How to Treat Dry Wood Cabinets

A dry atmosphere, teamed with the lack of regular polishing, can cause wood cabinets to become withered and cracked.

Treat dry cabinets by polishing with a mineral oil.Treat dry cabinets by polishing with a mineral oil.
Wood relies on oil treatment to replenish what nature removes over time. Treating dry wood with oil gives new life to the cabinets, restoring shine and resilience. Deep oil treatments performed annually, and regular polishing throughout the year, keeps wood cabinets from splintering and rotting.

Fill a bucket with warm water and 2 to 3 tbsp. of oil soap. Swish the water to disperse the soap. Moisten a sponge with the soapy water and wring out the excess liquid.

Wipe the cabinets with the sponge. Glide the sponge over and around cabinet handles. Rinse the sponge in the soapy water as you remove dirt and grime from the cabinet surface.

Rinse the cabinets using fresh, clean water in the bucket. Wipe the sponge over the cabinets, removing the soap residue. Make sure the sponge is damp but not sopping wet as the dry wood would greedily absorb the liquid, leading to swelling. Dry the cabinets with a lint-free cloth after removing the soap.

Melt 1/4 cup paraffin wax slowly in a cooking pot on the stove. Remove the pot from the stove after the wax has melted. Add 1 cup mineral oil to the wax. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. Allow the mixture to cool until it is warm but not hot.

Pour 1 tbsp. of the mixture onto a folded soft cloth. Rub the mixture onto the cabinets, using slow, circular motions so the oil absorbs into the wood. Continue adding oil to the cloth and applying to the cabinets. Buff the cabinets with a clean cloth after applying the oil.

Things You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • Oil soap
  • Sponge
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Paraffin wax
  • Cooking pot
  • Mineral oil
  • Wooden spoon

Tip

  • Use oil soaps when cleaning wood cabinets as regular soap can dry out the wood even more.

About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.