6 steps for cleaning kitchen cupboards

Most kitchens operate as powerhouses of storage, containing many household essentials. Keep kitchen cupboards clean and tidy so that things kept in there are easy to find and ready to use.

6 steps for cleaning kitchen cupboards

1. Regular cleaning

  • To routinely clean the cupboard exteriors, dust with a clean cloth regularly and wipe with a damp cloth from time to time. (In terms of frequency, the meaning of regularly and 'from time to time' will depend on your specific cupboards and their frequency of use.)
  • Never use abrasive cleaners or scourers on kitchen cupboards.
  • Also avoid using a dish towel that's been used for other purposes, because it may contain grease or detergents that can add streaks and smears.

2. Door handles

  • To wipe away the stains around handles on cupboard doors and drawers, bring on the heavy artillery, because those stains will probably be the most difficult, being a mixture of skin oils, food smears and softened finish.
  • On cupboards made of plastic laminate, metal or glass, try a strong all-purpose household cleaner, such as those you find in supermarkets.
  • Spray it onto a cloth or sponge and apply to the dirty areas.
  • Let the cleaner sit for a few minutes and then wipe it off with a rinsed-out cloth or sponge.
  • Wipe with a dry cloth.

3. To clean wooden cupboards

  • First try a bit of dishwashing liquid applied directly to a cloth or sponge.
  • Rub into the dirty areas around the hardware.
  • For serious grease and grime, wash the entire cupboard with a wood soap solution. Mix up the wood soap according to instructions.
  • Apply with a cloth dipped in the solution and wrung out.
  • Then go over the cupboards with a cloth dampened in plain water, followed by a dry cloth.

4. Wax or polish

  • To protect the surface of the wooden cupboards after cleaning, apply a polish or wax.
  • Apply thinly to a clean surface with a clean cloth and then buff.

5. Cupboards with windows

  • To clean cupboards that have windows, wash the glass with a cloth or paper towel sprayed with a little glass cleaner.
  • Don't spray cleaner, or even plain water, directly onto the glass — it can drip down and damage the surrounding wood.

6. To clean the shelves

  • Use the same methods as for the exterior surfaces.
  • Shelves need cleaning only once or twice a year — assuming you clean up any spills as soon as they happen.
  • To remove an old spill, sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda and wipe with a damp cloth.
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