Skip To Content
    Updated on Jul 20, 2020. Posted on Jul 18, 2020

    27 Problem-Solving Products For Old Kitchens

    Everything you need to take care of the smells and stains that are probably older than you are.

    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. A set of dishwasher cleaning tablets you can pop into a cycle with your dirty dishes to wipe out all the extra grime and that funky smell that's been manifesting in your old dishwasher for who even knows how long now.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "We have very hard water in this area, and though my dishwasher is supposed to be self-cleaning when you use the right detergent (which I have been), it's been getting gunkier and gunkier and a couple of months ago the rinse aid dispenser stopped filling properly. When I looked that up, the online advice said that can happen if it gets too dirty and gave advice on running the dishwasher with vinegar and other tricks. But I saw this and, being pleased with Affresh's machine cleaners I'd used on my clothes washer, decided to try it. It worked AMAZINGLY, in ONE try. My rinse aid dispenser immediately started working good as new again, and my dishwasher is the cleanest it's been since we got it! Love it!" —Mouriana

    Get a six-pack from Amazon for $5.99.

    2. A popular pan shelf to instantly organize all those old cabinets that are basically just an unhelpful void of space you keep shoving things into and hoping they don't fall back out on your feet.

    A rack holding up five different sizes pans in a cabinet
    Amazon

    Promising review: "We have old cupboards, without the drawers that pull out to make access easier. Before we got this rack, our pots and pans were a jumble in a cupboard beneath the cook top. We have so much more space now that the skillets are stacked on this rack. A side benefit is that the nonstick pans don't get scratched because they aren't stacked inside one another. We love it." —Susan E.

    Get it from Amazon for $14.87.

    3. A foaming garbage disposal cleaner you can plop into your sink, run a little water on, and let its blue magic fizz its way up to the top while clearing out all the gunk in your ancient sink in one go.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "These are amazing! I was skeptical at first but I followed the directions (which are super easy) and was grossed out and satisfied at the same time to see the gunk that was removed. You put the entire packet down your disposal (I read that twice too) and magic happens in under two minutes! That is what I call powerful and successful cleaning! The scent is super clean and light with a hint of lemon. These will definitely be a cleaning staple for me." —KPITT

    Get a four-pack from Amazon for $7.02.

    4. A handy fridge deodorizer to finally get rid of that slightly ~off~ smell your fridge has had since the day you inherited it, no matter how many times you went to clown town cleaning it out.

    A white deodorizer on a fridge shelf
    Amazon

    This deodorizer lasts up to six months, and also helps keep produce fresher for longer. The company claims it's six times more effective than baking soda — a ton of reviewers mentioned they'd tried the baking soda method and failed, but that this worked like a charm!

    Promising review: "OMG THIS THING ACTUALLY WORKS!!! I moved into my new apartment two months ago. When I first moved in I opened the freezer and fridge to sanitize since I have no idea if the previous tenants did, and boy oh boy when I opened it up... I got smacked in the face with the smell of old moldy food! I bleached it and decided to wait a day. Tried again the next day and the smell was still there. I bought some baking soda and put it in the fridge thinking it would solve it. Welp, it DIDN’T! Tried charcoal, tried taking bits apart and deep cleaning them and nothing worked. I got the two-pack and as soon as they came this morning I placed one in the fridge and one in my freezer. In an hour I noticed a difference. Went out to run some errands and when I got back home tonight I opened the fridge and noticed I couldn’t smell anything coming from it!" —Zoraida Gunter

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

    5. A heavy duty grout cleaner you only need to let sit for 10 minutes before you can slide the dirt and grime off all those sneaky crevices of your old kitchen tiles.

    A tiled floor with dirty grouts and an after pic of the grouts completely white
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I never leave reviews on Amazon but this grout cleaner definitely deserved a review. I tried three other cleaners before buying Grout-eez and they did nothing but waste my time and money. Grout-eez got my grout perfectly clean in no time, plus it was easy to use and no odor. I'll never use another grout cleaner." —Tyler

    Get it from Amazon for $19.95.

    6. A bottle of Bar Keepers Friend soft cleansing liquid and scouring cloth to quickly take care of even long-term, caked-on stains on everything from steel appliances to pans to stove tops to sinks — *without* scratching surfaces.

