How to Remove Grease from Kitchen Cabinets

After whipping up all those yummy meals, you kick back and relax, waiting for your coffee to drip. You place a hand on your tired neck, stretch and, look up to find the color of the cabinets in the main cooking area seem to be off their original hue.

Now all the stress kicks back in because you realize that this is something serious. Nasty grease has coated your kitchen cabinets! No wonder something smelled a little bit off no matter how much you scrubbed the counters.

how to clean greasy kitchen cabinets

But worry not! Today, we’re going to teach you how to easily remove grease from kitchen cabinets.

Why do kitchen cabinets get greasy?

This is a common lamentation of many a homemaker. Let’s break down the causes before breaking down the grease!

Once you take to your wok to make that delicious stir fry or whip up fried chicken better than that of the Colonel’s, you are actually releasing tiny wayward droplets of oil.

They float gleefully in the air then sticks to the first surface that they come in contact with. They can float upwards to your over-the-counter shelves and cabinets, and even settle in the lower drawers an storage units.

This is what we call aerosolization. Each time you cook, they settle to create that icky film that discolors the surface of your kitchen cabinets then seep into the nooks and crannies of your cupboards. Sometimes, they can be smelly, too.

This is the bane of many a homemaker’s kitchen experience. But don’t let this cramp your cooking style! There are many ways to deal with the problem, a lot of them simple – and we’re sharing them all today.

Even better, pair that up with some organic kitchen cleaning products, and you will be even more satisfied!

How do You Clean Grease Off Kitchen Cabinets?

cleaning greasy kitchen

Below are our top methods of getting your cabinets back in shape and regaining that fresh look (and smell) in the kitchen.

1. Soap and Water

Surprisingly, we forget that normal dishwashing soap is made to cut through grease in our cooking utensils.

If you are someone who regularly gives your kitchen cabinets a good wiping down or if you catch the grease film early enough, this is the perfect treatment.

Simply loosen any grease first by rubbing lightly with a sponge or cleaning cloth dipped in warm water. Make sure you properly clean your dirty kitchen sponge afterward!

Use a soft bristled toothbrush, a light scrubbing pad or sponge to continue. Soak these in the dishwashing solution plus water then clean in methodical sections.

After this, wipe once with a damp cloth then dry with an absorbent towel to remove any soapy residue.

2. Baking Soda and a Brush

When the grease seems a bit more stubborn, a wet soft-bristled brush plus some baking soda is the perfect gentle solution.

You can scrub away older grease stains with this without damaging the surface of your kitchen cabinets since baking soda is a gentle abrasive.

Create the paste by mixing equal parts of water and baking soda. Imagine brushing your teeth then rub away.

Just remember NOT to use a hard scouring pad, okay? And always end up by wiping the surface dry with a dry towel so no films are left behind.

3. Reliable Vinny

No baking soda in the cupboards and you just can’t seem to make your dishwashing solution work on the grease? Use some white vinegar instead!

This brewed condiment doesn’t only flavor dishes and sauces. Its acidic content actually has the muscle to break down heavier grease on your kitchen cabinet surfaces.

Soak a piece of cloth in pure white vinegar. Wipe the areas of your kitchen cabinets that are inundated with films of grease. Then leave the vinegar to soak and do its magic.

Leave it for around 15 minutes then with a damp sponge or cloth, loosen the grease. Finally wipe it down with a damp cloth that has been soaked in water then remove the build up in gentle yet deliberate scrubs.

And while you wait for it to work its magic, why not take a sip of delicious coffee made with one of our recommended Keurig Coffee makers?

4. Going Green with Your Own Kitchen Concoction

If you are up to making your own green grease busting cleanser, for more serious grease removal, try this:

  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Some drops of liquid dishwashing soap
  • The juice of one lemon

Put the mixture in a spray bottle. When you are about to clean, add an equal part of warm water, shake and spray on the affected area as you gently scrub along.

5. Store Bought Cleaners

And of course, there is the easy way out – you can buy your favorite brand and use it on your kitchen cabinets.

Just always remember to follow the instructions as they vary slightly.

Some may have chemicals that might not agree with your skin, so take proper precautions and use gloves to shield your skin from any unexpected irritation.

If you don’t know what to buy, we recommend this heavy duty grease cleaner that you can get from Amazon (Affiliate link).

Additional Grease Cleaning Tips

  • Avoid using heavy scrubbing tools such as scourers or hard-bristled brushes. No matter how tempting it is to just grind the grease away. We are after a clean cabinet surface – not a full-on paint job.
  • As much as many recommend using hot water with vinegar and baking powder, avoid using this as it may dull the finish of your cabinets.
  • Go as natural as you can with your cleaning solutions. Not only is it favorable for the environment and easy on the budget, but natural and even do-it-yourself cleaning solutions do not contain harsh chemicals.
  • Always end with a clean dry cloth to ensure that whatever cleaning solution you have applied is properly wiped off. Finish with a polishing solution if you want.
removing grease from kitchen cabinets

How to prevent grease stains on your cabinets

Prevention is the best defense system in this case. Sure, you will never be able to fully prevent grease stains from your kitchen cabinets, but having our recommendations below in mind will do wonders and, most importantly, make your cleaning job easier.

There are several steps that we can take to stem the attack of the oil aerosols on our kitchen cabinets. Use any which you consider more suitable to you.

1. Install a range hood if you are a heavy stove user. This investment will eventually pay itself off as it prevents the spread of grease in your kitchen as you cook.

Of course, there are many other good reasons to put a range hood like decreasing the chance of grease fires as well as preventing cooking smells from permeating your kitchen.

2. If you have a range hood, always maintain your range hood filter. There are a variety of natural wool options that are affordable and very efficient in absorbing greasy smells as well as oily aerosol droplets that go flying up when we cook.

3. Clean regularly by making a weekly light swipe-up routine for your kitchen cabinets, particularly surfaces closest to the cooking area. This will prevent grease from caking on your cabinets.

Make sure to poke around the corners as well so grease won’t pile up and get your cabinet doors inadvertently sealed.

4. You can choose to reduce cooking with oil and fat. There are numerous tips on how to vary your cooking styles such as using the oven more often.

Just by tweaking the cook times and some ingredients, you can achieve a less oily menu.

Trust me, it’ll cut your stove-top waiting time in half. But on another note – it is impossible to completely cut out our oil-frying ways – that is a whole topic for discussion in itself!

5. Learn to check your filter fan, if you have one installed. Remember to periodically change your filters as well. A clogged-up filter cannot perform well. You might as well have a picture frame on the wall instead.

6. Use splatter screens or splatter guards when on the fry. This will mean lesser direct oil projectiles to nearby cabinets.

7. In for a heavy cooking time like a party? You might have to make a ton of French fries plus flip burgers on the stove-top griddle then deep-fry a few dozen chicken wings for game night. Consider covering your cabinets with wax paper just to protect them from grease.

Or – don’t cook at all. Just kidding. How could we stop?

Since we always will be a fan of good food, greasy kitchen cabinets will never be far behind. It becomes like dirty bleachers after a game.

But the great thing is that it doesn’t have to get too heavy. And for the time that the grease on our kitchen cabinets get tough, we know that we have more than one way to get the job done.

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