How to Clean Cabinets With Denatured Alcohol

Dirty, greasy kitchen cabinets require thorough cleaning to look their best. Standard cleaning products may not cut through the grease, but denatured alcohol cuts through grease and grime buildup. Denatured alcohol, sometimes used as a paint stripper, works best on natural-finished wood and oil-based finishes. It can remove shellac-based finishes and softens latex paint, so only use it to clean cabinets with these finishes if you want to remove the entire finish. After a thorough cleaning, a natural-finished cabinet just requires a thin coat of wax to bring back its shine and beauty.

Kitchen oven
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Regular cabinet cleaning helps your kitchen look its best.

Step 1

Put on a pair of gloves to protect your hands and open a window in the room where you are working. Denatured alcohol produces fumes, so it requires good ventilation.

Step 2

Fold a disposable rag into a large square and dampen it with the denatured alcohol. Rub the cabinet door with the rag, refolding the square to a clean side as it becomes soiled. Add more alcohol to the rag as needed so it remains damp. Replace the rag once it's completely soiled.

Step 3

Allow the alcohol residue to evaporate off the cabinet doors for 10 to 15 minutes. Wipe any areas that still appear soiled a second time with a clean rag and alcohol.

Step 4

Place the used rags in a sealed metal container filled with water for disposal. A metal container minimizes fire danger since denatured alcohol is combustible.

Step 5

Dip a clean rag into paste wax. Rub the wax into the clean cabinet doors to provide protection and replenish the shine. Wipe the excess wax from the cabinets with a clean rag.