How do you clean really dirty kitchen cabinets?

Avis Gandy
by Avis Gandy

Moved into this home, and I don't think they ever cleaned the kitchen grease on the cabinets There is also a build up of grime from hands around the handles and knobs. The cabinets are a cherry-wood. I would love to paint them a black or dark gray. Thank you for any ideas.

  11 answers
  • Dawn dish soap. A vinegar water solution. If those don't work, before painting, use TSP, that will take care of any grimy gunk that might be on there.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Feb 15, 2019

    I would start with a bucket of soapy water using Dawn dish detergent. Use a magic eraser sponge to deep clean them and microfiber cloth to wipe them down. There is a product called Krud Kutter that will take all the crap off. I would clean them well before deciding if I was going to paint them - you may find they are much nicer once cleaned (and much lighter).

  • Homeroad Homeroad on Feb 15, 2019

    There are TSP and natural TSP products that clean cabinet grease very well. You will need to remove all of the grease before you paint the cabinets. This is the one I use

  • Gypsy Gypsy on Feb 15, 2019

    Personally I live orange spray from the dollar stores it works great on all kinds of things & takes a lot of the "scrubbing" away. Spray the cabinet with the orange spray (btw it comes in a spray bottle & has a gallon refill.... Both for a dollar !!!) .....

    Let it sit for 5 mins or so then it is usually pretty easy to wipe off. Repeat if you find stubborn spots. It is biodegradable, doesn't smell bad & works GREAT! I use it for all kinds of things...... Washing walls & doors , cleaning gray stove, removing gooey stuff from old stickers etc. I've even used to to spot laundry (but check on unseen area as it sometimes lightens the area on some articles). Good luck.

  • Annie Annie on Feb 15, 2019

    I had same issue. Used TSP which was very effective. It did strip off the finish which didn’t matter because I then sanded them down to the bare wood and refinished them. It’s a big, labor intensive job. Depending on your pocketbook, you may want to price replacing the door and drawer fronts and just paint the boxes. Good luck!

  • Janice Janice on Feb 15, 2019

    I use 1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 gallon of warm water. Wipe down with a rag. Removes grease, grime, fingerprints, scuff marks and there is no need to rinse. Leaves a nice shine.

  • Barbara Kuhn Barbara Kuhn on Feb 15, 2019

    Dawn dish liquid and 1/4 Cup Vinegar, continue to change the water 😊

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 04, 2021


    Try something like "FLASH" of other Grease Cutting substance, like /W/Up liquid and hot water.