    A BuzzFeed editor's stove with burnt remnants caked on it and an after picture of the same stove with all the stains gone
    Kayla Suazo/BuzzFeed

    Psst — people also mention using this on their showers, tubs, and bathroom sinks!

    Promising review: "I bought this product to clean old grime in cooking and baking pots and pans. With time, some of the fats and oils have baked into the pans and were impossible to clean. After just one cleaning with Bar Keepers Friend the pans became significantly cleaner. There are not spick and span, but much, much better. I am satisfied with this product and am pretty sure that it will continue to work a little better every time." —Carlos

    Read BuzzFeed's full review of Bar Keeper's original formula and the soft cleansing liquid for more deets!

    Get a bottle + a scouring sponge from Amazon for $17.99.

    7. Or a glass and ceramic cookware cleanup kit that comes with heavy-duty scrubber, a razor blade, *and* a cleaner specifically designed to get at those caked-on stains, so you'll finally know what your stove was supposed to look like all along.

    A smooth top stove with stains and deposits and an "after" pic of it without any stains
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I’d almost given up on trying to clean up my flat-top stove, but this product has given me hope again. It’s super easy and fast. You just scrape off things first, than apply the liquid, buff it with the scrub they give you, and wipe/scrape clean. It took less than 10 minutes and looked great! I recommend using this regularly on the stove." —Shopper

    Get it from Amazon for $11.48.

    8. A six-outlet wall charger designed specifically for larger appliances, so you can finally use your electric kettle, toaster, *and* air fryer at the same time without having to fight for the only two outlets in your kitchen.

    A reviewer image of six chargers and two USB chargers in the lit outlet
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I was constantly having to unplug something in my kitchen to make room for charging my iPhone or watch or using the slow cooker or any of the other half dozen things I wanted to use at the most convenient spot in the house...the kitchen counter. My 140-year-old house has a distinct shortage of outlets in the kitchen, so this product looked like a good option. It exceeded my expectations, and has made my electronic life much simpler. Features that I love other than the excellent number of outlet options it gives are that it screws into place (so it doesn’t pull out of the outlet when you try to unplug something), the versatility of having the USB ports, and the light feature that I appreciate a stupid amount. Yeah, the light switch is right next to it on the wall, but who wants to flip on a light just to plug something in? So basically the price was great, it arrived quickly, and it looks nice. I have a cordless phone plugged in, plus an Echo Show, my Apple Watch charger, my iPad, and an iPhone plugged in, with outlets to spare. I’ll run out of counter space before I run out of outlets." —HappyCarnivore

    Get it from Amazon for $19.97.

    9. A small kitchen cart to help with all the spillover appliances you might not have room on your counter for, particularly if your kitchen doesn't have a dishwasher and your drying rack is taking up a ton of space.

    A three-shelf metal kitchen cart with wheels on the bottom
    Amazon

    TBH, getting a kitchen cart in my teensy studio was a game-changer. I prop a microwave and an electric kettle on it and use the rest of the space to store things I use more often, since I am a short human and my old cabinets were very much built for a tall one.

    Promising review: "I ordered this rack for my daughter whose over-crowded kitchen counter was limiting her food preparation space. This 3 shelf rack with wheels was the perfect solution for her situation. The rack easily held her Instant Pot, Vitamix blender and Hamilton Beach food processor. The rack rolls easily underneath her counter without issue." —illustratedman

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99+ (available in three sizes).

    10. A set of discreet, dimmable strip lights so you can actually, uh, see the knife you're using to chop veggies — as cute as old kitchens can be, the lack of overhead lighting in some of them is no joke.

    Strip lights on cabinet brightening a kitchen counter top
    Amazon

    You can either install it with included double adhesive that won't damage cabinets, or with simple screws. A rotating dimmer switch lets you choose the exact brightness. Plus, you can choose to connect the lights for one large strip, or keep all three of them separate for different areas of the kitchen.

    Promising review: "Just as described. Very easy (and I mean very easy!) to install. Love the dimming effect so you can choose what brightness you want the lights at. No built in timer but you can put on your own. Crisp and clear lighting. Perfect for kitchens or displays. Very slender so hides very well. The lights attach to each other in order to work so you can just use one or as many as you like. Packaged very well and comes with plenty parts, screws, stickers, etc. Would definitely recommend!!" —Tabitha

    Get a set of three from Amazon for $29.99.

