How do I Clean Oak Kitchen Cupboards?

Written by ruth de jauregui Google
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How do I Clean Oak Kitchen Cupboards?
Most housecleaning requires little more than a plastic scrubber, dish soap and water. (scrubber 3 image by Adkok from

Housecleaning is a sore topic in many modern homes. Everyone is busy with work, school and other activities. There is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. Unfortunately, while the dishes are washed and the floors vacuumed, some chores are neglected. Cleaning kitchen cabinets is one thing that goes unnoticed until you suddenly see the dark marks around the door and drawer handles. Because of their light colour, grungy oak cabinets are particularly noticeable. However, they are easy to clean.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Dawn dish soap
  • Plastic scrubber
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Murphy's oil soap
  • Kitchen degreaser
  • Trisodium Phosphate (TSP)
  • Gloves (optional)

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  1. 1

    Dampen a plastic scrubber and add a little Dawn dish soap. Carefully wipe the cabinet, scrubbing a little if necessary. Do not scrub too hard--even plastic can damage the finish. Rinse with water and dry thoroughly with paper towels or rags.

  2. 2

    Pour a little Murphy's oil soap onto a rag and wipe the cabinets. If Dawn and a scrubber do not work, try Murphy's next. Since it is made specifically for cleaning wood, it should not harm the finish. Carefully follow all package directions.

  3. 3

    Try a kitchen degreaser. Since most dirt in the kitchen is grease from cooking and fingerprints, try a degreaser next. Test in an inconspicuous place first, you do not want to damage the finish on your oak cabinets. Apply a little degreaser to one spot and allow it to work for a few seconds, then wipe off. Rinse according to the package directions and wipe dry.

  4. 4

    Use Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) as a last resort. TSP is a strong cleaner, so dilute with water according to the package directions. Use caution--it may damage the finish on your cabinets. Test in an inconspicuous place first. Rinse with water and wipe dry.

Tips and warnings

  • If the cabinets and handles are very dirty, remove the handles and clean separately with soap and a small scrub brush or old toothbrush. It will also be easier to clean the cabinets.
  • If you prefer to make your own cleanser, try mixing equal parts vinegar and water. Spray on the cabinet, allow to work for a minute or two, spray again and wipe off.
  • Wipe the cabinet with furniture polish after cleaning; it will help protect the finish until the next deep cleaning.
  • Use proper safety equipment, such as gloves and safety glasses.
  • Do not allow water to stand too long on any wood surface. It may damage the finish.
  • If the finish on the cabinets is damaged, cleaning products may discolour the wood. Use caution.

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