10 dependable kitchen cleaning supplies under $10

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As a cleaning expert, I use a lot of cleaning products and I spend a lot of time thinking about them: how well they work, how safe they are for humans and for the environment, how much they cost, etc.

When it comes to the kitchen, a good thing to know is that one product can perform just about every cleaning job there is. (That product is dish soap.) But there are certainly other cleaning agents, and a good number of cleaning tools, that address kitchen messes ranging from foul fridges to smoky ovens.

Ahead, I’ve rounded up the cleaning products and tools I use in my own kitchen, and the ones I recommend to the people in my life when they ask how to clean everything from major appliances like the refrigerator and oven to specific messes like badly stained enameled cast-iron cookware. Check out my favorite bathroom cleaning products here.

$7.72 at Amazon

Palmolive Essential Clean Liquid Dish Soap

At the risk of sounding like the Ina Garten of cleaning, when it comes to dish soap, buy the good stuff. And by “the good stuff” I don’t mean the expensive, beautifully scented and packaged stuff — I mean Palmolive or Dawn (or Seventh Generation, if you want a plant-based dish soap). There is a real difference in how these category leaders perform against competitors, and it’s worth spending a little more for a premium dish soap because you’ll use less of the product to achieve the same clean. Another reason to buy a good dish soap is that dish soap is wildly versatile and can be used to clean almost everything in the kitchen, from the top of the cabinets all the way down to the floor.

$7.99 at Amazon

Homexcel Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

It is as true in the kitchen as in the bathroom: A mistake most people make when looking for miracle cleaning products is focusing on cleaning agents rather than on the right cleaning tools. But selecting the right tools will make much more of an impact on the ease and efficacy of cleaning than will this spray or that foam. There’s nothing that’s more true of that than microfiber cleaning cloths. Switching from sponges, rags, paper towels, etc. to microfiber cloths will make regular kitchen chores like cleaning the stovetop faster, easier and more effective.

$9.94 at Amazon

Scotch-Brite Dobie All Purpose Pads

Is it possible to feel passion for a sponge?! If romantic love between woman and sponge were to exist, it would exist between me and the Dobie Pad. Dobies are nonabrasive scrub sponges that I find essential in a kitchen for scouring stuck-on food from cookware, including enameled cast-iron pieces from brands like Le Creuset and Staub, and for cleaning kitchen appliances like microwaves or refrigerators. What makes the Dobie so great is that it can scrub away stubborn buildup without scratching delicate surfaces like plastic, stainless steel and glass.

$8.40 at Amazon

Bon Ami Powder Cleanser for Kitchens & Bathrooms

Powder cleansers are the cleaning agent equivalent of the Dobie Pad in that they are excellent for scouring away stuck-on food and stubborn film from grease and cooking oils that can coat kitchen surfaces. There are a number of different kinds of cleansing powders, and some are more heavy duty than others; Bon Ami is the gentlest of the lot, and the one I use when I want a powder cleanser for cleaning jobs.

$3.99 at Amazon

Mrs Meyer's Countertop Spray

A thing that no one wants to hear is that kitchen surfaces should be wiped down after every use. A thing I will tell you that other cleaning experts won’t is that no one is actually doing this, and you’re all still with us, so if you’re among the people (all of you) who don’t wipe their counters down after each use, don’t worry about it.

With that said, an easy way to get better at wiping down countertops and stovetops after use is to leave a small bottle of mild countertop spray in a handy place, such as on the kitchen sink ledge. It’s a visual reminder that will encourage better food safety practices in the home.

$8.99 at Amazon

Airninja Refrigerator and Freezer Deodorizer

Take that box of baking soda out of the fridge and put it with the baking supplies where it belongs. Baking soda does virtually nothing to absorb odors, but there is something that does work to keep a refrigerator smelling fresh: active charcoal. Odor absorbers made with active charcoal, which is also called activated charcoal, active carbon or activated carbon, designed for the refrigerator and freezer are a much better choice than that old box of baking soda.

$5.44 at Amazon

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Original Cleaning Pads

Magic Erasers have a number of uses in the kitchen, where stubborn stains on hard surfaces like walls, countertops or in the fridge are an inevitable by-product of cooking. (Sriracha, I’m looking at you and your infernal splatters!)

To use a Magic Eraser, wet the sponge, wring it out and go over the stain using gentle pressure (the eraser will disintegrate as you use it, in the same way a pencil eraser does). However, Magic Erasers are not safe for every type of surface, so it’s important to test it in an inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t cause damage.

$7.94 at Amazon

OxiClean Stain Remover

OxiClean has loads of uses around the house, but there’s one very specific use in the kitchen that I recommend it for: It will remove staining from the light-colored interior or enameled cast-iron cookware. It’s another accidental discovery: My best friend boiled OxiClean and water in his Le Creuset pot to soak some white shirts, and when he dumped the solution out he discovered that the inside of the pot looked practically brand new, no scrubbing required!

$9.99 at Amazon

Parsons Ammonia All Purpose Cleaner

The last two products are ones I don’t typically talk about in my work because they’re controversial, but that I do recommend — and use — in my own life. The first is ammonia, which is The Thing for eliminating sticky residue from cooking oils on vent hoods, cabinets and other kitchen surfaces. Ammonia has some drawbacks, namely that it is a heavy-duty and harsh cleaning agent that requires household gloves and a well-ventilated area for its safe use. But ammonia works.

$7.99 at Amazon

Easy-Off Fume-Free Oven Cleaner Spray

Over the years, I’ve tried virtually every product and method for cleaning an oven and not a single one of them has worked, with the exception of Easy-Off oven cleaner. I believe that other cleaning experts have had success using baking soda or fun-looking pink pastes, or placing a bowl of ammonia in an oven overnight; I just have personally never experienced those successes, and so when it’s time to clean my oven, I reach for Easy-Off, and it’s what I tell people in my life to get when they ask me about the best way to clean an oven.

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