    11. A collapsible drying rack for your kitchen sink that's perfect for anyone who doesn't have a dishwasher, or anyone whose old kitchen doesn't have room to spare — not only will this dry dishes, but it's heat-resistant, so you can pop hot pots and pans on it while you're cooking as well.

    The drying rack extended over a sink
    Amazon

    Promising review: "My dishwasher is on the fritz, so this came into my life at a great time. I’ve had it for a week and don’t know how I got along without it. It’s so handy, and easy to roll up part or all of it when you need to access part or all of the sink bowl. I have a standard double bowl stainless drop-in sink, I measured carefully to get the right size so it exactly covers the entire one bowl. It actually makes my ordinary sink look a little more high end, so I’ll probably leave it out all the time! Would rate 10 stars if I could!" —joan purdie

    Get it from Amazon for $15.97.

    12. Or an adjustable over-the-sink drying rack for those of us who have more than a few dishes to take care of, and might want some extra sneaky storage on the side.

    A black over the sink drying rack with different compartments for plates, bowls, cutlery, soap, cutting boards, and even fruit
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This cleared up so much space on the counter that previously had our dish rack on it. Having it above our sink works out great and we’re very happy with the durability of it." —Breeze Woodward

    Get it from Amazon for $89.99.

    13. A bottle of wood polish that will make your all your scuffed-up cabinets and hardwood floors look brand spanking new, even if you're pretty sure the damage is older than you are.

    A damaged wood cabinet in a before pic, and an after pic without any scratches or wear and tear
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Our kitchen cabinets had the finish nearly worn off of them as well as many scratch marks from a dog that previously lived here. It made them look dirty and faded and gave our whole kitchen a very gross feel. I had my doubts that something could work this well, but saw some people's photos and thought I would give it a try. It really does work! It doesn't remove the scratches, but blends the colors so you can't see them as well. It was very easy to apply. Just wipe it on with the grain of the wood and then wipe it dry. The results are immediate. It's very satisfying to see something old and faded come to life again. I've refinished wood furniture before and know how time consuming that can be. I wish I'd known about this stuff a long time ago! You can see in the before photo, I just did one cabinet door (the left one) and got a picture so you could see the comparison side by side." —Jessica

    Get a bottle from Amazon for $9.68 (available in nine finishes).

    14. A fume-free oven cleaner that will loosen up all those ancient pizza roll stains left by you and every past tenant overnight. Bonus: it's gentle enough that you don't need protective gloves to use it.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Oh man, this stuff is awesome! I sprayed and left it on overnight. I had no idea what to expect. I took a paper towel and started wiping out the oven. The grime just melted away. It was awesome! I am VERY pleased!" —Ksgirl

    Get it from Amazon for $6.44.

    15. A rechargeable electric lighter for those of us whose pilot lights are not so trustworthy in our gas stoves anymore — this is a much safer option than matches, and way more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than getting long-stemmed gas lighters.

    A reviewer lighting a candle with the lighter
    amazon.com

    I just got this and use it on my gas stove at home — it makes this lil' electric current at the tip, and lights the burner up as easily and seamlessly as the long-stemmed gas one I was using before!

    Promising review: "I have a gas kitchen range and a gas space heater. I don't leave pilot lights on because they waste gas. I have been using kitchen matches to light the stove, which means buying matches. And, lighting the gas heater with matches is somewhat dangerous since you have to get the thing lit as soon as you turn the gas on. The Tropro electric arc lighter is more convenient and it is safer. The only flame is the little arc between the electrodes. Turn the lighter on, turn the gas on and the stove/heater lights instantly. No burning your fingers on the match." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

    16. A silicone ice mold so you'll stop having ice cube-related FOMO anytime you see a friend with one built into their fridge. This one pops out ice cubes efficiently and quietly, *and* comes with a lid to prevent spilling and make it easier to store in your freezer.

