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oily gunk on kitchen cabinets

We had maple kitchen cabinets professionally installed 18 years ago and have kept them clean with wise use of gentle wood cleaners. However, the area above the stove, which has two wood panels covering the exhaust fan, is covered with an invisible sticky grease residue. Nothing we have tried has worked to clean away the stickiness. Of course we have not used any abrasives or strong chemicals so as not to mar the finish. Any suggestions, short of stripping and refinishing (which would stick out as the other cubboards have yellowed slightly over the years)? Thanks for any help!

Re: oily gunk on kitchen cabinets


What have you been using over the years to clean the cabinets? Did any of them have wax in them?

On cabinets, you are going to encounter either water soluble gunk, oil/greased based gunk or wax based gunk from certain "cleaner/polishes". If conventional water based soaps or detergents have not lifted the problem gunk, I would suggest you try gently rubbing the areas with mineral spirits on pads of knit T-shirt type rags. Lemon oil can also be used as a cleaner/polish.

Re: oily gunk on kitchen cabinets

Thank you for these suggestions! I haven't tried either one. Sounds like maybe we have used wax products in the past. I'll post results.

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