The Best Way to Clean Your Cabinets

clean kitchen and bathroom cabinets knotty alder RTA cabinets

29 Jun The Best Way to Clean Your Cabinets

You’ve recently made a great decision upgrading your kitchen or bath cabinets. Whether you have quality RTA cabinets from Knotty Alder Cabinets or a custom cabinet solution, you’re going to want to keep them looking great and last you and your family for years with no major issues.

What’s one of the first considerations you should make once your beautiful new cabinets are install and functioning properly? Cleaning and maintaining them to maximize their lifespan and usefulness – of course! There are many areas of the house that require basic cleaning and maintenance to function properly, and cabinets are included in this. Luckily, despite their tough environment, bathroom and kitchen cabinets are some of the simplest home areas to clean and maintain.

Cabinets, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, absorb oil from messy hands, grease, steam, dirt, and bacteria very quickly. We often get asked, “what’s the best way to clean wood cabinets?”

Regular maintenance doesn’t require too much effort and will help your cabinets last much longer. Here are some basic cleaning tips for a few different kinds of clean.

Make your own cleaning solution 

The following cleaning solutions will cut through the grime and grease without damaging the finish on your wood cabinets:

  • Try mixing 1 part dish soap or laundry detergent with 2 parts warm water for a gentle solution. 
  • Combine vinegar and water. This solution is very effective for removing greasy residue. 
  • Mix baking soda and water to form a paste. This can be used to scrub tough stains.

With each of these solutions, apply to your cabinets with a microfiber cloth or sponge. Never use a scratchy or harsh material like steel wool for cabinets! Gently scrub the cabinets, rinsing the cloth between uses. Be sure to wipe with the grain of the wood. Let the solution sit for several minutes, then wipe it away. Water can ruin your cabinet finish, so make sure you wipe them down with a dry cloth after.

Buy a Wood Cabinet Cleaner

You can also try one of the many varieties of commercial wood cabinet cleaning solutions. A regular all-purpose cleaning solution works well too.

Scrub stains, hardware, and corners with a small scrub brush

A toothbrush is very effective at removing hard, crusty build up. Try this with the baking soda solution mentioned above.

Get in the habit of wiping down cabinets daily, especially after meals

This will keep tough grease buildup from forming and make cleaning easier for you in the long run. There are some areas of RTA cabinets that need to be cleaned every week, primarily the countertop areas. This goes beyond daily spot cleaning – at least once a week, dust these areas and any others that are regularly exposed to crumbs or other debris.

In addition, remember that you won’t always be able to see every spill or accident fully. A weekly run-down of all the major surfaces helps you avoid sneaky buildups in areas you might not be able to pick up – things like grease or smoke discoloration.

You can get items like splatter shields or vented range hoods to help here, but regardless, you’re going to be dealing with some level of these buildups.


Once a month or every few months, plan to deep clean your cabinets. Open doors and remove all items inside, whether food, dishes or otherwise. Remove any dust or debris inside, and hit any buildup areas. How often you do this will depend on how clean you are on a daily basis, and on whether you have glass doors – cabinets with glass doors require more regular cleaning.

As an added measure, it’s a good idea to partially disassemble RTA cabinets – at least the visible parts. This can help you get at any grease or oil that built up into hardware and hinges, areas that can be tougher to get to during standard cleaning.

Cabinets are home to dishes and other dinnerware, but they’re also often in charge of storing food items like canned goods, chips, cereal, spices and many others. Some of these items will be used more than others, and over time, this may cause certain items to essentially be forgotten in the back of the cabinet. At least once or twice a year, go through cabinets and remove any expired food or items that are just taking up space.

Don’t leave your cabinets soaking wet

Too much water can cause warping, cracking, peeling, and damage to the wood stain. When cleaning, use a damp rag and be sure to dry your cabinets after. Keep this in mind with steam from a shower or dishwasher as well. Wipe down cabinets with a dry towel when necessary.

Polish cabinets with wax or furniture polish

Make sure your cabinets are clean first to avoid scratching the wood with dirt and other particles. You shouldn’t need to polish cabinets often, maybe once a year.

Dealing with Long Term Wear and Tear

Basic wear and tear is a simple reality, and accidents may also happen from time to time. At Knotty Alder, we stock everything you’d need for this kind of basic maintenance, including basic repair kits or wax pencils for basic color repairs. If you ever decide it’s time for a replacement, our team will be on hand.

To learn more about our RTA kitchen cabinets and their cleaning and maintenance, or for any of our basic services, speak to the pros at Knotty Alder Cabinets today.

We’d love to see before and afters of your shiny, clean cabinets after trying these tips! So send those pictures here!

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