The Best Degreasers for Tackling Stubborn Messes, Tested and Reviewed

Not all degreasers work on all surfaces. I tested some top options to discover the best for handling kitchen, automotive, and heavy-duty messes.

Best Overall

A spray bottle of Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Cleaner Degreaser on a white background.

Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Cleaner Degreaser

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Best Bang for the Buck

A spray bottle of Zep All-Purpose Cleaner & Degreaser on a white background.

Zep All-Purpose Cleaner & Degreaser

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Best for Kitchens

A spray bottle of Lysol Kitchen Pro Antibacterial Cleaner on a white background.

Lysol Kitchen Pro Antibacterial Cleaner

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Degreasers lift oil from surfaces, making it easy to wipe away. No amount of scrubbing will remove stubborn baked-on or caked-on grease without the use of a quality degreaser. These cleaners come in a variety of strengths for household and automotive use. To find a reliable degreaser to meet different needs, I researched 15 popular products and tested the top nine.

Over the course of a month, I used the top degreasers on a variety of surfaces, including stainless steel cookie sheets, ovens, stovetops, engines, wheels, and garage floors. I rated the Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Cleaner Degreaser the highest for its ability to tackle tough grease messes on multiple surfaces. However, other options also worked well. I also spoke to an expert about what to look for in an effective degreaser. Read on to discover how the best degreasers performed and which one will work for your specific cleaning needs.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Cleaner Degreaser 
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Zep All-Purpose Cleaner & Degreaser
  3. BEST FOR KITCHENS: Lysol Kitchen Pro Antibacterial Cleaner
  4. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Clean-Rite Purple Power Industrial Cleaner Degreaser
  5. BEST NATURAL: Method Heavy-Duty Degreaser 
  6. BEST FOR OVENS: Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Oven Cleaner
  7. BEST FOR PRESSURE WASHERS: Oil Eater Original Formula Cleaner & Degreaser
  8. BEST AUTOMOTIVE: Chemical Guys Signature Series Orange Degreaser
  9. BEST ALL-PURPOSE: Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner
The Best Degreasers Option
Photo: Katie Barton for Bob Vila

How We Tested the Best Degreasers

To choose which degreasers to test, I compiled a list of 15 popular products and evaluated them based on surface compatibility, user reviews, effectiveness, and price. I then narrowed this list down to nine degreasers that meet a variety of consumer needs, including multipurpose, natural, heavy-duty, and automotive options. In addition, I chose products that are compatible for use in a pressure washer and those that can tackle kitchen grease.

All of the degreasers I chose were safe for stainless steel, so I used stainless steel cookie sheets as my first test surface. I sprayed each cookie sheet with multiple layers of cooking spray and baked it until a thick, burnt layer of oil formed on the pans. I then sectioned off the pans and tested each cleaner to compare their efficacy.

Each degreaser was also used on its recommended surfaces. I tested degreasers meant for concrete, automotive, and garage use by cleaning hydraulic fluid from my concrete garage floor, removing grease from my tractor’s hydraulic cylinders, and cleaning grease from wheels when applicable. The kitchen/home degreasers were put to work in my own kitchen, tackling cooking oil splatters on my counters, oven, stove, and range hood. The results of these tests were recorded in a rubric survey, which was then tallied to assign each product a rating and award category.

Testing Stats
Products tested9
Hours spent testing6.5+
Tests performed
Price range$4 to $55

Our Top Picks

Our top picks for the best degreasers are based on hours of hands-on testing, surface compatibility, and cost. The following options are some of the best products for dislodging grease and grime in the home and garage.

Best Overall

Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Cleaner Degreaser

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4/5; Effectiveness 5/5; Scent 5/5; Value 5/5

Product Specs 

  • Form: Spray
  • Size: 32 ounces
  • Surfaces: Most hard nonporous surfaces, excluding aluminum, brass, copper galvanized steel, painted surfaces, and vinyl

Pros

  • Good degreaser for stoves; cuts through thick layers of sticky, baked-on grease 
  • Works on a multitude of surfaces, including indoor, outdoor, and automotive
  • Safe for hard, nonporous food contact surfaces when rinsed thoroughly with water

Cons

  • Foamy solution splatters, making precise application difficult

Easy-Off’s heavy-duty cleaner degreaser works on kitchen, garage, and outdoor surfaces, eliminating the need to purchase multiple products. While I appreciated this degreaser’s versatility, its cleaning power is what really set it apart.

