Degreasing Kitchen Cabinetry

We're in the process of purchasing a home from a respectable East Indian family. We've noticed that the kitchen cabinetry has grease and oils from their cooking, and as a result there is a "thick" film of residual grease and oil on all the kitchen cabinetry. This film has a sticky feel, and a distinct smell. Any recommendations on removing and restoring the kitchen cabinetry from this greasy-oily-film? The last ditch effort is to redo the cabinetry which can be quite expensive.
Also, any suggestions in mitigating the distinct aroma from their cooking? We're in the process of removing ALL carpeting and replacing with new carpeting. Should I take into consideration the air conditioning/heating ducts, and maybe the walls. We're also in the process of re-painting the entire interior of the house.
Thanks for any suggestions....
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On Mon 21 Feb 2005 11:24:16p, Vlad wrote in alt.home.cleaning:

You didn't mention the cabinet material, but I will assume wood. A long- standing coating of grease and oil may have already damaged the finish. Mineral spirits will dissolve the greasy coating, but also may require some additional treatment to the wood afterward.

Odor may be a bigger issue. Many spices used in Indian cooking have volatile oils which can permeate many surfaces. Scrubbing well is the first effort. See what the result is. Some surfaces may need require a sealing coat of some kind. Kilz may work on painted surfaces.
Your heating and cooling system may be okay. I doubt if the typical duct cleaning would eradicate odors if they are present. It may require chemicals if there's a problem.
Another treatment that could be effective is a high output ozone generator. These are used in treating homes that have had fire and smoke damage. They should be used by professionals, or at least used following the same guidelines. No living thing should be present during this treatment.
HTH Wayne
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I also recommend using odorless mineral sprits to cut the grease. I would then follow up with a good cleaning with Dawn dish detergent in water. I have a cabinet above my stove that gets that oily film and find that the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser does a good job, but for an entire kitchen, I would go with the mineral spirits and use the Mr. Clean products for maintenance.
Also, if you find that the finish is less than wonderful after you clean the cabinets, try using a product called "Restore a Finish" before getting involved with a more complex and costly refinishing project. Here is a link: http://www.howardproducts.com/restora.htm
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I'd recommend Murphy's oil soap instead of dish detgt, to avois dulling the finish and rinsing. Plus, it smells so nice!
Murphy's also makes a new spray wood cleaner with orange oil, that works well on lightly-soiled wood. Plus, it was free (after rebate) at Ace a few weeks back!
Avoid the Min-wax spray cleaner, which is +/- worthless.

Second to that. Their 'Feed & Wax' product works well on slightly-damaged surfaces, like bathroom cabinets with white streaks from the steam. Sold at Home Depot.
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Thank you for your replies....
I figure the degreasing won't be so bad on the maple cabinetry, with the products you all recommended. We'll get to work on that one.
However, I'm now a little tentative about the distinct aroma left from this East Indian family. In addition to the duct cleaning work, we're having our painter repair some cosmetic damage to the interior of the walls (i.e. holes and dents in drywall); then his painting crew will TSP the walls; then primer the walls; and then paint based on the colors of our choice. Like I said in my earlier post, we will replacing the carpeting - currently it's a shag look, cut berber along the stairs and the entire second level of the home. We will replacing the carpet with new nylon berber. The lower level of the house has a combination of wood laminate, ceramic tile, and hardwood floors that we're installing. I'm hoping the aroma from the Indian spices will go away, but just don't know how long. Any more information you can provide on the "ozone generator?" Do you know of anyone who has used it before, and is it really effective?
Please keep in mind, I hope I don't sound like I'm offending the East Indian culture. In my own experience, East Indian food and delicacies are quite delicious. However, it's a very cultured ethnicity that I'm not used to or much aware of, and would much rather leave the cooking and handling of spices to an East Indian family to prepare, then myself.
Thanks for your advice.
-vlad

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TSP is a great cleaner. Have used it to clean the layer of glue left behind after the wallpaper came off without any water, just my hands.
Good luck with all the cleaning.
P.S. I assume its curry that is smelling up your home. I'm not partial to that smell, either.

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On Thu 24 Feb 2005 07:39:33a, Vlad wrote in alt.home.cleaning:

Even if you plan on renting/using one of these yourself, your best source of information would be contacting a company that specializes in restorations after house fires, places where a death went undiscovered for a long period, etc. The high power version of these machines are very effective and can eradicate almost any odor.
--
Wayne Boatwright
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well. Over time they fill with dust and collect the smells of the greases and oils that get deposited there. Cleaning ductwork every 5 years or so, if not more often, will help you avoid a buildup of your own smells. Of course, we never mind our own smells. What do you mean? Garlic IS an air freshener.
--
Rick R
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