How to Degrease Painted Kitchen Cabinets? – Fool-Proof Solutions That Won’t Damage the Surfaces!

by Stephanie Yankova

You walk into the kitchen, excited to cook a delicious meal, only to find that your freshly painted wood cabinets have been stained with grease! Was it an accidental spillage, dirty fingerprints, or hot oil splatters? The cause is irrelevant as long as the damage is reversible, right? Don’t panic – here’s how to degrease painted kitchen cabinets and make them look brand new with our super simple fool-proof hacks! 

How to Degrease Painted Kitchen Cabinets Without Damaging the Surface?

woman cleaning painted wooden kitchen cabinets

The first thing you need to do is to determine what’s the finish of your cupboards – high-gloss, semi-gloss, or matte. You must be incredibly cautious not to use any abrasive cleaners or hard scrubbing brushes as they will damage the surface and most definitely remove layers of the paint coat. Try applying one of the following cleaning hacks instead for a squeaky clean and pristine cooking space!

Painted Cabinets with Gloss Finish

If your kitchen cupboards have a high or semi-gloss finish, you’re in luck because this type of surface is not only super durable but also incredibly easy to clean! There’s no debate about grease stains being unsightly, which is why I’ll share with you my favorite cleaning solution made with a product that you all already have at your disposal – dish soap! Believe it or not, it is just as powerful for removing stubborn oil marks from your kitchen surfaces as it is for your cookware. Here’s how to make your magic homemade cleaning product:


  • Dish soap
  • Hot water
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Clean microfiber cloth
  • 2 clean soft towels


  • Add 3–5 squirts of dish soap into the spray bottle, depending on its size.
  • Fill the rest with hot water.
  • Shake until you get a homogenous soapy mixture.
  • Spray the solution onto the stained surface (don’t forget the handles and the hinges).
  • Use the microfiber cloth to wipe off the stains.
  • Damp the towel and blot off the kitchen cabinets to make sure there’s no residue left from the soapy solution.
  • Take the other soft towel and use it to dry the surfaces.

Matte Wood Cabinets

I love the rustic atmosphere that matte painted wooden kitchen cabinets create in the cooking space. However, there is one big disadvantage to this aesthetic choice – they’re vulnerable to oil stains and difficult to clean. You have to be really gentle when cleaning this type of surface, otherwise, you can easily damage it and peel off the paint. Don’t worry, your cupboards aren’t doomed! There’s a very simple natural solution you can use to clean them, and this is the recipe for it:


  • distilled white vinegar
  • dish soap
  • spray bottle
  • warm water
  • 2 clean cloths


  • Mix the water with the white vinegar in a 1:1 ratio in the spray bottle.
  • Then, add 2–3 drops of dish soap.
  • Shake thoroughly until you get a homogenous mixture.
  • Spray it onto the stained areas of the cabinets.
  • Use the cloth to wipe down the surface.
  • Dampen the other cloth and wipe the surfaces again to remove any residue of the soapy mixture.

Read also: Clean Greasy Kitchen Tiles Easily with These Effective Home Remedies!

How NOT to Clean Your Greasy Painted Kitchen Cabinets

products not to use when cleaning painted wooden kitchen cabinets

As soon as you see the greasy stains on the cupboards in your kitchen your first instinct will probably be to run to the sink and get a sponge or a cleaning detergent and wipe the stains down. While this may work for your backsplash and your countertops, the cabinets require a different approach, especially if they’re painted. Make sure that the paint on the surfaces remains intact by avoiding the following cleaning methods:

  • Sponges – As soft as they may feel to your touch, this is not the case when they come in contact with the painted wooden surface of your kitchen cupboards. Anything from regular two-sided cleaning sponges to the Magic Eraser should be avoided at all costs, as they will not only remove the top finish but also the paint if you apply more pressure.
  • Acetone – Although it’s very low in acid, acetone is another cleaning product that you must avoid using.
  • Bleach – It’s perfect for removing stubborn stains from *almost* any other surface, BUT painted wood. It will immediately shed the sheen off the surface of your cupboards, and the only way to salvage them would be to paint them all over again.
  • Air drying – Once you’ve cleaned the grease stains it is really important that you dry the cabinets with a cloth, a towel, or any other soft absorbent fabric. If you leave them to air dry, the wood will absorb the moisture which will lift off the paint and cause it to peel.

Read also: Cleaning grease off stainless steel: Keep your grill, pans and stove bright and shiny!


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