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Kitchen Hacks: How Do You Keep White Cabinets Clean?

Investing in new cabinetry for your home can be stressful sometimes (not to mention a hefty price tag)! There’s the question of price or budget, the installation, and how the cabinets will fit into your space. There’s also the bigger, post-installation question that—regardless of who you are or what your home situation is—can be a bit overwhelming… and perhaps more so if you’re investing in white cabinets.

If you’ve found yourself asking: Are white cabinets hard to keep clean?  Trust me when I say you’re not the only one.

White may be all the rage right now, but for some people, it may feel a little less practical. But, with some forward-thinking, preparation, and a little bit of upkeep, it’s totally possible to keep your white cabinets clean.

Here are some easy-to-implement suggestions:

First, Consider Your Cabinet Placement

Before you even get your white cabinets installed, think about where you want them and how that space will be conducive to their upkeep.

What do I mean by this? 

Consider Your Cabinet Placement | CabinetSelect

Well, consider natural light and how this may impact the cabinet surfaces. If the cabinets are going to be facing an open window or light source all day, then the sun is naturally going to fade the surfaces—and perhaps unevenly depending on what parts of the cabinets are in the sun vs. the shade.

This may not sound like a big deal, but if you have, for example, one set of cabinets in the direct light and another set directly opposite of that on a non-window-facing wall, you’re definitely going to notice a discoloration over time. Your sun-facing cabinets won’t be as bright white, and unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily something you can just fix with a window shade or a coat of paint.

Before you even get your white cabinets installed take the time to assess where, how, and whether the location makes sense.

Turn On Your Exhaust Fan

This might not sound like a cleaning tip at first, but it’s a great reminder to keep your white spaces looking, well, white!

Turn On Your Exhaust Fan | CabinetSelect

One of the ways you can unintentionally yellow your white cabinets is by neglecting to turn on the exhaust fan. Without the exhaust fan, particles from foods that you’re preparing will often adhere to the white surfaces and stain. A good rule of thumb is just to automatically turn on the exhaust fan anytime you have something on the stove.

Use Vinegar and Baking Soda

When it comes to cleaning your cabinet surfaces, consider the natural methods first. Why? Because natural methods are not only good for the environment, but they are great for use in-home, especially if you have pets or small children.

Use Vinegar And Baking Soda | CabinetSelect

One suggestion is to always clean cupboards with vinegar and baking soda solution. This mix is not only natural (and made from items you probably already have around the house), but it has powerful stain-fighting components that will brighten up your space. And, although the mix is strong, it won’t damage the exterior of the cabinet or take off the paint.

Keep the Rest of Your White Spaces Shiny

Contemporary kitchens are all about shiny, approachable, and clean surfaces. So, it goes without saying that a great move is to clean your entire kitchen… because, well, it will make your white cabinets look clean, too.

Keep The Rest Of Your White Spaces Shiny | CabinetSelect

Here are a few kitchen cleaning hacks:

Shine Your Sinks

Okay, so maybe this isn’t necessarily a cabinet cleaning tip, but one of the things many people will complain about when it comes to a set of white cabinets is that it never looks as good as it did when it was first installed. This can be for a myriad of reasons, but something that often happens is the surfaces (all of the surfaces in your kitchen!) will fade or get grimy.

Shine Your Sinks | CabinetSelect

You can easily brighten your space by being intentional about your cabinet surfaces alongside other white areas and/or stainless steel appliances in your kitchen (especially if you have an all-white kitchen).

What do I mean by this? 

Well, if you take the time to soak your sinks in bleach, for example, you can brighten up that area of your kitchen (and even more so if your sink is white!). It’s also a good idea to wipe down counter surfaces and stainless steel appliances (which show everything!) to brighten your entire room.

Sure, your white cabinets are a big part of the kitchen… but don’t neglect the other cleaning duties! When you clean everything at the same time, this will help your kitchen to look brand new overall.

Keep Tile Grout Fresh

The grout—mostly around your kitchen sink or backsplash—probably doesn’t look that pretty. One way to make your entire kitchen cleaner is to wipe away that grout (think baking soda and vinegar again!) in order to freshen things up.

Keep Tile Grout Fresh | CabinetSelect

Tile grout can be tricky, but if you take the time to scrub it, your kitchen will look completely different. Trust me.

Make Your Laminate Stain-Free

If you have laminate countertops, it’s a great idea to focus on cleaning them, too. Unlike tile, laminate countertops are a bit touchier. You have to be careful not to scrub or scratch, and you’ll want to use natural cleaners because these are the surfaces where you’ll prepare food.

Make Your Laminate Stain Free | CabinetSelect

You can remove laminate stains with soap, warm water, and a microfiber cloth. You may also want to use a natural spray cleaner and clean cloth, too, for the hard-to-clean areas.

Remember: Regular Maintenance Keeps White Cabinets White

Here’s the thing: regular maintenance makes all the difference. You don’t want to only clean your white cabinets when they’re stained or awful-looking. It’s best to take the time to clean intentionally (and preemptively) in order to achieve the best results.

Whether you have an all-white kitchen or your white cabinets are the accent in your space, take time to regularly wipe down the exterior (and interior!) surfaces with a spray bottle of a non-harsh cleaning agent, warm water and a cloth, or a baking soda solution to make them as good as new. And don’t be afraid to do this regularly!

So, is it hard to keep white cabinets clean? Not really, as long as you’re willing to put in a little bit of work.


Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer/editor, teacher, and bonus mama based in San Diego, California. She’s the founder of two small businesses and loves writing about anything related to career, home, organization, decorating, self-love, relationships, and parenting.

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