clean kitchen cabinet shelf

You did not line your kitchen cupboard shelves, and now there’s goo and oil and sticky stuff like honey that has been there for who knows how long. What to do? If you have a time machine, use it to go back and line your shelves with shelf paper so you can clean up today’s mess by just replacing the paper. Can’t do that? Here’s what to do instead…

Pour a small amount of cola, enough to completely cover the greasy-sticky area. This may seem counterproductive, but there’s more. Let it set for one hour (warn your housemates that there’s soda on the shelves), then wipe it off. We tested this cola cleaner on a slightly lacquered wood shelf, and it worked like magic (and there was no heavy bleach smell that can remain from chemical cleaners). We also tried it on smooth, bare plywood, and some sticky rings came off…some didn’t. (We don’t advise this cleaning method for porous material, such as pressboard.) Legend has it that Coca-Cola works best due to its acidic content, so try the name brand—at least you know it’s easy to find. If there are any remaining sticky areas, take a teaspoon or so of baking soda and add two drops of dish detergent to a damp scrubber sponge and scrub them away. Then wipe clean with a damp, clean rag or dishcloth.

After cleaning it you will probably want to line your shelves with shelf paper.