A clean and organized kitchen is the dream for most homeowners. But over time, kitchen cabinets can become cluttered and dirty, making it difficult to find what you need. A great kitchen cabinet cleanup can restore order and make your kitchen shine again!

Why Kitchen Cabinet Cleanup is Important

Keeping your kitchen cabinets clean and tidy offers many benefits:

  • Find items faster – When cabinets are organized, you’ll know exactly where things are located. No more digging around to find a bowl or spice jar.
  • Sanitary environment – Dirty cabinets spread germs and bacteria throughout the kitchen. A deep clean helps create a more sanitary cooking space.
  • Look nicer – Clean cabinets free of grime, dust and grease simply look better. Your kitchen will look cleaner and more inviting.
  • Work more efficiently – You can work faster in a clean kitchen where everything has a place. No more wasting time searching for items.
  • Feel less stressed – Messy cabinets cause stress. It’s relaxing to cook in a tidy kitchen where everything has a home.
  • Make better use of space – An organized cabinet layout fits more items into the same footprint. Get rid of clutter and maximize usable storage.

How Often Should You Clean Kitchen Cabinets?

Most experts recommend deep cleaning kitchen cabinets once or twice a year. But the frequency depends on your usage and how quickly cabinets accumulate dirt and dust.

Do a spot check inside cabinets about once a month. If you notice grease buildup, splatters or dust, it’s time for a clean. Some signs that your cabinets need cleaning:

  • Sticky residues or grease on shelves and surfaces
  • Visible dirt, dust or crumbs
  • Spills or splatters on interior surfaces
  • Odors coming from cabinets
  • Difficult to slide shelves or open doors

For lightly used cabinets in a clutter-free kitchen, an annual deep clean may suffice. But high-traffic kitchens or those with lots of cooked foods may need cleaning every 6 months.

Kitchen Cabinet Cleaning Supplies

Having the right cleaning supplies makes cabinet cleaning faster and easier. Stock up on these essentials:

  • All-purpose cleaner – For wiping down exterior surfaces
  • Degreaser – Removes built-up oil and grease
  • Disinfecting wipes – Sanitize shelves and interiors
  • Small scrub brush – For scrubbing grime in tight areas
  • Vacuum brush attachment – Sucks up crumbs and debris
  • Microfiber cloths – Won’t leave behind lint or streaks
  • Sponges – For wiping down smooth surfaces
  • Towels – For drying and final buffing

Avoid using overly wet sponges or cloths. Excess moisture can damage cabinet finishes and warp wood over time.

How to Deep Clean Kitchen Cabinets

Set aside a few hours for a thorough deep cleaning. Follow these key steps:

1. Remove Everything from Cabinets

Take everything out so you can fully access all surfaces. As you unload items, get rid of:

  • Expired food items
  • Duplicates and unnecessary kitchen tools
  • Chipped dishes or glasses
  • Anything not used in the past year

Sort items into “keep” and “discard” piles as you go.

2. Vacuum and Wipe Out Cabinets

Use a vacuum attachment to suck up all crumbs and debris inside cabinets. Pay special attention to corners and crevices.

Dampen a microfiber cloth with an all-purpose cleaner and wipe out interior surfaces. Remove any sticky spots or spills.

3. Clean Cabinet Shelves

Remove shelves one by one if possible. Soak in warm soapy water, use a scrub brush on stuck-on spills, and dry thoroughly before replacing in cabinet.

For fixed wood shelves, wipe down carefully with a damp microfiber cloth. Avoid over-saturating.

Disinfect shelves using antibacterial wipes or a cloth sprayed with disinfectant. This kills germs that cause odor and mold growth.

4. Wash Cabinet Doors

Mix an all-purpose cleaner with warm water in a bucket. Use a sponge or soft cloth to wash both sides of doors.

Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry with a clean towel. Don’t leave moisture sitting on wood cabinet doors.

Use degreaser and a scrub brush to scour off tough grease stains. Rinse and dry completely afterward.

5. Clean Inside Drawers

Follow the same process to clean out and wipe down each drawer. Remove debris with a vacuum, and wipe with an all-purpose cleaner.

Scrub tough spots using a small brush. Disinfect and thoroughly dry interiors to prevent mold growth.

6. Clean Cabinet Exteriors

Spray all-purpose cleaner onto cabinet fronts, sides and faces. Wipe down with a damp microfiber cloth.

