How to Clean Wood Cabinets and Make Them Shine at Home [with VIDEO]

Imagine investing hundreds of dollars on the wood cabinet, and eventually, they turn out all greasy and dirty.

And what if all the shine fades away literally by doing nothing but working in the kitchen?

Painful, isn’t it?

Literally, any homemaker can relate to this mess. Then what we can do to keep them clean and glazy for decades?

Well, there are certainly traditional, modern, and DIY methods to regain the pristine avatar and shine. And today I am going to show you how to clean wood cabinets and make them shine at home again!

Why waiting then?

It’s time to restore the shine and impress the guest!

Things to Know before Start Cleaning Your Wood Cabinets

Undoubtedly, wood cabinets are nothing but an attractive addition, just like other household furniture, interior designs, and appliances.

In fact, cabinet clean of professional craftsmen demand well enough money for that. But unlike other furniture, wood cabinets are prone to capture oil and grits in a very short time.

Greasy and grimy cabinets! Though the remedies are also huge in number. And it doesn’t really seek for much effort and time.

But before cleaning and polishing the wood cabinets to get the same dazzling look again, you need to gaze upon 5 important factors.

Check ‘em out!

5 Crucial Facts That You Need to Consider before Cleaning Your Wood Cabinets

By following these preconditions, you can encounter the possible loss because often, our unconsciousness leads us to troubles.

And here when you are supposed to clean your wood cabinets, I hope you don’t wanna make it worse. Isn't it? So, without any farther ado, lets wade through the important factors –

  • 1. Make sure you aren’t applying any strong detergent or chemical dispenser to clean your wood cabinets. Because these can be really harsh on the surfaces. Sometimes, excessive detergent usage can trigger the varnish to come off.
  • 2. While working on sticky grimes, try not to be harsh with the scrubbing. Do it in a circular motion, gently.
  • 3. Before bringing any wood polisher, or varnish color to your home, make sure that the polisher contains quality. Most often, after polishing, you won’t regain the same shine and varnish color. In fact, it becomes worse than before. That’s why you need to check the wood type and color before polishing.
  • 4. If you haven’t cleaned the wood cabinets for months and now it seems quite impossible to get rid of all the dirt and dingy, then you better seek help from professional woodworkers. Because there are certainly some cleaning tactics that we aren’t aware of. And that’s why we need them.
  • 5. Lastly, if your house has multiple wood cabinets, I mean not only in the kitchen but also in other places, then you might not be able to do all the cleaning at once.

Hence, try to keep a helping hand and make sure you’ve made a to-do list regarding cleaning.

Because as I always say, proper organization is the power!

Alright, now let’s get back to the cleaning.

Here for being a little bit precise, I have divided the cleaning and shining methods into 2 different sections.

One is cleaning wood cabinets and secondly polishing wood cabinets to restore shine.

Let’s get started!

How to Clean Wood Cabinets

The overall cleaning process will be quite lengthy. But I am pretty sure it will be worth your time.

However, before anything, you really need to grow cleaning habits and proper craft routines. Without being punctual and active, you can’t really cut the chase.

Because carelessness might lead to severe loss, and it’s more like inviting extra expenses.

Method 1: Regular Cleaning

Pretty obvious regular cleaning means that you need to get out of your comfort zone a little and bring out some extra time to clean all the mess.

Now for regular cleaning, you need to opt for something mild and gentle.

No wonder, you need to grow regular cleaning habits no matter how much tight schedule you have because cleanliness is the key!

Here I have brought 5 simple steps that you can follow for regular cleaning.

Have a look!

1. Wiping off the Cabinets after Cooking

I am pretty sure, just like me, you are all doing it wrong from the beginning. Meaning, most people have that misconception that wiping out doesn’t help, or a weekly cleaning will be enough.

But, astonishingly, regular wiping works tremendously.


Most of the oil, dirt, and smoke arouses while cooking. So, just after cooking, the wood cabinets are likely to absorb all the grease.

Therefore, before going to bed, try to clean the cabinets with some wiping. You can do that after sweeping the floors and washing dishes.

Now for wiping out, you just need one single thing. And it’s cotton cloth. Well, cotton cloths are best at mild wiping. Wave the cloth left-right and put some extra pressure where the grease looks old and sticky.

2. Dusting Inside the Cabinets

Surely, dusting is one of the finest ancient cleaning methods, and luckily, it still trumps over some advance cleaners.

Dusting inside the cabinets helps to clean the loose dirt and fuzzy dirt nets. Inside the cabinets, there is surely some cooking stuff like frying pan, teapots, dinner sets, etc., and you must want to keep them sanitized. Hence, you need to make sure of cleaning the inside as well.

Now you can say why not wiping or wet cleaning? Well, inside the cabinet, grease doesn’t produce, so some dusting will be enough.

3. DIY Vinegar Cleaning Solution

When it comes to DIY cleaning solutions, Vinegar wash is the first thing that pops up in my mind.

Vinegar contains effective cleaning particles that can literally refresh anything, including wood cabinets.

To start with that procedure, you need to make the vinegar solution. For this, you’ll need the vinegar itself and some warm water.

You might wonder why I mentioned warm water, right?

Well, warm water dries faster and works better on grime and grease, just like steam cleaning does.

Anyways, make sure you add an accurate amount of vinegar. Simply consider the number of cabinets and space of the countertops. According to that, add convenient water and vinegar.

Note: Less vinegar more water!

