Cabinet Cleaning 101
Make the cabinets you have into the best cabinets they can be with these simple cleaning and organizing tips.
Often, you really don’t need more cabinets, you need your cabinets to do more. A little elbow grease (and smart interior organizing) can go a long way toward refreshing your cabinets. With these simple tips, you can maximize your storage and make it look good, too.
Tips & Tricks For Clean Cabinets
People tend to congregate in the kitchen, and that means more eyes on your cabinetry. Whether you’re prepping for guests or just want to get your space in shape, these seven tips will help you get started.
Leave the harsh cleaners for another task.
Depending on the cabinet surface, a damp soft cloth may be all you need. For wood cabinets, cleaners can damage or discolor your finish, so try to stick with warm water to loosen up any stuck-on grime. For laminate cabinets, you can include a gentle degreaser in the mix. If you want to test a small, homemade cleaner on your cabinets, try one part mild dish soap and two parts warm water. To enhance the finish, you could also use walnut oil (following package instructions).
Ditch rough-bristled scrubbers, too.
Using too abrasive of scrub brush or sponge can remove the finish of your cabinetry. But, for tight corners or decorative details, you can use a soft-bristled toothbrush to get in those nooks and crannies.
Work from the top down.
Since you’ll be working with a damp cloth that could be drippy, start high with the upper cabinets and work your way down to the kickboard.
Be wary of too much water.
You shouldn’t soak your cabinetry, regardless of material. And you definitely don’t want water getting into your cabinet hinges, stuck behind hardware or settled into drawer glides. Use your damp cloth with a light hand, and be sure to dry up any pooling or saturated spots.
Focus on the cabinet and drawer hardware.
The cabinet knobs and drawer pulls are high-touch surfaces for your cabinets. Don’t forget to wipe them down, using a toothbrush to remove grime.
Buff the cabinets to dry.
Use a microfiber cloth to buff and dry the cabinets after you’ve finished cleaning. This will also help remove those pesky fingerprints.
Don’t forget about the insides of the cabinets.
Pull out the contents, wipe down shelves, drawers and door backs, and dry the surfaces before putting stuff back in.
Organize Your Cabinets Like a Pro
When it comes to organization that works (and that you’ll actually stick with), it's a very personal solution. Depending on how you cook, bake, prep and clean up, you can adjust the following to suit your space and your needs.
First things first: Empty those cabinets — all the way. Toss broken gadgets and gizmos and donate unused items to clear space for the items you do use.
Find a kitchen storage arrangement that works.
For frequently used items, keep within arm’s reach. It seems simple, but if you organize your utensils, cookware, dinnerware, prep items and serveware with this in mind, you’re more likely to put it all back in their designated spots to use again.
Think vertical and circular.
Use a file organizer or a pair of tension rods to create a vertical landing place for sheet pans, muffin tins, cooling racks, cutting boards or even pot lids inside of a cabinet. Consider adding stackable shelves into cabinets to store layers of dinnerware or glassware. Or, add one to a pantry shelf to get your dry goods visible and within easy reach. Turntables, or lazy Susans, work hard in your kitchen. Place one in a corner cabinet to house spices, oils or other cooking must-haves. And door backs offer plenty of unused territory. Add a hook or a towel bar with S-hooks for quick-grab items, or hang up a pin-board for reminders and recipes.
Be smart about what you have.
For glassware, especially wine glasses, alternate the direction of each glass to maximize storage potential. Silverware drawer organizers can be used to tame the dreaded (and inescapable) junk drawer or even arrange small tools or food storage items. Bins and baskets can become holders for chip clips, dish towels, cleaning supplies, pantry staples and more. Or upcycle plastic yogurt containers or glass pickle jars to create free lidded storage.
Never underestimate the power of a label.
With labels, you can easily ID what’s nestled inside of opaque containers, spot the difference between powdered sugar and flour at a glance and lay out exactly where items need to be returned. Whether you use a label maker, a marker and tape or find custom labels, it’s a step you don’t want to skip.
And you’re going to want to deep clean up and reset your cabinets at least quarterly. But if you are quick to wipe up any spills as they happen, the next deep clean will be a piece of cake.
Notice Cabinet Damage? We Can Help.
If you’ve noticed any cabinet damage during your cleaning and organizing spree, your local Furniture Medic technician can help bring your cabinets back to life. From general wear and tear to finish blemishes or structural issues, we’re here to help. Find your local trusted Furniture Medic technician to learn more.