Use degreaser to scour off stubborn grease splatters on exteriors. Avoid excessive moisture near wood cabinet edges.

Buff surfaces dry with a clean towel for maximum shine.

7. Organize Cabinets and Drawers

As you return items to cabinets, organize contents for efficiency. Keep like items together and arrange by frequency of use.

Place everyday dishes on lower shelves for easy access. Keep lesser-used items toward the top or back.

Add drawer organizers to neatly corral utensils, gadgets and other items.

8. Freshen Up Your Cabinets

After a top-to-bottom clean, cabinets will look refreshed. But you can take it a step further to leave your kitchen smelling amazing:

  • Place a box of baking soda inside cabinets to absorb odors. Replace monthly.
  • Put a few drops of lemon essential oil onto cotton balls. Tuck one into each cabinet to naturally freshen.
  • Fill a decorative bowl with lemons, oranges or limes on an open shelf. The bright citrus scent will permeate the kitchen.

With these tips, you can tackle a kitchen cabinet deep clean without too much elbow grease. Just be sure to declutter cabinets first, have the right tools ready and work methodically from top to bottom. A clean kitchen leads to easier cooking and a happier home!

Common Questions about Kitchen Cabinet Cleaning

Cleaning kitchen cabinets thoroughly doesn’t need to be difficult or take all day. By staying organized and using the right techniques, you can knock it out in just a few hours. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Should you take cabinet doors off to clean them?

Taking doors off makes it easier to fully access cabinet interiors for cleaning. If doors are gunky or covered in grease, remove them to clean both sides thoroughly.

But for a basic clean, leaving doors hung while you wipe them down is fine. Just be careful not to dislodge the hinges or scratch the cabinets.

How do you clean greasy kitchen cabinets?

Greasy buildup on cabinets is common above the stove and around frequently used cooking areas. Take a two-step approach:

  1. Mix a solution of warm water and degreaser or dish soap. Scrub affected areas using a small brush or sponge.
  2. Rinse thoroughly and wipe completely dry. Repeat if needed for heavy grease stains.

Degreasing regularly keeps grease from accumulating into a challenging mess.

What’s the fastest way to clean kitchen cabinets?

The fastest cleaning method is to focus only on exterior surfaces.

  • Remove shelf items and wipe down with a microfiber cloth.
  • Vacuum crumbs and dust inside cabinets.
  • Spray cabinet fronts with an all-purpose cleaner. Wipe down with a rag.
  • Spot clean stubborn grease.
  • Replace items in an organized manner.

This simplified process takes only an hour or two but doesn’t provide an intensive deep clean.

How can you freshen cabinets without cleaning them?

To refresh musty cabinets in between deep cleans:

  • Place bowls of coffee grounds or baking soda inside to absorb odors overnight, then empty.
  • Stuff paper towels scented with lemon oil into cabinets for a quick freshening boost.
  • Wipe down exterior cabinet doors with a mix of 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 1 cup water.

These tips help eliminate odors and make cabinets smell clean with minimal effort.

What is the best way to organize kitchen cabinets?

Some tips for an organized cabinet layout:

  • Keep items you use most frequently on lower shelves for easy access.
  • Store appliances and seldom used items toward the top.
  • Group like items, such as mugs or spices, together.
  • Install pull-out shelves or drawers for optimized space.
  • Add turntables in corner cabinets to better use all available space.
  • Keep one shelf or area for overstock items like extra paper towels.
  • Purchase matching bins and baskets to corral loose items.
  • Label any bins or shelves so everyone knows where things go.

Edit down items so each cabinet doesn’t feel overly cluttered. An organized system makes locating items a breeze.


A kitchen cabinet deep clean is an important maintenance task that provides huge benefits. Removing all items allows full access for cleaning. Having the proper tools and supplies on hand speeds up the process. And taking the time to organize as you reload helps maintain cleanliness.

Dedicate half a day twice a year to fully clean and organize cabinets. In high-traffic kitchens, quarterly deep cleans may be ideal. Maintain freshness between cleanings with quick freshening tips.

With a routine cleaning schedule, you can enjoy cabinets that look like new, contain minimal grease and grime, and help you cook efficiently. Don’t let clutter overwhelm your cooking space. A clean kitchen promotes happiness, health and homemade meals the whole family can enjoy.