I Tried This Viral Cream Cleanser, and You’ve Got to See How It Tackled My Splattered Oven

published Mar 20, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

I’m a huge fan of cleaning products that not only work well (obviously!), but that can also be used in a variety of ways. Popular go-to Bar Keepers Friend is one of my favorites — one of my “desert island” cleaning products — because it works so excellently, and it can be used in multiple ways. I use it for everything from cleaning my sink every night to clearing soap scum from our shower walls

While it excels at removing burnt food off of pans and scuff marks off the walls, Bar Keepers Friend powder isn’t always the easiest to apply. Sure, I can mix it with water to form a paste (adding water is actually an important part of using Bar Keepers Friend properly), but some messes are simply easier to clean with a product that “clings” better. I know there’s Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser, which is great, but the multipurpose-loving part of me has a hard time buying a dry and wet version of the same product — although there’s certainly nothing wrong with that! (The powder is far less expensive and is easy to sprinkle on flat items like sinks and pans, so I don’t plan to give that up.) 

When I saw a TikTok from cleaning guru Vanesa Amaro touting the (new-to-me) soft cleanser Cif Lemon Cream, I was intrigued. A cream cleanser that can make extended contact with vertical surfaces without me having to mix a paste? Tell me more, I thought. It also looked like it could potentially work better than other cream cleansers I’d tried before.

I had just the spot at home where I wanted to test out this cream cleanser: the really dirty wall of my speed oven (a small unit that functions as both a microwave and a convection oven). The unit had grease splatters that repeatedly baked onto the back wall, and getting my powdered Bar Keepers Friend paste back there was a chore.

To test the Cif, I poured it onto a scouring pad and rubbed it over the affected area. I scrubbed a bit and some of the marks came off, but not all, so I decided to leave the cleanser sitting on the back wall for a while. When I came back to it and scrubbed some more, even the most stubborn stains began to lift. Some areas needed many vigorous passes of the scrub pad, but even they loosened eventually. 

Credit: Shifrah Combiths
Credit: Shifrah Combiths

I can’t say whether the Cif is better than another cream cleanser you may prefer, but I’m now convinced that a cream cleanser is definitely a worthy addition to my cleaning arsenal. I’m sure that it did a better job than a powdered cleanser would have in the same scenario and it appears that is because of its ability to sit on top of caked-on dirt and penetrate it more, making it far easier to remove.

Buy: Cif Lemon Cream, $9.85