I tried the ‘salad dressing’ cleaning hack – and shifted stubborn kitchen grease without harsh chemicals

Kitchens can be messy places, and over time, grease, grime, and dirt can really build up on surfaces. No matter how much we try to keep things clean, stubborn grease seems impossible to remove completely using regular cleaning products. Many cleaning solutions claim to cut through grease, but often fail to deliver satisfactory results without vigorous scrubbing.

Recently, I came across an intriguing cleaning hack that suggested using salad dressing to effortlessly remove baked-on grease and grime. As someone who dislikes using harsh chemical cleaners, I was eager to give this vinegar-based method a try. To my astonishment, this unusual hack worked incredibly well at breaking down and dissolving the thick, sticky grease on my stove, countertops, and range hood with minimal effort.

How Salad Dressing Can Magically Clean Grease

Salad dressings contain acid ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice that help emulsify oil and grease. The acetic acid in vinegar is able to cut through stubborn, built-up grease that other cleaners fail to budge.

When vinegar is combined with oil, it helps break down the fatty acids. The emulsifiers like mustard or eggs in certain salad dressing recipes also help suspend grease in solution so it can be wiped away without smearing. This makes salad dressings surprisingly effective at grease-cutting despite their reputation as a food item!

The thick consistency of dressings allows it to cling to vertical surfaces rather than drip down immediately like other liquids. This gives the acidic ingredients more time to loosen caked-on grease so you can simply wipe it away.

Why I Tried the Salad Dressing Hack

I’m always seeking safer, non-toxic alternatives for cleaning my home, especially in the kitchen where surfaces encounter food. I prefer to avoid harsh chemical fumes and products containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as much as possible.

Commercial degreasers are notoriously full of caustic ingredients that raise health concerns when inhaled or left residue on cooking surfaces. Many contain chemicals like chlorine, ammonia, lye, formaldehyde, phosphates, sulfates, and triclosan.

While helpful for removing stubborn grease, overusing these abrasive cleaners can damage surfaces over time. I much prefer gentle, natural cleaning solutions when possible.

Additionally, I try to be economical and reduce waste in my home. I was drawn to this salad dressing hack as an inexpensive, effective solution that allowed me to repurpose items already in my fridge instead of buying more plastic bottles full of toxic cleaners.

Testing the Hack on My Stovetop

The surface I struggled most to keep grease-free was my glass cooktop stove. Despite regular cleaning, greasy buildup would reappear shortly after scrubbing which required using harsh chemical cleaners.

I was skeptical that salad dressing alone could conquer the caked-on grease accumulated on my stove from cooking. To put this cleaning hack to the test, I grabbed a bottle of Italian dressing from my fridge and got to work.

After removing the grates, I shook the bottle and liberally sprayed the dressing directly onto the glass stovetop surface. I used approximately 1/4 cup of dressing per burner. The tangy vinegar scent permeated the kitchen as I smooshed the pooling dressing around with a cloth to coat the entire surface.

Per the instructions I had read online, I allowed the salad dressing to sit for several minutes to penetrate the greasy film before attempting to wipe it away. During this time, I occupied myself with other minor cleaning tasks in the kitchen.

When I returned to the stove a little later, I was shocked to see the caked-on grease already dissolving before my eyes! The dressing had liquefied the oil and grime so it could be easily swept away with some light wiping.

After letting it sit for 10-15 minutes total, nearly all traces of stuck-on grime and grease vanished with minimal effort. I gave the surface a quick rinse and wipe with water once more for good measure. The glass cooktop looked immaculate once again, and the cleaning process was so easy!

Using the Hack on Other Greasy Areas

Bolstered by my success using salad dressing to clean my stove, I quickly moved on to tackle other greasy areas plaguing my kitchen. The range hood above my stove was next on my list since it inevitably gets splattered with oil and grime when cooking.

Just as before, I spritzed a generous amount of dressing directly onto the metal and let it soak in for a few minutes. The caked-on grease liquefied rapidly, allowing me to simply wipe it away.

I also tried the dressing on my granite countertops. Though granite is less porous than other materials, oil still accumulates in tiny crevices over time. I used about 1⁄4 cup of Italian dressing per 3 square feet of countertop and let it sit. The grease dissolved even quicker on the smooth stone surface.

Within half an hour, every surface in my kitchen was free of sticky oil and looked freshly cleaned. The Italian dressing cut through the built-up grease and grime with incredible ease. I was able to wipe away months of oily buildup without any heavy scrubbing or toxic chemicals!

Benefits of Using Salad Dressing as a Degreaser

After seeing the phenomenal results first-hand, I am sold on the salad dressing cleaning hack for tackling kitchen grease. Here are some of the biggest reasons I’ll be using it again:

  • All-natural ingredients: Standard salad dressings contain relatively few simple ingredients like vinegar, oil, eggs, and spices. There are no harsh chemicals that can be hazardous when cleaning.
  • Budget-friendly: Chances are you already have salad dressing on hand in your refrigerator. At just a few dollars per bottle, it’s very affordable compared to specialty cleaners.
  • Removes grease with minimal effort: The acidic dressing cuts through grease so it can be easily wiped away after soaking briefly. No more endless scrubbing!
  • Safer for delicate surfaces: Salad dressing won’t etch or damage surfaces the way harsh degreasers containing chlorine or lye can over time.
  • Pleasant smell: The fresh, tangy scent of vinegar and spices is far more appealing than chemical fumes from traditional degreasers.
  • Reduces plastic waste: Repurposing a product already on hand is better for the environment than buying more plastic bottles.
  • Kid and pet friendly: Natural dressing won’t harm kids or pets if they are exposed to small amounts left on surfaces accidentally.

