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Cleaning cabinets above stove

I do not have an exhaust fan over my stove. What I do have are cabinets that have not been properly cleaned in 7 years. They are sticky with the residue from the stove.

What is the best way to clean them? I've tried a few cleansers and scrubbed to no positive end. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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  1. What are your cabinets made of? Mine are laminate and I have great success with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, but I'm not sure they're recommended for wood.

    If yours are wood, have you tried Murphy's Oil Soap?

    1 Reply
    1. re: susan1353

      Cabinets are made with wood but nothing fancy. I've tried Mr. Clean but not Murphy's Oil. That's a great idea!

    2. Ewww--I hate that--mine get really sticky.

      Take the doors off, just to make life easier, and spray with 409 or Fantastik. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so, and then wipe with a damp towel. I do this outdoors or in the tub so I don't drip on everything.

      Try it on one spot first--some paints/finishes don't like strong cleaners.

      1. try baking soda with vinegar....works pretty well.
        Also, any of the orange degreasers work well.

        I line the tops of my cabinets with paper towels so I can just change them out. Not sure if there are tops to yours, but if you do, I recommend covering them after you clean them.

        1 Reply
        1. re: uman

          Love the idea of baking soda and vinegar. I prefer to not use strong chemicals when they aren't necessary. Thanks for the recommendation.

        2. Trust a landlord that has cleaned way too many disasters.

          Use the same soap that you use to clean dishes. Which means either Dawn or Joy. Apply directly to your sponge. Wipe with the hottest water you can stand. 2 or three applications will result in clean cabinets.

          These are the detergents of choice for cleaning tar and oil off of shorebirds. So they will do a good job on the grease on your cabinets.

          1 Reply
          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

            I concur with Indian. Dawn cuts the grease, but doesn't strip the finish off your cabinet doors.
            If you have wood cabinets, they take the same care that your wood living room or bedroom furniture take. If you use harsh chemicals on your fine furniture, then have at it on the cabinets. Having many years of experience designing kitchens and selling cabinets, I've always advised my clients to treat their cabinets just like furniture ( which is what they are).

          2. I agree about not using harsh chemicals on good wood or fine finishes, but ours are some kind of ungodly hard wood product with real wood doors, and as they were installed in 1986 I'm assuming that's urethane varnish on them. While Indianriver insists that dish detergent will do the job, that grease is probably as old as the finish, and I know for a fact that straight Dawn will NOT take it off. Murphy's sounds like it may be worth a try, but my mom (who cleaned a lot of rental kitchens that had NEVER had their walls scrubbed) swore by Spic'N'Span. Whatever I use, I'm sure dreading the chore …

            2 Replies
            1. re: Will Owen

              god yes, I hate that greasy fuzz (long-time renter who's moved a lot in slumlord rent-controlled cities) it's the first thing I tackle in a new place. a Southern friend has a term for that stuff: 'gras dew'

              really any solution will require elbow grease.

              1. re: hill food

                Unless you have solid wood cabinets and plan on sanding and revarnishing, do not use one of those hand steam cleaners. Swelled wood and grease forced into pores of the wood means lots of money.

                Different environments require different solutions. My last rebuild was from a short sale where there was 23 years of cigarette smoke accumulation. With our humidity ranging from 60 to 99 per cent, things are loosened up a little. 53 billable hours was far cheaper than an $8500 purchase and installation. Thanks to quality cabinets, I did not have to refinish them.