How to clean your kitchen cabinets with TSP

How to clean your kitchen cabinets with TSP

I am over here in full on kitchen renovation mode. I am starting to prep my kitchen cabinets to paint them.  Funny thing with cabinets if you want the paint to last you need to prep them. Prep work is very important I cannot stress this enough. We are in week two of the One Room Challenge. Last week I shared my plans for the kitchen renovation and this week it is underway! Let me tell you guys I am really feeling the pressure to get this kitchen done in the next 5 weeks. The pressure is on! So let's get started. 

Now there are a lot of paint out there that will say no prep work needed. Even if the paint says that you need to clean your cabinets. The importance of cleaning them is to degrease them. When you are cooking grease becomes airborne and clings to anything in site including your cabinets. Over the years the grease builds up. Painting over grease just seems like a bad idea to me. Even if you're not painting your cabinets and just doing some Spring cleaning this will work for you to. 

Cleaning kitchen cabinets with TSP
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So what is this TSP I speak of? Trisodium Phosphate is a chemical that is found in most cleaning solutions. We are just going to be using a more concentrated powder that we will dilute in warm water. 


Now I happened to facebook live to process of cleaning the cabinets if you would like to view it below or you can just keep reading.

Step 1

Remove your cabinet doors from the cabinet boxes.  The first thing you are going to do is in your quart bucket measure 4oz or a 1/2 cup of TSP. Then fill your larger bucket with 2 gallons of warm water. Pour the 1/2 cup of TSP into the water and using a paint stirrer stir the water dissolving the powder. In your second quart bucket fill it with clean water. 

measuring TSP

Step 2

Set yourself up a workstation that gives you the room to wash a few cabinet doors at once. There is some dry time so the more doors you can wash at once the better. 

Cleaning cabinets

Step 3

Make sure to put your rubber gloves on. This TSP is concentrated so you just don't want to irritate and small cut or opening on your hands. Saturate your sponge in the bucket and start wiping down the doors. I like to go with the grain of the wood and also concentrating on the corners and close to the handles. This is where grease and dirt tends to build up. 

cleaning kitchen cabinets to paint them

Step 4

Using a rag saturated in the clean water and start to go over the doors that you just cleaned a few minutes ago. This will help take up any excess grease and also rinse the TSP. 

And that's it. It was easy as that. These are just the doors you are going to do the exact same thing to the cabinets on the wall. My next step is going to be to sand the cabinets before painting. 

There seems to be a lot going on upstairs so I want to leave you with this beautiful photo. At least it shows progress and can you hear me singing from Massachusetts. Do you spot what I am singing about!? A full size dishwasher!!!! Who knew I could be so excited about dishes. 

So many projects are in the making with this kitchen so make sure to check back every week. I can't wait to share with you how I removed that ugly tile back splash. 

If you are interested in seeing other One Room Challenge projects you can check them out each week here. 

How to clean your kitchen cabinets with TSP