Are you looking for the very best solutions for cleaning your greasy kitchen cabinet? Well look no further Springtime Cottage has just the right solutions you are looking for.

Thank you for choosing Springtime Cottage, we are delighted to have you visiting our ever-growing blog.

Kitchen cabinets can go through a lot of wear and tear. Grease, food particles and dust can build upon our cabinets and can look really ugly and in addition, this gunk can be so difficult to clean especially if it is not cleaned every so often.

The best way to keep this grease build-up to a very minimal level is to clean and polish at least once every two weeks. The amount of cleaning necessary depends on how often you use your kitchen to cook, the type of foods you cook and the method of cooking you undertake each time.

With that said it is easy to understand that any form of frying will cause a higher concentration of grease in the kitchen. It is important to note that grease also builds upon kitchen walls and ceilings.

To save your pride and sanity!!!

We want to prevent visitors, neighbors, and in-laws from wondering what happened to your wooden cabinets (even though….ehem! it’s none of their business).

If it looks shabby, discolored, full of scratches or has patches where the sheen is damaged- it will not go unnoticed and can cause a distraction. Do not get mad if they steer- sometimes they can’t help it!

Importantly- Do NOT put vinegar or olive oil on your wooden cabinet!

There is a popular two-ingredient wood cleaning recipe on Pinterest that uses olive oil and baking soda to remove gunk from kitchen cabinets. It was tried out and after a few days, the cabinet had a stinky scent.

After speaking to a woodworker this is what was discovered:

Oils on wood

Oils do have a way of breaking up other oils and that is no exception when you apply it to your cabinets to remove buildup grease. However, there are two types of oils we should know about before we approach our wooden surfaces.

These are Drying oils and non-drying oils.

Drying oils will harden and dry out when exposed to light and air. When Drying oils are applied to the wood they form a hard protective layer.

Olive oil which is a non-drying oil when it’s applied to the wood, it stays liquid and spoils, which will eventually hit up a stench, and attract noxious bacteria.

Some non-drying oils include; Babassu oil, Baobab Oil, Cocoa butter, Coconut oil, Macadamia oil, Nahar Seed oil, Mineral oil, Olive oil, and Peanut oil.

Drying oils are a key component of oil paint and some varnishes. Some commonly used drying oils include linseed oil, orange oil, tung oil, poppy seed oil, perilla oil, and walnut oil.

Vinegar is a wonderful natural cleaner and a good disinfectant but its acidity can ruin the nice finish of your wooden surfaces.


Here Is How To Remove The Grease From Your Cabinets

A few things you may need to get you going are in the picture below.

Use a mild dish soap: Dissolve a teaspoon of mild dish soap in a cup of warm water. Dip a soft scouring sponge or rag into the solution and gently but firmly rub on the greasy areas.

The sponge will help keep in some moisture and cause foaming action so that the grease will strip off easier.


Do not use all-purpose cleaners or any solution containing vinegar. This will only ruin your nice wood finish and the idea is to have your cabinets looking better after cleaning and not worst.

You may use a damped cloth to wipe away all the soap and then use a microfiber cloth to dry your cabinets off properly.

For tougher grease purchase one of these:

Oil Soap Wood cleaner: This can be found in most stores in the laundry section and is also available online. They are available in a concentrated form which is thick and looks like yellow liquid soap.  It is a good solution for your wooden cabinet.

It was specially made for wood surfaces with mild enough ingredients that can cut away grease and still keep your wooden surfaces in tip-top condition.

Just wet a sponge with water and squeeze out excess water from it.

Then add half of a teaspoon of the oil soap wood cleaner to the sponge and rub onto the greasy surface without applying too much force. A toothbrush can be used to get into the hard to reach areas and remove all that gunk.

Wipe away with a soft dry microfiber cloth.


Oil soap wood cleaner is also available in a spray bottle which has a diluted solution that was pre-mixed and ready to be used on the wood surfaces as is. However, this still should not be taken for granted.

Test by spraying a little of the spray solution in an inconspicuous spot. If the spot becomes white or looks cloudy – do not use it on your cabinet surface.

There are different types of finishes that are placed on wooden surfaces so the test will show you whether or not your cabinet surface can work with that particular solution.

To clean off grease using this solution simply spray it onto greasy areas and use a soft cloth to rub the area in a circular motion until the grease is stripped off the cabinet surface.

Wipe away all of the residues with a soft dry cloth.

