How to Clean Laminate Kitchen Cabinets

Laminate cabinets offer an affordable alternative to wood. The laminate surface is durable and it's easier to clean than traditional wood. Many natural and commercial cleaning products are safe to use on the surface, but you want to avoid anything abrasive to protect the finish. The best way to clean laminate kitchen cupboards is with a gentle soap or cleaner.

Modern apartment interior
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Laminate cabinets offer an affordable alternative to wood.

Basics of Laminate Cabinets

Laminate cabinets often look like wood cabinets, but they're made differently. The exterior is a thin layer that's bonded to the cabinet material. They're usually made of pressed wood or a similar inexpensive material. The durable surface makes the cabinets easy to maintain.

Dust Your Cabinets

Overall cleaning to wipe down all surfaces of the cabinets helps keep them from collecting dust and gunk. Use a soft cloth, such as microfiber, to wipe down all of the laminate surfaces at least once per week. While you dust, look for any spots of food, grease, dirt or other debris.

Wipe With Soap or Cleaner

The best cleaner for laminate kitchen cabinets is the gentlest one to prevent damage. Water often works to wipe away stuck-on food or other debris. Too much water exposure can damage the laminate, so avoid using a soaking-wet cloth.

A water-based all-purpose cleaner is generally safe to use on laminate cabinets if you need a little more power than plain water. You can also use liquid hand soap or dish detergent to clean the surfaces. After cleaning the laminate with any cleanser, go over it with a clean cloth to remove the remnants.

Clean Kitchen Cupboards With Vinegar

Step up your cleaning with diluted vinegar for a more natural option. Cleaning kitchen cupboards with vinegar is effective for removing grease from the surfaces.

Add vinegar to a damp sponge or cloth and wipe away the greasy spots. Another option is to mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray it onto the cabinets. You can let the vinegar sit on the cabinets for a few minutes if the grease doesn't come off easily. Remove any remaining vinegar by wiping down the laminate surface with a clean cloth.

Tackle Stains With Baking Soda

Baking soda can help gently take stains off laminate cabinets. The powder offers just enough scrubbing power without damaging the laminate finish. Add a little water to create a paste to work into the stained area, and use a cloth or soft-bristled brush to scour the area with the paste. Wipe the paste from the laminate with a clean, damp cloth.

Lemon juice can also help remove stains from the laminate. Soak a cloth with the lemon juice and hold it on the stain. Wipe it away and rinse the area with a clean, damp cloth. Use a towel to dry the laminate surface after you're done cleaning.

Avoid Abrasive Materials

Even though laminate is tough, it can get damaged if you're too rough with your cleaning methods. Laminate that gets chipped or damaged can be difficult or impossible to fix. Those damaged portions of the cabinetry often need to be replaced.

Skip any scouring tools, such as steel wool or wire-bristled brushes, that can scratch the laminate surface. Avoid abrasive cleaners that can have the same damaging effects. If you're in doubt, test the products on a hidden spot of laminate to check for damage.


Shelley Frost

Shelley Frost combines her love of DIY and writing in her freelance career. She has first-hand experience with tiling, painting, refinishing hardwood floors, installing lighting, roofing and many other home improvement projects. She keeps her DIY skills fresh with regular projects around the house and extensive writing work on the topic.