How to Clean Varnished Wood Cabinets

How to Clean Varnished Wood Cabinets

How to Clean Varnished Wood Cabinets

Over time, varnished wood cabinets can lose their lustre if you don’t regularly clean them, especially with regard to dust, grime, and unsightly fingerprints that make it appear as though your cabinets need refinishing. Cleaning varnished wood cabinets is easy—you need the right cleaning supplies and some good old-fashioned elbow grease! This guide will help you know what to use and how to use it when cleaning your cabinets so they sparkle like new.

Cleaning varnished wood cabinets can be challenging due to the wood’s porous nature, so you must pick up the right cleaning supplies and follow the suitable cleaning method. If you don’t, you risk warping or damaging your cabinets, which will inevitably harm their durability and appearance over time. Follow these easy steps to clean varnished wood cabinets in no time!

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Buy your supplies

Before you start cleaning, you need to make sure you have the right supplies on hand. You’ll need white vinegar, water, a spray bottle, a soft cloth, and a microfiber cloth. Fill your spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water. Wet your soft cloth with the mixture and wring it out, so it’s damp. Wipe down the cabinet doors using a circular motion to ensure you cover all the surfaces.

Make sure not to use too much pressure, or else you could scratch or remove any layers of varnish. If there are any tough stains or spots, dip your microfiber cloth into some more of the solution and rub over them before wiping them off with your wet rag. Your cupboards should be looking their best now!

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Give it light sand with 100 grit sandpaper

How to Clean Varnished Wood Cabinets

Use 100 grit sandpaper for sanding the surface of your varnished wood cabinets lightly. It will help remove any dirt or grime accumulated on the surface. Be sure to go with the wood grain and avoid sanding too hard, damaging the finish. Once you’re finished sanding, wipe down the cabinets with a damp cloth to remove any dust.

Using a cloth, wipe off any dust and remove any stains

You don’t need harsh chemicals to make your varnished wood cabinets look new. All you need is a cloth and some elbow grease. Start by dusting off the cabinets with a cloth. If there are any stains, use a damp cloth to remove them. For tougher stains, you can use a mild soap and water solution. Dry the area with a clean cloth when you’re finished. You’ll be amazed at how good as new your cabinets will look! The process doesn’t take long, so why not do it more often?

Apply the cleaning product with either a sponge or towel

First, find a cleaning product that is specifically designed for varnished wood. Next, apply the cleaning product to your sponge or towel. Once the cleaning product is on your sponge or towel, rub it onto the varnished wood in a circular motion. Continue rubbing until the entire surface is covered. Finally, rinse the area with clean water and dry it with a soft cloth. After completing these steps, you should have a shinier and cleaner surface than before.

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Let it sit for 15 minutes

To start, mix one part white vinegar with one part water in a bowl. Next, use a clean cloth to apply the mixture to your cabinets, working in small sections. After you’ve let it sit for 15 minutes, use a second clean cloth to wipe away the mixture. For tougher stains, you may need to repeat this process. But once you’re finished, your cabinets will be good as new! It’ll be easy to avoid streaks if you wear rubber gloves and keep them on during the cleaning process.

And if that doesn’t work, give it some time: If these methods don’t work for whatever reason, wait until tomorrow morning before trying again. The trick is that you can’t wait too long – usually no more than 12 hours – before trying again, or else all those hard-earned results will go down the drain! That’s because the acids from white vinegar react with the tannins from tea or coffee left overnight and break down into milder acids that are easier to get rid of (think of lemon juice mixed with water).

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Take some extra time on more challenging areas (like corners and moulding)

Cabinets are one of the first places where dirt and grime accumulate. They can quickly become an eyesore if you don’t keep them clean. Dampen a microfiber cloth with warm water and dish soap (or all-purpose cleaner). Wipe down the surface of your cabinet using firm strokes from top to bottom. Rinse the cloth out well before wiping down another surface. Rinse it out again between surfaces. Don’t scrub too hard or use harsh chemicals: The goal is to get it looking as good as new without damaging it or adding scratches.

