I Tried Several Degreasers on My Wood Cabinets — These Are the Two I’ll Use Again

published Nov 7, 2023
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I have an embarrassing secret: I don’t regularly clean my kitchen cabinets. The wood stain on the cabinets camouflage the splatters, fingerprints, and general grime that usually accumulate — especially around the knobs. 

But if you look closely enough, you can see all kinds of smudges and buildup of cooking grease, particularly on the cabinets near the stovetop. It was high time I finally cleaned them, so I tried several degreasing products that were marketed as safe for wood cabinetry. After a bit of trial and error, I emerged with a clear winner and a solid backup. By the time I was done, I had a kitchen full of super clean and gorgeous wooden cabinets!

First, a little bit about the degreasing products I tested and didn’t love. One degreasing brand worked well when it came to cutting through grease and grime, but when I went to wipe the product from my cabinets, I felt my rag “catch” rather than glide over the wooden surface. I was worried the product had compromised the varnish and decided right away not to use it on wood anymore. Another product I tested was cream-based, and I had high hopes it would effectively polish my cabinets. While the cream was great at dissolving grease and other dirt, it left a blotchy and not particularly clean-looking sheen instead of the smooth gleam I had envisioned. I also tried a DIY degreaser blend of baking soda, vinegar, and warm water, but it wasn’t strong enough to cut through the toughest grease. Plus, the baking soda left behind residue I had to rinse off. 

The Winner: Green Gobbler All-Natural Cold Pressed Concentrated Orange Oil

Hands-down, my favorite cleaner for getting kitchen cabinets pristine is Green Gobbler’s All-Natural Cold Pressed Concentrated Orange Oil. It wasn’t as easy to use as the other cleaners, which I was able to spray directly from the container and wipe away. With this orange oil, I had to mix the concentrate in a bucket with warm water before using. But, once I started cleaning, I realized the results made this little bit of work totally worth it!

After I mixed the concentrate with water, I used a microfiber rag to apply the solution to the fronts of the cabinets, and let it sit for a minute or two. Then, I went back over the treated areas with a dry microfiber cloth. Not only did the visible grease splatters and other caked-on dirt disappear, but also once they dried, the cabinets felt super clean to the touch — almost velvety. I couldn’t stop running my hands over the cabinets — and I couldn’t stop cleaning them! The other nice thing about the orange oil concentrate is how pleasant and fresh it smells. I can’t wait to try it on other items that need cleaning (it supposedly can clean metal, glass, granite, porcelain, tile, brick, and concrete!). Plus, I love that it’s a concentrate, which means less waste and cost in the long run. 

Runner-Up: TriNova Multi-Surface Cleaner

Another product I tested that promised to be tough on grease and grime was TriNova Natural All Purpose Cleaner. While it didn’t quite stack up to the power of the orange oil concentrate (especially when it came to stubborn areas), it did a respectable job overall. It’s a perfect option for maintaining cabinet cleanliness between deeper cleanings, and its white tea and thyme scent smelled absolutely lovely. Bonus: It can be used in a number of ways throughout the house, including in the bathroom, on the floors, in the oven, and even on quartz countertops.

After seeing the kind of wear and tear my cabinets stand up to daily and the toll of waiting too long to address the issue, I’m glad to have two effective degreasing products to keep my cabinets squeaky clean. 

How do you degrease and clean your cabinets? Tell us in the comments below.

This post originally appeared on The Kitchn. See it there: I Tried Several Degreasers on My Wood Cabinets — And These Are the Two That I’ll Be Using from Now On