A Clean Start
FOOD & WINE road-tested both new and classic cleaning products to find the ones that truly shine.
An architect at the Rockwell Group in Manhattan tipped us off to this oily solvent that removes labels from jars, lipstick from napkins and crayon from walls ($5 for 8 ounces; 800-321-6330).
Orange Glo Wood Cleaner & Polish
This orange oilbased spray glosses over scratches on furniture and adds a clean sheen to anything wooden. We especially like the citrus scent, which is reminiscent of a Creamsicle ($13 for 32 ounces; 800-781-7529).
Swiffer and Swiffer Wet
Our editor in chief adores the electrostatic cleaning action in the disposable cloths and the convenience of the sleek sweeper. Clip on the fabric (dry or wet) and "swiff" it around the floor to pick up every bit of dirt and dust ($15 for a starter kit; 800-214-8734).
Cape Cod Metal Polishing Kit
Our French Culinary Institute intern swears by these individually wrapped cloths (gloves and buffing cloth included) soaked with just the right amount of antitarnish formula to make your silver sparkle ($18; 800-682-4246).
Scotch-Brite Cleaning Cloth
White Glove Elite, one of New York City's best cleaning services, turned us on to this microtextured cloth. Use it again and again to shine glass and dust surfaces without leaving streaks or lint ($4; 877-3M-CLOTH).
Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner
I like using this concentrated, biodegradable liquid either full-strength or diluted to degrease the oven and to clean sinks and other surfaces. You'll either love or hate the root beer aroma ($3 for 24 ounces; 800-228-0709).
Dubarry Dishwashing Gloves
Cotton-lined and thicker than the ubiquitous yellow kind, these gloves provide a better grip on soapy china. One of our editors (the one with the soft hands) mail-orders two dozen at a time ($25 a dozen; 800-447-9357).
Terra Verde Champagne Flute Brush
We're holding on to this ergonomically shaped brush to wash all the stemware after the big New Year's bash. The cotton tip at the end is gentle even on your hand-cut Bohemian crystal ($5; 212-925-4533).