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9 August 2021

Money down the drain! Consumer NZ test finds majority of multi-purpose cleaners perform only slightly better than water

A Consumer NZ test of 29 multi-purpose cleaners found 17 of the products were only marginally better than plain water for household cleaning.

Some of these “Don’t Buy” products included Ajax Spray n Wipe Multipurpose, Ecostore Multi-Purpose Cleaner Antibacterial and 30 Seconds Multi Surface Cleaner, which all scored between 31 and 33%.

In comparison, the consumer organisation also tested the cleaning power of water and a water-and-vinegar solution to establish performance benchmarks. Neither performed particularly well – they both scored 30%.

“If you’re using a multi-purpose cleaner, you’d expect it to clean much better than water. These products don’t seem to provide any benefit to keeping surfaces clean and you could well be throwing money down the drain,” Consumer NZ test content team leader James le Page said.

“Our test is a tough one, testing how well a cleaner removes greasy dirt. You may not need such a tough cleaner for everyday cleaning, but when you’re scrubbing the backs of cupboards, behind the fridge or a sticky table that’s had little hands all over it, you want a cleaner that definitely works.”

Consumer NZ also tried a plastic-free option – Dazz All Purpose Dissolvable Cleaning tablet. It also performed only slightly better than water at cleaning and was deemed a “Don’t Buy” product.

Mr Muscle All Purpose Household grade disinfectant was the top-rated product in our test scoring 95%. It is also one of the cheapest, at only 60¢ per 100ml.

Consumer NZ provides multipurpose cleaner results for free to the public.


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