The first cleaning challenge was clearing a thick layer of baked-on grease from a stainless steel cookie sheet. I sprayed the cleaner on and, after a minute, wiped it with a paper towel. Unlike many of the other products on our list, this one removed 90 percent of the oily mess in only one pass. I also used it on my grease-splattered glass cooktop, and it left it immaculate. 

The Easy-Off degreaser spray doesn’t have a harsh smell, so I didn’t have to worry about ventilating the room while using it. It’s also safe for food-contact surfaces as long as it’s thoroughly rinsed with water after use.

Get the Easy-Off cleaner degreaser at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Target.

Best Bang for the Buck

Zep All-Purpose Cleaner & Degreaser

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Effectiveness 3/5; Scent 5/5; Value 5/5

Product Specs 

  • Form: Spray
  • Size: 32 ounces
  • Surfaces: Countertops, appliances, cabinets, painted doors and trim, stainless steel, tile, and porcelain

Pros

  • Suitable as an all-purpose cleaner and degreaser on many household surfaces
  • Inexpensive and versatile formula offers cleaning value 
  • Light and pleasant scent can be ideal for those with sensitive noses

Cons

  • Light- to medium-duty degreaser; doesn’t work well on caked-on grease
  • Not suitable for natural stone, carpet, automotive paint, mirrors, or glass

Working as an all-purpose spray and degreaser, Zep delivers cleaning power at an affordable price. The professional-grade formula is safe for kitchens, bathrooms, and living spaces and tackles dirt, grime, and grease.

I tested this product in two ways. First, I used it as an all-purpose cleaner on countertops, sinks, and my stainless steel appliance exteriors. I appreciated the light, barely there smell and was pleased with the results. The only thing I didn’t like was that I had to rinse each surface after use.

For a more rigorous test, I applied Zep to my oil-splattered cooktop and countertops to assess its degreasing power. It effectively removed a light layer of grease. However, when faced with a baked-on grease test, Zep struggled to clear more than half of the thick, sticky layer from my test surface. While it’s a reliable multipurpose cleaner, you may need something stronger for heavy-duty degreasing.

Get the Zep degreaser at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Target.

Best for Kitchens

Lysol Kitchen Pro Antibacterial Cleaner

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Effectiveness 4/5; Scent 4/5; Value 5/5

Product Specs 

  • Form: Spray
  • Size: 22 ounces
  • Surfaces: Countertops, sinks, stovetops, cabinets, and appliance exteriors

Pros

  • Cleans grease, dirt, and grime on most nonporous kitchen surfaces
  • Kills 99.9 percent of bacteria when used as a disinfectant
  • Suitable for use as an everyday cleaner, sanitizer, and degreaser for kitchens

Cons

  • Must rinse all food contact surfaces with water after use
  • Ideal for light to medium degreasing; may not be suitable for tough messes

Greasy messes are a common occurrence in the kitchen. Lysol Kitchen Pro has a bacteria-killing formula that can handle dirt, grease, and kitchen germs, preventing the need for separate products to handle these different jobs.

When put to the test, this Lysol degreaser removed grease splatters from my cooktop, counters, and microwave. But the real challenge was removing burnt-on grease from stainless steel. I applied it to my test surface and let it sit for 1 minute before wiping it with paper towels. It removed about 60 percent of the grease in one pass, which isn’t bad considering it’s not a dedicated degreaser.

I also used Lysol to disinfect my countertops after handling raw meat and as an everyday kitchen cleaner. I enjoyed the product’s citrus scent and the cleanliness of my kitchen after using it.

Get the Lysol degreaser at Amazon or Walmart

Best Heavy-Duty

Clean-Rite Purple Power Industrial Cleaner Degreaser

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4.5/5; Effectiveness 4.5/5; Scent 5/5; Value 5/5

Product Specs 

  • Form: Concentrate
  • Size: 1 gallon
  • Surfaces: Most auto, home, industry, farm, and marine surfaces

Pros

  • Powerful formula removes grease, dirt, and stains from hard and soft surfaces
  • Can customize degreaser strength based on the item that needs to be cleaned
  • 1 gallon of concentrate can make 10 to 15 gallons of cleaner 

Cons

  • Must utilize a separate spray bottle to mix cleaner
  • Not for use on exterior car surfaces, glass, painted surfaces, or wheel rims

Purple Power is an industrial-strength cleaner and degreaser. It’s safe for most hard surfaces and can even be used as a laundry soak.

