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    22 Low-Effort Ways To Improve Your Kitchen

    These recipes don't call for a ton of elbow grease.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Instead of replacing your whole sink get a bottle of Hope's Perfect Sink Cleaner and Polish that'll work to restore, remove stains, and repel water from your brushed stainless steel, cast-iron, porcelain, Corian, and composite surfaces.

    A customer review photo showing the before and after results of using the sink cleaner

    Promising review: "Are you embarrassed for friends, relatives, and your mother-in-law to see your kitchen sink? Is your sink situation affecting your well-being? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, you may be in luck. Hope's Perfect Sink provides relief to those afflicted with sink stain shame. I spent about 10 minutes cleaning and polishing (note that it does take some elbow grease) and I now have a sink that I can be proud of. As a matter of fact, I find excuses to walk past my sink several times a day just to admire the shine. Even if my wife and kids roll their eyes whenever I talk about my sink polishing adventures, I think they secretly love it too. If your sink is in need of some love, just shell out the bucks and buy a bottle of this stuff. You won't regret it." —Rick B

    Get it from Amazon for $3.97+ (available in five pack sizes).

    2. If your dishwasher is looking a little rough, try a cleaner capable of getting deep down in there to dissolve and remove odor-causing residue, get rid of lime and mineral buildup, and basically make your dishwasher look and work like new. Best part is — it requires no work! Just plop one of the tablets in and run a regular cycle.

    A customer review before and after photo of their dishawasher

    Promising review: "We moved into our house in late January and the previous owners were lazy. Upon opening the dishwasher you got hit with a 'yuck' smell. I tried a measuring cup filled with white vinegar, it helped but the smell was still there. I saw these on a BuzzFeed list. I ordered and threw one in our dishwasher without any dishes and ran it. The smell is gone!!! These are a great, inexpensive, and easy way to clean your dishwasher for sure." —Amazon Customer

    Get a pack of six tablets from Amazon for $5.99.

    3. Don't have the energy (or funds) to replace your backsplash? Try a handy grout pen – with a little elbow grease, it can get your stained grout lines on your tiled walls looking like new again. Its formula is mold-resistant and one pen can cover up to 60 meters of grout area.

    Just a note, this does take some elbow grease and time to actually do (one of my colleagues did it to her bathroom and it took her a few hours) but in comparison to actually regrouting your whole floor — this is a total time-saver.

    Promising review: "I just bought my first house and because of COVID I have not had the funds I wanted to fix it up. This pen was cheap and the backsplash in my new kitchen was an eyesore. I wasn't expecting much because of the price but I am absolutely stunned. My kitchen looks so much better! It was easy to use, no odor, and quick! I did two coats because the color was dark brown. Some places I did more but I didn't mind doing it because it was actually really satisfying. I used one pen for the area plus some. Definitely recommend this product!" —Kim

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99+ (available in two sizes and four colors).

    4. Or forget painting your grout and use an acid-free grout cleaner that goes in deep to get even the dirtiest, grossest crevices and leave you with brand new **looking** grout.

    Promising review: "I bought it to clean the tiles and grout in the kitchen. My boyfriend inherited this house from his mother and the tiles and grout had not been cared for properly in years. I knew the grout was supposed to be white because of other areas that had been covered with rugs. I did as the instructions said — sprayed on and let sit for a few minutes. I used a wire brush on the grout and a softer scrub brush on the tile. WOW! I’m super impressed at how well this works! The tiles look brand new and bright! The grout is CLEAN! The cleaner cut through years of dirt, grease, and oil! Also, for those of you with sensitive noses, this stuff hardly has a smell at all." —AmazonAddict

    Get it from Amazon for $14.98+ (available in a varity of size options).

    5. Keep your fridge looking like something out of a magazine (while making things easier to find) with a six-piece pantry organization set that's not only great for your fridge but your cupboard or any space really.,

    Promising review: "I love these things so much. I just got my first apartment with my boyfriend and it looked so messy in our little fridge and now it looks really appealing and everything is easy to get to. The quality of them is so good, I’m honestly impressed they’re very sturdy and the egg holder is so cute and holds 14 eggs!" —Faith Sperry

    Get the set from Amazon for $26.99.

