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How To Clean Painted Cabinets The Right Way

How To Clean Painted Cabinets The Right Way

DIY remodeling transforms a house into your dream home, but how do you maintain that just-painted feeling? You learn how to clean painted cabinets–how to really clean kitchen cabinets, so they’re as immaculate as the day you painted them. Clean kitchens just feel different, ready for your next cooking adventure, or primed to host an impromptu get-together. And cleaning the kitchen cabinets is easier than you might think. Just keep reading to learn the best tips and tricks for how to clean painted cabinets, and even get them stain-free without spending an entire day scrubbing.

When to Clean Your Kitchen Wooden Cabinet

Known when is half the battle when you're learning how to clean painted cabinets
Besides spot cleaning daily messes, schedule regular deep cleans for your painted cabinets.

Even if you stay on top of the mess in your kitchen, which can be hard if you have a family or roommates, dirt on painted kitchen cabinets builds up. The grime from oily hands, food grease, coffee stains, or spilled turmeric can add up over time. Whether you live by a chore wheel or take a more intuitive approach to clean the house, spend an hour twice a month addressing your kitchen cabinets.

Your kitchen will look better in the short term once you learn how to clean kitchen cabinets, but you’ll also extend the life of your paint. Chances are, whether you DIYed your painted cabinets or hired professionals, you used semi-gloss paint. It’s a more resilient paint with the durability you need in high-traffic areas of your home.

That doesn’t mean you can take your kitchen scrubbing brushes to your painted surfaces, however. Save the abrasives and chemical cleaners for your countertops and sinks. Instead, schedule regular cleanings to remove dirt and oil–your painted cabinets will look better for longer.

How to Clean Painted Cabinets in the Kitchen

The secret for how to clean painted cabinets is that you have all the necessary supplies in your kitchen already.
You don’t need specialized chemicals for cleaning painted cabinets–you probably have all the supplies in your kitchen right now!

Chances are you already have the specialized tools you need for cleaning kitchen cabinets in your pantry or under your sink. Here’s a shortlist to get you started:

  • Microfiber cloth: if you haven’t already switched from cleaning with paper towels to microfiber cloths, now is the time. They’re better for the environment, offer better absorption, and better scrubbing power. You’ll need a handful of them to clean your kitchen cabinets.
  • Warm water: works better at cutting through grease than cold water and helps dissolve baking soda fast.
  • Dish soap: just a few drops will help your cleaning solution cut through grease and grime.
  • Baking soda: the ultimate home cleaner that’s non-toxic, unscented, and safe for the environment.
  • White vinegar: another cleaning essential for any home.

We recommend keeping these items on hand in bulk wherever you keep your cleaning supplies. They’re safer and more affordable than specialized cleaners out there. Plus, they’re easier on the environment. When you combine dish soap, baking soda, and vinegar, you get a powerful cleaning solution that’s tough on grease and dirt and gentle on paint and the environment.

Cleaning Solution for Painted Cabinets

You can mix up your own cleaning solution for how to clean painted cabinets.
Mixing up your own cleaning solution saves money, is better for the environment, and gentle on painted surfaces.

Mix all four ingredients in a bucket.

  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons dish soap

Once the baking soda dissolves, you’re ready to get started.

  1. Test your cleaning solution on a discreet section of your painted cabinets. Even though the ingredients are gentle, the cleaning solution can discolor old or matte paint.
  2. Pour part of the solution into a spray bottle if you have one available. You can spritz the kitchen cabinets to give the active ingredients a chance to work on the tough grease and dirt spots.
  3. Soak a microfiber cloth in the solution and wring it out. You don’t want it to be soaking wet, just damp.
  4. Using a gentle circular motion, scrub the cabinets with the microfiber cloth.
  5. Wet a second microfiber cloth with just warm water and use it to wipe away any residue of the cleaning solution off the painted cabinet.
  6. Use a third soft cloth to dry the cupboards. You don’t want the water to sit on the cabinet because it can discolor or damage the paint’s surface, even if it’s a semi- or high-gloss sheen.

The cleaning solution can go right down the kitchen sink drain since it’s safe for home plumbing. Toss the microfiber cloths into the laundry, and they’ll be ready next time you need to clean your kitchen cabinets.

While you should clean cabinets every other week, four times a year, empty the cabinets and give them a thorough cleaning instead and out. It’ll also give you a chance to check pantry items for expiration dates, get rid of old spices, and reorganize your bulk food.

How Do You Get Stains Out of Painted Cabinets?

Stains don't have to mean harsh chemicals and elbow grease, sometimes just a little extra scrubbing will lift even the toughest stain away.
Don’t stress about stains on your painted cabinets, just give them a little extra attention with the power of dish soap.

Sometimes you’ll discover a stain on your cabinets that doesn’t come out using just the cleaning solution. Luckily, those same ingredients can help you remove tough stains and grease buildups without turning to stringent cleaning agents.

  • 2 parts baking soda.
  • 1 part warm water.
  • 2 to 3 drops dish soap.

Scoop the mixture up with a soft, damp cloth. Use a gentle circular motion to work the paste over the stain or grease spot. Don’t use a lot of pressure, as you might discolor the paint or dull the sheen of the surface. Instead, let the gentle cleaner do the dirty work. Then, use the full cleaning solution over the spot and proceed through the cleaning routine as usual.

What Is the Best Way to Clean Painted Wood?

Make cleaning painted cabinets one of your weekly chores
Once you know how to clean painted cabinets, it’s a stress-free chore that’s easy to do on a schedule.

The best way to clean painted wood is with all-natural cleaning agents and soft microfiber cloths. The most important part of taking care of your kitchen cabinets is regular cleaning, rather than mixing the perfect solution. If you have a few weeks without baking soda or vinegar, you can wipe down the surfaces with just dish soap and warm water.

With regular cleanings, grease and dirt won’t be able to degrade the surface of the paint. You’ll protect your investment for years to come. Plus, you’ll always have a beautiful kitchen you’ll love spending time in, whether it’s a weeknight dinner, holiday meal, or weekend get together with friends.

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