The Easiest Trick for Cleaning Greasy Kitchen Messes that Your Granny Never Told You About

The Easiest Trick for Cleaning Greasy Kitchen Messes that Your Granny Never Told You About

Now now now, don’t go getting all mad at your grannies. I think this is the kind of thing that no one really talks about because they just assume it’s common knowledge. I bet a whole lot of you reading this right now already knew this. I didn’t though, so I’m guessing there are quite a few people out there who don’t know this super-amazing life-changing little tip either. OK, maybe not life-changing, but it’s pretty neat!

This was my range hood after probably several years without a good cleaning. I know I haven’t really cleaned it since we moved in a year and a half ago and who knows how long it wasn’t cleaned before that. Did I just admit that? I mean, I wiped it off and stuff, but I never really got in there underneath where all the gunk is. I just figured it’s getting replaced anyway, so why bother?

It’s gross. That’s why bother.

I had this random thought pop into my head the other day while I was looking at it. I used rubbing alcohol to clean some Sharpie off of something awhile ago and I wondered if it cleaned just as well on other things. Well, on grease it does!

So off to the Google-mobile I went! I had a feeling that this was some kind of cheap old-fashioned cleaning solution that I’d just never known about. I literally Googled “Did our grandmothers used to clean with rubbing alcohol?” Yeah, they did!

How did I not know about this? Seriously. I’ve always scrubbed and scrubbed and scoured and soaked greasy kitchen splatters to try to get them off. With the rubbing alcohol they just kinda melt away with no effort at all.

Here’s my paper towel after I was done:


So, just a cautionary tale first before I go on about how exciting this is. I read that you shouldn’t use this near flame or heat sources because it’s flammable and it may light on fire. Um, so, I have a gas stove. Isn’t the stuff that comes right out of it kinda flammable too? Wouldn’t whatever small residue of alcohol that’s left on the stove after me cleaning it just kind of burn off instantly? I’ve been cleaning my stove with it all week and it’s been just fine. But just so you know, cleaners beware!

Fun fact: It only seems to break down the greasy messes and not the burned on food part. I’m sure there’s some kind of science behind that.

Another fun fact: After only a few moments of wiping, my range hood now looks like this!

Ping! (That’s the sound of the superior shininess of my range hood.) Try it out.

And, if you were clueless about this like I was, you’re welcome!

Psst! If you need a tip for cleaning your microwave too, my friend Jessi has got a great one!


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  1. says

    ha…I didn’t know that trick! And I clean 3 houses (plus my own) every week PLUS I do a Tuesday Cleaning Post every week. You’d think I would have stumbled onto this trick sooner. I’m going to try this on A LOT this week! lol I’d love to link back to your post if I ever mention it, ok? I’m sharing on facebook, too :)

  2. says

    My dil laughed at me when I said this is how I clean the kitchen counters AND all the places in the bathroom people touch in this flu season. Works for me, a grandmother, who had to learn this on her own.

  3. says

    Well! Aren’t you just the smartest cutie-patootie ever? I’m a 60-something great grani (yes, with an I) and I’ve never thought of it! You young whipper-snappers are just so smart!

    P.S. Anyone know what a whipper-snapper is?

  4. Anonymous says

    From Briana in Texas:

    I discovered this accidentally last year when I was re-arranging my doo-dads on top of my kitchen cabinets. They were covered with a greasy-dusty film. The only thing that got that gunk off was the rubbing alcohol. As long as I had it out I went ahead and cleaned the upper cabinets and the stove hood with it. Worked beautifully. Everything looked new again.

  5. says

    Wonderful tip! I’m in my 70’s and have never heard of this.
    As for the flammability part, just be sure your burners aren’t on and if you have pilot lights (most ranges have electronic ignitions now days) be very careful. Alcohol evaporates quickly so residue isn’t a problem after a few minutes.