    6. Give yourself some extra counter space by installing an in-drawer bamboo block to keep your knives safely organized and accessible. Oh, and when I say "install" I mean just plopping it in your drawer.

    An open drawer with the bamboo block installed

    Promising review: "This works great for my knives! I had a universal block on my countertop and 1) I hate stuff on my counter and 2) I hated shoving knives into the black filling. This works so perfectly, hides the blades completely, they fit, easy to put in and take out, and it looks nice. If you have an extra drawer buy this!" —Crista

    Get it from Amazon for $26.42+ (available for 12 or 16 knives).

    7. And avoid the aforementioned caked-on mess with a set of nonstick oven liners — you just slide them in and it'll save you hours of clean-up. Best part is, they can be cleaned on the top rack of your dishwasher.

    An oven with liners protecting the bottom

    Promising review: "I expected to be happy, but I'm thrilled! Each mat is pliable and fits the entire width of my standard oven. When the mat is against the back wall, it extends up to but not over the front lip of the floor. On first use, pizza cheese and sauce dripped onto the front edge of the mat and onto that uncovered lip. The baked-on cheese and sauce slid right off the mat! Effortlessly! After I cleaned up the lip, I layered a second mat to cover the lip. These mats are so great that I almost want food to drip on them so I can show off how wonderful they are." —Artset Outset

    Get a pack of three from Amazon for $12.99.

    8. If your kitchen floors or cabinets are wood (and in need of some love) try a restorative Howard Products Wood Polish & Conditioner that uses beeswax to help give luster to any wood surface — floors, tables, legs...whatever! If you're looking to bring new life to your worn floors you might want to try this before calling on some professionals., Amazon

    This product does take a lot of elbow grease but considering the alternative would be replacing your floors or paying the big bucks to have a professional do it — that doesn't seem so bad.

    Promising review: "Used this on 30-year-old wooden kitchen cabinets. These cabinets have not been regularly oiled and cleaned with wood cleaner and the ones beneath the sink suffer from the inevitable water damage associated with that location. In an effort to spruce them up a bit without resorting to the expense of new cabinets, I thought to try this product because of all the rave reviews as well as convincing photos. Initially, when you put the product on, it looks significantly better. I was skeptical about how it would look after I wiped it off. When I did, however, there was very little to remove. The wood must’ve been extremely dry because it did absorb quite a bit. I slopped a lot on there too. The resulting finish looked richer and deeper than before. It’s already substantially improved the look and the worn areas are no longer noticeable. It’s clearly worth considering if you have an older wooden piece with a finish you’d like to quickly and easily improve yourself or if you have a similar situation with your cabinets." —Shopper X

    Get it from Amazon for $8.98.

    9. Get the subway tile backsplash you've been wanting with this peel-and-stick version to give your kitchen (or bathroom) an upgrade that doesn't require any actual tiling work.,

    Promising review: "I have planned to install a backsplash in our kitchen for a long time now but I hate tiling and grouting. I did a ton of research on vinyl peel and stick tile and knew it would be the best product for me. No mess, quick install, don't have to seal any grout, and overall a simple process. I watched a lot of install videos and purchased a cutting mat, a good box cutter, and a straight edge. The most tedious part is overlapping the grout lines, you do have to be a perfectionist and patient for this part or the tiles will look off. I knew I would be caulking around all the edges so I didn't focus on making the edge tiles straight because if they were uneven at the bottom they would be covered by caulk but you have to keep them as level as possible. Overall the project took about half a day and I do get compliments on it." —xliu

    Get a 10-pack of 12x12 panels from Amazon for $29.99.

    10. Or go with a little more color with a peel-and-stick faux-gel tile backsplash that's mold-, heat-, and moisture-resistant.


    Promising review: "We did a kitchen facelift this summer, repainting and making everything look fresh. We were looking at The Home Depot version of these, which are more than double the price. We decided to go for these instead and they are amazing!! I put them up myself in about two hours. I did buy the adhesive spray just in case but it wasn’t needed, even for the few I had to peel off and re-stick to center correctly. These aren’t too difficult to apply but definitely require patience. It is 100% worth the buy for a DIY affordable update!" —Hope Consilvio

    Get a 10-pack from Amazon for $32.53.

    11. Finally organize your spices with customizable liners designed to hold them in place and to be cut to perfectly fit them into your drawers.


