How Often Should You Clean Kitchen Cabinets?

A regular daily or weekly wipe down is usually all you need

Kitchen cabinets


Bogdan Kurylo / Getty Images

The cleaning schedule that is best for your kitchen cabinets depends on how often you cook in your home. If you cook daily, a daily wipe down goes a long way toward maintaining the look of the cabinets. If you only cook once or twice a week, then wiping them down once or twice a week with a soft, clean cloth is sufficient. However, even if you never cook or use your kitchen, dust still continues to build up. Wiping the cabinets once a week is sufficient to remove dust, no matter how much use your kitchen is getting. Simple regular maintenance is the key to keeping your kitchen cabinets clean.

What Is the Thick Stuff on the Outside of the Cabinets?

Buildup on the outside of kitchen cabinets comes from a combination of dust and grease from cooking. Add a little heat, and you can have a sticky coating. A daily wipe down prevents most of this buildup. If it's been a while since you cleaned the cabinets, this buildup might be thick and hard to remove. This is what we are trying to avoid by daily/weekly cleaning.

How Often to Clean Inside the Cabinets?

Every few months the interior of your kitchen cabinets should be cleaned. Even though this area is likely to stay clean longer, it still accumulates dust, dirt, and debris. Crumbs can build up quickly and attract pests. A quarterly cleaning keeps the cabinet interiors clean and free of insects. Even dish cabinets need to be wiped out on a regular basis. This is a great time to declutter the interior cabinets, removing expired food and misplaced or damaged dishes.

What to Use to Clean Inside?

To clean inside the cabinets, dampen a cleaning rag or dishcloth with a little warm water. The rag doesn't need to be soaked, only damp. Wring it out thoroughly before trying to wipe down the doors, the top of the inside of the cabinets, the sides and finally the bottom. This is easier if you remove items as you clean. If the cabinets are in need of a deeper cleaning, you can use an orange oil cleaner or a mild dish soap.

What to Use to Clean the Outside?

If you are doing daily maintenance on the outside of the cabinets, then a light wipe down with warm water on a cleaning rag (perhaps with a tiny bit of dish soap) is all that is needed. If your cabinets already have a thick buildup, then use an orange oil cleaner and a plastic dish scrubber to lightly scour and clean the cabinets. Start in a hidden area so that you can see how the finish responds to your cleaning method. If there is no damage, you can move to the more visible parts of the cabinets.


  • Soft cloths
  • Mild dish soap
  • Commercial orange oil cleaner
  • Plastic dish scrubber