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Thread: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

  1. #1
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    Question Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    Wife wants to clean maple kitchen cabinet doors. Doors are eight to ten years old, maple, clear finish(don't know what kind), no raised grain or broken finish.
    doors have small splatters, small specks of food, small drips on front of the lower or counter cabinets.
    What to use? Warm water, Spic n' Span - TSP? Top coat or finish is in great shape, I'd like it to stay that way.
    Any suggestions?
    " Be all that you can be"

  2. #2
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    Wink Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    Vinegar, with a splash of 409, fantastic, orange type stuff.spray liberally, wipe off, and do again as needed.50% vinegar, water works well too!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    Vinegar speeds yellowing of many materials--I'd avoid it for that reason alone.

    Clean with warm water and a little dishwashing soap, rinse with warm water then apply lemon oil. Even though the backs of the doors may not need any attention treat them to the same materials and processes as the fronts.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    I had excellent results cleaning up an old pine drafting table using Murphy's Oil Soap. The table had been stored in a barn for years and was covered in pidgeon exhaust. Washed it down with Murphy's and warm water and let it dry. A light sanding and 3 coats of clear shellac and the table was back in business.

    A bit extreme for your case, but I imaging a wash with Murphy's would do what you need without the follow on steps.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    try the soap and water approach first. if that doesn't get it all try Go-Jo hand cleaner on the tough spots. Just rub it on with your fingers and whip it off. Most of the residue on cabinet doors comes off your fingers or is spilled off the counter tops. Some of the cooking oils are also drying oils and get sticky and insoluable when exposed to the air. That is where the waterless hand cleaner comes in.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    Cabinet magic ,

    Cabinet Magic Cabinet & Woodwork Cleaner (CM32)
    13 oz. aerosol Cleans and beautifies Removes food stains, deposits, cooking grease, finger marks Not for unfinished wood.



    http://www.google.com/products?sourc...hardware+&um=1

    Ace Hardware carries it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    I started my woodworking life, 30+ years ago, building kitchen cabinets - and still build an occassional set. Given your description, I'd stay away from anything with an abrasive component. Warm water with just a bit of mild detergent will work, but keep your sponge/cloth very dry/wrung out. Interior wood finishes don't really like exposure to water. Use only cotton cloth. The best place to start, though is with Mr Girouard's suggestion - Cabinet Magic. It's available at most hardware stores. It's oily/waxy, not moist. It's applied like Pledge (quick & easy). It'll leave a bit of residual protection when you've wiped it off.

    Another suggestion: paste wax applied with 0000 steel wool, then buffed off with a clean cloth. This will clean, polish, and protect. It's a bit more work than the Cabinet Magic (though not a ton). It's a bit more aggressive than the CM, so you have to be a tiny bit careful not to linger too awful long in one spot, and perhaps rub through the finish. On the plus side, it'll give you an even, hand-rubbed sheen and the best protection against future soiling.

    "I can remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty" -- George Burns

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    Best solvent in the world....HOT water.

    Great for cleaning. Works a treat getting awful grime off any surface.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    I would use hot water and a mild soap, only a damp cloth- not dripping. Rinse as you go with a similar damp cloth of hot clear weater. Just do small areas at a time- a single drawer front or door at a time.Then use the paste wax after 24 hours drying time. That way you get the water soluble crud from fingers and splashes off the surface first. Then go back with the paste wax for great protection and no problems with oils or discoloration. You can get Minwax paste wax in natural or dark colors.

    One thing I have learned about this- almost twenty years of period furniture restoration experience- is that oils and sprays are a ripoff and an unnecessary complexity of goop on your wood finishes. These products can make refinishing or repairing later a nightmare. Most furniture polishes and oils that you buy in cans, bottles and sprays actually do more harm than good. A little elbow grease and a damp cloth, maybe a little mild soap too, rinsed and buffed dry and then paste waxed is lasting inexpensive protection.
    Fly Fishing Washington's Olympic Peninsula
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    One product I found that is absolutely amazing is called; Ram cleaner I bought a case of the stuff about 4 years ago and it cost me about 85 dollars. 1 bottle makes 10 for regular clean up and works great! It won't hurt the finnish, it won't hurt fabric, nothing. it is a completely organic cleaner and to this day I haven't found anything better! And How I came across it is a friend was selling the stuff kinda door to door and I was helping a change a transmission, very greasey dirty job! The guy mixed up a little in a spray bottle, spray a little on my pants which were stained to death already, and to my supprise the small spot that was cleaned turned into brand new denim! So, I bought a case wondering if I just wasted a pile of money. I got the work cloths off and said lets see what this stuff can do? I sprayed the Levi's with it, didn't scrub, let them soak over night chucked them in the washer and they came out like brand new! Now I use the stuff on everything with incredible results! http://ramcleaner.com/
    You can find the stuff on E-Bay as well.
    Best,
    Paul

  11. #11

    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocean Spray View Post
    Wife wants to clean maple kitchen cabinet doors. Doors are eight to ten years old, maple, clear finish(don't know what kind), no raised grain or broken finish.
    doors have small splatters, small specks of food, small drips on front of the lower or counter
    Carpet Cleaning cabinets.
    What to use? Warm water, Spic n' Span - TSP? Top coat or finish is in great shape, I'd like it to stay that way.
    Any suggestions?

    There are numerous cleaners available in the market for eg. magic cleaner which are specifically designed for this. But in cases there is lot of work to be done you can also opt for professional cleaning services
    Last edited by Johnmichelsr; 11-21-2012 at 09:05 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    Similar problem here, except compounded by years of a substandard range vent hood -- the grease accumulation is substantial. Best method for removing grease buildup?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    Fantastic, and a damp sponge with a scotchbrite scrubby pad on one side.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Sailor View Post
    Similar problem here, except compounded by years of a substandard range vent hood -- the grease accumulation is substantial. Best method for removing grease buildup?
    Fire. But it makes refinishing the cabinet doors a real chore.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrleft8 View Post
    Fire. But it makes refinishing the cabinet doors a real chore.
    I did consider this. I see no real problem with a blackened finish on the doors.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    We've used Murphy's (oil soap) wipes with great success.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Sailor View Post
    Similar problem here, except compounded by years of a substandard range vent hood -- the grease accumulation is substantial. Best method for removing grease buildup?
    Ammonia.
    Complicated problems usually have simple solutions - which are almost always wrong.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Sailor View Post
    I did consider this. I see no real problem with a blackened finish on the doors.
    Yeah. I've had people actually pay me to the "distressed look".

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Wood cabinets - cleaning?

    Maple is not at all difficult to refinish because it takes well to sanding, and staining or painting. I use Murphy's Oil mixed with hot water and sponge them on cabinets.

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