    The ice mold, which makes hexagonal shaped ice
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Flexible and easy to clean, these trays make many small little cubes. Perfect. They are exactly as I had hoped they would be. I like smaller cubes much better than the big boxy type. The trays have lids to make stacking easy and are very clean. The best part is how easily the cubes are released. Terrific purchase." —C. Lee

    Get a two-pack from Amazon for $12.74.

    17. A faucet caddy, because there's no way in heck you're going to risk your already grime-prone older counters by propping a sponge holder there — if there's even space on your counters to begin with.

    A whtie holder for a sponge and scrubber that hangs off the faucet of the sink
    Amazon

    Promising review: "We had been keeping our sponge and dish soap in a countertop caddy that just wasn’t working with our new sink configuration. I’d had bad experiences with the suction-cup style holders in the past, but this holder is different. Not only is it a snap (literally!) to install around the base of the faucet, I realized that it is magnetic on the bottom to help secure it to any stainless steel sink and keep it from sliding around. It fits a (pretty large) sponge and a dish scraper. It also has a little compartment for a small scrub brush. Best of all, it allows the sponge to dry properly and doesn’t seem to hold water to lead to any gross buildup. I completely recommend this product!" —Colette Dean

    Get it from Amazon for $9.18.

    18. A bottle of Goo Gone for banishing all the soap residue and the mysterious gooey, sticky, tough-to-scrub stains that you just got so used to seeing that you can't remember a time they weren't there.

    amazon.com

    People also swear by this for removing annoying stickers from new products, too!

    Promising review: "I have been using Goo Gone since it was first introduced and every year I find new uses for it. I keep a large bottle in the garage for cleaning tools and removing adhesives, and nothing works better. I've only recently started using it as an all-purpose kitchen cleaner, and it has taken over most of my kitchen and bathroom jobs. Newest use — quickly and easily cuts through the soapy residue left behind in the bathroom sink and shower." —24karats

    Get it from Amazon for $7.88.

    19. A set of stick-on cabinet and drawer bumpers to muffle the harsh noise of old wood banging around when they open and close.

    A set of four transparent penny-sized door bumpers
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Work just as promised. My husband without thinking about it always slams the cabinet doors. It’s been driving me crazy and prompted me to find a solution without reinstalling new hinges. These little pads have reduced the noise by 95%. Love it! Worth every penny. Took me a whole 10 minutes to do my entire kitchen and we have a lot of cabinets. Thanking for giving me my sanity back!" —MeL

    Get a set of 120 from Amazon for $6.99.

    20. Plus a tube of door grease you can use to minimize the unholy SQUAWKKK that alerts every single person in the house whenever you're trying to grab some Cheetos from the cabinet.

    A tube of white lithium grease
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I bought this after looking up how to fix a squeaky door hinge the article said not to use WD-40 because it its only a temporary fix and they said to use this product. I used it on the door I wanted to fix, WOW it is amazing — the door makes no noise other than the latch and the air it pushes. NO MORE SQUEAK! I then used this on every door hinge in my house — seven doors, three hinges per door, so 21 hinges! And I still have 95% of the tube still left (I was being very generous with each hinge.)" —AmazonDOG

    Get it from Amazon for $4.99.

    21. An air fryer that will heat up instantly and reliably for small batches of things you don't want to wrangle with your old oven to make — particularly if yours, like mine, for some reason doesn't have any temperatures on the dial. (Big sigh.)

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Y'all, this isn't just handy for old kitchens, but for just about everything — it can cook so many different dishes using the power of rapid air technology that it'll spoil you for other methods of cooking forever. Perfectly crisped french fries, veggies, and chicken wings in less than 20 minutes — no oil required.

    Promising review: "I was nervous to use this at first but it ended up being so easy to operate! I use on a day to day basis. This makes my life so much easier, I love not having to wait for the oven to preheat just to warm up so food. I just stick it in the air fryer and it not only heats it up quick, I swear it makes the food taste even better!!" —Samantha S.

    Get it from Amazon for $64.59+ (available in four colors).

    22. An odor-eliminating candle, because YIKES do cooking smells and smoke have a way of lingering in older kitchens. If you make bacon for breakfast you're eating it in the air for the rest of the week.

