Remove and Prevent Cooking Oil Stains on Kitchen Cabinet Doors

White kitchen cabinets with glass panels.
  • 2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25
What You'll Need
Hand towel
Club soda
Soft-bristled brush

The kitchen is one of the busiest places in a house. Kitchen cabinet doors especially take a beating and can quickly look dull and grimy from dirty fingers touching the cabinet surfaces, and from the oil and grease circulated through the air. The best way to keep your cabinets clean is to prevent cooking oil stains in the first place. However, this isn't always possible, and some creativity may be needed to get rid of the stains and give your cupboards back their shine. These tips will help you keep your kitchen cabinet doors looking the best they can.

The Right Ranges Can Prevent Cooking Oil Stains

The best way to prevent cooking oil stains on your kitchen cabinets is to install a good quality kitchen range hood over your stove and make sure it's positioned correctly. The fan should have an exhaust system that discharges the moist, odorous air outside. Avoid recirculating range hoods. They depend on carbon filters to capture grease. Filters are expensive to replace and rarely get replaced often enough. They soon become clogged and start to recirculate grease and moisture throughout your kitchen which ultimately ends up as a grimy coat on your cupboards.

A range hood for an electric stove is typically installed at least 20 inches above the stove's surface. Gas stoves require at least a 24-inch clearance. Do not install a range hood higher than 30 inches above the cooking surface otherwise it won't be able to remove grease and odors.

Clean Fingers Mean Clean Kitchen Cabinets

It may seem like common sense, but the second best way to keep your cupboards free of oil stains is to clean your hands and fingers before touching their surfaces. Keep soap and a hand towel in your kitchen to wash your hands whenever needed.

Cooking Oil Stains on Laminate Cupboards

If you have high-quality laminate cupboards, you can spray a moderate amount of aerosol on the surfaces to remove oil stains. Allow the cleaner to sit for a couple of minutes and then wipe away with warm water and a nonabrasive cloth.

Dilute regular dish soap or laundry detergent in warm water and wash the cabinet surfaces with a soft sponge. Thoroughly rinse away any residue with cold water.

Think outside the box and try automotive cleaning products such as Simple Green. A small amount easily removes oil spots and stains. Be sure to rinse the surfaces thoroughly. A facial astringent like witch hazel is also very effective at lifting oil and works well for wood cabinets too.

Cooking Oil Stains on Wood Cupboards

Cooking oil stains can be removed from wood kitchen cabinets with medium to high gloss paint by diluting wood floor cleaner in warm water and gently brushing the mixture over the cupboards. Rinse with cold water.

Light oil stains can be removed with a mixture of half vinegar and half water and a sponge. More stubborn stains can be removed with straight vinegar and a soft-bristled brush. Do not allow the vinegar to sit too long on the cupboards and be sure to rinse all cabinet surfaces thoroughly with cold water. A mixture of lime and club soda is also an effective cooking oil stain remover.

Cooking and oil stains in the kitchen are bound to happen. These tips will keep your cabinet doors looking good!