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How to whiten yellowed kitchen cabinets

Updated February 21, 2019

While cooking and trying your best not to make a huge mess in the kitchen, grease spatters end up in places one might not readily notice at first. Cabinets tend to get overlooked while cleaning up, and over time these tiny grease spatters can accumulate into a yellow film over your cabinets. Smoking in the home can also cause a stubborn yellow discolouration on surfaces such as cabinets. You can quickly return your cabinets to the white colour they once were.

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  1. Add 15 ml (1 tbsp) of grease-cutting washing up liquid into 240 ml (8 fl oz) of warm water.

  2. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution and wring it out.

  3. Scrub the yellowed area of the cabinet with the cloth or sponge dipped into the warm, soapy water.

  4. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and warm water.

  5. Dip a second clean cloth or sponge into the solution and use it to rinse the cabinets. The vinegar will help to eliminate any residual grease or soap.

  6. Wipe the cabinet dry with a soft, clean, dry cloth to eliminate excess moisture.

  7. Mix 240 ml (8 fl oz) of white vinegar into 480 ml (16 fl oz) of warm water.

  8. Add 120 ml (4 fl oz) of baking soda. This will cause the solution to fizz, so make sure the container has plenty of room left at the top so it doesn't overflow.

  9. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution and wring it out.

  10. Scrub cabinets with the solution to remove the discolouration. This will also help get rid of any lingering odour.

  11. Wipe the cabinet dry with a soft, clean, dry towel once to remove excess moisture.

  12. Tip

    If you want to use a commercial cleaner to eliminate grease build-up, read and follow the directions for use.


    Avoid the use of harsh chemicals and abrasives that can scratch and damage your cabinets.

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Things You'll Need

  • Grease-cutting washing up liquid
  • Clean cloth or sponge
  • White vinegar
  • Clean dry towel
  • Baking soda

About the Author

Melynda Sorrels

Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.

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