    Two white Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day candles
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I use this product daily for an hour or so. I had an unfortunate incident where beef was burned and my entire house smelled horrible, but I quickly vented my home and lit this candle and it did wonders in clearing up and freshening up my home! I have continued to use this candle and it almost neutralized the odors and I can no longer smell the burnt food! I totally recommend this candle!" —Cristina Miranda

    Get a pack of two from Amazon for $13.96 (available in three scents).

    23. A moth trap for your old pantry, so you never again have to wage war with them for the sake of your hard-earned Ritz crackers.

    A reviewer image of moths stuck to a triangle shaped paper trap
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Dr Killigan’s works better than any of the other moth traps that I have tried. Each year I’m amazed by how many moths have been caught in the traps. I have an old house with a moth problem and can’t imagine the amount of clothing damage that I would have had if we weren’t using Dr Killigan’s. I use the traps for pantry moths but have found that they work beautifully for clothing moths." —Elizabeth Prokop

    Get a set of six from Amazon for $15.97.

    24. A set of two towel hooks you can easily install yourself in outdated kitchens that never got the convenience memo.

    Towel hooks attached to a washing machine
    Amazon

    It comes with self-adhesive tape and screws, so you can install them whichever way you'd prefer.

    Promising review: "I was tired of safety pinning my towels over the oven handle and saw these and decided to try these. I positioned these on each side of the oven door, popped a towel in each, and absolutely love it! Definitely worth buying. Delivered quickly and in perfect packaging. Thanks for a great product." —julesbun

    Get a set of two from Amazon for $12.89.

    25. An air-tight pantry-organizing container set so you can make the most of the cramped space in your out-of-date cabinets without cereal boxes constantly falling on your head (curse you, Tony the Tiger).

    Five transparent, stackable pop-lock lid containers with two small, two medium, and one large
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I LOVE these bins. I live in an OLD house that I am slowly updating. These bins look great and keep out the bugs (found in most old homes especially when renovating). Happy, happy." —Barb

    Get a set of five from Amazon for $49.95.

    26. A waterproof under-the-sink kitchen mat designed to catch leaky water from pipes with its raised sides and water-trapping grooves, so you don't have to worry about your old kitchen plumbing wrecking your cabinets.

    A model cleaning the grooves of the mat under a sink
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I rarely look really closely under the sink between the multiple bottles and items, so small leaks, drops or spills can go unseen until they become damage that needs to be repaired. Recently had to clean out under the sink for a faucet repair when I noticed the beginnings of a problem. This wasn't the first time this has occurred in my homes over the years. Quick google search led me to this product. It is Really key to look at the top and bottom dimensions of the mat as the size they are listed at didn't seem to be correct for my needs, but looking at the actual top dimensions it was a very good fit. Barley any 'lost' usable space under the sink. Beige color matched the original color of the cabinet very well so you hardly notice it. Now I don't worry about water or chemical damage at all." —Scott M Rabe

    Get it from Amazon for $47.97+ (available in five sizes).

    27. A magnetized grabber to help you rescue lost cutlery in between those weird crusty gaps between your oven and counter and fridge that go straight to the floor (RIP, half of my knives).

    The grabber magnetizing metal pieces
    Amazon

    It extends up to 30 inches and grabs items up to 15 pounds, and is also great for retrieving smaller items like trapped jewelry or loose bolts and metal pieces.

    Promising review: "This is a very handy product that is lightweight and easy to carry around or store. With a 30-inch extended length, you can reach that lost earring you dropped under the dresser or even use it as a snake to retrieve your wedding ring that you dropped into the kitchen sink. It is magnetic not only on the top of the head but also along the sides, so you don't need to tilt it upwards to attach something. However for certain circumstances it would be great if it were bendable." —Suzanne Driscoll

    Get it from Amazon for $7.97.

    You navigating your old kitchen like a pro:

    PBS

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    What's your favorite product?

    Tell us about your favorite product
    Your review may be featured in a BuzzFeed.com post.
    *
    *
    *
    Minimum 25 characters, 1500 characters left
    *
    Upload up to 4 photos you took of the product and/or how you use it. (We love before & after photos!)
    View our photo guidelines with tips that increase your chance of getting featured.
    Max 10 MB. Accepted file types: .jpg, .jpeg, .png.

    Shopping Newsletter
     

    Find great products and the best-money saving deals around, delivered right to your inbox.
    Newsletter signup form