Can a store-bought floor cleaner leave your floors sparkling?
All six floor cleaners tested performed so poorly that we labelled them Don’t Buys. You’re better off cleaning your floors with a bucket of water or, even better, a steam mop. They clean floors well and don’t require any extra products – just add water.
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When using a cleaner for the first time, check it’s safe for your surfaces.
Follow the instructions on the label and spray a coin-sized amount on to the surface you want to clean (do this in an area where it won’t matter if it gets damaged). Wait a few hours to see if the product harms the surface.
“Natural” doesn’t mean safe. “Natural” ingredients, even fragrances, can be harmful.
Always keep your cleaners away from children — ideally in a high or locked cupboard.
If anyone swallows cleaning product, immediately rinse out their mouth with water and phone your doctor or the National Poisons Centre (0800 POISON).
The wastewater (grey water) is safe
Some cleaners claim the waste, or “grey”, water is safe for other uses, such as watering the garden. If you are using grey water in your garden, we suggest not using it on food that will be eaten raw.
Some cleaners state they kill a certain percentage of bacteria, but there is little evidence antibacterial cleaners stop bacteria spreading in a home. There is even the risk they contribute to antibiotic resistance in the environment.
Where’s the environmental testing?
We’ve assessed how well these products clean. Our test is comparative, which means the products are compared to each other – not to a defined standard of “clean”.
We are developing an assessment of the impact of these cleaners on the environment, and the use of the products with septic tanks and greywater systems.