‘Worse than water’: Experts rank the best and worst cleaning products in Australia

Not all cleaning products are created equal.

Not all cleaning products are created equal. Photo: Getty

Consumer group Choice has revealed the best cleaning products on the market and, at the other and of the scale, those that are about effective as water.

The latest round of testing assessed 59 products for use on different surfaces, and the most expensive name brands didn’t always come out on top.

“As always, there’s a real mixed bag of products on the market,” Choice analyst Ashley Iredale said.

“Sometimes we find that the most expensive products will work most effectively, but other times it’s the cheapest cleaners that will do a really great job.”

There were even huge differences within brands.

Ajax’s kitchen cleaner, for example, performed well, while the brand’s glass cleaner was ranked the worst on the market.

Multipurpose cleaners

Nifti All Purpose Cleaner

BEST: Nifti All Purpose Cleaner scored 90 per cent in Choice’s test.

For products to be used around the home, Nifti All Purpose Cleaner was ranked to be the best of 25 products, followed closely by Bosito’s Multipurpose and Windex Surface and Glass Floral.

At the bottom of the pack was Strike Multi Purpose Cleaner Antibacterial Pomegranate & Vanilla, which performed only slightly better than just using water.

Also scoring poorly were Morning Fresh Surface Disinfectant Citrus, Woolworths Macro Multipurpose Cleaner Pine & Bergamot and Coles Green Choice Multi-Purpose Cleaner Lemon Myrtle.

Kitchen cleaners

Dettol Healthy Clean Kitchen

BEST: Dettol Healthy Clean Kitchen scored 90 per cent in Choice’s test.

In the kitchen, Dettol Healthy Clean Kitchen performed the best when it came to cleaning grime from white tiles.

Other strong performers were Ajax Professional Kitchen and Jif Power & Shine Kitchen, as well as Morning Fresh Ultimate Power Clean Citrus Fresh, which costs roughly twice as much for a similar clean.

Three products were ranked equally for the worst kitchen cleaner: McLintocks Vanilla Fresh Fridge & Kitchen Wipe Mild Vanilla Scent, Method Anti-Bac Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner Sunny Citrus and OzKleen Kitchen Power Degreaser.

Glass cleaners

Ajax Spray n' Wipe Glass

WORST: Ajax Spray n’ Wipe Glass scored just 34 per cent in Choice’s test – even worse than plain water.

Ms Iredale said it’s important to use a specific glass cleaner on windows and mirrors, and the test results show it pays to be discerning.

“If you use a more general purpose cleaner for this job, you’ll end up with smeared and streaky surfaces,” she said.

Choice found Windex Original to be the best of the lot.

Ajax Spray n’ Wipe Glass came dead last, performing slightly worse than water.

Floor cleaners

Coles Ultra Floor Cleaner Sweet Orchard

WORST: Coles Ultra Floor Cleaner Sweet Orchard scored just 40 per cent in Choice’s test – even worse than plain water.

No floor cleaner scored above the 50 per cent mark in Choice‘s testing to remove oil and dirt from ceramic tiles.

“Choice isn’t able to recommend a single one of the 14 floor cleaners that we tested,” Ms Iredale said.

“There were only a few floor cleaners that performed better than water, and one even performed worse.” 

The best performer was Pine O Cleen Disinfectant Floor Cleaner Pomegrante Blossom, which scored 49 per cent.

In last place was Coles Ultra Floor Cleaner Sweet Orchard.

According to Choice, you’d be better off just cleaning your floors using a bucket of water.

Topics: CHOICE
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