How we test surface cleaners

How we separate the good from the bad.

Household cleaner spray bottles.

To find which kitchen and multi-purpose cleaners get the job done, we test them in our independent lab. Here’s how we do it.

How we choose what we test

Spray cleaner being applied to a surface.
Each cleaner is tested 8 times and the results are averaged.

We aim to test brands and products you’re likely to see when you head to the shops, plus some you might not be aware of.

Before we buy anything, we do our research: we visit stores, both online and physically; we talk to experts and consumers; and we ask manufacturers about their products. We want to capture new developments in the market and make sure the products we test will be available after we publish our results.

We then compile a list of products and head out to purchase them, just as any consumer would.

How we test

The cleaners in our test are all sprays and are applied directly to a cleaning cloth. The lab uses special pre-soiled white ceramic tiles. The tiles are then cleaned using a mechanical scrubbing apparatus. Reflectance readings are measured before and after cleaning, using a spectrophotometer, to determine the overall score, which is a measure of dirt removal. Each cleaner is tested eight times and the results are averaged.

Ready to buy?

Find out how to choose the right product with our buying guide, or view our test results to see which we recommend.

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