15 Absolutely Magical Cleaning Products We Discovered This Year

Poof, and stains are gone!

December 23, 2021
Photo by Rocky Luten

There wasn’t a surface in our homes that didn’t get a scrub down this year. Not to help curb the pandemic because the coronavirus isn’t spread through surfaces, but because being at home all the time forces you to remember the last time you cleaned your stove grates or burnt pots—which is never. Things that didn’t faze us before suddenly became the biggest thing on our to-do list.

When we weren’t washing our hands and face masks, we were disinfecting our phone screens, cleaning pet urine stains, vacuuming up dust bunnies, removing hard water stains, and deep-cleaning our slow cookers. From a jar of the viral Pink Stuff to a reliable bottle of Dr. Bronner’s, here are the 15 best cleaning products we discovered this year.

Photo by Grove Collaborative

1. Everything from Grove Collaborative

“It has so many convenient, personalized, and sustainable cleaning products that make me happy to clean." —Ellery Hight, Customer Care Specialist

Photo by Branch Basics

2. Branch Basics Concentrate, $49

“I really like the versatility of Branch Basics! I order bottles of their concentrate and it lasts me about six months (and that’s with lots of cleaning up after two little boys). You mix the concentrate with water in varying levels to make an all-purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner, dish soap, and laundry detergent! It’s unscented so I add essential oils to add a little scent. I also really love the Oxygen Boost to add to our laundry.” —Gabrielle Mangino, executive producer

Photo by Amazon

3. Tru Earth Laundry Detergent Sheets, $16.95

“Being a dog mom taught me a lot of things I didn’t know, and has introduced me to things I wasn’t even interested in before. Now, I try to use zero-waste cleaning products as much as possible, especially for things that we use often. For laundry, it’s Tru Earth’s laundry detergent sheets. There are so many pros to this and the biggest ones are that it’s hypoallergenic, sensitive on skin, and cruelty-free, so it’s not tested on animals and doesn’t have any animal-based ingredients. It also comes in eco-friendly packaging without any plastic, too." —Ulvia Zeynalli, retoucher

Photo by Amazon

4. Eco Buzz Dishwashing Soap Block, $9.45

“For dishes, I like the dishwashing soap block by Eco Buzz. It’s the best that I’ve tried so far and cuts through grease really well. I use it everywhere in my kitchen, even the stove top. But you’ll need to time it correctly for the stove top—clean it the same day as a bad spill or burn, otherwise, you’ll need something stronger." —Ulvia Zeynalli, retoucher

Photo by Amazon

5. Dropps Dishwasher Detergent Pods, $14.99

“And for dishwashing pods, I love the one from Dropps. It cleans well and has all the same positives as the laundry detergent and dishwashing bar—natural ingredients and low-waste, eco-friendly packaging." —Ulvia Zeynalli, retoucher

Photo by Amazon

6. Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner, $13.48

“Sal-Suds from Dr. Bronner’s has been my favorite dish soap forever and after I finally read (some of) the famously wordy label, I realized it can be diluted for all kinds of other purposes. It works great as a counter spray and my colleague Coral Lee even successfully cleaned a streaky window that had been haunting her." —Kristin Miglore, Founding Editor & Creative Director, Genius

Photo by Stardrops

7. Stardrops The Pink Stuff, $8.99

“IG user @nowitsclean introduced me to The Pink stuff! Add a Scrub Daddy, and I finally got the stubborn bath bomb stains out of my tub." —Melissa Conley, Customer Care Specialist

“It was so satisfying to see how much baked-on food and stains this got off my stove. It didn’t get everything off, but TBH, I don’t think anything will. The thick, gritty paste is easy to use and rinse off, and you’ll want to do it well to avoid streaks." —Jada Wong, market editor

Photo by Walmart

8. Method Heavy Duty Degreaser, $4.99

“It's no secret that Method makes some of the best basic cleaning products, so I recently picked up this heavy duty degreaser on a whim and it has transformed my gas stovetop. I was previously using a regular all-purpose cleaner, which worked fine but it has nothing on this spray. Plus, you'd think that a product like this would smell kind of gross (maybe just because it's used to clean gross things), but it actually has a lovely lemony scent!” —Kelly Vaughan, Staff Writer

Photo by Amazon

9. Tineco Floor ONE S5 Smart Cordless Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner and Mop, $499.99

“This has been the easiest way to clean stains, spills, and splatters around my house from the kitchen to the bathroom. It’s an upright vacuum and a mop, so you can cut down on your cleaning time in half—something I’d gladly pay top dollar for. It comes with a handful of useful accessories, as well as a charging base that protects floors from the wet mop head so I don’t have to worry about warping the hardwood." —Jada Wong, market editor

Photo by Amazon

10. Holikme 4 Pack Drill Brush Power Scrubber, $11.95 $8.95

“Goodbye to the days of scrubbing mildew-y shower tiles, dingy grout, and cloudy glass. This power drill scrubber set has been the most efficient way to clean the most time-consuming, back-breaking projects." —Jada Wong, market editor

Photo by iRobot

11. iRobot Roomba j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum (7550), $849.99 $649.99

“This investment robot vacuum sucks up every speck of dust, potting soil, hair, loose thread, and whatever else is hanging out on my floors. It’s quieter and less maintenance than other robot vacs I’ve had, and the sensors ensure it never rolls over cords, socks, carpets, or worse—pet accidents." —Jada Wong, market editor

Photo by Amazon

12. Bar Keepers Friend Powder Cleanser, $14.99 $6.44

“I needed a stain remover that would be safe for ceramic and stainless steel—my kitchen sink was looking more yellow than white and I’d burned a few pots while cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Enter, Bar Keepers Friend. This powder cleanser turned back the clock on my sink and pots with a little bit elbow grease." —Jada Wong, market editor

Photo by Amazon

13. Reusable Swiffer Pads, $15.95

“​​Listen, Swiffers are awesome. They’re lightweight, really get your floors clean, and function as an all-in-one cleaning tool. But using a new paper and plastic Swiffer pad each time you need to clean the floor? Not awesome. It definitely left me feeling a bit guilty (for the environment and my wallet), but luckily, there's a reusable solution. These microfiber pads can be used again and again just by tossing them in the wash when you're finished. Oh, and they work just as well (maybe better) than the paper and plastic ones.” —Caroline Mullen, assistant editor

Photo by Amazon

14. Scrub Daddy Holder, $11.72

“I absolutely swear by the Scrub Daddy sponge—I scream it loud and proud all the time. But they don’t really fit in conventional sponge caddies, which I learned the hard way from two different online purchases that had to be returned. But behold! There is a specific caddy made just for them, which is super low-profile and blends right in with the sink." —Caroline Mullen, assistant editor

Photo by Amazon

15. Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator $29.99 $19.97

“We got a puppy this year, and while we absolutely adore him, we do not adore his accidents inside the house. They’re inevitable, though, as you’re training a dog (especially in a high rise building, like us), so it’s best to just be equipped with the right tools. Thanks to our contributor Camryn (who has dogs and cats), we found this powerful stain and odor remover that really works. It’s great for both wiping up accidents on the hardwood, as well as treating and lifting stains from the carpet. Thanks to this stuff, our apartment still smells relatively new." —Caroline Mullen, assistant editor

What's been your favorite cleaning discovery this year? Let us know below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.
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Jada Wong

Written by: Jada Wong

Jada is the market editor at Food52 with a decade of experience writing and editing for online publications such as Refinery29, Cosmopolitan, and Insider.