My mechanic stepdad keeps Purple Power in his garage, so I was excited to pit it against other cleaners to see how it ranked among the competition. I first tested it on stainless steel, diluting at a 5:1 water-to-concentrate ratio. It was on par with most of the other degreasers I tried, removing about 70 percent of the baked-on cooking oil in one pass. 

I then took the Purple Power outside. I used it to clean hydraulic oil from my concrete garage floor and remove excess grease from the hydraulic cylinders on my tractor. In both cases, Purple Power removed all the grease with just one wipe.

Get the Clean-Rite degreaser at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Natural

Method Heavy-Duty Degreaser

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Effectiveness 3/5; Scent 5/5; Value 4.5/5

Product Specs 

  • Form: Spray
  • Size: 28 ounces
  • Surfaces: Stovetops, range hoods, microwaves, burner grates, and drip pans

Pros

  • Contains a cruelty-free and plant-based grease-cutting formula
  • Bottle (excluding the lid) is made from 100 percent recycled plastic
  • Suitable for use on burnt-on messes, grease, and food splatters

Cons

  • Not suitable for glass or ceramic stovetops, marble, or aluminum surfaces
  • Took multiple passes to clear tough grease messes during testing

Method’s heavy-duty degreaser has a plant-derived formula with packaging made from 100 percent recycled plastic, excluding the lid. This degreaser’s lemongrass scent was the best smelling of all the cleaners I tested.

Since the Method degreaser isn’t safe for glass or ceramic cooktops, I couldn’t use it on my stovetop, which was disappointing. I did, however, use it in my microwave and range hood, and it cleared light cooking oil splatters. Unfortunately, it didn’t fare as well during the more rigorous tests.

I applied the degreaser to the burnt-on cooking spray on my stainless steel cookie sheet and let it sit for 3 minutes, as per the instructions. When I wiped it away, it only removed about half of the grease. While this is a good choice for eco-conscious consumers, cleaning tough messes might take several applications.

Get the Method degreaser at Amazon, Walmart, or Target.

Best for Ovens

Easy-Off Heavy-Duty Oven Cleaner

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 5/5; Effectiveness 5/5; Scent 3/5; Value 5/5

Product Specs 

  • Form: Aerosol spray
  • Size: 14.5 ounces
  • Surfaces: Ovens, oven doors, broilers, broiler pans, barbecue grills, and stainless steel surfaces

Pros

  • Powerful cleaning ability; removed nearly all grease from our test surfaces
  • Works in warm or cool ovens and can be utilized as a spot cleaner
  • Easy to use and works in as little as 30 seconds when spot-cleaning

Cons

  • Chemical smell is overwhelming when used on large areas

When thick layers of grease line your oven, broiler, or broiler pan, Easy-Off heavy-duty oven cleaner offers a fast and reliable clean, making it one of the best oven cleaners. When used in a warm oven, this aerosol spray cleaner can cut through grease in as little as 3 minutes. It’s also formulated for use in a cold oven and for spot-cleaning.

Easy-Off oven cleaner was the clear winner in our stainless steel grease test. It only took 30 seconds for it to remove a sticky layer of burnt-on cooking spray. 

I also used it to clean the glass on my oven door, and it left it spotless, removing caked-on food and grease remnants. The biggest downside was the smell. When I used the Easy-Off oven degreaser as a spot cleaner, the scent was manageable, but when I dispensed a large amount to clean my oven, the chemical smell was overwhelming.

Get the Easy-Off oven degreaser at Amazon or Target.

