no mercy on sticky goo found on kitchen cabinets.

1. Murphy’s Oil Soap

This oil soap is not only good for kitchen cabinets, it’s one of the best wood floor and sticky wood cabinet cleaning agents in the market.

It doesn’t only get rid of grease, it also makes your kitchen cabinets glow and bring out their real tone. However, you’ll want to pay attention to the formulation you’re going to buy if your wood cabinet doors are painted.

Get Murphy’s Oil Soap on Amazon today.


2. Parker and Bailey Kitchen Cabinet Cream-Wood Cleaner-Grease Remover

This cleaner contains Brazilian Carnauba wax, and it’s used to clean kitchen cabinets surfaces, crevices, and edges.

The formula is also good for painted wood kitchen cabinets–this makes it one of the best wood cleaners in the world.

All you’ve got to do is spray it on your wood furniture, and wipe it off the surfaces. Nothing more.

Get this on Amazon today.

3. Goo Gone

Goo Gone is another powerful wood furniture cleaner. But ensure you’re wearing rubber gloves when you apply it on sticky and greasy wooden surfaces.

Leave it on the wood surface for a minute or two. Then heat a damp micro cloth for around 30 seconds before using it to wipe away the sticky dirt from the wood cabinets surfaces.

Then clean the furniture with wood soap and water before drying.

Get Goo Gone on Amazon today.

4. Homemade Castile soap spray

This is how to make the mixture at home.

Get a 32 oz. spray can and fill it with a few drops of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap, a cup of white vinegar, and a tablespoon of baking soda. If you’d like the solution to exude an appealing fragrance, you can perfume it by adding lemon essential oil or lavender.

Afterward, fill the bottle with warm water till it’s up to its neck, and shake vigorously before spraying.

Then wipe off the solution with a soft cloth.

Get Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap on Amazon today.

5. Method All-Purpose Spray

If you’d prefer an all-purpose cleaner that can serve other cleaning purposes in your home; rather than one specially formulated for wooden furniture, Method is a great choice.

The only thing is you’ll have to allow the spray to stay a little longer on the wood kitchen cabinets than the other cleaners. And you might also have to scrub harder because it wasn’t formulated for wood furnishings.

To use it, you’ll have to start with soap, water, and also use baking soda.

Get Method on Amazon today.


6. Orange oil cleaner

An all-purpose orange oil cleaner also presents a viable option.

Spray the oil cleaner on the wood kitchen cabinets and allow to sit for around 10 minutes. Then wipe it off with a warm, damp cloth.

You can also read more on steam cleaning kitchen cabinets.

7. Lestoil

This is another top-quality cleaner that can get rid of sticky grime from your wood kitchen cabinets.

It’s claimed to be able to clean up the toughest stains like oil, ink stains, grease, and lots more.

Get it Lestoil on Amazon today.


Cleaning Products to Avoid When Cleaning Your Wood Kitchen Cabinets

1. Olive oil

Olive oil is a non-drying oil. So when you apply it on your wooden surfaces, it will remain on the wood and attract dust before eventually spoiling.

So do not use olive oil when cleaning your wood kitchen cabinets.

But you can use these oils; linseed, walnut, and orange oil. They’re drying oils. Plus they can help protect your wooden cabinet when they dry up.

2. Vinegar

Vinegar is very acidic and is a paint stripper. It can remove the varnish on your wood kitchen cabinets and destroy the coating.

So avoid this, too.

You can always coat your kitchen cabinets with protective film to avoid too much grease deposit. How much you have to clean depends on your choice of kitchen cabinets.

Now you know how to clean sticky wood kitchen cabinets easily. Have fun keeping your home clean!

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.

Related Articles

Download Free Chart Now!

Your email will be used only to confirm your request and to provide free kitchen information. By submitting your info on this form, you are agreeing to be contacted regarding your service request by means of email. This is no obligation form and doesn’t require you to purchase any service.