What to use to clean kitchen cabinets?

addictedtorosesSeptember 30, 2010

We are remodelling, as I posted in another thread. We just put in new kitchen cabinets (oak, 3 coats of water-based poly). We are trying not to fry as much because the oil coats everything, but we're in the South, and sometimes frying is just NECESSARY! LOL! Any suggestions on what to clean the cabinets with, and if you could, how often? Would once a month be too much if I fry twice a week? I'm sorry if these are dumb questions but I'm really trying to develope a good schedule so that I can have a clean and organized home. Thanks!

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I really like Simple Green. It's a degreaser, can be bought in larger containers & diluted, & is green. I've used it for years & find it's great for cabinets.

Here is a link that might be useful: Simple Green

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 2:39PM
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If you oil them with teak, old english or lemon oil it not only rejuvinates the wood but will make them easier to clean the gook of of them the next time, because they have a slight coating of oil.

After my cupboards are clean, with a clean rag I wipe on the oil. I start on the top and work my way to the bottom cupboards. When they are all done with the oil I go back to where I started and with a clean rag I wipe off the excess oil.

By the way do you not have a stove hood. I use it every time I fry something. It captures a lot of the stuff.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 5:48PM
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I would not "oil" them with any of those furniture products because they contain silicones which make refinishing and re-topcoating a nightmare. It is almost impossible to clean the silicones off, and they cause subsequent coats of finish to "fish eye." And your cabinets WILL need to be refinished because 3 coats of water-based poly is probably not going to hold up, especially to frequent cleaning to remove the grease.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 7:01PM
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Kathleen and Oilpainter, thanks for the suggestions! I can get the Simple Green in any of the local stores. I will check out the teak and lemon oils as soon as I do more research. I do have a venthood, but it doesn't vent outside. When we took our old cabinets out, they were covered in a fine layer of grease- all of them, not just the ones close to the stove.
Andersons, why do you say three coats of the water-based poly is not enough? It's what's recommended on the can. I wanted to use water-based because I've used oil-based on my floors and table, and after a little more than a year the finish flaked off like old car paint. I also like that the water-based doesn't yellow. How many coats would you recommend?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 10:23PM
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Just a dab of liquid hand cleaner on a damp/wet cloth to clean grease from the stove top and surrounding cupboards. Wipe up with the dish towel that's going in the laundry.

I use Min-wax Polycrilic on our cabinets and floors. If you think they need a another coat you can just clean and apply, no need to strip, it will blend right in.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 10:26PM
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Oil-based finishes offer far superior protection. Most water-based clear finishes have a very short useful lifetime of protection. (I say "most" because there are some very expensive water-based finishes that offer decent protection, usually sold to professional decorative/faux painters. Still, none are as good as an oil-based varnish AFAIK. They are used not because they perform better, but for health reasons for people exposed to them every day of their lives.)

I have never had an oil finish flake off, but that's an adhesion problem from some failure of prep. Waterbased finish won't adhere any better than oil to the same substrate, usually not as well.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 12:16AM
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My lemon oil contains mineral oil and lemon oil and nothing else. Some oils may contain silicone--I don't know, but mine doesn't.

adicted to roses-- Maybe that's something to look for.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 9:42AM
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Im with oil painter I use Murphys soap water to wipe down then 2x s a year I put old english .mine are wormy chestnut gorgeous.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 11:47PM
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I totally agree with andersons. I have done wood refinishing for 30 years, including all the trim in two homes and I have never seen oil-based poly flake off. It will protect your cabinets far better than water-based poly. I have only used that to seal my decorative painting.

Kitchen cabinets take a lot of abuse especially by the handles. Keep a watch on the finish and if you see it degrading, you can lightly sand them down and apply the oil-based over the water-based. Wait about 2 months to let the water-based poly cure first, though. You cannot put water-based over oil-based however.

If you don't want to mess with oil-based, you probably will have to coat all those cabinets every few years with additional water-based coats.

We use Murphy's oil soap to clean our cabinets but they are not sealed with poly...I would guess lacquer at the factory. I'm not sure how the Murphy's would work with a water-based poly coat because of the oil in the product. I probably would use a very mild detergent in water.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 12:46PM
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I just removed a ton of grease from a wood hood with the purple degreaser and it worked great. I also used it to remove hand marks from the doors. I love the result. Like new.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 9:25AM
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I too would only clean them 2x year with Murphy's Oil soap.
Not sure why the oil based poly would peel (except that the prep wasn't done correctly.)

Susan, I didn't realize you could put oil based poly OVER Water based? My floor sub talked me into putting the waterbased on my hardwood flooring (one room)....he did a nice job but I've never liked it as I do my oil based oak floors. Doesn't have the depth & it scuffs more easily. What is the process to do this (I always felt the two finishes would not be compatible.) Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 5:11PM
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You can put oil over water based but you can't put waterbased over oil.

We do it all the time in oil painting. Our canvases are primed with gesso a water based paint and then we paint in oils.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 7:31PM
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