Best for Pressure Washers

Oil Eater Original Formula Cleaner & Degreaser

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4/5; Effectiveness 4.5/5; Scent 5/5; Value 5/5

Product Specs 

  • Form: Concentrate
  • Size: 5 gallons
  • Surfaces: Engines, parts, tools, concrete, carpet, sinks, countertops, and more

Pros

  • Features an environmentally friendly water-based and biodegradable formula for safer degreasing
  • Works with pressure washers, floor scrubbers, parts washers, carpet extractors, and dip tanks
  • Can be diluted for general or light cleaning; concentrated formula offers great value

Cons

  • Large 5-gallon bucket makes it difficult to fill spray bottles
  • Not safe for glass, suede, silk, or soft leather surfaces

Washing a large surface area like a concrete driveway or shop floor requires a lot of cleaning solution. Luckily, Oil Eaters makes a 5-gallon bucket of its industrial degreaser that is compatible with pressure washers, floor scrubbers, carpet extractors, and more. This grease and grime cleaner features a biodegradable water-based formula free of solvents. Aside from being a pressure washer degreaser, you can dilute this product in a bottle to make an engine cleaner spray.

Before testing, I diluted the Oil Eater degreaser for general cleaning, adding 10 parts water to one part concentrate in a spray bottle. My tractor had leaked oil on my concrete garage floor, so I used this product as a concrete degreaser. A few sprays and one wipe, and all of the oil was gone.

I also used Oil Eater to remove all-purpose grease from the hydraulic cylinders on my tractor’s loader bucket. It did an excellent job of lifting grease and grime, and I appreciated the light, barely there scent.

Get the Oil Eater degreaser at Amazon, Tractor Supply Co. (1 gallon), or The Home Depot.

Best Automotive

Chemical Guys Signature Series Orange Degreaser

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4/5; Effectiveness 5/5; Scent 5/5; Value 4.7/5

Product Specs 

  • Form: Concentrate
  • Size: 16 ounces
  • Surfaces: Vinyl, plastic, rubber, stainless steel, metal, and aluminum

Pros

  • Cleans motor oil, hydraulic fluid, diesel fuel, coolant, grime, grease, and caked-on mud
  • Concentrated formula allows you to fully customize the cleaning power
  • Will make 6 bottles of cleaner at its lowest recommended dilution level

Cons

  • Must purchase a separate spray bottle to dilute the concentrate and then apply it

The Chemical Guys Signature Series has a citrus base that’s safe for use as an engine degreaser and on aluminum, rubber, and machinery. The recommended dilution ratio is a minimum of six parts water to one part concentrate for extra-tough jobs and up to 40 parts water to one part concentrate for light-duty cleaning. 

To tackle hydraulic fluid on my garage floor and thick layers of grease on my tractor, I diluted this car degreaser spray at a 6:1 ratio. I sprayed the cleaner on and let it sit for a few seconds. When I wiped, all the grease and grime transferred to the paper towel.

This product is safe for stainless steel, so I also tested its ability to clear the burnt cooking oil from my cookie sheets. To my surprise, it was one of the best, outperforming the other automotive degreasers.

Get the Chemical Guys degreaser at Amazon or Chemical Guys.

Best All-Purpose

Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner

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Our Ratings: Ease of Use 4.5/5; Effectiveness 4.5/5; Scent 5/5; Value 5/5

Product Specs 

  • Form: Spray/concentrate
  • Size: 32 ounces (pack of 3)
  • Surfaces: Counters, carpet, floors, fabric, equipment, and vehicles

Pros

  • Environmentally safe cleaner and degreaser with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safer Choice certification
  • Versatile; 3 dilution levels for customizable cleaning across many surfaces
  • Can be used manually, in pressure washers, and in carpet cleaner machines

Cons

  • A lot of cleaner dispenses per spray, making precise application difficult

Simple Green is a degreaser that’s earned recognition from the EPA Safer Choice program for its environmentally friendly ingredients. It works on most surfaces, including fabrics. The full strength concentrate is ideal for grease, oil, and other heavy-duty jobs. It can also be diluted at a 1:10 ratio for general-purpose use or a 1:30 ratio for light cleaning.

I used Simple Green at full strength to clean grease from my stainless steel test surface, and it was one of the best, eliminating about 90 percent of the mess in one pass. I also used it as an all-purpose cleaner. The sassafras scent was light and didn’t irritate my allergies, and the formula left my counters, sink, and stovetop sparkling clean.

Get the Simple Green degreaser at Amazon (3-pack), Lowe’s (1-pack), The Home Depot (1-pack), or Walmart (1-pack).

