March 11, 2015
How to Clean Woodwork and Cupboards
I recently posted a question to my readers and asked what their biggest cleaning conundrums are. I received a lot of great questions that I’m planning to cover in upcoming posts. Today we are going to look at methods of cleaning woodwork, doors and cupboards, as this seems to be a common cleaning issue with many. Fingerprints, food, dust, dirt and grime have the tendency to accumulate quickly. Cleaning all your baseboards, doors or all your cupboards can sound a bit daunting, so let’s make it easy as possible with several different cleaning options and recipes.
BASEBOARDS AND DOORS:
Baseboard cleaning is a task that is really a lot easier than it sounds. For starters, I like to enlist the help of my kiddos on this task. Armed with baby wipes, this task is perfect for kids and their nimble knees. Simply have them do the perimeter of a room for one of their weekly chores. I’ve found that when I keep up with cleaning them, it makes the job so much easier as dirt doesn’t have a chance to accumulate. Baby wipes will work on BOTH painted and wood trim baseboards. If you are trying to clean up stubborn scuffs and marks on white trim, use Magic Erasers to remove scuffs and dirt. It works like a champ to remove some of those marks that are a bit more stubborn.
I also like to mix up a simple cleaner to spring clean or deep clean those baseboards on occasion. Mix 1/2 cup of Borax with a gallon of water and stir to dissolve. I like to use microfiber cloths as they do a great job at getting in the nooks and crannies of trim, but you can also use a sponge. Wring out your cloth or sponge to remove excess water and wipe baseboards and/or doors to clean. No rinsing required! Wipe your doors from top to bottom and left to right. Keep an old bath towel nearby to put under your bucket to catch errant drips.
If you are cleaning stained wood trim, you clean and polish it much like you would clean and polish furniture. I have stained oak trim on the staircases in my home and I use this simple recipe for cleaning it up. I use microfiber cloths to dust and then apply this polish with the grain and it cleans up in a hurry! Mix up in a small container and use sparingly – it just mixes up a small amount so no storing is necessary.
CITRUS WOOD CLEANER:
1/4 white vinegar
2 tablespoons almond or fractionated coconut oil
10 drops lemon or orange essential oils (feel free to combine both oils)
With the heavy use that most kitchens get, it doesn’t take much before cupboards get dirty with fingerprints, food spills and everyday dust and grime. You’ll be surprised at what a good washing can do to clean up your cupboards, no matter what the surface or color. I like to wash the exterior of my cupboards monthly, or as needed. The interiors don’t typically get such a thorough cleaning on a monthly basis, but I like to wipe out crumbs and dust as needed.
I use a great cupboard and cabinet DIY cleaner that is gentle and safe to use on any type of surface. Be sure to give your cloth or sponge a good squeeze in between to assure that the surface doesn’t get overly damp. Again, I like to use microfiber cloths as they do a fantastic job of getting all those fingerprints and all that grime, but you can use a sponge as well. I like to add a little essential oil to freshen up the kitchen, but it’s not a necessity. If you are new to Castile soap, I find it at my Target in the health and beauty department, at Costco and other retailers.
CUPBOARD AND CABINET CLEANER:
8 cups warm water
2 tablespoons liquid Castile soap
3 drops lemon essential oil.
Mix all ingredients in a bucket. Work from top left and scrub your way down to the right using a microfiber cloth or sponge. Be sure to wring out your cloth or sponge frequently and well.
Keep an eye out for more of your cleaning questions and conundrums to be answered in upcoming posts!
If you like these recipes, you will LOVE my book, The Organically Clean Home!
You might also like this post with some of my favorite dusting and furniture cleaning essentials: