In the never-ending quest to keep kitchens clean and tidy, there’s a huge selection of cleansers on the market, including both conventional and natural cleaning products. Tackling even the dirtiest messes needn’t be a big chore if you have the best kitchen cleaner for the specific job—and a few handy time-saving tricks. Use this guide to learn what to look for in a kitchen cleaner, and why the following products are considered among the best to help keep your cook space healthy and spotless.
- BEST OVERALL: CLR Jelmar Pb-Bk-2000 Bath and Kitchen Cleaner
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Windex Multi-Surface Cleaner and Disinfectant
- BEST BUDGET: Simple Green Industrial Cleaner & Degreaser
- BEST LONG-LASTING: Mistolin Lavender, All Purpose Cleaner
- BEST DEEP-CLEANING: GP66 Green Miracle Cleaner
- BEST NATURAL: Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap
- BEST DISINFECTANT: Clorox Clean-Up CloroxPro Disinfectant Cleaner
- BEST FOR KITCHEN CABINETS: Parker and Bailey Kitchen Cabinet Cream
- BEST FOR KITCHEN FLOOR: Pledge Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner
- BEST FOR KITCHEN SINK: Biomex All-Purpose Multi-Surface Biodegradable
What to Consider When Choosing a Kitchen Cleaner
The kitchen is not only the center of food preparation, it’s the place where household members meet to eat, chat, do schoolwork, play games—in other words, live. So keeping this busy hub clean and disinfected is important to the health and comfort of all who assemble there. To choose the best products for your kitchen, consider the types of dirt and stains or surfaces that need cleaning, and the various ways to apply cleanser.
Regularly cleaning and disinfecting all the surfaces in your kitchen is a great defense against food poisoning and contamination. According to FoodSafety.gov, there are an estimated 48 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually, which is the equivalent of one in six American citizens getting sick from contaminated foods. Those, in turn, resulted in about 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Many of these hospitalizations were caused by bacteria, viruses, or contaminates. Keep in mind that while a spray-and-wipe routine may clean, it’s typically necessary to give products several minutes of dwell time to thoroughly disinfect.
What’s more, different kitchen messes, such as grease, stains, spills, crumbs, and dirt, may each require a specific attack plan. You may also hope to avoid chemical ingredients, like bleach and ammonia, preferring natural substances in your cleaning products to get the job done.
All kitchen surfaces may come into contact with foods that can stain, foreign materials that can contaminate, viruses that can infect, and bacteria that can multiply as well as plain old grease, grime, and dust. The goal of kitchen cleaning is to effectively banish the offenders without damaging the good-looking, hard-working surfaces.
The cleanser that works well on a glass tile backsplash may be inappropriate for granite or marble countertops, stainless steel appliances, and wood cabinets. While there’s a large assortment of multi-purpose kitchen cleansers on the market, with some being quite good, multi-purpose tends to mean safe for use on hard, non-porous surfaces, such as glass, metal, ceramic, and porcelain. Manufacturers have developed specialized cleaning products to target porous materials such as wood and natural stone. In fact, some porous surfaces can be permanently damaged by the wrong cleanser, especially if it’s been left on long enough to soak in and stain.
Spray bottles are popular in kitchen cleansers for their ease of use. Simply pull the trigger to apply, and wipe or scrub with a cloth or sponge to remove. However, concentrated solutions, either used straight from the container or diluted in water, can be effective and far more economical. Whichever application method you choose, remember that some cleaners need to sit on the soiled area for several minutes before being removed. Read package directions to understand the correct way to use any product you purchase for maximum safety and effectiveness.
Our Top Picks
The factors detailed above, as well as price and environmental friendliness, were considered to compile this list of top kitchen cleaners.
To clean a host of kitchen surfaces quickly and effectively, consider this industrial-strength yet environmentally friendly product from CLR. It contains no phosphates, bleach, or ammonia, relying instead on fermenting sugars to create lactic acid that naturally descales hard water buildup, calcium deposits, lime, and kitchen dirt. To use, simply spray and wipe; the foaming formula works fast to clean and restore shine.
This CLR product is part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice Program that helps consumers identify products that work well while being “safer for human health and the environment.” People with allergies to propylene glycol butyl ether, however, may be sensitive to this product.
When it comes to price and versatility, Windex Multi-Surface Cleaner is pretty hard to beat. It can remove dirt, grease, and grime as well as eliminate 99 percent of germs and viruses like salmonella, streptococcus, and E. coli on hard, non-porous surfaces. Its spray-on formula wipes easily from tile, metal, and glass to clean and sanitize without leaving residue or unsightly streaks. To thoroughly disinfect, let the product dwell for 10 minutes before removing it.
If getting clean and saving cash are equally important, check out Simple Green’s powerful all-purpose cleaner, concentrated. The non-toxic, non-corrosive, and non-abrasive formula is a safer alternative to cleaners that contain toxic ingredients like solvents and bleach. It can be used on a host of surfaces and is especially effective at getting rid of the cooking grease that can accumulate in a kitchen.
Thanks to its concentrated nature, whether applied directly or diluted with water, a little goes a long way. And that’s what makes it so economical to clean various types of countertops, appliances, and floors.
If not-so-pleasant smells are a problem in your kitchen, this product may just be the one-two punch your cook space needs. Unlike cleaners that use citrus scents to combat odor, this Mistolin product relies on a clean and calming lavender scent that can keep the kitchen smelling fresh for hours. It’s a versatile cleanser suitable for a variety of surfaces, and its concentrated formula can be diluted in water to clean large surfaces, like floors.
GP66, an American-made cleaner that’s strong yet biodegradable, could prove to be a useful weapon against the toughest messes in your kitchen. Its proprietary formula, initially developed for industrial use, breaks the surface tension of water to mix and emulsify serious dirt, grease, and grime. The concentrated formula can be diluted with water in a 1 to 64 ratio, or sprayed directly from the bottle. However, you should not use it in its concentrated form on varnished or water-based painted surfaces.
Talk about multi-purpose. Many devotees of Dr. Bronner’s soap use it to wash their hair and skin as well as around the house. Made with over 90 percent organic ingredients and 70 percent certified fair trade ingredients, Dr. Bronner’s castile liquid soap has no synthetic preservatives, thickeners, or foaming agents. While it’s vegan, biodegradable, and cruelty-free, it’s also tough on dirt and grime. It’s three times as concentrated as many liquid soaps, so you can use it straight from the container or dilute with water in a spray bottle and use as you would any other spray cleaner on kitchen surfaces. Dr. Bronner’s comes in a variety of different scents including almond and peppermint as well as unscented.
Though bleach is a reliable disinfectant, it’s not an effective cleaner, which is why it’s typically recommended to “pre-clean” surfaces before disinfecting with bleach. Fortunately, CloroxPro was designed to combine cleansing and disinfecting in one product. It gets rid of 99.9 percent of germs while banishing stains, grease, dirt, and soap scum. It also kills odors caused by germs and mildew.
Contents of the economical 128-ounce refill size can be funneled into a spray bottle for ease of use. This Clorox product needs at least 30 seconds of dwell time and should be rinsed with water to prevent viruses and bacteria from getting a foothold in your kitchen.
This Parker and Bailey product can simplify the chore of keeping kitchen cabinets clean. A gentle yet effective cream-formula polish, it tackles grease, cooking oils, food stains, and fingerprints on any wood, laminate, Formica, and painted cabinets surfaces. It also helps restore and condition wood against dryness and cracking.
Debuting in 1879, the gentle, non-toxic product contains no harmful solvents, silicone, or waxes. You may have to use an ample amount to clean cabinets that are heavily soiled with grease (or pre-clean with a degreaser) but can then use sparingly for routine cleanings.
The kitchen floor can become the dirtiest surface in your home, due to both spilled food and tracked-in dirt. Pledge Multisurface Floor Cleaner boasts an oil-free formula that can be used on many types of finished, sealed flooring surfaces from tile to laminate to vinyl. It works fast to clean and shine without leaving any residue or streaks. Thanks to its economical, concentrated formula, which must be diluted with water for use, a 32-ounce bottle can become 16 gallons of cleaning power.
Though this Biomex cleaner is a tough, multi-surface detergent product, it’s particularly effective for the kitchen sink because it’s organic, biodegradable, and non-abrasive. It comes as a cream that turns into a hard-working foam when used with a moistened sponge (sponge included). Biomex scours away the dirt and greasy grime that tends to accumulate in metal and ceramic sinks without scratching the surface and rinses easily. It’s handy in the kitchen and throughout the house; it is formulated to clean metals, including steel, aluminum, chrome, copper, and brass as well as lacquered wood, ceramic tiles, and other surfaces.
FAQs About Your New Kitchen Cleaner
With so many kitchen surfaces to clean and so many products on the market, you may still want more information on using cleansers effectively. Consider the answers to some commonly asked questions about kitchen cleaners below.
Q. How do you degrease kitchen surfaces?
Apply a surface-appropriate cleaner to the soiled area, let dwell, and use a sponge or cloth to scrub the grease away. Avoid using any sharp implements, like a knife, to scrape the grease off as this could scratch or otherwise damage kitchen surfaces.
Q. Can you clean kitchen surfaces with bleach?
Bleach is an effective disinfectant, but it doesn’t clean. Pre-clean with a soap or detergent product, follow with bleach to disinfect, and then rinse thoroughly with water to remove bleach residue.
Q. How do you get burnt on grease off a stove?
For stubborn grease, let the deep cleaner sit on the affected area for 10 minutes before scrubbing. Repeat as necessary.