Cleaning layers of grease off a wooden spice rack

Becky Hall
by Becky Hall
Can I ask a question? Hate to admit it, but we've just cleaned off the back of our stove. There is a wooden spice rack that has sat back there for years. It's covered with grease, even though we've tried to clean it, it's still very 'tacky' to the touch and still feels thick with layers of grease. Does anyone know how to clean the spice rack, without messing up the wood? (my husband says it's at least 30 years old)
  10 answers
  • Patricia Murmann Patricia Murmann on Dec 07, 2015
    vinegar and a soft scrubber
  • 897099 897099 on Dec 07, 2015
    I have found that Old English Lemon Oil will dissolve greases on kitchen items. I use it to remove old dried splashes on my stove and range hood. Also use it on my wooden cabinet doors. It will not harm the finish.
  • EdiLeck EdiLeck on Dec 07, 2015
    Rubbing alcohol is a good grease remover. Using a clean cloth, soak a small portion of the cloth and wipe the grease off. It will take several passes to get it all off depending on how thick the grease is. Good ol' Dawn dish soap also works well with grease, you have to be persistent though. If it took 'years' for the grease to build up, it won't clean off with just a simple wipe. I don't know how these will affect the finish on your spice rack because I don't know what type of finish it has.
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 07, 2015
    Use Dawn dish soap it will break the grease down without harming the wood.
  • Cathy Bailey Cathy Bailey on Dec 07, 2015
    Window cleaner the foaming kind, works great on the top of the stove and frig. On wood it will clean it but then follow up with some old english. Or, dawn dish soap is good for anything greasy.
  • Lisa Lisa on Dec 07, 2015
    Strange as it sounds, olive oil on a cloth rubbed over greasy, dusty dirt cleans the tackiness away, then wipe again with a clean cloth. I've used it on wooden shelves and also the range hood above the stove and it works wonders.
  • Ann Ann on Dec 08, 2015
    First use Murphy's Oil Soap to clean, wipe with clean damp rag after cleaning. The next day use Scott's Liquid Gold. I have used this on knotty pine walls and ceilings for years. You have to clean it before you oil it. Also make sure the liquid gold in absorbed well before rehanging. If you leave wood oily it will attract dirt faster. The same as with using too much soap on a floor-it will sticky and attract dirt faster.
  • Janice Janice on Jan 05, 2024

    Dawn dish washing soap mixed with very hot water and a bit of household vinegar should help to de-grease the wood.

  • Betsy Betsy on Jan 05, 2024

    Hi Becky: Here are a few ideas that may work for you:

    Mix up a 50/50 combo of water and baking soda until you have a paste. Then, apply the paste to grease stains with a clean microfiber cloth using small, circular motions. Swap out cloths as they become soiled, and continue until you have a grease-free surface. After you’ve covered all cabinet faces in the powdery paste, use a fresh damp cloth to remove excess paste and a dry cloth to remove the last of the moisture. Be careful not to leave moisture behind. If you do, it can work its way into the finish of your cabinets and cause visible damage.

    Or, make your own citrusy cleaning solution in just a few steps. Fill a canning jar three-quarters full of citrus peels and top it off with white vinegar. The mixture needs to steep for two to three weeks, but once it’s done, just strain out the peels and pour the remaining liquid into a spray bottle. Apply the same way you would a store-bought cleaner. Citrus is a great degreaser!

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jan 06, 2024

    Murphy's oil soap, follow the directions on the bottle.