How to Remove Oil, Grease and Water Stains in Your Kitchen

Cleaning wooden table with water stains
If you act quickly, you can remove even the toughest kitchen stains. (DepositPhotos)

You take pride in the appearance of your kitchen and want to keep it pristine. It’s far more than a place for preparing food — it’s an area to host guests, spend time with family and work on personal projects.

Naturally, with all these activities, you’ll have your share of stains, spills and marks.

Common culprits are grease, wine, water and oil, and you’re no doubt familiar with these offenders. Many stains are an unavoidable product of cooking.

But how do you address a tough stain when the standard methods don’t work?

Here’s everything you need to know about removing these marks and returning your kitchen to its former beauty with a few Simple Solutions.

1. Greasy Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets can accumulate a thin layer of grease over time, especially if they’re close to your stovetop. While some homeowners can keep the issue under control with a wipe-down every other week, you may have to resort to different methods. A damp cloth won’t always work on the residue.

In these situations, you can depend on a hot sponge and a citrus-based cleaner. Just heat a damp sponge in your microwave for 30 to 40 seconds and spray your cabinets with the solution. Use dishwashing gloves to remove the sponge and scrub the cabinets, then attend to any remaining residue with paper towels.

You can also make your own kitchen degreaser if you have the proper ingredients. Add 1 cup of distilled white vinegar to a spray bottle, follow it with a drop or two of liquid soap and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Fill the container to the bottom of the neck with warm water, shake it and you’re ready to go.

stained granite countertops

2. Stained Granite Countertops

When you’re cleaning your granite countertops, you’ll encounter organic and oil-based stains. Organic stains are often brownish, from coffee, wine, tea, fruit juice spills or food. Oil-based stains from nail polish, cosmetics and cooking oil can also darken the stone and tarnish its appearance.

As for addressing these issues, organic and oil-based stains have their own separate solutions. If you’ve noticed a natural stain, apply 12% hydrogen peroxide to a clean cloth and wipe the offending area. You can find hydrogen peroxide at your local grocery store if you don’t own a bottle.

Concerning the oil-based stains in your kitchen, you can remove them with a poultice compound. DuPont sells this for only $8 per tin, making it an affordable addition to your cleaning supplies. It’s smart to have both a poultice compound and hydrogen peroxide on hand for future issues.

Spills on wooden tabletop

3. Spills on Wooden Tabletops

There’s a variety of solutions to clean spills on wooden tabletops. Water stains, for example, are easy to manage with just a spoonful of full-fat mayonnaise. Dollop it on the stains overnight, then rub it away in the morning with a clean cloth — simple as that!

If you want alternative solutions to water stains, you can mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of water to create a paste. Rub this on the marks in gentle, circular motions. Petroleum jelly is equally effective when you let it sit on the area overnight, removing it in the morning.

For grease stains, you can trust the kitchen degreaser detailed in the first section. A combination of distilled white vinegar, baking soda, liquid soap and warm water will eliminate any residue on your tabletops. A spray bottle full of the mixture is a valuable asset when you’re cleaning your kitchen.

As long as you follow these suggestions, you can feel confident in your kitchen’s cleanliness. Grease, cooking oil, wine and water stains won’t pose an issue when you implement these solutions.

Holly Welles is a home improvement writer and blogger. More of her work can be found on her blog, The Estate Update, where she shares tips for novice homeowners.


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