How to Remove Cooking Oil From Cabinets & Wood Paneling


Wood paneling and cabinets in kitchens often become speckled with cooking oil, especially in areas near the stove. It's best to be gentle when removing cooking oil from wood surfaces because they are porous, meaning they can absorb water and harsh chemicals. Cleaning the areas lightly as soon as they are stained with cooking oil is the best way to avoid discoloration and warping of the wood surfaces.

Things You'll Need

  • Dusting cloth
  • Gentle liquid dish soap
  • Bucket
  • Soft rag or sponge
  • Towel
  • Dust the surface of the cabinets and wood paneling with a dusting cloth.

  • Squirt about a tablespoon of gentle liquid dish soap into a bucket. Add 2 to 4 cups of warm water and stir until mixed thoroughly.

  • Soak a soft rag or sponge in the soap solution and wring it out until it is barely damp.

  • Run the damp rag or sponge over the surface of the wood, targeting any areas that are stained with cooking oil. If the stains are particularly stubborn, start in the center of the mark and rub in a circular motion to remove the oil.

  • Dry the area completely with a towel, moving in the direction of the wood grain.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean the cabinets and wood paneling as soon as cooking oil is splashed on the surface, if possible. Cooking oil that sits on wood surfaces for an extended period of time can become sticky and hard to remove.
  • Only use this treatment on finished wood surfaces. Unfinished cabinets and wood paneling are fairly rare in kitchens, but they can soak up the water and become stained.

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