How To Get Sticky Cooking Grease Off Cupboards

How To Get Sticky Cooking Grease Off Cupboards

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

While we tend to clean up grease splatters on and around the stovetop as they happen (paper towels work best to absorb the grease), the real problem is the fine layer of grime that builds up little by little on our kitchen cupboards until the day we look at them and go, "I thought my cabinets were white?"

Fortunately, cleaning grease off of cupboards is not particularly tricky — it just requires some elbow grease if you haven't done it in a while. Most kitchen cabinets (whether they're painted wood, laminate, or another material) can handle a good scrubbing. Just avoid using harsh cleansers, like bleach, or too rough a scrubber, like steel wool, to avoid scratching the finish (it's good practice to test any new cleaning method in an out-of-sight spot first).

Depending on how often you cook and the air circulation in your kitchen, this is a job you can do every few months or once a year. But if you make a habit of wiping down your cabinets at the same time you wipe down your countertops or backsplash after cooking a meal, you can go a lot longer before having to do a deep clean. Here's how to tackle greasy kitchen cupboards.

How To Get Sticky Cooking Grease Off Cupboards

What You'll Need

  • Warm water
  • Clean dishcloths
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Baking soda
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Clean towels
  • Bowl
  • Spray bottle


  1. Wipe down a small section: Plan to work in a small area (about a six-inch square) at a time. To start, run a clean dishcloth under warm water and gently wipe the area to soften the grease splatters.
  2. Clean the area: Combine a few drops of dishwashing liquid with warm water in a bucket or large bowl. Soak your sponge in solution, wring it out, press and hold the sponge onto your cupboard to further release the grease, and then gently scrub it in a circular motion. Rinse and repeat.
  3. Try a gentle scrub: If the grime doesn't come off, combine equal parts warm water and baking soda in a bowl and stir into a paste. Apply the paste to your grease stains and let dry, then remove the paste with a clean cloth dipped in warm water.
  4. If that still doesn't work, try vinegar: Combine equal parts distilled white vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Spritz onto the area, let sit for five minutes, then rinse it with a dishcloth and warm water.
  5. Dry the cabinet: Once the grease has been removed, dry the surface with a clean, dry dish towel so liquid doesn't get under the finish.
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