You’ve wiped the countertops, gave the stove a full scrub-down, and even spent hours reorganizing the refrigerator, but there’s still one weekend project you’ve yet to cross off the list: deep cleaning and organizing your kitchen cabinets. I get it—there’s nothing more annoying or time-consuming than emptying every single cabinet out just to put it all back, but just like a closet or medicine cabinet cleanout, you’ll feel ten times better knowing that you don’t have four duplicates of pancake mix or that your flour has been taken over by an ant colony. Besides, your kitchen cabinets can collect dust and dirt just like any other item in your home, so why wouldn’t you want the plates your family eats off of to be grime-free? Ahead, how to organize and deep clean your kitchen cabinets in just a few easy, manageable steps.
Gather Your Supplies
In addition to getting your arsenal of cleaning solutions and tools ready, be sure to have your vacuum or dust-buster at the ready to clean up any major spills. I’ve yet to make it through a kitchen cabinet deep-clean without finding out that my partner left an open cereal box on its side.
Empty Everything To A Neutral Location
This is a great task to delegate to a tall teenager or a partner who might not be as enthusiastic about quarterly deep cleans. Vacuum each cabinet thoroughly before moving on to the next step.
Prepare Your Solution
While you may prefer to use All-Purpose Cleaner in the kitchen, most cabinets—including painted wood, plastic laminate, and vinyl cabinets—can be cleaned with a solution of liquid dish soap and warm water, which gets rid of dirt, grime, grease, and other fun smudges. (Don’t complicate things by bringing vinegar into this.)
Find Your Groove
Starting with the insides of the cabinets, wipe down every shelf and wall, being sure to pay special attention to any cracks or crevices. You can either dip a cloth into the solution and work from the top down on each cabinet, or you can mix the solution into a spray bottle and wipe as you go. Follow up by wiping each cabinet once more with a barely damp cloth, which will get rid of any soap residue without leaving your cabinets wet, which can damage them. Repeat this with the outsides of the cabinets, too.
If you have any glass cabinets, use a glass-specific cleaner (like ours!) to get rid of any smudges or fingerprints. Then, move on to your handles and knobs. For more targeted cleaning, you can use a painter’s brush or a toothbrush to get into any crevices.
If you find there’s a thick buildup of grease on the outside of any cabinet, try fighting oil with oil by using our Leather Cleaner on any set-in stains. Just be sure to patch test an area that’s out of sight before laying it on thick.
Keep the cabinet doors open to make sure they’re fully dry before you put anything back.
Go Through Cabinet Contents
Now’s a good time to check for anything that’s expired or see if you can consolidate duplicates. Get rid of anything close to expiring unless you plan to use it STAT. Wait a few hours until the cabinets are 100% dry, then put everything back—now’s the time to adopt a new organization technique if you need one. Finish by getting your sink situation up to par—refill your Superlative Hand Soap as well as your favorite dish soap for a kitchen counter that’d be the envy of all.
Now, how often do you need to do this? If your kitchen is a high-touch, high-turnover location (Do you cook a few nights per week? Do you cycle through pantry items regularly? Do you find your kitchen island to be the place everyone congregates?) you’ll want to deep clean at least once per quarter. The idea of unloading everything every few months sounds tedious, but it’s better than having to replace poorly cared-for cabinetry prematurely.