How to clean sticky kitchen cabinet doors

Written by chris hoke
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How to clean sticky kitchen cabinet doors
The sticky build-up on kitchen cabinet doors is a combination of grease, dust, food particles and skin oil. (Modern elegant kitchen image by MAXFX from

Over time, your kitchen cabinets doors may develop a greasy, sticky build-up composed of kitchen grease, dust, airborne food particles and skin oil. Kitchen cabinet doors may be made with a range of materials, but most have enough of a protective coating to be able to withstand a strong cleaning solution. The two main types of cabinets require different cleaning methods.

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Things you need

  • Rubber cleaning gloves
  • Heavy-duty alkaline cleaner
  • Sponges
  • Nylon-backed sponge
  • Damp cloth
  • Terry cleaning cloth
  • Washing up liquid
  • Oil soap solution
  • Spray-on furniture polish

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  1. 1

    Put on rubber cleaning gloves. Mix the heavy-duty alkaline cleaning agent according to the directions on the container. Alkaline cleaners are available at specialist cleaning suppliers.

  2. 2

    Apply the solution to the cabinet doors with a sponge. Allow the alkaline cleaning agent to sit on the cabinet doors for 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. 3

    Scrub any areas with a large amount of build-up with the nylon-backed sponge, applying more cleaning solution when needed. Remove the grease and grime from the sponge by squeezing it into a sink before putting it back into the cleaning solution.

  4. 4

    Use a damp cloth to remove the cleaning agent and rinse the cabinet doors. Dry with a terry cleaning cloth to remove any small traces of sticky residue left over.


  1. 1

    Put on rubber cleaning gloves and clean around handles and other sticky build-up areas with a sponge and washing up liquid. Pay special attention to corners where dirt and grime can settle.

  2. 2

    Wipe an oil soap solution over the larger areas of the cabinet doors with a clean sponge. Oil soap is safe for cleaning wood surfaces and should not harm the finish of the cabinets as long as it is applied gently.

  3. 3

    Dry the cabinet door surface quickly with a terry cleaning cloth to avoid moisture damage. Always wipe dry with the grain of the wood, not against or across, to prevent scuffing or damage to the finish.

  4. 4

    Apply a spray-on furniture polish once a year to fill in pores in the wood and make regular cleaning easier.

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