How to clean pine cabinets

Updated May 01, 2018

Because pine is a soft wood, pine cabinets need to be cleaned with gentle products and cloths. If they are very greasy, instead of using chemicals and scouring cloths that can damage the finish, use more elbow grease and repeat the cleaning process if necessary. Use cleaning products designed specifically for pine and other soft wood.

Put on the rubber gloves. Fill a bucket or basin with hand-hot water and add a generous squirt of washing-up liquid.

Saturate the kitchen sponge/scrubber in the hot soapy water. Starting at the top of the cabinets, scrub all the surfaces. Rinse and squeeze out the sponge often and be generous with the soapy water. If you have a lot of cabinets and cleaning them takes a long time, replace the water when it gets cold and dirty.

Use the old toothbrush and the hot soapy water to scrub the hinges, handles and any decorative trim. Allow all the cabinets to dry.

Fill the bucket or basin with warm water and add 60 to 125 ml (1/4 to 1/2 cup) of the pine cleaner for every five litres (one gallon.) There will also be directions on the bottle, so you can simply follow these for the correct ratio. However, if your cabinets remain very dirty after cleaning, add a higher concentration of cleaner.

Soak the rag with the cleaning solution, squeeze out the excess liquid and scrub the cabinets from top to bottom. Rinse and replenish the rag in the solution often.


If you are worried about damaging the pine, test a small amount of the cleaning product on a hidden section before using it on the outer surfaces.


Cover laminated or painted surfaces that may get the cleaning solution on them. Check the packaging of the detergent for specific warnings.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing-up liquid
  • Pine cleaner
  • Kitchen sponge/non-metal scrubber
  • Soft rag
  • Old toothbrush
  • Rubber gloves
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About the Author

A writer of diverse interests, Joanne Thomas has penned pieces about road trips for Hyundai, children's craft projects for Disney and wine cocktails for Robert Mondavi. She has lived on three continents and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is co-owner and editor of a weekly newspaper. Thomas holds a BSc in politics from the University of Bristol, England.