Afterward, complete the DIY cleaning step by following these processes:

  • Take any decent rag and dunk it in the vinegar solution.
  • When the rag absorbs the vinegar solution adequately, start rubbing the cabinets from top to bottom.
  • Do it in a circular motion.
  • Most of the grease sticks to the knobs and corners. Make sure you add some extra effort while cleaning these areas.
  • For convenience, add more vinegar.

Here! By following these steps, you can instantly notice the change.

4. Removing Stains

Now there are 2 types of stains. One is occasional spills, and another one is challenging stains that can be sticky, stubbornly, and a bit gross. In these regards, there are different stain removing techniques.

If you are a DIY enthusiast, then these techniques will be done effortlessly. Because I am going to share a quick DIY cleaning recipe to remove all sorts of stains in a blink of your eyes!


  • Baking soda
  • Essential oil
  • Olive oil
  • Sponge
  • A bowl
  • Some Scrubbing

Direction: First thing first, take a bowl and pour it with a convenient amount of baking soda. Now. Start adding essential oil (orange one) and olive oil. After that, by using a fork, blend them together.

Take a soft sponge and soak it into the mixture. Make sure that the sponge doesn’t drip water. It should be mildly damp.

Now, start from the tough stains. Using the sponge, provide 2 gentle strokes on the surface, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Afterward, soak the sponge again and start scrubbing the same area.

The stains will surely come off through repeated scrubbing.

5. Dry Them off

After cleaning the wood cabinets, always make sure using a dry towel or rag to absorb the remaining moisture. Because sometimes, after wet cleaning, the cabinets remain wet, and gradually the varnish color comes off.

Note: Don’t put nail polish remover around the wood cabinets because these have a high chemical intensity to affect the varnish.

Method 2: Occasional Deep Cleaning

Keeping your home ambiance beautiful and evergreen isn’t an easy task. Thus, even after following every regular cleaning methods, you might not obtain an eye-soothing result.

So, you need to do some deep cleansing.

For Deep Cleaning Follow Either of These 3 Methods

Surely, they don’t include regular cleaning. Once in a month will be enough. Or, you can make your own cleaning schedule.

For people who have OCD, they can opt for deep cleaning twice or thrice as well.

1. Oil Soap Cleaning

Try to purchase an authentic oil soap cleaner. Usually, oil-based cleaners are highly effective and take only a few minutes to get the work done. Now, it might appear in a spray bottle. If not, make sure you buy one and pour all the oil-soap mixture into it.

After that, spray some cleaner on the caked-on and greasy areas. Repeat spraying till the whole area covers. Now use a cotton wiper or a regular rag to do the wiping. Through continuous wiping and some gentle scrubbing, the grease will surely come out.

2. Powder Cleaning

Another great way to deal with a sticky kitchen mess is the powder cleansers. For instance, trisodium phosphate is one of the finest powder cleansers for scratch-free cleaning every time.

Here you can use other mild detergent powders as well. But try to avoid bold chemical-based detergents. An excessive amount of Perchloric Acid can damage the wooden particles.

To proceed with that technique, you just need to use powder cleanser instead of an oil soap cleanser. The rest of the process is similar as before.

3. Call the Professionals

Finally, if nothing works out, call the professionals.

Ah! We are done with the cleaning steps here. But what about making the wood cabinets shine like before? Exactly for this, we need to dive into the polishing methods.

Polish Wood Cabinets to Restore Shine

Who doesn’t love the lustrous look of the shiny varnish?

Fun fact is I even love the smell of wooden varnishes. Anyways, the sad part is after a few months, the shine keeps fading away or leaves a hazy effect.

Luckily, through two miraculous polishing tips, you can attain the same shine and dazzle again. Let’s see what they are:

Tip 1: Traditional Furniture Polish

Well, traditional furniture polishes aren’t relatively effective than wax polishing, but remember old is always gold.

Meaning, applying traditional furniture polish can also make the wood cabinets shine. For this, you need to choose the polisher carefully according to the wood type, texture, and color. Then just like painting, use a brush and start polishing thoroughly.

Tip 2: Natural Polish

This one is the easiest way to provide a shiny and mesmerizing appearance to the wooden cabinets. Here you’ll need olive oil, a paper towel, and a vinegar solution for convenience.

Now take some olive oil into a small bowl, dab a little portion of olive oil on to the paper towel and start with the knobs, switches, deep corners, and crevices. Keep polishing your cabinets in a circular motion.

For better results, you can also stick with the vinegar solution I mentioned earlier! It effectively makes the cabinets clean and shine at the same time.

So, these are the easiest and universally followed ways to restore the shine.

4 Things You Shouldn’t Do While Polishing

There are certain precautions that you should keep in mind. Otherwise, minor to severe damage can occur. And you definitely don’t want that, right? Hence without any farther ado let’s wade through the precautions:

  • 1. If you are polishing a stained wood, make sure your polisher doesn’t contain silicone and wax.
  • 2. Sometimes polishing leaves discoloration and a hazy look. Because most of you don’t consider the wood type, textures, and color. Here, before polishing, you need to consult with the woodworkers to get the accurate idea.
  • 3. While polishing, make sure you aren’t harsh on the surfaces. Scrubbing and polishing at the same time can create more fuss. That’s why try to remain patient and gentle at the same time.
  • 4. Avoid mineral spirits to polish your wood cabinets. Because these are highly inflammable.


Don’t be panicked if you don't know about how to clean wood cabinets properly. Because, here I've demonstrated two most effective methods for that.

And trust me, these methods won’t disappoint you even a bit.

Eventually, with proper maintenance, you will regain the same neat and shiny look.

Keep cleaning and have fun!

Thanks and devotion From ToolsMasterBlog.

Other articles that may interest you:

Leave a Comment