How to Remove Old Built Up Wax on Kitchen Cabinets


Wood finishes can become dull over time. The result is a dirty looking cabinet. No matter how much you clean and scrub, the cupboards still look grungy and dirty. Refinishing can be a lot of time consuming, hard work. It can also be unnecessary. Many times the cabinets can be restored to their original luster with some old fashioned cleaning techniques.

Things You'll Need

  • Cleaning bucket Ammonia Plenty of old towels and clean rags Rubber gloves Powered soap for dishwashers
  • Add 2 cups of ammonia to hot water in the bucket. Stir in 1 cup of powered soap. Mix well.

  • Scrub the cabinets down with the ammonia water. The ammonia will start to break down the old wax and grease on the cabinets. At first, they may appear gummy. This means the ammonia water is working.

  • Re-apply the ammonia solution to the cupboards. A new cloth may be needed with each application if the wax gums up the cleaning rag.

  • Rinse the cabinets with clean, hot water after each cleaning application. The wood finish will start to shine through. Keep repeating this process until the cabinets are back to their original finish.

  • Apply a thin layer of wax paste to the cabinets, taking care not to over apply the wax. This will protect the cabinetry from grease splatters and stains.

Tips & Warnings

  • Applying an ammonia wash once a month should keep cabinets shining with their original luster.
  • Never mix the ammonia water with any other chemicals. The fumes could be fatally harmful.

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