How to Clean Glossy Cabinets

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High gloss cabinets are easy to clean but require some care, such as using microfiber towels and mild detergents, to ensure that the exterior doesn't get dull or scratched.
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High gloss cabinets in the kitchen are attractive and relatively easy to maintain. However, when the inevitable splatter from sauces and drops of grease gather on the surface of the shiny structures, they need to be thoroughly cleaned. The best way to clean the gloss on kitchen units is with care and gentle detergents. Harsh cleaners and abrasive tools can bring down the high shine on gorgeous glossy cabinets.


High gloss cabinets are easy to clean but require some care, such as using microfiber towels and mild detergents, to ensure that the exterior doesn't get dull or scratched.

Cleaning High Gloss Kitchen Doors

A good high gloss cleaner should be mild enough to not damage the surface or dull the shine and strong enough to easily remove streaks of grease and grime. A simple solution of a gallon of warm water and a tablespoon of mild dish washing liquid should clean and shine a high gloss kitchen cabinet. For caked-on grease or splotches from sauces, add a cup of vinegar to the water and soap solution.

Begin cleaning high gloss kitchen doors from the top down. Work in small areas toward the bottom of the façade to prevent streaks. Buff out the cabinet door until it comes to a high shine with a clean, dry microfiber towel. Excess moisture should be wicked away as soon as possible to avoid damaging the cabinet.

Maintain Clean Glossy Kitchen Cabinets

Once you have brought the shine back to the glossy kitchen cabinet façade, you'll want to keep it. A mistake many make is to only wipe down the front of the cabinet that gets the most abuse from high traffic in a busy kitchen. However, the interior also should be cleaned regularly so that odors and other issues don't build or go unchecked.

If you can, give cupboards a quick clean out once a month. Wipe down the bottom and sides of the interior as well as the back wall, where water leaks can begin to show the first signs of a more serious issue.

If the interior of the cupboard continues to emit an odor, use a kitchen cabinet deodorizer, such as a box of baking soda or a bowl of vinegar covered with plastic and small holes poked into the top. Newspaper can absorb smells naturally and should be changed out monthly or quarterly to keep moisture and odors at bay.

Tips on Cleaning High Gloss

There are a few detergents and tools to avoid and practices that should be sidestepped to keep the hard-won shine on newly clean high gloss kitchen cabinets. Design-Craft Cabinets suggests a regular wiping down of the high gloss cabinets with a microfiber cloth or chamois to keep the shine at its best.

  • Avoid using steel wool, abrasive cleaners, soap pads or solvent-based cleaners that can damage the finish.
  • If you aren't sure about a cleaner, such as a liquid bleach, check with the manufacturer of the cabinets to make sure the active ingredients won't damage the exterior of the cabinet.
  • Paper towels, brushes, scrapers and scourers should not make contact with the exterior of the high gloss kitchen cabinet.
  • Don't place damp or wet towels to dry over the exterior of the glossy cabinet façade. Excess moisture can cause discoloration or warping.

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at

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