I’m a professional Painter and Decorator, so kitchen degreasers are something I’ve had some experience with. I paint a lot of rental and commercial properties, so I’ve seen kitchens in a worse state than most. It all needs to be cleaned as part of my prep, prior to painting.
I’ve played around with a few different brands in the past, and always came back to sugar soap. That is until recently, when I tried Zinsser Universal Degreaser & Cleaner, which is another level in terms of performance. This, in my honest opinion, is the best kitchen degreaser on the market. It absolutely blew me away!
Zinsser Universal Degreaser and Cleaner Review
Available online by clicking here, or any Johnstone’s Decorating Centre, Zinsser Universal Degreaser is primarily used by professional decorators who need to get even the dirtiest of kitchens pristine before they paint. However, it can also be used in a domestic home.
This water-based degreaser comes in a spray bottle, and you can buy refills. It’s colour fast and doesn’t contain bleach, so it’s safe to use on fabric, as well as kitchen cabinets, tiles, flooring, sinks, toilets and more. But keep it away from leather and metal as it will damage it.
I feel it’s important to point out this product feels ‘industrial strength’. Yes, it will shift grease faster and more effectively than anything you’ve likely tried in the past, but open windows and wear a mask when using it in enclosed spaces, because it has a kick!!
Use Zinsser Universal Degreaser and Cleaner neat. Simply spray onto the target area, wait 30 seconds, then wipe off with ease. I used it on a kitchen recently after trying decorator’s wipes and sugar soap (without much success), and I was gobsmacked at how well it worked. So much so, that I filmed the below video.
Since then, I’ve used it on my own home (not that my home is particularly dirty). But you do get the odd grease spot forming under your kitchen cabinets, or that thick layer on top of your units. Zinsser Universal degreaser shifts it without issue!! You really need to use it to understand how much better it is than comparable products. Click here to see current prices.
The alternative cleaning agent for decorators is sugar soap. Not because of its cleaning power, but because it is ‘paint friendly’ and works to some extent on many surfaces. Sugar soap is nowhere near as effective on grease as Zinsser Universal Degreaser and Cleaner, but it will still do a job.
Sugar soap is available online by clicking here, or just about any trade decorating shop. You can buy is as a spray, or in a bottle, which you then mix with water. Use a stronger concentrate of sugar soap Vs water for harder jobs such as kitchen grease. You can also use sugar soap to clean fire damage, nicotine, water stains, mildew and more.
Unlike the stronger Zinsser Degreaser, sugar soap is not as potent. It will still dry your skin if you use it without gloves, but I feel the need to panic when it encounters bare skin, and I don’t generally wear a mask when I’m applying it.
Suage soap is fine to use on porous surfaces such as emulsion, or bare plaster.
I have been completely honest in this blog. I was blown away by the effectiveness of Zinsser Universal Degreaser & Cleaner. I can put my hand on my heart and proclaim it’s the best kitchen degreaser I’ve ever used.
Just bear-in-mind it’s industrial strength and take the appropriate safety precautions. Windows open, gloves on, mask tight around your mouth and nose. Do that, and you’re safe to use it around your home. Click here to see online prices.
Zinsser Mould and Mildew Cleaner
I know I’m supposed to be talking about the best kitchen degreaser, but I wanted to mention Zinsser Mould and Mildew Cleaner too. You might use this on mould in a kitchen, bathroom, behind furniture, or anywhere else in your home.
Some decorators still use bleach to kill mould, and there is some logic in that. Bleach will not penetrate a porous surface, so it makes sense to use it on walls etc. However, bleach only kills surface mould and can make the problem worse. Bleach also breaks down paint, so can cause issues with failing paint down the line.
Like the Universal Kitchen Degreaser, Zinsser have the best solution. Their Mould and Mildew cleaner, available online, will kill spores and mould, but will not affect paint. This is a product I have been using for a long time and absolutely love.
The Best Kitchen Degreaser – by Mike Cupit
What Do Other Decorators Think?
I’m gobsmacked you’ve only been using Zinsser Degreaser for the past couple of weeks Mike. I thought every Decorator used it. I always have a bottle in the van. I often clean the top of kitchen units when I’m painting in those rooms.
Sugar soap is good too. You can use it in more areas etc, but it doesn’t have the strength of Zinsser Degreaser. Oh, one tip; always wear a mask! If not, you’ll get a sore throat (speaking from experience).
I use Zinsser Universal Degreaser a lot, especially in a kitchen. Nothing else works as fast! Just make sure you wear gloves if you have a cut on your hands, or it’ll sting like mad.
I probably wouldn’t use Zinsser Universal Degreaser if I’m working for elderly clients and they’re at home, or if there are small kids around. It’s strong stuff!