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How to Clean Sticky Wood Kitchen Cabinets? Ultimate Guide

How to Clean Sticky Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Sticky kitchen cabinets? The idea can be daunting, especially if you’re not a pro. Fear not, for we’re here to help you out.

Kitchen cabinets are highly prone to wear and tear from all the grease, oil, and food residues that settle on them. The situation could worsen if not addressed right away. Let’s not take it to the point where you will have to replace them entirely. A little elbow grease wouldn’t hurt anyone!

So how to clean sticky wood kitchen cabinets that have layers and layers of greasy deposits on them? Let’s find out.

Choice of Cleanser

Before getting your hands dirty, you need to pick your cleaning agent. So how do I clean sticky wood cabinets? There are plenty of cleansers to select depending on availability, preference, and the status of grime on the cabinets.

Dish soap

No need to bother yourself with expensive cleaning agents from the store for everyday cleanup of your kitchen cabinets. A little dish soap and hot water would do the job nicely. Regular dish soap that’s available in almost every kitchen is sufficiently powerful against grease, and using it with hot water will enhance the functionality even more.



Regular white vinegar with some water to make a dilute solution will make an excellent cleaning solution that will take off the grease without taking off the finish of the wood. If you’re worried not to lose the color and shine of the wooden cabinets, this solution will do correctly. Just soak the cloth into the solution and scrub the cabinets with it. You’ll see that the grime will start to loosen up and leave the surface quickly.

If there’s some severe stain that won’t go away smoothly, try to wipe it with a more concentrated vinegar solution or only vinegar without water until the stain comes off. If you’re using it without any water, remember to wipe the surface with a clean, dry cloth immediately after so that vinegar residues are removed and won’t harm the wood.

Oil soap

Oil soap

Perfect if you’re thinking of giving your kitchen cabinets a deep cleaning. You can find it at any nearby grocery store or order it online. Oil soap is specifically for cleaning wooden structures and removing grease from them without harming them in any way. Murphy’s oil soap is the brand of choice for most homeowners, but you can use other products as well.

Baking soda and oil

If you’re willing to purchase anything from the store, baking soda and vegetable oil are some of the items that are usually always available at home. It’s a potent combination, pretty much capable of loosening up even the toughest grime and stains on your wooden kitchen cabinets.

Deep cleaning

Follow these steps to deep clean sticky wood kitchen cabinets:

Prepare a cleaning solution

Prepare a cleaning solution

Pick your choice of cleanser from the above list and prepare your cleaning solution. You’ll need to combine some with water; others may need a little oil. Some store brought products might work alone as well. Just follow the instructions at the back of these products.

Empty the cabinets

You don’t want to start cleaning the cabinets with all the stuff inside. Since it’s a deep cleaning that we’re talking about here, you want to give a thorough cleaning to the interior and exterior, so it’s spotless throughout.

Test a small spot

Especially, if you’re using a tough store brought cleanser, it’s best to test a small part at a place where it’s hard to see. Dip a sponge or a cloth in the cleaning solution, squeeze out excess liquid, and rub the spot with it. If the color of the wood or its texture changes, don’t use that cleanser!

Scrub the cabinets

If everything goes well at the test spot, time to get your hands dirty! Soak cleaning cloth in the solution and scrub the cabinets together with its hinges and handles. Open the doors and also clean the shelves inside using the same method. This is how to remove sticky residue from wood cabinets.

Wipe with a clean cloth

Now that you have scrubbed the cabinets thoroughly with the cleaning solution, time to go over each part again using a clean cloth. Doing so will remove any residues from the cleaning solution or grease and will leave your cabinets dry and clean.

Regular Cleaning

Deep cleaning is required every once in a while. Regular cleaning of your wooden kitchen cabinets will make sure that grease does not settle, and there’s no need for deep cleaning for a long time. Despite regular cleaning, your cabinets might need proper refinishing, and instead of hiring some professional, try our detailed guide to refinish kitchen cabinets without stripping.

Follow these steps for your daily cleaning routine:

Wipe with water
  • Wipe with water: You can either wipe the exterior of your cabinets with a damp cloth. You may also make a dilute solution of vinegar and use that to soak the cloth with which you will wipe.
  • Wipe dry
    Once the cabinets clean, remember to wipe them again with a dry, clean cloth. doing so will ensure that there’s no moisture left on the cabinets that could harm the wood.


So you see that walking into a clean, spotless kitchen with shiny, nice-smelling cabinets isn’t that hard after all. You need to understand how to clean sticky wood kitchen cabinets, and you’ll be good to go.

We hope this article will prove useful for you in fighting the grime off your stained cabinets and leave them as spotless as new. Once the hard part is over, remember to keep them clean with regular cleaning so you won’t have to look at blackened greasy surfaces ever again. If you need to renovate your kitchen, and want to know how much it will cost, have a look on our ultimate guide for expenses of kitchen renovation.