    Pop them right out when you need to clean them!

    Promising review: "This is one of my favorite things I've ever purchased from Amazon! The fact that they are so customizable allows you to cut them for any drawer size! I think this will be my go-to gift for all of my friends who love cooking as much as I do! Freeing up cabinet space and having something that can easily be rinsed off in the sink makes this a for-sure buy!" —momonono

    Get a pack of six on Amazon for $16.99 (available in two colors).

    12. If your kitchen crevices could use a good scrubbing but you just don't have the energy for it, try a hard-working jar of The Pink Stuff — a cleaning paste designed to get off any and every stuck, caked, and cooked-on mess you can think of.

    A customer review before and after photo showing the results of using The Pink Stuff on their sink

    Promising review: "I need this in bulk!! I have tried so many cleaning solutions to get out hard cooking stains on my stovetop and nothing worked! This stuff took it right out without a problem!!" —Micaela Gunderson

    Get it from Amazon for $4.49+ (available in four pack sizes).

    13. Try a bottle of Therapy Premium Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish, a plant-based cleaner that'll remove streaks, smudges, and fingerprints from any stainless-steel surface. Plus it has a lovely lavender scent.

    A customer review photo showing before and after using the polish on their oven

    Includes a large microfiber cloth.

    Promising review: "I bought this to keep our new stainless fridge clean. I'd tried Formula 409 and Windex, but they both left streaks. This stuff is great! Not only does it clean and polish, but it also removed the sticker residue from the price tag and leaves NO streaks! I was worried keeping a stainless fridge looking new would be difficult, but this makes it so easy. Spray on and use the microfiber towel to wipe with the 'grain' of the metal, or even just use small circular movements, it doesn't matter either way comes up shiny. It doesn't leave any residue and resists fingerprints. So happy I found this product." —Amber Morales

    Get it from Amazon for $16.95.

    14. Let there be light...on your kitchen cabinets with a set of Alexa and Google Home voice-controlled LED Lights that are easily applied under and above your cabinets and that can shine in up to 16 million color options. MILLION.

    A customer review photo of their cabinets with lighting above and below

    Promising review: "We love our new strip lights so much that I decided to buy a second set. The first one was installed above the kitchen cabinets where we placed some artwork and vases. The second set was placed under the kitchen island top. Grandkids love speaking to Alexa to change the colors of the lights. Set up was extremely easy and it works with the Alexa app." —junin07

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in two sizing options).

    15. And if you're looking for another way to update your cabinets, try a one-day cabinet makeover kit to give your kitchen that just-remodeled feeling for pennies versus what it would cost to replace them.

    A before and after customer review photo of their wood cabinets painted white

    Promising review: "Amazing! Amazing! Amazing. Did take more than one coat though. My cabinets were bare wood and I still needed a couple of coats. (Five to be exact, but that was just me being extra.) My kitchen is medium-sized, not too big, and it only took up one can. But I still went over a couple more times just to get a nice coating. I also let it sit for some days and saw the wood was sucking up the paint in some areas so I went over it again. The project ideally does take one day like the promotion video says, but one day as in 24 hours. This took my kitchen from looking like a cheap rental apartment kitchen to a high-quality kitchen with just this paint and new knobs. The paint is perfect for cabinets — it's not too thick, so you still see the wood grains. It comes with EVERYTHING you need. I didn't have to buy a thing. The project is super easy, paint dries fast, and I did it at first by removing the cabinets but it wasn't necessary at all. Just make sure you don't leave any dripping because it would make your cabinets look cheap. I would recommend EVERYONE to purchase this and give your cabinets a chance before making a big investment in new cabinets. Wood is wood and it can be refinished." —Brandon Moronta

    Get it from Amazon for $69.95 (also available in multiple sizes).

    16. While you're at it, get this low VOC, low odor, water-based acrylic DIY paint kit so you can upgrade your countertops to faux granite without the stress of having to replace them.

    The kit covers 35 square feet (16 linear feet of standard 24" wide counters).

    Promising review: "I found out about this kit a few weeks ago. I redid my mother's countertops first and was so pleased with the results, I bought a second kit and did mine this weekend. I am not a crafty person, so if I can do it, anyone can. Just be sure you follow the step-by-step instructions on the included DVD. They came out great!" —Sarah W. Fallon

    Get it from Amazon for $79.95+ (available in three colors).

