The best and worst cleaning products

must know

  • Many all-purpose cleaners failed to outperform plain water in our tests
  • Floor cleaners are so ineffective that we gave them a Shonky – better to use plain water
  • There is hardly any difference between all-purpose cleaners and specialty kitchen sprays

Are you the kind of housekeeper who has a spray for everything and color-coded cloths to match? Or do you just grab whatever is at hand and get to work? If you’re in the latter camp, you might be onto something.

Our recent tests reveal that there is virtually no difference between multi-purpose cleaners and kitchen sprays – so you can continue to be a one-product person, knowing that the same spray will do its job just as well, no matter what room you are in. in.

You don’t have to buy 57 different cleaning products – just use the same one for everything

Ashley Iredale, CHOICE cleaning products expert

“The scores are comparable between kitchen and multi-purpose cleaners, so what we take away is that they’re all essentially the same thing,” says CHOICE cleaning product expert Ashley Iredale. “You don’t have to buy 57 different cleaning products – just use the same one for everything.”

We don’t recommend just one floor cleaner out of the 16 we tested. You are better off with water.

Floor cleaner failure

Clean freaks, we have bad news for you. (Sorry.) If you’re cleaning your floors diligently with floor cleaner, you’ve wasted your money.

According to our tests, you might as well not use floor cleaners, just a little elbow grease will do the trick. We don’t recommend just one of the 16 floor cleaners we tested.

In fact, we think floor cleaners are so bad that we awarded them a Shonky in 2020 for being “defective cleaners”.

“It’s not the floor cleaner that cleans – it’s the scrubbing action,” says Ash. “For a lot of them, you’re no better off than using plain water.”

Plain water scored 41% in our test. The top-rated floor cleaners managed to put together a low 49%, which barely justifies the cost and effort you would have to put into purchasing these products.

The worst performers only got 40%, so there’s not much to separate the best from the worst. Our advice? Just avoid floor cleaners.

The Best and Worst All-Purpose Cleaners

The best all-purpose cleaners

These two cleaners surpassed our test:

The Worst All-Purpose Cleaners

These all-purpose cleaners barely managed to outperform plain water, which scored 41% in our test:

Looking for all-purpose cleaners? Check out our reviews of multi-purpose cleaners for more products.

The Best and Worst Glass Cleaners

If you’re going to buy a cleaning product specific to your job, make it a glass cleaner or you’ll doom yourself to streaky, smudged glass and mirrors.

We test glass cleaners for their ability to remove dirt, and give them a streak score to see which offer streak-free cleaning.

The best window cleaners

Original Windex is the best performing window and glass cleaner in our test, with a score of 81%.

For context, the next highest scoring product came in at 67%, so it’s safe to say that Windex Original wiped the floor with the competition.

The worst window cleaners

Plain water only scored 37% in our window cleaner test, which isn’t really surprising. What is surprising is the number of products that either failed to outperform plain water or provided only a slightly better result.

Here are the worst performing glass cleaners we tested:

Dishonorable Mention

Not only did Ajax Spray n’ Wipe Glass beat out the wooden spool in our window and glass cleaners test, but it also earned the dishonorable distinction of being even worse than plain water.

It’s true: using this spray will leave your windows dirtier than just using tap water.

A special mention should also go to Earth Choice’s Window & Glass Crystal Clean, which received the same score as plain water – another product that pretty much costs money out the window.

The best and worst kitchen cleaners

There was a considerable difference in the kitchen cleaners we tested, with the best performing scoring 84% and the worst performing just 40%. In fact, two cleaners scored 77% or higher, while the other kitchen cleaners scored 44% or lower.

The best kitchen cleaners

We recommend these five kitchen cleaners:

The Worst Kitchen Cleaners

These kitchen cleaners tied last in our kitchen cleaner test:

  • OzKleen Heavy Duty Kitchen Degreaser (42%)
  • Method Anti-Bac Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner Sunny Citrus (42%)
  • McLintocks Vanilla Fresh Frigidaire & Kitchen Wipes (42%)

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