How to remove stubborn oil spots from wood cabinets?
November 23, 2010 9:22 PM   Subscribe

How to remove stubborn oil spots from wood cabinets?

I have fairly new kitchen cabinets. They're wood with a somewhat matte clear finish. I do a good amount of cooking, including frying, and the cabinets around the stovetop all have small (1-2mm) spots on them from the oil atomizing from the pan. I'd like to find out how to clean them off without damaging the finish on the wood. I've tried Windex, Joy dishwashing soap, and a wood floor cleaner made from orange oil (called oil soap) but nothing seems to work except maybe the Windex with a LOT of scrubbing. That would be a HUGE amount of work. Any suggestions?

I've already put a splatter guard on my shopping list!
posted by cman to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Two things.

First, I've found that removing splatter grease is often most easily done by leaving a clean warm wet cloth on the splattered surfaced for a while (and repeating two or three times if necessary) before you try to scrub it off. It just seems to loosen and partially dissolve the grease.

Second thing. I have some bare wood ikea kitchen shelving that I periodically haul outside and drench in straight bleach. It works to get rid of grease, but it would probably ruin any varnish or finish you have.
posted by Ahab at 1:14 AM on November 24, 2010

Ammonia-based cleaners like Fantastic or 409 are good grease-cutters and work well if the finish can tolerate them. Mist the surface, let it sit for a few minutes to soften the mess, then wipe clean. Test in an inconspicuous area like the inside of a door, to make sure the finish itself isn't vulnerable to ammonia.
posted by jon1270 at 3:04 AM on November 24, 2010

A bit of lighter fluid? I can't speak for oil spots, but I've used it to clear up other sticky messes - like tar and the adhesive remains of sticky labels.
posted by Ted Maul at 4:26 AM on November 24, 2010

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