Water better than cleaning fluids

How much do you think you spend each year on household cleaners? Well, you’re probably wasting your money, says CHOICE, whose recent study on kitchen sprays and multipurpose cleaners revealed that water could do as good a job as many on the list.

CHOICE’s tests showed there’s virtually no difference between multipurpose cleaners and kitchen sprays. Either type of spray will do just as good a job, no matter the room you’re cleaning.

“Scores are comparable across kitchen and multipurpose cleaners, so our takeaway is that they’re all essentially the same thing,” says CHOICE cleaning product expert Ash Iredale.

“You don’t need to buy 57 different cleaning products – just use the same one for everything.”

There, we just saved you even more money.

Popular multipurpose cleaners that earnt dishonourable mentions on the CHOICE list included:

  • Pine O Cleen Multi Purpose Cleaner Pine with Vinegar (40 per cent)
  • Pledge Multisurface Cleaner Rainshower (40 per cent)
  • Pine O Cleen Multi Purpose Cleaner Lemon Lime Burst (40 per cent)
  • Strike Multi Purpose Cleaner Pomegranate & Vanilla (40 per cent)
  • Orange Power Multi-Purpose Cleaner (40 per cent)

However, with a score of just 39 per cent, an $11.99 bottle of 30 Seconds Multi Surface Cleaner could not even manage to outperform water. Water scored 40 per cent.

The two cleaners that topped the test were Nifti Hardworking New Look (88 per cent), and Bam Easy-Off Power Cleaner Grease & Sparkle (84 per cent).

As far as floor cleaners go, most of you have been washing money down the drain.

After extensive analysis, CHOICE doesn’t recommend a single one of the 17 floor cleaners tested.

“It’s not the floor cleaner that cleans; it’s the scrubbing action,” says Mr Iredale. “For many of them, you’re no better off than if you use plain water.”

The top scoring floor cleaners managed to muster a poor 41 per cent and the worst performers scored 39 per cent. As water scored 40 per cent, according to CHOICE, no cleaner justifies the cost and effort you’d need to expend on buying these products.

“Our advice? Just skip floor cleaners altogether,” says CHOICE.

If you’re going to buy a job-specific cleaning product, make it a glass cleaner, says CHOICE.

Glass cleaners were ranked on dirt-removing ability as well as a streak score for the ones that delivered a streak-free clean.

The two top scoring glass cleaners from the test were Windex Multi-Purpose Surface & Glass Mountain Fresh (74 per cent) and Windex Multi-Purpose Surface & Glass (74 per cent).

The next highest scoring product came in at 58 per cent.

Plain water scored 35 per cent in the glass cleaner test. Even so, many products still failed to outperform water in the test.

The worst performing glass cleaners were Ecostore Ultra Sensitive Glass & Surface Cleaner (33 per cent), Aldi Power Force Pro Glass Cleaner (35 per cent), Community Co Clean Freak! Glass & Window Cleaner (35 per cent), and Earth Choice Window & Glass Crystal Clean (36 per cent)

The disparity between the best and worst performing kitchen cleaners was considerable, with the top two scoring 77 per cent and 84 per cent and the remaining kitchen cleaners coming in at 44 per cent or below.

The two best kitchen cleaners were Dettol Healthy Clean Kitchen (84 per cent), and Pine o Cleen Kitchen Expert Antibacterial Kitchen Spray (77 per cent).

The worst kitchen cleaners, which all scored less than water at 40 per cent, were McLintocks Vanilla Fresh Fridge & Kitchen Wipe (40 per cent), Strike Kitchen Cleaner Surface Spray (41 per cent), Ecostore Multi-purpose Kitchen Cleaner Orange & Thyme (42 per cent), White King Kitchen Cleaner Citrus Fresh (42 per cent), and Ajax Spray n’ Wipe Kitchen Multi-Purpose Baking Soda (44 per cent).

Do you use any of these products? Will you keep using them even if they appeared on the worst performing lists?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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