The End of Grease

Picking a household cleaner at the market can be like sorting through paint samples at the hardware store. Between sponges, wipes, and ecofriendly surface sprays, the options are as dizzying as the odors are noxious. But brands are now appealing both to the constraints of undersink space (the newest products are all-in-one cleaners as opposed to kitchen, bathroom, or floor specialists) and to environmental impact. We tried seven multipurpose products after four messily cooked meals and in two bathrooms.

Seventh Generation Natural Kitchen
The wild-orange-and-cedar- spice smell was pretty, but it couldn’t mask (or remove) dried-on curry or take spaghetti sauce off the stove. It also required substantially more scrubbing to get rid of ring-around-the-tub. ($6.19 at Health Nuts, 2611 Broadway, at 99th St.; 212-678-0054.)

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser With Febreze Fresh Scent
This suds-releasing sponge was no better than using a slightly damp regular sponge. It did smell good— like an orange hard candy—but it started looking grimy after only a few uses. ($3.79 for two at Walgreens, 350 Fifth Ave., nr. 33rd St.; 212-868-5790.)

Windex Multi-Surface With Vinegar
Mom always said vinegar works best. Windex agrees, and its new product does in fact make short work of oil stains. It cut through dried fish curry (and killed the smell) with one squirt and erased bathtub scum in seconds. ($3.99 at Walgreens, 1328 Second Ave., at 70th St.; 212-734-6081.)

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Surface Scrub
The lavender-scented powder easily dispelled cooking odors and measured up to the bleach- and ammonia-based products in the cleaning department. The only problem: Shake too strongly and you’ll have a mountain on the counter. ($5.99 at Village Farm Grocery, 146 Second Ave., at 9th St.; 212-475-7521.)

Clorox Clean-Up With Bleach
The spray worked incredibly fast, removing stains and spilled leftovers in the kitchen and quickly polishing toilet seats and shower tiles. But it’s hard to get past the overpowering bleach odor, which lingered for hours. ($3.99 at Duane Reade, 305 Broadway, at Duane St.; 212-227-6168.)

Biokleen Spray & Wipe
The most conscientious cleaner of the lot, with all natural ingredients, a subtle citrusy scent, and a bottle made of recycled materials. It took dried egg off a granite counter easily but required more muscle to get through oily spills. ($4.49 at Whole Foods, 95 E. Houston St., at Bowery; 212-420-1320.)

Lysol 4 in 1 Trigger
Better on soap scum in the shower stall than on old spills in the fridge. Got rid of bad kitchen smells quickly. Not as powerful a cleaner as its aerosol predecessor, but who wants to use one of those these days? ($4.99 at Gracious Home, 1220 Third Ave., at 70th St.; 212-517-6300.) 

The End of Grease