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Keeping the Kitchen Cabinets clean - What's your secret sauce ?

Somewhat OT, but countless hours obsessing detail after detail, backsplash, countertop, which knobs, etc - the kitchen is completed.

My only issue with the entire thing is the hood. Part of the issue is the *hood design* but also part of it is just due to layout, the duct is part of the issue. It does exhaust air and all - just a tad noiser than where it should be...

HOWEVER, I am curious. How do you guys deal with CLEANING.

I'm OKAY across the board on everything EXCEPT for the 2 side cabinets adjacent to the hood. For whatever reason, I am getting some slight buildup of grease on my Natural Sheen Cherry Cabs. I don't want to RUB to hard or just something that will make the natural sheen more *glossy* than it is. I run the hood 7 minutes before cooking and 10-15 minutes afterwards...

Anybody care to share what's a good product to use to cut the grease.
I tried Ivory. No dice.
I HATE Murphys Oil Soap (it's not really a good product at all) BUT, on a test spot, if I use it straight with a paper towel, it does indeed remove the grease down to clean wood.

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  1. Sorry just realized yours are wood, so I take back what I said!

    1. this may sound weird... but one cup of white vinager to two cups of water a drop of essinsel oil that you like the smell of put in a spray bottel----this for daily cleaning...then for the "Gunky stuff" you know that stuff that builds up that drives my mom crazy and suddenly it becomes my kitchen...i make a paste of baking soda and vegtable oil( i know it sounds weird) and paste it allllllll over the gunky parts then let it set a bit then wipe it off with a warm rag then spray the everyday spray....

      1 Reply
      1. re: girloftheworld

        I love white vinegar to clean around the house. The idea to add some essential oil is a great one to avoid that smell afterwards.

      2. Try Dawn. It cuts the grease, but won't damage the finish on your cabinets.
        I always tell my clients to treat their wood cabinets like they do their living room furniture. Don't use harsh chemicals, or abrasives on them. If Murphy's cleans it, use that, but try diluting it to the weakest solution that still works. Then go over the doors with soapy Dawn water to clean the Murphy's residue off.
        Those cabinets by the hood can get pretty gunky - using the blower helps a lot if you are frying.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kitchengardengal

          Why not just use Dawn instead of the Murphy's that you have to wash off with Dawn in the first place? I'm not being snarky, I'm looking for a chemical answer that would make the two-step thing unnecessary.

          1. re: EWSflash

            Oh, EWS, I agree with you completely! I just use Dawn myself, but some people don't want to give up their Murphy 's Oil Soap.
            It seems to leave a film, to me, that still needs rinsing.

        2. I just moved into a 55-yr-old house that has cabinets that I doubt had been cleaned in 20 years. There was a huge buildup of grease, dirt, and who-knows-what. I started with the Murphy's Oil Soap which took off most of it. Then I went on to Orange-Glo, and that was pretty effective, too. Finally, Scott's Liquid Gold. They look pretty decent now.

          1. WOW. You guys are using all sorts of stuff I would never use - even with recommended. Vegetable Oil, Vinegar.

            I'll use vinegar to disinfect a sink/countertop...but I would not take something of mild acidity to wood.

            I my try dawn, cut with various degrees of water to see how diluted it will go and work. It is quite alkali going dawn straight...

            I'm not looking to rub, induce sheen, or put any product that even may ADD sheen to these low sheen cabs...

            1. I just cleaned my natural cherry cabs with water and a little Dr Bronners liquid soap. Then followed up with Old English. They haven't looked this good since installation 5 years ago.

              1. We are using Simply Green diluted to med strength. If you need more power to degrease, you could mix a little a high strength, but for eveyrday, I think the med would do the trick.

                I had a high grease buildup on a side cab when we moved into this house, and I worked hours and hours on it. It did come off with this product, but I don't recommend waiting that long to clean it! The finish there is not as good as I would like after all the cleaning I did there.