    17. Upgrade your appliances with a pretty hard to screw up liquid stainless-steel fridge kit that'll help transform your giant icebox without the cost of actually buying a new one.

    A before and after photo showing their fridge updated with the chrome paint

    Promising review: "Absolutely LOVE this liquid stainless-steel paint! I had a black textured fridge, so I was nervous about how it would look, but it turned out great! Very easy to use. I removed the door handles (and primed them, as recommended, before painting), removed the bottom grill and snapped off the water/ice dispenser (I did not paint them). Cleaned the fridge and started rolling on the paint, then used the 11-inch foam tool to make it pretty! I did five coats (but really could have stopped at three). Then did three coats of the topcoat. I really did not notice a difference between one and three coats of the topcoat. I did all sides and the top of the fridge and still have enough left over for my double oven. Everyone has been impressed!" —robert

    Get it from Amazon for $66.73.

    18. Freshen up your stove top with a bottle of specially formulated Bar Keepers Friend Multipurpose Cooktop Cleaner to really get deep down in there and remove stubborn hard water mineral deposits, grease, and grime while restoring shine.

    A customer review photo showing their stove top before and after using the cleaner

    Promising review: "This stuff is worth every penny. My kitchen appliances look brand new! Easily removes old baked-on grease from stove and pots and pans. I’m most pleased with the stains it took out of the bathtub. I had been battling dark stains in the tub since I moved in my house two years ago. I tried everything! This product removed the stains almost effortlessly. I even used it on some of my jewelry." —AlleyCat

    Get it from Amazon for $11.67.

    19. Or if you have an electric stove try a cooktop cleaner that'll have it sparkling without damaging it.


    Promising review: "Let me say this — there is nothing out there that can clean your electric cooktop surface better than this! PERIOD! If you have an electric stove, please do yourself a favor and just buy this. I use a regular paper towel to do the cleaning and no matter how dirty, messy, stained, or greased the stovetop gets, this will make it BRAND-NEW every single time!" —ItsJustBlah

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

    20. Don't struggle with your garbage disposal, just try a super bubbly disposer foaming drain and pipe cleaner that'll safely deodorize it while it scrubs away any tough grunge or buildup that causes your sink to back up and maybe even smell a little bit. It comes in a biodegradable packet that you can just drop in.,

    Promising review: "Made hard water spots disappear, cleaned both sides of my sinks, and freshened up the nasty smelling disposal. Don’t know how I lived without it for so long." —KristinJA

    Get a bag of four from Amazon for $5.59+ (also available in a bag of 24).

    21. And while you're at it a wooden peg board insert for your cabinet drawers will let you secure your dishes in an organized, safe, and completely efficient manner.


    Promising review: "Moved into a new home with less space for display of dishes. I had to place my plates and such in a drawer. This pegboard separates are the best. Sturdy, easy to assemble, and adjust. My drawer was not a size offered, but they were easy to have cut to size. Highly recommend!" —Dorothy C. Vuono

    Get it from Amazon for $55.99+ (available in three sizes).

    22. Get rid of the recessed lighting you have in your kitchen with a super simple conversion kit and finally install the pendant lighting you've been eyeing.

    A before and after photo showing the changes made with the conversion kit in someones kitchen

    It has an about six-step installation process and includes all the parts you'll need. The brace adjusts to any size between 4” and 6” and fits the standard base sockets. They can be used on sloped ceilings up to 45˚, works in damp locations, has a 50 lbs. maximum load rating, and is paintable with no visible screws or hardware.

    Promising review: "This was a pretty easy installation considering the work is on the ceiling. I've been wanting to change out the two can lights over my sink for years, so I started investigating the easiest possible way to do so. Ran across this item, and watched the video on YouTube. What the heck, I thought! Rewatched the video before installation, looked at the directions on both the converter kit and the pendant light, gathered the necessary tools described in all instructions, and set upon my mission. The hardest part (for me) was getting the self-tapping screws started. I'm pretty pleased with the outcome, I must say! By the way, I'm a 55-year-old female who has worked at a bank all of my life. Yes! It was that easy. I would highly recommend it." —Trisch Reeve

    Get it from Amazon for $17.57.

    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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