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Actually, You Really Should Replace Your Grungy Old Shelf Liners

Shelves! They hold so much of our lives: food, dishes, glassware, clothes, books, plants, toys…we could go on. But because they hold so many things, it’s rare that those shelves actually get cleaned themselves. (Really, we don’t even want to think about the grime that’s accumulated over the years.) So right now, make a resolution to grab a sponge and a spray bottle and wipe those things down — and then do yourself a favor and order some new shelf liners.

Shelf liners — the humble, totally unsexy housewares staple — can provide protection for your shelves and possessions, and make those rare shelf-cleanings easier. Need to clean out your fridge? Simply remove the liners and wipe or rinse them off, no need to struggle with the shelves themselves. They can also make pantries and under-sink or storage areas safe from spills or crumbs.

Additionally, shelf liners can provide a layer of protection for your breakable, delicate dishes. If you have old shelves or drawers, liners can provide a clean spot for cups, silverware and even clothes. The protection can go both ways, too: shelf liners can keep things like silverware from damaging wood. Liners with cushioning or grip help keep delicate glassware and plates from slipping or breaking. Plus, most liners can be cut to fit the space you need, from the narrowest junk drawer to the biggest utility shelf. In other words, shelf liners can do (nearly) everything: keep your drawers and shelves and posessions cleaner, and protect your possessions from your shelves — and visa versa. Here are the best options.

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1. Duck EasyLiner Non-Adhesive Shelf Liner

These versatile liners can work in kitchens, utility closets and bedroom drawers. They can be cut to fit fridge shelves or laundry rooms to protect against spills, but are also thin enough for a bedroom and desk drawers. Their non-adhesive, gripping base won’t damage surfaces, and makes it easy to remove and clean. You can wipe them clean or stick them in the washing machine.

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Duck EasyLiner Non-Adhesive Shelf Liner $17.29 on Buy now Sign Up

2. Gorilla Grip Original Drawer and Shelf Liner

This pick has a non-slip grip to keep it from bunching, making it especially great for keeping your shelves protected as well as keeping the stuff on top of them from sliding and slipping. Because its woven design has superior gripping, it’s especially good for drawers and cabinet doors that are opened and closed a lot: the contents of your silverware or desk drawer are more likely to stay in place. The design is also reversible with the same heavy-duty gripping on both sides. Simply wipe down to clean.

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Gorilla Grip Original Drawer and Shelf Liner $15.99 on Buy now Sign Up

3. Drymate Premium Shelf Liner and Drawer Liner, Set of Two

Super plush liners with waterproof backing, these are great for storing delicate items like stemmed wine glasses. While the top of the liner is soft cloth, the back is waterproof, keeping spills from damaging surfaces. The plush fabric can also help absorb moisture as well as spilled liquids, making it a good option for damp climates or environments. Made from up to 50% recycled fibers, the liners can also be machine-washed as needed.

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Drymate Premium Shelf Liner and Drawer Liner, Set… $19.99 on Buy now Sign Up

4. amorus Plastic Shelf Liner, 3 Rolls

These plastic shelf liners are thin and nearly undetectable, and can be easily cut to fit your fridge shelves. The clear material also makes it a good option for anywhere you’d rather not let the lining show, like in visible kitchen or bedroom storage or on bookshelves. While the texture helps keep things from slipping, the slick plastic isn’t as good at gripping certain surfaces, making these better suited for protecting static surfaces like shelves. If you have a problem making them lay flat, soaking them in hot water allows you to smooth them out better.

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amorus Plastic Shelf Liner, 3 Rolls $18.99 on Buy now Sign Up

5. Con-Tact Brand Shelf Liner

While they don’t provide the same protection as non-adhesive shelf liners, these liners provides permanent protection for shelves. Once cut to fit, they’re all but invisible. They can be used throughout the house on a number of different surfaces. If you don’t anticipate needing to remove shelf liners for cleaning, or want something truly undetectable, these are a great option.

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