The best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry appliances you can buy

The dishwasher and oven are among the appliance workhorses in a home that need to be cleaned regularly. What are the best cleaners for your appliances? Lemi Shine Multi-Purpose Appliance Cleaner can tackle the crud and odor in your washing machine, dishwasher, and garbage disposal.
How can you demand that your appliances perform at their best if they are dirty? Expecting fresh, clean clothes from a smelly washer or sparkling plates from a dishwasher crusted with hard water minerals is a fool's errand. All you'll get is frustration and chronic disappointment.

Luckily, there are easy-to-use products available that can restore appliances back to their prime. Many of them use natural ingredients and are not toxic to the environment or your lungs. Just a seasonal cleaning will usually remove the build-up and flush away odors, allowing the appliances to do their jobs well. Of course, if your household has some big messes, you may need to clean the appliances more often.

Along with my own housekeeping, I've been testing cleaning products for decades as a home economist for companies and publications. You can be assured that I'm always looking for the most effective, easiest to use, and best value in products. After cleaning for a living, the last thing I want to do is work harder when I get home.
Here are the best cleaning products you can buy for kitchen and laundry appliances: Best appliance cleaner overall: Lemi Shine Multi-Purpose Appliance Cleaner Best dishwasher cleaner: Finish In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner Best garbage disposal cleaner: CLR Garbage Disposal Foaming Cleaner and Freshener Best washer cleaner: Lemi Shine Washing Machine Cleaner Best oven cleaner: Easy-Off Professional Max Fume Free Oven Cleaner Best glass stovetop cleaner: Weiman Cooktop Cleaner Max
Updated on 09/04/2019 by Les Shu: Updated prices, links, and formatting.
The best appliance cleaner overall

If you are looking for one product that can take care of odors and soil build-up in your dishwasher, garbage disposal, and washing machine, Lemi Shine Multi-Purpose Appliance Cleaner is your best bet.
Even with all of the water and detergents that pass through the dishwasher, garbage disposal, and washing machine, they can still accumulate a layer of residue that traps soil, odor-causing bacteria, and minerals from hard water. When all this gunk clings to the inside of the appliance, it cannot perform optimally and causes problems.

LemiShine has developed a formula, based on crystallized citric extracts, that works to cut through that residue. By adding an envelope of the powder to an appliance and running a cycle with hot water, you will quickly have cleaner dishes and laundry, and odor-free garbage disposal.

A Target shopper says, "I was looking for a product to remove the ... crud in my dishwasher left by our terrible water here in Indianapolis. I chose Lemi Shine because of its safety factor. It worked wonders! So I used it in my disposal and washing machine, too!"

While LemiShine offers individual appliance cleaners, the Multi-Purpose is the best value because of the versatility and price. I keep some on hand for quick and thorough cleanings anytime I see or sniff a problem.

Pros: Non-toxic, uses natural ingredients, fresh scent, pre-measured individual packets, simple to use, suitable for multiple appliances

Cons: Does not clean the outside of the appliances

The best dishwasher cleaner

Easy to use and a top performer, Finish In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner can be used while you wash a load of dishes. No extra cycle needed.
Stop and think of what lurks on your dishes when you stick them into the dishwasher — grease, bacteria, and crusty food. A good detergent and the volume of hot water swirling in the dishwasher cut through all of that gunk, leaving the dishes clean. But where does the messy stuff go?

Most of it gets flushed away, but some clings to the sides, seals, and components of the dishwasher. Eventually, the build-up becomes too much and redeposits on your dishes. No one needs that.

That's where Finish In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner comes in to cut through the limescale, grease, and fatty deposits that you can see but also those in the hidden parts of the dishwasher. All that crud can clog pumps, drains, and pipes, which reduce the performance of your machine.

Every three months or so, I simply place one of the tablets in the bottom of the dishwasher tub when I'm ready to run a full wash cycle. There are no wrappers to remove or a need to empty the dishwasher of dirty dishes. Since Finish Quantum Max Powerball Tablets is rated as one of the best dishwasher detergents, using the Finish In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner was the next natural step.

According to one Amazon shopper, "This worked really well for me. Dishwasher kept leaving food deposits in glasses on the upper rack until I tried these. You don't have to empty dishwasher to use it either, unlike other cleaners I've tried."