                And also there is Dawn. It cuts grease for sure.

                1. I use Simple Green undiluted, just spray it on the cabinets & wipe with a cloth. It takes all the grease off. Any solution that has water in it is just going to make you work harder. I don't even rinse it, but if you want to, just wipe with a damp cloth. I am more impressed with this stuff every time I use it. I sprayed it on the burner pans from my electric stove & let them sit a little while. When I washed them, they were like new, & they are probably 4 years old. I was going to replace them, but now I don't need to.

                  1. Someone I know mentioned having recently discovered Krud Kutter and says it's magic on kitchen cabinets. I think she said she got it at Lowe's home center, but am not absolutely positive.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: greygarious

                      I saw that today at home depot and wondered about it.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        my dad uses krud cutter on everything!!

                        1. re: greygarious

                          I had not read through the thread and just posted about Krud Kutter. I'm hooked on it for lots a cleaning jobs. During a remodel a # of years ago, the contractor suggested getting the bathtub electro plated to give it a new look. I don't know what that plating was but I have never been able to get it thoroughly. I decided to give it a try, it is a immaculate. Great stuff.

                          1. re: Candy

                            I put Krud Kutter on my Amazon and shopping lists, but forgot to ask the person who mentioned it in the first place: are rubber gloves needed?

                            1. re: Candy

                              Is Krud Kutter a liquid? I used to find Zud cleaning powder (like Ajax), but it's danged hard to locate anymore--great stuff. Smells kinds of like Barkeeper's, but seems stronger to me.

                              I'll also head off to Google for Krud...

                          2. white vinegar and distilled water mixed about 50 - 50 and microfiber cleaning rags from the auto department.

                            The microfiber towels make a huge difference in getting the grime off just about anything. Target has big bundles of microfiber towels, they are cheaper and work better than the ones I have seen in the house cleaning section.

                            We had no hood in our kitchen for the first two years we lived here as we were rehabbing the house. So it would build up quickly depending on what you were cooking. About once a year I go over all the oak cabinets with lemon oil furniture oil.

                            1. I use Turtle Wax. It provides a nice shine and repels grease build up. I wipe down the sides as needed and reapply the wax as required. This product really keeps the side cabinets from greasing up and keeps the task super manageable.

                              I also use Turtle Wax on black enamel appliances for the same reason.

                              A very thin coat and polished well. 15 mins. tops.

                                1. re: deputygeorgie

                                  I have a commericial grade steamer...
                                  For the output of what is requiered to degrease/clean a hood, I end taking my hood apart 1X a year and a thorough fantastik/ easy off/ etc to get it really clean..

                                  Back onto topic, murphys oil does not rinse well and is well documented in this.

                                  Amaingly for me, just some dawn and in some areas, some *more vigiouous scrubbing*, than I would have preferred did the trick. I did use Murphys straight on some stubborn spots (cabs but the sides of the hood). I was Hestient to scrub/brush hard, as I did not want to induce sheen into the cabinets.

                                  Lotsa of weird recommendations here !
                                  Krud Kutter is extremely extremely harsh. That is something I would use on a rental in which who's cabinets were not mine.

                                  I'm from the school of less aggressive steps to more agressive when it comes to chemicals.

                                2. Krud Kutter. Hardware stores stock it in a spray bottle or gallon jugs. A friend recommended it to me. I was amazed at how easily it cleans and with very little rubbing.

                                  I recently had my DH take the blades off of the kitchen ceiling fan. Is has been a long time since I cleaned it. The tops of the blades were filthy and smelled very bad. I took the blades out side and sprayed them with the Krud Kutter, gave them about 5 mins. and just hosed them down. I was amazed and it has become my favorite cleaner.

                                  1. I've always used good ol dish liquid...dawn with lemon seems to work on the toughest grunge. Works on wood, mica, painted...without leaving a film. I know vinegar is supposed to be a miracle cleaner but I hate the smell.