6 Tips for Disinfecting Kitchen Cabinets

Wiping the front of a cabinet with a microfiber cloth

Disinfecting kitchen cabinets is one of those jobs that everyone needs to do periodically. The trick is making sure the kitchen cabinets are properly clean so that all the little nooks and crannies are sparkling. That takes some work. However, given that some of the kitchen cabinets hold foodstuffs, it’s worth every minute. No one wants things growing in the kitchen cabinets.

1. What To Use

A mild solution of one part bleach and and nine parts water should be fine for kitchen cabinets. To apply it, use an old towel or clean rag. Wear rubber gloves and make sure that the kitchen is well ventilated. Wring out the cloth and rub it over the shelves in the kitchen cabinets. Soak and wring out very often. This will remove the dirt and make sure you’re applying a good solution to the shelves. If you have very dirty kitchen cabinets you’ll need to pour out the solution and replace it several times during the job.

2. Rinsing

wiping the front of a cabinet

Once you’ve applied the solution, you should have clean water and a fresh cloth to use for rinsing the shelves of the kitchen cabinets. Once again, wring out the cloth and wipe over the shelves, then let them dry.

3. Edges

Where the shelves meet the kitchen cabinets there will be edges that the cloth cannot reach properly. These need to be disinfected, too. To do this, take an old toothbrush, dip it into the bleach solution and work the bristles into those edges. There will be plenty of dirt and debris there for you to pull out. Once you’ve cleaned an area, rinse with the cold water and cloth to remove everything.

4. Outside the Cabinets

It’s not just the inside of kitchen cabinets that need to be disinfected. The part of the cabinet that’s handled first is the door. Look carefully and you’ll probably see that areas of the door are discolored. This can be from hands or where liquid has dripped. Disinfecting these is a priority.

Use the bleach solution, although you should test on a small area of the wood or veneer first to ensure that the bleach doesn’t cause discoloration. If it does you can use a solution of vinegar and water, remaining aware that you will need to scrub with a sponge or synthetic brush to remove some of the dirt. Keep working until the front and sides of the kitchen cabinets are clean. Rinse with a cloth that’s been wrung out in clean water.

5. Drawers

off-white drawers open in a unit

Most kitchen cabinets have drawers too. Don’t ignore these when disinfecting kitchen cabinets. Remove the drawers from the unit and use the bleach solution inside the drawer, scrubbing with a toothbrush at the edges. Rinse the drawers and leave them upside down to dry before replacing.

6. Prevention

One way to help keep both drawers and kitchen cabinets cleaner in the future is to use contact paper on the shelves and in the drawer. This does add a protective layer, but remember that this paper needs to be replaced or cleaned regularly and the cabinets need to be wiped down as well.