Remove excess cleaner with either water or vinegar

Mix one tablespoon of vinegar with one cup of water to remove cleaner residue. Use a soft cloth to apply the mixture to the surface, then wipe it away with a clean, dry cloth. You may need to do this several times to remove all traces of cleaner. For tough dirt or stains, try using Murphy Oil Soap: use a soft cloth to apply the soap directly to the surface and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before wiping off.

You can also make your DIY cleaning solution by mixing dish soap and white vinegar (3 parts dish soap to 1 part white vinegar). Scrub surfaces until they are clean. Rinse surfaces thoroughly with warm water and dry them as you would any other surface after cleaning.

Buff out scratches with steel wool (for harsh scratches only)

How to Clean Varnished Wood Cabinets

You may need to resort to steel wool if you have harsh scratches that just won’t come out with a cloth. Just be careful not to damage the finish.

  • To avoid damaging your cabinets, only use steel wool on harsh scratches and be sure to rub lightly. Start by lightly rubbing the steel wool along the scratch.
  • If the scratch is still visible, then try rubbing harder.
  • Once the scratch is gone, use a cloth to wipe away any steel wool residue.

Wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth until all dirt/residue is gone

The first step is ensuring you have all the supplies you need. You’ll need a clean, dry cloth and some elbow grease. Start by wiping down the cabinet doors with a cloth, ensuring to get into all the nooks and crannies. Once the doors are clean, move on to the shelves.

Use your cloth to wipe down each shelf, paying particular attention to areas that seem particularly dirty. You can use a slightly dampened cloth to help loosen things up if there are any stubborn spots. Once everything is sparkling clean, stand back and admire your handiwork!

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Use furniture polish if you want

How to Clean Varnished Wood Cabinets

If you want to use furniture polish:

  1. Make sure it’s non-abrasive. You can apply it with a soft cloth.
  2. Wipe in the direction of the grain.
  3. Don’t forget to polish the cabinet doors and drawers, too!

Use Murphy Oil Soap if your cabinets are old or neglected: If your cabinetry is old or neglected, use Murphy Oil Soap to get them shiny again! If you’re using furniture polish for the first time, test it on an inconspicuous spot first. Be aware that polishes may not work well if your cabinets are old or have been neglected for some time.

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Onboarding FAQs

Varnished wood cabinets are easy to keep clean with just a few simple steps. Here are the answers to some common questions about cleaning your cabinets.

●      What do I need to clean my varnished wood cabinets?

All you need is a bar of mild dish soap, warm water, and a soft cloth. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the finish.

●      How often should I clean my varnished wood cabinets?

It would be best if you aimed to clean your cabinets at least once a week. You may need to clean them more frequently if you have small children or pets.

●      What is the best way to clean my varnished wood cabinets?

Start by dusting your cabinets with a soft cloth. Next, dampen a rag with soapy water and wipe down the cabinet doors and drawers. Use an extra rag to dry each surface completely.

When it comes time for deep cleaning, be sure to use baking soda as an abrasive cleaner for tough stains on the surface of your cabinets. And always remember: Never use any vinegar when you’re cleaning your varnished wood cabinets!


Varnished wood cabinets are beautiful and can last for many years with the proper care. To keep them looking their best, it is important to regularly dust and wipe down the surfaces. You may need to use a gentle cleaning solution and scrubber for tougher messes.

Avoid harsh chemicals and always test any cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area first. With time and effort, your varnished wood cabinets will stay sparkling clean! – Always remember to dust as often as possible. The more you dust, the less likely you’ll have to go over every surface with a wet cloth or other cleaners later. You can also try wiping your surfaces with a dry cloth if there’s not too much of a mess.

If you find that even these methods aren’t getting rid of tough spots and dirt, consider using a vacuum cleaner on low power (or else it might scratch) and then using a dampened cloth or sponges on stubborn areas. Test any cleaning solutions in an inconspicuous spot before applying them to your whole surface – we don’t want to risk damaging the finish of our furniture!

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