Pros: Can be used in a dishwasher loaded with dirty dishes, no wrapper to remove, effectively removes grease deposits, limescale, and odors

Cons: Excellent choice for regular cleaning, but may not remove years of heavy build-up

The best garbage disposal cleaner

The fun-to-watch foaming action of CLR Garbage Disposal Foaming Cleaner and Freshener leaves the disposal free of greasy residue and odors.
Maybe it's because I always loved the vinegar and baking soda volcanoes at the science fair, but watching the foaming action of CLR Garbage Disposal Foaming Cleaner and Freshener makes me happy. Happy because I know that the foam is helping to dislodge bits of food and grease that is causing my garbage disposal to smell quite funky.
The individual, premeasured packet contains citric acid and sodium bicarbonate, along with some other ingredients to help cut through the gunk and leave a fresh clean scent. It is so easy to use but you should follow the directions to allow the ingredients time to be effective. The cleaning time is around seven minutes, and there's no need to scrub — just watch the science experiment happen.
One Amazon shopper writes, "I love these for cleaning the yucky disposal lines. I use them weekly and keep things fresh smelling and cleaner."
I use CLR Garbage Disposal Foaming Cleaner and Freshener when I get a whiff of something foul. It should be noted that these packets will not remove a severe clog or jam in the disposal.
Pros: Non-toxic ingredients, simple to use, effectively removes odors and residue from disposal

Cons: Does not remove clogs or jams in the disposal

The best washing machine cleaner

If your laundry isn't smelling as fresh as you'd like, Lemi Shine Washing Machine Cleaner will remove funky odors from the washer that are transferring to your towels and clothes.
Washing machines of the past used nearly 50 gallons of hot water throughout the appliance. With that much water, soil, detergent, fabric softener residue, and bacteria were flushed away.

Today's high-efficiency washing machines use around 14 gallons of water and hold larger loads, and we use more cold and warm water to protect synthetic fabrics. That leaves lots of opportunity for body soil, product residue, and bacteria to cling to the inside of the washer drum and the rubber seals that protect it from leaking.

All that gunk can redeposit on your clothes, making them less than clean and fresh. That's why you need to clean your washer and the best cleaner is Lemi Shine Washing Machine Cleaner. Using non-toxic citric acids, the powder strips away the build-up, and you even get a handy wipe to use after each cleaning cycle to capture any residue on the seals and to wipe down the outside of the washer where drips and soil can accumulate.

I love the fresh scent. One Targer shopper writes, "I originally purchased this product because of the cute packaging but soon realized it was a great cleaner for my machine. Great price!"

Pros: Effectively removes body soil, bacteria, and detergent residue from the washing machine drum, includes wipes for hard-to-reach areas like door seals and the outside of the appliance, non-toxic, and pleasant citrus scent

Cons: Not widely available in all mass-market stores

The best oven cleaner

Spills happen but Easy-Off Professional Max Fume Free Oven Cleaner will take care of the worst messes without burning your lungs or making you scrub forever.
I'm a pie baker who can't seem to remember not to overload the pie plate with filling. Sure enough, the pie bubbles over onto the oven floor. Fortunately, I know that clean-up can be simple with Easy-Off Professional Max Fume Free Oven Cleaner. Until I found this product, I dreaded cleaning the oven because of the fumes. No more.

The key to using this product is having a cold oven. Just spray on the cleaner and wait at least 40 minutes (longer is even better). The grease and spills will wipe away easily. Safe to use in electric and gas ovens and oven racks — even ovens that proclaim to be self-cleaning — Easy-Off Fume Free is an excellent product.

Buyers on Amazon agree. With more than 800 reviews, the average rating is 4.5 stars. One shopper says, "Can use for everyday spot cleaning with only have to let sit for couple hours for minor things. Used on broiler pan that would not scrub clean with even steel wool, no need to scrub ever again now!"

Pros: Fume-free formula, removes heavy, baked-on stains, safe for electric and gas ovens

Cons: Does not work quickly, requires at least 40 minutes to work effectively

The best ceramic cooktop cleaner

Smooth ceramic cooktops are prone to scratching. So how do you get rid of cooked-on spills safely? Weiman Cooktop Cleaner Max can tackle the stains and leave your cooktop scratch-free.
After years of the standard enamel and stainless cooktops that could stand up to scrubbing from a steel wool pad, I ended up with a smooth ceramic cooktop. It looks sleek and conducts heat well, but removing the overflow from a boiling pot is a challenge, until I found Weiman Cooktop Cleaner Max.

The micro-bead technology gives just the right amount of abrasive power to remove burned-on food and grease but doesn't scratch the surface. After cleaning and rinsing, there are no streaks or watermarks left behind. The lemon-scented paste formula is applied with a cleaning pad that is included and stores conveniently on the top of the container.

On Amazon, 75% of reviewers gave it 4 or 5 stars. One shopper writes, "I just recently bought a house. Along with buying a house I bought a new glass top stove. After about three uses of the stove it looked horrible. I didn't even want it in my kitchen. I tried many cleaners and nothing brought up the burned water mark's [sic] on my stove. As a last resort I bought this. Amazing! Looks like a new stove."

Pros: Removes the worst burned-on messes and grease effectively, does not scratch ceramic surfaces, comes with a scrubbing pad

Cons: Does not remove scratches, not readily found in all mass-market stores

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