Finance Consumer These name-brand cleaning sprays are so bad you might as well use plain water: Choice

These name-brand cleaning sprays are so bad you might as well use plain water: Choice

Many cleaning sprays fail to live up to their promises, tests show. Photo: Getty
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Choice has slammed a number of name-brand cleaning sprays after tests revealed they were no more effective than plain water.

Multipurpose cleaners and floor cleaners were among the worst offenders.

“Many of these multipurpose cleaners are not up to standard at all,” Choice cleaning product expert Ashley Iredale said.

With the notable exception of glass cleaners, consumers are better off saving their money and cleaning with tap water instead.

“They are just not worth wasting your money on,” Mr Iredale said.

You’re better off using plain old water to scrub the area clean.”

The multipurpose cleaner brands named and shamed by Choice included: Pine O Cleen, Pledge, Strike, Orange Power and 30 Seconds.

The best and worst cleaners according to Choice

Best multipurpose cleaner: Nifti Hardworking New Look


The aptly named ‘hardworking’ cleaner from Nifti got the thumbs up from Choice, scoring 88 per cent.

Worst multipurpose cleaner: 30 Seconds Multi Surface Cleaner


The 30 Seconds multi-surface cleaner is worse than water, according to Choice. It scored just 39 per cent in tests compared to plain water, which scored 40 per cent.

Floor cleaners a waste of money  

When it comes to floor cleaners you’re better off saving your money, Choice found.

Out of the 17 floor cleaners tested not a single one was worth recommending, the consumer group found.


The top-performing floor cleaner Pine O Cleen Disinfectant Floor Cleaner only barely outperformed water (scoring 41 per cent versus 40 per cent).


Ajax Floor Cleaner with Baking Soda performed worse than water, with a score of 39 per cent.

“You really might as well not use floor cleaners,” Mr Iredale said.

A bit of scrubbing and water will do the job just as well, if not better.’’

Glass cleaners

Unlike floor and multi-purpose cleaners, a good glass cleaner is worth investing in.

“When it comes to cleaning windows and mirrors, you really need to buy a glass cleaner,” Mr Iredale said.

You can’t really get away with anything else, otherwise you’ll likely end up with smeared and streaky surfaces.’’

Best glass cleaner: Windex Multi-Purpose Surface & Glass


Windex’s “Mr Muscle” surface and glass cleaner was Choice’s pick of the bunch, scoring 74 per cent.

Worst glass cleaner: ecostore Ultra Sensitive Glass & Surface Cleaner


Don’t be fooled by the artistic, minimalist packaging. This “ultra sensitive” cleaner from ecostore scored just 33 per cent.

Kitchen cleaners

Best kitchen cleaner: Dettol Healthy Clean Kitchen 


Dettol’s kitchen spray topped the class with a score of 84 per cent

Worst kitchen cleaner: McLintocks Vanilla Fresh Fridge & Kitchen Wipe


This “vanilla fresh” fridge and kitchen spray failed to impress, scoring just 40 per cent.

Time to stop buying fabric softener

The damning results follow similar findings in relation to fabric softener.

Choice urged customers to stop buying fabric softener after tests demonstrated that the laundry aids are expensive, unnecessary, ineffective and bad for the planet

Choice tested 31 fabric softeners, with two of the products revealed to be less effective than water.

Cuddly Concentrate Soft & Sensitive Fabric Conditioner came in last place, scoring 46 per cent despite being one of the most expensive products tested.

The damning test results were not the first for Cuddly, which in 2017 received a Shonky award for “performing worse than water while costing 3000 times more”.

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