  6. says

    I didn’t know this about rubbing alcohol, but I’ve heard that peroxide (the kind you use on cuts, etc.) is what doctors’ offices use to sanitize counters & bathrooms, etc. I don’t know how it might work on greasy stuff — it would probably bubble like crazy! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Anonymous says

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  8. says

    I’ve been reading a lot about the wonders of a rubbing alcohol. It doesn’t just disinfect and cleans out germs, but it’s a good stain remover as well! I read somewhere that she used rubbing alcohol to remove the paint stain on her carpet. You know what happened? After rigorously rubbing it, the stain came right of! How great is that? Apparently, there’s more to alcohol than being a disinfectant.

  9. says

    This is the first time I’ve heard of using rubbing alcohol for cleaning grease. Hmm… And yeah, just be careful with the stove and make sure it’s off before you start scrubbing it with the alcohol. I can’t wait to try this one. Thank you for sharing! I’m looking forward to seeing more cleaning tips. – German Zollinger

  10. says

    I love rubbing alcohol for cleaning. It’s the best window cleaner if you have a lot of smudge problem (like on glass doors where the sun shines through and shows every thing). Use it straight up; I put a spray bottle sprayer in mine!

  11. cbitikofer says

    Uhmmmm…. I would turn off the gas stove before cleaning it. We had a neighboring apartment catch fire due to someone doing this. Just be careful.

  12. says

    OK I’m a Great-Grandma and I’ve been using alcohol forever. A 50/50 solution of tap water an alcohol in a spray bottle is my regular cleaning solution. Windows, bathroom surfaces, kitchen and yes I have a gas stove too. Never had a problem but never spray near a flame either. Great to wipe up spots on the floor. Clean the outside of the dishwasher, washer, dryer. I use it to clean inside the refrigerator as well as outside. And if you’re not too sure about your motel room take bottle along and clean the bathroom surfaces and don’t forget the remote. We use it to clean the car windows on trips too.

  13. says

    Please use caution. Isopropyl Alchol fumes can build up and ignite. Also, always test the finish to make sure the alchol doesn’t dissolve the finish or turn it white. My Mom dropped a bottle of alcohol on the bathroom asphalt tile and before she could wipe it up it took all the color out of the tiles.

  14. says

    Do you know if alcohol can be used on stainless steel without damaging the shine? Also, could it be used on greasy cast iron stove grates? I know you can us e ammonia and a garbage bag, but for just little spots of grease on the cast iron that wont come off with soapy water, would alcohol work without changing the color of the cast iron?

    Thank You in Advance,

    • Courtenay says

      It’s great for both of those uses! I wipe down my gas stove grates with it all the time. Just make sure the heat is turned off as the alcohol is highly flammable. As for the stainless steel: Rubbing alcohol is really one of the best shiners that there is. I like to use it on my stainless steel sink if it gets a greasy film on it. Great on fridges too, but I REALLY love to use it on chrome and glass to make them really perfect-looking. Not that it lasts long or happens very often, but when I do get around to that job, it’s the best!

    • Kathy Turner says

      I just stick my oven grates in the dishwasher and they come out like new. They look like cast iron and are heavy but they do not rust! My stove is 3 1/2 yr. old (Frigidaire) I had been cleaning them by hand with a scrubby and soapy water but wasn’t satisfied with the grease removal. Tried Simple Green and other products but still wasn’t happy. One day I just stuck them in the dishwasher and was amazed with the great results. Been doing it that way ever since.

      • Courtenay says

        Aren’t dishwashers the best? I love to stick all my fridge parts in there when they start to get really messy or if there’s a spill. Thanks for sharing your stove trick, Kathy!

  15. Gloria says

    I clean my whole house with alcohol !!!! Works great on tile, linoleum, windows,mirrors,sinks, refrigerator shelves,counters ,been using it for many years and shared with many friends, also use it to kill ants and acids on plants I use it full strength… ENJOY ;))

  16. says

    I keep a spray bottle of 1/2 water 1/2 alcohol With 2 drops of dawn in the kitchen as my go to kitchen cleaner. One of 1/2 alcohol 1/2 water in each bathroom as my daily cleaner and one of straight alcohol for cleaning glass. I love it! Oh and I also love the way it makes everything smell CLEAN


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