I had a lady who contacted me recently who was very frustrated in trying to clean her older kitchen cabinets of a greasy oily residue to no avail. She mentioned that she had tried everything under the sun, Murphy’s oil soap, cleaners, degreasers etc.. According to her, EVERYTHING! She sought my help. I simply told her this, Use Mineral Spirits (yes the same stuff you’d use to clean paint brushes), to test out and clean an inconspicuous spot on her kitchen cabinets. I did warn her, that if her cabinets were finished with a polyurethane based finish, it could soften and possibly damage the finish. Which is why you test in an inconspicuous spot just to make sure.
Most manufacturers of both old and new kitchen cabinets today use a lacquer based product, be it solvent or water based to clear coat and seal the wood on their cabinets before they are shipped out. Mineral Spirits will not harm this type of finish. But it’s always better to test before committing to cleaning your entire kitchen with Mineral Spirits.
Did it work? Absolutely! She was thrilled and even took the time to write me back to personally thank me for helping her get rid of that stuck on tough oily residue that nothing would take off! I was happy to have helped 🙂
By the way, when and if you do purchase Mineral Spirits, try the “Green” version that’s out there. It’s odorless and better on the hands. I do recommend using a dishwashing type (rubberized) glove to protect your hands while cleaning. I would also recommend plenty of room ventilation to ensure that any would be odors exit your home while cleaning.