For thick caked-on food particles

Use baking soda mixed with dish soap in the form of a paste, it acts as a mild abrasive that will soften and help to break down food particles that may have been dried up for a long time. It also acts as a good grease stripper.

Just make a paste with baking soda and water. Use a piece of cloth to apply the paste to the areas where the caked-on particles are. Wait fifteen minutes and rub it off using a wet scouring pad, then dry with a soft cloth.


Some finer details are placed here!

Attention should be paid to scratches and causes of scratches such as fingernail marks while opening and closing cabinet doors, a pen in hand or in a shirt or pants pocket, buttons on our clothes, jewelry, hairpieces, pots, jars and pans that can rub against the cabinet surfaces while moving them to or from the cabinet.

If you have pets, they can cause some scratches also. To remedy minor scratches use felt tip markers. Find the shade that best fits your cabinet’s color.

Mark it in the scratched area only and quickly wipe away any excess before it dries up. Detailing takes some skill but you will get the hang of it. At the end of the day, you want your cabinet to look good as new.

Advice: Ensure that the cloth that you are using to dry your cabinets are not holding any other particles. It may cause scratches or smear on your cabinet surfaces.

Scouring Sponges: These come in all sorts and forms. They are very handy in helping to get things clean. However, they have some disadvantages. 

They have a way of trapping lots of microparticles from food and holding them in hard to reach and unreachable areas.

This causes a massive growth of all sorts of harmful micro-organisms such as bacteria, yeast, and mold. The best recommendation for handling this issue is to throw away the sponge immediately after use.

But I will NOT do that!!! Some persons like myself may be thinking that they need to get more uses out of the scouring sponge so they might wash and keep the used ones in a vinegar and salt solution in an airtight container.

Or throw it into the microwave for a minute and that’s it – clean!

Toothbrush: Can be used to get into some hard to reach areas. If soap gets into some nooks and crannies and the cloth cannot be used to reach them, use the toothbrush. Rub into the areas properly to remove all possible grease.

But after the grease is removed do not let the soap stay in those areas. Rinse the same toothbrush and use it to dig out all the soap. Repeat the process until you are sure that the soap is completely out. This is how we protect the wood from every crevice and corner.


When you are finished cleaning the wood surface, give it some comfort – you may spray on a bit of WD-40 and buff the surface with a dry microfiber cloth.

This will leave the wood looking so slick and shiny! Like a brand new Bently!

How To Remove Grease From Wood Cabinets Without Damage

How To Remove Grease From Wood Cabinets Without Damage

Best practices for your wooden cabinets.


  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Dish Soap
  • Baking Soda
  • WD-40


  • Sponge
  • Cloth or Rag
  • Toothbrush


  1. Always test a tiny bit of any unusual solutions on a hidden part of the cabinet to ensure you do not damage the forefront.
  2. There are two types of oils to consider when applying a finish to your wood surface. They are drying oils and non-drying oils.
  3. Drying oils will harden when they dry and form a new coating on the wood. These oils include; linseed oil, orange oil, tung oil, poppy seed oil, perilla oil, and walnut oil.
  4. Do not use olive oil on your wooden cabinet because it will spoil after a while and cause a stench on the wood. It is a non-drying oil.
  5. Do not use vinegar on any wood surface, the acid in it will slowly deplete any coating on any wood.
  6. Vinegar is bad for wood, it will break down the fibers and soften the tissues of the wood. The density of the wood will be lost.
  7. Use dish soap mixed with baking soda applied by cloth or sponge to remove tough grease.
  8. Use a paste of baking soda and water applied with cloth or sponge in a circular motion.
  9. Use Oil Soap Wood cleaner, both the diluted or undiluted forms will help. The effectiveness will depend on how much grease you have built up.
  10. Use toothbrush in the groves and corners to remove any residue or grease build-up.


  1. Barb Morris Reply

    Thanks for the olive oil information. I had actually used it after seeing it probably on YouTube. (I was trying it to get rid of white water stains in those places in the kitchen where you forget to wipe up any water after doing dishes) Then one day, I got it in my head about coconut oil. It has been great for getting moisture back into some vintage furniture too. Plus it smells great!

    • Springtime Cottage Reply

      You are welcome Barb! Thank you for your kindness also!

    • Springtime Cottage Reply

      I would not do that. Mineral oil is a better choice in my opinion.

  2. Tried the baking soda and dish liquid on my cherry cabinets with an oil varnish. They are VERY low sheen, just 20% (which I would never get again). The mixture polished the cabinets, that it is made my very dull cabinets shiny. Fortunately, tried it in just a small spot.

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