For frugal, eco-conscious folks like myself, the salad dressing hack is a no-brainer! It’s a cheap, safe method that works wonders on even the most stubborn grease.

Salad Dressing Degreasing Tips

Through my experiments, I’ve picked up some handy tips for maximizing the effectiveness of salad dressing as a DIY degreaser:

  • Shake well before using – This helps emulsify the oil and vinegar to enhance grease-cutting power.
  • Apply liberally and let sit – Dressings need 10-15 minutes to break down grease. Don’t wipe immediately.
  • Use thicker varieties – Creamy dressings cling better than vinaigrettes. Ranch works well!
  • Spot test first – Make sure acids won’t damage delicate surfaces like limestone or marble.
  • Rinse completely – Wash away any oily dressing residue for a streak-free shine.
  • Use cool water – Warm water can re-congeal oils. Rinsing with cool helps remove residue.
  • Dry with a lint-free cloth – Eliminate streaks and fingerprints for a perfect finish.
  • Store at room temperature – The optimal temperature keeps dressing spreadable. If too cold, run container under warm water before using.

With these simple tips, you can get flawless results using salad dressings to banish grease and grime in your home!

Frequently Asked Questions About the Salad Dressing Degreasing Hack

What types of salad dressings work best as degreasers?

Thick, creamy dressings containing vinegar or lemon juice tend to work best. Ranch, Italian, blue cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette provide excellent grease-cutting action. Avoid thin vinaigrettes.

What surfaces can be cleaned using this hack?

The salad dressing hack is safe for most hard, non-porous surfaces like stainless steel, tile, glass, granite, and more. Avoid using on wood, stone, or etched surfaces. Always spot test first!

How is this method better than commercial degreasers?

Store-bought degreasers rely on caustic chemicals and additives. Salad dressing provides a non-toxic, natural alternative using common household ingredients.

Is it safe to use salad dressing on cookware?

Yes, salad dressing is an effective method for removing baked-on grease from pots, pans, baking sheets, and other cookware. Rinse thoroughly afterward.

Will the vinegar in dressings damage or dull surfaces over time?

When used properly, the small amounts of vinegar in dressings are safe for most surfaces. Always rinse cleaned areas thoroughly to avoid any long-term damage.

What is the best technique for using salad dressing to clean grease?

Shake dressing well and apply a generous amount directly onto greasy areas. Allow 10-15 minutes to penetrate grime before wiping clean with a damp cloth.

How should surfaces be cared for after using the salad dressing hack?

Rinse any oily dressing residue thoroughly with cool water and dry well with a lint-free towel for a streak-free shine. Avoid abrasive pads.

Is there anything that could decrease the effectiveness of this cleaning hack?

Yes, using dressing that has been frozen, expired, or not properly emulsified can reduce cleaning power. Only use freshly shaken, non-separated dressing within expiration date.

Can I use other vinegar- or citrus-based products like apple cider vinegar?

Possibly, but salad dressings work particularly well due to their thicker consistency and emulsifiers that cling to and break down grease. Always spot test first.

My Takeaway From This Surprising Hack

This unusual cleaning hack really opened my eyes to the powerful grease-cutting potential of simple pantry items I already had on hand. While it sounds unconventional, salad dressing can take the place of toxic chemical cleaners to dissolve stubborn grease effortlessly.

Thanks to its natural acidity and thick texture, I was able to banish greasy buildup on every kitchen surface imaginable with minimal effort. This inexpensive trick saved me time, money, and hassle while creating a safer, less toxic environment in my home.

After seeing how well it worked, salad dressing will now be my go-to for routine cleaning and upkeep on greasy areas prone to grimy buildup. I feel good knowing I’m not exposing my family to hazardous chemical fumes now that I have an all-natural, effective alternative.

The satisfaction of tackling deep-set grease in my kitchen without harsh chemicals was so gratifying. Sometimes the best solutions are sitting hidden in your own refrigerator. Don’t knock this zany hack until you try it – your kitchen will be left sparkling!


The notion of using a food item like salad dressing as a powerful grease-cutting cleaner may sound odd, but it genuinely works wonders. Thanks to its vinegar acidity, thick texture, and emulsifying properties, salad dressing can dissolve baked-on kitchen grease that typically requires caustic degreasers.

I was amazed how easily salad dressing tackled all the built-up oil and grime throughout my kitchen. After letting it soak in for just 10-15 minutes, grease wiped away seamlessly with no heavy scrubbing required. This hack provides an all-natural, non-toxic, affordable alternative to traditional chemical cleaners.

If you struggle to keep kitchen surfaces free of sticky grease residue, give the salad dressing cleaning trick a try. You likely have everything you need already in your refrigerator. Just be sure to rinse surfaces thoroughly after use to remove any oily film left behind for a brilliant shine.

I’m thrilled to ditch the toxic cleaners now that I’ve discovered this clever hack. My kitchen has never sparkled quite so bright thanks to the magical degreasing powers of humble salad dressing!