Kitchen Cabinet Remodeling - Ideas and Estimates

Don't Let Smudges Stick on Your Kitchen Cabinets

by Miriam Kasdan
KitchensAndCabinets.com Columnist

Whether your wood kitchen cabinets are refaced, replaced, old, or new, you'll want to know how to get rid of smudges that inevitably occur, especially if there are children in the house. Here are a few tips.

First of all, bear in mind that fingerprints are bound to get onto kitchen cabinets, whatever the finish. They're easy to wipe away if you do it on a regular basis. However, when grime accumulates, the type of wood used in the cabinets can make a big difference in how you remove the smudges.

Each type of finish on your kitchen cabinets comes with its own issues. If possible, call the kitchen cabinet manufacturer to ask what finish was used and how to clean it. The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, a trade group, may be able to help with this.

Open the Door

If you can't track down the manufacturer, remove a door and take it to a paint store. Ask for help from an experienced employee who has the technical knowledge you need. He or she can test various solvents on your kitchen cabinet door to see which one works.

Other Cleaning Options

Another option is trying to clean off the grime with warm dishwater. If this doesn't work, you can sand down the surface to clean the wood and start over. For kitchen cabinets with a surface finish, use gel stain to tint the sanded wood so it matches what's already there. On cabinets with an oiled finish, you can rub more finish onto the sanded areas.

And if all else fails, you can always use paint!

About the Author
Miriam Kasdan specializes in writing marketing and home improvement features. She earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.