There are so many cleaning supplies on the market. Even a simple trip to the grocery store for cleaning supplies leaves me feeling a little overwhelmed. But while the options seem unlimited, there’s a few staples that stand as “must-haves” in our kitchens at The Chopping Block, and they translate easily to your own home kitchen. While spring cleaning season may seem far away, keep this list in mind as you stock your cleaning supplies.
1. Good sponges and a scouring pad
This one may seem a little obvious, but a good sponge and scouring pad are the cornerstones of a clean kitchen. All of the cleaning solutions in the world won’t do much good if you’ve got nothing to apply them with!
Use your scouring pad or steel wool as the heavy lifter in your cleaning routine. Scouring pads are very abrasive and they’ll scratch soft surfaces like marble or glass, so make sure to use them sparingly or you can do some damage. Still, for grill pads, stainless steel skillets or other surfaces that accumulate grime and food buildup, a scouring pad is indispensable.
Choose a sponge with two cleaning surfaces: one abrasive and one soft. The soft side will be useful for cleaning more delicate surfaces, while the abrasive side will do well for jobs where you need a little more elbow grease.
Pro tip: cut your sponges in half. Larger sponges are often less expensive (think bulk buying), and if you cut them in half, you’ll get more mileage and cleaning surface for your money.
2. Degreaser/Dish Soap
We use a heavy-duty degreaser at The Chopping Block because our kitchens see a lot of use. However, at home, you won’t need much more than a good dish soap. A dish soap like Dawn, Method or Palmolive is a must-have in any kitchen, even if you primarily use a dishwasher for your cookware.
To use dish soap as a degreaser, fill a small bucket with warm water and add a few drops of soap. Use this diluted solution on your hood, range or any other surface where grease splatters and builds up. Make sure to rinse the surface well afterwards to avoid streaking.
3. Disinfectant Spray or Wipes
There are many disinfectant sprays and wipes available, offered by a variety of brands in different scents and potencies. At The Chopping Block, we use a non-toxic, environmentally safe cleanser, and these are qualities that you should consider for your kitchen as well. Unscented sprays and wipes are often better for those with sensitive skin or other sensitivities to perfumes or additives.
Use your disinfectants often, especially during cold and flu season. Faucets, refrigerator handles and counter tops are all frequent contact points, so cleaning them often can help cut down on germs and grime. Also use a disinfectant on surfaces that come into contact with raw meat and dairy products.
4. Glass Cleaner
A good glass cleaner is a must-have in your kitchen. It’s great for the glass of your oven door, obviously, but glass cleaners work on a much larger range of surfaces. Windex, for example, can be used to give countertops, electric range tops, ceramics, enamel, and vinyl shine and luster. If there’s any surface you’re unsure of, test a small area to see if your glass cleaner is safe for that material.
Pro tip: if a simple glass-cleaning solution doesn’t seem to be cutting it, try an aerosol or foaming glass cleaner for better coverage and stronger cleaning power.
5. Stainless Steel Polish
If there are stainless steel surfaces in your kitchen, stainless steel polish is a must. Most stainless steel polishes come in spray bottles or aerosol cans. They don’t need to be applied heavily: just spray a bit on your stainless steel surface and then buff the surface with a soft, lint free cloth. Make sure to work the polish in with the grain, not against.
6. Mild Cleansing Powder/Gel
When regular degreaser or dish soap won’t do the trick, it’s good to have a little bit tougher of a product. If you read my blog post on the Universal Stone, you already know what a great tool it is for getting rid of tarnish, rust and built up grime.
Soft Scrub is another good, mild cleanser. It’s especially good at taking off stains and spots of discoloration off of sinks, counter tops and cookware. Soft Scrub offers an option with a light amount of bleach as well, which helps disinfect and do an even deeper clean on stains.
7. Hand Soap and Lotion
Hand soap and lotion aren’t cleaning supplies, per se, but they’re a must have in every kitchen. Make sure to choose something lightly scented: scents can transfer from your hands to food when you cook, so heavily perfumed soaps and lotions can mess with the flavors of your food!
A good, heavy duty is hand lotion especially important when doing a lot of cleaning. Protecting your hands from becoming dry and chapped is almost as hard as deep cleaning in your kitchen. We use Caldrea hand soap and lotion in our kitchens, and they’re lightly scented and easy on your hands.
Stocking cleaning supplies might not seem like the most exciting kitchen task, but having the right supplies for the job will definitely make your life easier for your next kitchen cleanup. Keep this list in mind the next time you hit the store, and don’t be afraid to give new products a try!