If there’s one thing we learned in 2022, it’s that Epi readers (that’s you!) love stories about cleaning just about as much as you love stories about cooking. We know, we know—this doesn’t necessarily mean you like to clean as much as you like to cook. But it’s hard to do one without doing the other, and the most enthusiastic home cooks often rely on products and tools that can make cleaning the kitchen quicker, easier, and more effective so you can get back to the fun stuff: making pasta dishes, cocktails, soup, salad, and of course, cake (so much cake).
The good news for all of us is that I really enjoy testing and writing about cleaning products—maybe even more than you love cooking if you can believe it—so I had plenty to rave about this year. My colleagues shared a few of their favorites (and least favorites) over the last twelve months, too, and when we looked back at everything put together, it turned out to be a pretty great list of what you need to keep your kitchen clean in the new year.
So without further ado, here are the 26 cleaning products Epi editors recommended in 2022.
Dish-washing tools and detergents
When I wrote about this colorful dish scrubby that my mother-in-law put in my Easter basket a decade ago, I knew it would be popular—it’s effective, versatile, and machine washable—but I had no idea it would end up being the best-selling product of everything we recommended in 2022.
The Euroscrubby wasn’t the only dish scrubber we recommended this year. Professional baker and Epi contributor Genevieve Yam is equally enamored with her smiling Scrub Daddy sponge for dislodging the most baked-on gunk from her pots and pans.
If you’re still holding onto the idea of using a cellulose sponge, Epi’s digital director Maggie Hoffman recommends these expandable and compostable sponges as a space-saving, eco-friendly option.
And whatever sponge or scrubber you use, you definitely need a place to keep it that’s not the bottom of the sink. Associate commerce editor Megan Wahn recommends this matte black model that hangs around the base of the faucet.
I aspire to be the kind of person who uses dishwashing gloves and I know I’m not alone because this pretty pink pair was the third best-selling item we recommended in 2022. After testing seven different styles, Epi and Bon Appétit’s associate director of commerce Emily Johnson wrote that “if any dishwashing gloves could be called fancy, it’s these.”
For an even more luxe option, Genevieve recommends these cotton-lined latex-free dishwashing gloves from Garden Works. They’re machine washable and also pink (though you can buy blue ones, too).
Liquid dish soap
Until I do become a person who remembers to wear dish gloves, I’m glad to know that dishwashing soap is safe for my hands, as long as I’m using the right one. Earlier this year, I talked to a cosmetic chemist who confirmed that it’s safe to wash your hands with certain dish soaps and it turns out one of my favorites is a great dual-purpose option.
Sadly, the cosmetic chemist I consulted said pine oil isn’t really the best thing to put on your skin, but it sure does make dish soap smell nice. So of course I sniffed every pine-scented dish soap I could get my (er, bare) hands on to find the most festive, luxe bottle to use for the holidays and this Williams Sonoma seasonal offering was the clear winner.
A modern soap dish
Speaking of soap for hands and/or dishes, according to my fellow commerce writer Wilder Davies, soap dishes are back and better than ever. Here’s one he recommends for keeping by the bathroom or kitchen sink.
If your kitchen sink feels too small—or too big—you might need a washing-up bowl for soaking or sectioning off dirty dishes. I love this modern version with handles and a drain on the bottom.
Cascade dishwasher pods
And where would we be without the dishwasher? (Probably still standing at the kitchen sink scrubbing gunk from pots and pans, that’s where.) For those of us lucky enough to have an appliance that handles this one bit of housework, Megan tested various types of dishwasher detergents and found that these pricey pods were the best bet for squeaky-clean dishes.
Dishwasher prong caps
While we’re on the topic of dishwashers, if yours has seen better days, these not-so-pricey little caps may be able to prolong its life a little by keeping rusty prongs from staining your white plates and bowls.
Bürstenhaus Redecker pot brush
Of course, some things should never go in the dishwasher, including a cast iron skillet. When it’s time to clean hers, Epi contributor Rebecca Firkser reaches for this squatty little German-made pot brush. She says it’s the only thing that really dislodges most cooked-on gunk and the brush itself is easy to clean, too.
Superfine steel wool
Sometimes, if you use the wrong dishwasher detergent or if you have hard water, your glassware can start to look kinda cloudy. Wilder swears by super-fine steel wool for buffing clear glasses back to their original condition.
Mr. Siga ultrafine microfiber cloths
And if you just want to remove spots and streaks from your glassware (or your eyeglasses) this high-quality microfiber cloth is the way to go. I was so enthusiastic in my recommendation that it was the second best-selling product we wrote about this year.
Tools and products for cleaning the kitchen
Tide powder with bleach
Even with all of those products I recommended for use at the kitchen sink, this year I came clean about the fact that I actually use powdered laundry detergent to keep mine bright and white.
Generic Simplehuman trash can liners
Supply chain issues forced me to try out generic liners for my Simplehuman trash can and even though I could switch back to the name brand now, I’m still buying these on Amazon. In fact, I like them so much I have them on subscription.
Emily Johnson (not to be confused with me, Emily Farris, even though people mix us up all the time) knows the key to keeping a tidy kitchen is cleaning as you cook. This clever little scrap trap attaches to the top of a lower cabinet door and makes it easy to brush peels and ends out of the way.
A safer grill brush
Whether you use gas, charcoal, pellets, or a kamado-style smoker, a grill is the heart of any outdoor kitchen and keeping it clean is super important. Just as important? Using a safe grill brush, like this nylon and steel-wool option that will clean your grates without leaving behind any dangerous surprises.
An air purifier for the kitchen
The smell of anything cooking is only pleasant for so long. If you’re having trouble banishing lingering aromas from the kitchen and beyond, Wilder recommends putting an air purifier in your cooking zone—especially if you don’t have a functional oven hood. It can help clear out unwanted gasses and other particles more quickly, too.
Our favorite floor-cleaning tools of 2022
This was the year I fell in love with the life-changing magic of the mop vac, a vacuum cleaner that actually and effectively mops the floor as it sucks up dirt, debris, and at my house, dog hair. I ended up testing nine different mop vacs from $140 to $750 and this Tineco model came out on top.
While I was falling hard for my Tineco, my colleague Jarrett Melendez was having a similar love affair with the more budget-friendly Bissell Crosswave mop vac.
We were all about floor care at Epi this year, and I had way too much fun testing products in search of the best vacuum cleaner—especially because it was my first time using a canister-style vacuum. It was also my first time using a Miele, and one of the brand’s bagless models ended up being the top pick for the kitchen and beyond.
Corded vacuum cleaners will run as long as you need them to at max power and this budget-friendly Shark Vertex Ultralight combines the power of a corded vacuum with the mobility of a stick. It was one of the best vacuum cleaners I tested this year and it has attachments you can use in the kitchen.
This cordless stick vacuum from Tineco is super powerful, surprisingly quiet, and more affordable than comparable vacuums from Dyson (which I also love). Of all the cordless stick vacuums I tested in 2022, the Tineco Pure One S11 was my favorite for the kitchen and every other room in the house.