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Degreaser

We spoke to Austin Jones, CEO of Millennium Facility Services, who has more than 30 years of experience in the maintenance and cleaning industry, to get the lowdown on what to look for in a degreaser. “I’ve found that when it comes to cleaning up oily messes, the choice between an all-purpose cleaner and a specialized degreaser can make a significant difference in the effort and effectiveness of the cleaning process,” he says. 

Below are other important features to consider.

Type

Degreasers come in concentrates, sprays, foams, and powders. Some products are all-purpose cleaner degreasers that clean dirt, grime, and grease, while others are strictly for cleaning up oily messes. All-purpose cleaner degreasers typically come in a spray, making them easy to apply directly from the bottle. These formulas are handy for spot-cleaning in and out of the house and wiping up kitchen messes. 

Dedicated degreasers often come in concentrates that must be diluted with water, depending on their intended use. These concentrates range from small bottles to large 5-gallon buckets, ideal for use with a pressure washer or for large jobs like mopping a shop floor.

Surface Use

Before purchasing a degreaser, it’s crucial to check for compatible surfaces. While it might be tempting to assume that all household degreasing cleaners are safe for every kitchen surface, this isn’t always the case. Some degreasers can be harmful to glass or ceramic cooktops, painted surfaces, brass, or copper finishes. Uses vary from brand to brand, so it’s essential to read and follow the label instructions to ensure the safety of your surfaces.

Automotive, oven, and heavy-duty degreasers may have a stronger, more abrasive formula. Always follow dilution instructions depending on the item you’re cleaning.

Effectiveness and Strength

“All-purpose cleaners are suitable for light cleaning tasks, but for industrial-grade or stubborn grease, a specialized degreaser is indispensable,” Jones says. “The investment in a quality degreaser pays off in the long run by saving time and ensuring a cleaner and safer environment.”

Degreaser strengths range from light- to heavy-duty use. For tough messes, like degreasing an engine or cleaning an old oil stain from a concrete floor, a concentrated degreaser works best since you can customize the concentration. You may also need a heavy-duty oven cleaner to clear months’ worth of baked-on grease and food splatters. Fortunately, a light-duty cleaner degreaser will get the job done for your cooktop, cabinets, and range hood.

Safety 

Many degreasers, especially highly concentrated ones, are corrosive and can damage the skin and eyes. Always check the label of the product for safety information before using. It’s equally important to wear protective eye gear and long rubber gloves when handling highly concentrated or heavy-duty degreasers. Also, consider fumes. To prevent possible respiratory issues, adequately ventilate the room before using an oven degreaser. You can do this by opening up windows and running a fan.

Shoppers worried about safety can utilize a formula like Simple Green, which is equipped with a more gentle environmentally friendly formula. This cleaner may not be potent enough for tough jobs like cleaning a greasy oven, but it doesn’t require the safety precautions the more potent degreasers require.

FAQs

Grease is more stubborn than regular household dirt, often requiring a specialized cleaner. Light grease splatters can usually be wiped up with a regular all-purpose cleaner or a bit of dish soap, but baked-on oil or engine grease requires a more powerful product. If you’re unsure why you need a degreaser or which one to use, read on for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Q. Why do I need a degreaser?

Degreasers break down oil and grime, making them easy to wipe away. They are necessary when all-purpose cleaners fail to do the job.

Q. What cleans grease off kitchen cabinets?

Use a mixture of dish soap and water to clean grease off of kitchen cabinets. If this fails, look for a dedicated degreaser that’s safe for your cabinet type.

Q. Is vinegar or baking soda better for grease?

Baking soda is a natural degreaser that can neutralize oily messes, allowing you to wipe them away. You can also make a homemade degreaser with baking soda and vinegar.

Meet the Tester

Katie Barton has more than 10 years of experience in product writing, has tested dozens of cleaning products, and has authored hundreds of articles for major media outlets. Her cleaning and organizing advice has been featured on GOBankingRates, Realtor.com, Yahoo!, Cabin Life, and more. She takes an unbiased approach to product testing, using each product multiple times or for several days/weeks to determine efficacy. Her goal is to help readers decide which products are worth their hard-earned money and which fall flat.