Most people take a long time to notice that their wood kitchen cabinets are in desperate need of a good scrubbing. This is because dust and other materials take so long to build up that we do not usually notice that it is happening until we’re standing in the middle of our kitchen and saying “why does it look like we have cherry cabinets? I thought we bough oak kitchen cabinets when we moved in!” The simple truth is that buildup happens at the microscopic level and it isn’t until it has formed a deep coating on something that we notice it is there. It can take weeks, months or even years to notice that something is amiss because we grow used to the different appearances of our cabinets.
Thankfully, giving your wood kitchen cabinets, whether they are oak kitchen cabinets or cherry kitchen cabinets or even maple or spruce, does not have to be difficult. It will likely be time consuming (good and thorough cleanings always are) but in the end you will be surprised at how new and shiny your cabinets look!
First you should take everything out of your cabinets-especially the items that you rarely use. Run everything through the dishwasher to rid the items of their grime build up. While each load is running attack your wood cabinets with gusto! If you have any shelf paper in place, take it out and prepare to replace it after you are done cleaning. The goal is to look new remember?
The easiest cleansers to use on wood kitchen cabinets (again, it doesn’t matter whether they are oak kitchen cabinets or cherry cabinets or some other wood altogether) are Murphy’s Oil Soap or Lysol All Purpose Cleaner. These cleansers can be expensive though so, if you are so inclined, you can also make your own cleaner out of one part lemon juice to two parts olive oil.
Use a soft rag to rub the cleaner into the cabinetry and, while you are working the soap into the wood’s surface, try to rub out any scratches, nicks or scrapes. Buff out any blemishes. You will want to say away from hard or scratchy sponges but you can use your fingernail to clean out any crevices or cracks (or to scratch out any blemishes) as you go along.
When the soap has been gently but thoroughly worked into the surface of your wood kitchen cabinets, dip the rag into hot and clean water and rinse the soap from the surface of the wood. You do not want to scrub too hard-this can damage the wood-but be firm as you push the clean water over the soap and wipe everything off of the cabinetry.
Take your time and be as thorough as you can. When you have finished cleaning, replace the shelf paper (if applicable) and put everything back into the cabinets. You will be surprised by how new and polished your kitchen looks even after only cleaning it!