Dirty greasy kitchen cabinets

How to Clean Grease Off of Kitchen Cabinets

We moved into this house over 5 years ago. I can reasonably assume that since then I have cooked at least one meal every other day. This means that I have cooked around 1,000 meals since then and I have never cleaned those greasy kitchen cabinets! What?

Lucky for me, I already know that rubbing alcohol is an effective solvent to remove grease, so I decided to use my own grease cutting recipe to clean that grease off the kitchen cabinets.

Pin of close up of dirty, greasy kitchen cabinet doors with text overlay

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In process image - top left Dawn; top right rubbing alcohol; bottom left is Dawn in bowl; bottom right is mixture of Dawn and hot water while adding rubbing alcohol

What you Need

To easily clean those greasy cabinets, you’ll need:

Because rubbing alcohol is an effective solvent, it is important to ensure the alcohol is diluted in your solution. If you have a solution that contains too much rubbing alcohol, you risk removing the paint or finish on your cabinets. Test your solution on an inconspicuous area of your cabinet to make sure it’s not too strong.

Don’t try doing this with undiluted rubbing alcohol – it will remove the paint or finish on your cabinet along with the grease!

A collage of 4 dirty, greasy cabinet doors before cleaning

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Mix the Cleaning Solution

In a large bucket or bowl, mix together the Dawn dish soap, hot water and rubbing alcohol. The hot water will help to loosen the grease, while the dish soap and alcohol will work their scientific magic to lift the sticky grease off the walls.

Saturate the Microfiber Cloth

Put on some cleaning gloves, then dip a clean microfiber cloth into the cleaning solution and wring it out. Make sure the cloth is thoroughly saturated but not dripping wet. 

Microfiber cloths are excellent for cleaning cabinet doors as they are gentle yet effective at trapping dirt and grease. Some people like to use Magic Erasers (or melamine sponges), but I’ve learned the hard way that those sponges also remove paint.

Wipe Away the Greasy Stains

Start from the top of the cabinet door and work your way down, gently wiping the greasy areas with the dampened microfiber cloth. Use circular motions to lift off the oil stains, taking care not to apply too much pressure to avoid damaging the finish.

Rinse and Repeat

As you clean, periodically rinse out the cloth in the cleaning mixture to avoid spreading the grease around. For stubborn stains, you may need to repeat the process a few times until the cupboards are completely clean.

If you have an awesome huge entertaining kitchen, you might have to make more than one batch of the cleaning solution.

Collage of 4 sets of clean white cabinet doors after cleaning


Once you’ve wiped down the cupboards, grab a dry microfiber cloth and give them a final wipe to remove any excess moisture. 

That’s it! The easiest way to clean greasy kitchen cupboards, from a fellow messy cook.

And the best part? It’s not just limited to cabinets; it works just as well for cleaning baseboards, oily walls and even floors!

How to Keep Your Cabinets Clean

My best advice is to use a lid on your pots or pans whenever possible to contain the grease and keep it from dispersing into your kitchen.

If you’d prefer not to clean grease off of kitchen cabinets on a regular basis, you could buy some protective wall protector sheets and carefully apply them to the door. Or you could just make washing them a regular part of your routine.

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