How to Clean Oak Kitchen Cabinets

Oak cabinets can pick up grease, dust and stains -- especially if they're in the kitchen -- but they are seldom problematic to clean, provided the finish is in good shape. When you wash cabinets, you're washing the finish, and as long as it isn't damaged, any water you use stays safely away from the wood. Start with a mild cleaner and, if you need more power, graduate to the grime-buster no home should be without -- vinegar. Avoid liquid cleaners altogether on a damaged finish until you have a chance to repair it, or you may stain the wood.


Remove surface dust by wiping lightly with a clean dusting rag or fanning with a feather duster.

Mix a solution of detergent and water for normal day-to-day cleaning. The detergent should be as mild as possible -- use either an ounce of grease-cutting dish detergent or a cup of laundry detergent for every gallon of water. Avoid high-pH cleaners detergents and cleaners, such as ammonia. They can damage the finish.

Wipe the cabinets with the detergent mixture, using a microfiber cloth, then rinse with clean water and dry with a soft rag.

Pour equal amounts of white vinegar and water into a bucket, and use the solution to clean off grease or grime buildup from kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Use the same microfiber cloth to wash, and rinse with plain water, then dry with a rag.

Scrub dirt from hard-to-reach places, such as wood turnings, moldings and around hinges and other hardware with baking soda and a toothbrush. Add water to the baking soda to make a paste, scrub it with the toothbrush, then rinse with clean water and dry.