How Often Should You Be Cleaning Your Kitchen Cabinets?

published Mar 29, 2017
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(Image credit: Liz Calka)

When was the last time you cleaned the inside of your cabinets? Was it yesterday? Or was it more like whenever you moved into your place? You probably wipe down your counters and floors on a nightly (or at least a very regular basis), but what about the places where you actually store your plates? You know, the things you put your food all over? Or the cups your put your mouth on?

Here’s how often you should be cleaning them.

The Inside of Your Cabinets: Every Few Months

Ideally, you’ll be cleaning these things once a quarter. (If you have open shelving, you will probably have to do this more often. Because dust!) Pull out everything and give the shelves a good wipe with an all-purpose cleaner or white vinegar diluted with water. If dust and grime have collected in the edges of the cabinets, try using a toothbrush or credit card to get in there. Then, go over the surfaces again with a damp (but not too damp!) cloth. Let the cabinets dry completely before replacing your dinnerware. Hint: Just leave the cabinet doors open for a few hours.

If the idea of emptying out your entire kitchen sounds daunting, just clean as you free up space. Are all your plates in the dishwasher right now? Great — go clean the spot they usually sit in! Just keep a list of what you’ve cleaned and make sure you at least hit the main spots (where your plates, bowls, and drinking glasses live).

Perhaps you have some sort of shelf paper or liner? Rubber or vinyl liners can also be pulled up and shaken out outside. Paper might need to be replaced, depending on how grimy it’s gotten.

Cabinet Faces: Every Other Week

At the very least, these should be wiped down every other week for standard maintenance. Your doors might not look dirty, but if you wipe them down, you’ll be amazed when you see how much grime has collected. (This is especially true if you have recessed panels, because gunk can sit on the little ledges.) Also, spills on your countertop have a way of dribbling down the face of your cabinets, so be on the lookout for that and wipe up those drips right away.

How to Clean These Things

How often do you clean your cabinets?