Floor cleaners

Are there any good floor cleaners?

Red mop cleaning floor.

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.

Why is this free?

We’re dedicated to getting NZ consumers a fairer deal. We provide as much information as we can for free but we rely primarily on membership and donations to fund our work. You can help by becoming a Consumer member or making a donation. We’ll use your contribution to investigate consumer issues and work for positive change.

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We've tested 6 floor cleaners for dirt removal.

Find a floor cleaner

Spot test

Spot test

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Spot test

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.

Safety first

Safety first

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Safety first

“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).

Where’s the environmental testing?

Where’s the environmental testing?

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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.

We’ll update this test with environmental results when we have them. For more information before then, see our article on whether cleaning products green claims stack up.

Other claims

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.

Antibacterial claims

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.

Septic tank-safe claims

Septic tank-safe claims

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Septic tank-safe claims

Have a septic tank? There are some types of cleaner you should avoid.

More about septic tank-safe claims

More cleaning products

More cleaning products

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More cleaning products

Don't waste money on cleaning products that don't do a good job. See which ones come out on top in our tests.

Learn more