2018 Multipurpose Cleaners
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Compare 16 brands of multipurpose cleaner from Gumption, Ajax, ALDI, Dettol, Earth Choice, Easy Off Bam, Jif, Orange Power, Pine O Cleen, White King, Windex, Woolworths, Coles and Mr Muscle based on their effectiveness, product design, ease of use, smell, environmental friendliness, value for money & overall customer satisfaction.
Canstar Blue research finalised in December 2017, published in January 2018.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Gumption rated the best for multipurpose cleaning
Lots of us work hard to keep our homes spick and span, but it doesn’t require relentless elbow grease if you keep on top of things. From the kitchen to the bathroom and everywhere in between, a little regular cleaning should keep your home nice and healthy. You might even enjoy doing it. Go on, own up! That’s why it’s handy to have a good multipurpose cleaner nearby, to not only help clean up any sticky spills as they happen, but also to keep your benchtops and other surfaces looking and smelling clean all the time. Take a walk down your local supermarket cleaning aisle and you’ll probably see more space dedicated to multipurpose cleaners than any other type of household cleaner. Why? Because most of us like to have at least one bottle within easy reach at home. So, which are the highest rated?
To find out, we surveyed more than 2,000 Aussie consumers who have bought and used a multipurpose cleaning product in the last six months and asked for their views regarding its effectiveness, design, ease of use, smell, environmental friendliness, value for money and their overall satisfaction with it. A total of 16 brands received the minimum sample size to be included in the final ratings, but only one earned five stars in the areas that matter most – and that was Gumption.
- Gumption was rated top marks for overall satisfaction, in addition to effectiveness, design, ease of use and value for money.
- Eleven brands received four stars for overall satisfaction, with Earth Choice probably the pick of them as it achieved five stars in three different areas – product design, smell and environmental friendliness. Pine O Cleen was the only other brand to earn a five-star review, for smell.
- The remaining four brands all rated just three stars for overall satisfaction.
The results aren’t pretty reading for some of the supermarket private labels included, which suggests it may be worth spending a little extra upfront. Gumption is certainly one of those brands that fall into the category of ‘more expensive’, but it seems Aussie consumers are won over by its claims of being able to “remove ingrained stains and dirt ordinary cleaners can miss to reveal an incredible shine”. It’s also said to be free from harsh chemicals or bleaches.
This may be enlightening news to some readers who always buy the same brand of cleaners, or just pick up whichever product happens to be cheapest at the time. Our survey shows Aussies are split down the middle in this regard, with 48% of survey respondents admitting they always buy the same brand, while the same number (48%) always go for the cheapest option. What do we really want from a multipurpose cleaner? Our research identified the following drivers of overall customer satisfaction:
Top Multipurpose Cleaners
Here is an overview of the 16 brands in this year’s multipurpose cleaner review, in order of their ranking.
Standing out from the pack this year is tried-and-true Gumption. It achieved five stars in all categories except for smell (with four stars) and environmental friendliness (three stars). Unlike many other brands in this list, Gumption isn’t actually a spray. Rather, it’s an abrasive paste. Its gritty texture and easy ‘wipe on/wipe off with a damp cloth’ application makes it a simple and effective cleaner. Gumption comes in 500g and 750g tubs, in a choice of lemon and eucalyptus scents.
A brand in Colgate-Palmolive’s swag, Ajax boasts a large range of products and also features strongly for multipurpose cleaners. Ajax comes with ‘Intense Freshness’, lemon, floral blossom and vanilla & berries scents, but more traditional cream cleansers and powder cleansers are also available. But for maximum convenience, Ajax also has the Spray n’ Wipe formula with its single-use multipurpose wipes. The brand achieved a solid four in most categories, with three stars apiece on value for money and environmental friendliness.
Budget grocery chain ALDI is earning a solid reputation for its household cleaning products and its range of multipurpose cleaners is no exception. The ALDI Powerforce multipurpose cleaner is a hypoallergenic spray in a range of fragrances, such as ‘Lemon Zest’ and ‘Orange Tang’. This year it earned four stars for overall customer satisfaction and in most categories, with three stars for environmental friendliness. It’s worth pointing out that ALDI has topped another cleaning category this year – toilet cleaners.
Perhaps best-known for its soaps and sanitisers, Dettol also comes up reasonably strongly for its surface multipurpose cleaner. Its lime and mint scent helped it earn four stars for smell, but it also earned four stars across most other categories. It addition to multipurpose spray, Dettol also boasts some attractive, disinfectant multipurpose cleaning wipes with an apple scent. Dettol picked up three stars on value for money and environmental friendliness. With its easy spray nozzle, Dettol’s multipurpose cleaner seems a convenient option for cleaning surfaces all around the home.
Earth Choice performed very well again this year, with four stars in most categories and stand-out five stars for smell, product design and (unsurprisingly) environmental friendliness. Yet again it was the only brand to receive five stars for environmental friendliness. Part of the Nature’s Organics group, Earth Choice multipurpose spray contains no chlorine or ammonia, and its ingredients are plant-based. It’s also safe for grey water and septic tanks. The bottle is made from 100% recycled PET plastic.
Easy Off BAM
Easy Off BAM Power Cleaner Grease & Sparkle comes in a 500mL spray bottle to remove everyday mess as well as stains, grease and baked on food. It’s suitable for most household surfaces. This year Easy Off BAM improved on last year’s performance, earning a mix of three and four star ratings across the board. Its four-star ratings were achieved in overall satisfaction, effectiveness, ease of use and product design. You certainly can’t miss its colourful design on supermarket shelves.
Jif represents a fairly solid all-rounder. However, its multipurpose cleaners are all creams rather than sprays. That hasn’t put off Aussies from rating Jif’s cream cleaners well alongside the more common spray products. Jif earned four stars across all categories except for value for money and environmental friendliness, receiving three stars. We’re sensing a theme among cleaners here. If you love your lemons, there’s a lemon scented version in addition to the original Jif.
Orange Power began from the discovery of the cleaning applications of orange oil from discarded peels. This gives the Orange Power range its distinctive and refreshing orange scent. The palm-oil free brand, owned by Aware Environmental, offers its multipurpose cleaner in a recyclable spray bottle. It proved a solid performer, earning four stars in all categories except for value for money, in which it received three stars. However, Orange Power has enjoyed ratings success this year, coming out on top in our bathroom cleaner category.
Pine O Cleen
Pine O Cleen received a mixed bag of results this year. Its multipurpose sprays achieved four stars for overall customer satisfaction, effectiveness, ease of use and product design, but the brand stood out as one of just two to receive a top five-star rating for smell. It’s claimed to kill 99.9% of germs and comes in four scents – ‘Orange Zest’, ‘Crisp Apple’, ‘Fresh Eucalyptus’ and ‘Lemon Lime Burst’. Pine O Cleen holds our award for floor cleaners.
Best-known for its powerful bathroom and laundry bleaches, White King also has a multipurpose cleaner in its wide range. The thick multipurpose bleach gel is a hospital-grade disinfectant ideal for a range of surfaces. White King earned four stars in most categories, but earned three on value for money, smell and environmental friendliness. Evidently, its lemon scent wasn’t fresh enough.
Windex is best known for its window and glass cleaning products, but it also produces a multipurpose cleaning spray. The Windex Surface & Glass Multi-Purpose Cleaner is suitable for most surfaces, leaving a streak-free shine. The brand received four stars for overall customer satisfaction this year, as well as for effectiveness, ease of use and product design, but dropped down to three stars on value for money, smell and environmental friendliness.
Despite being a supermarket brand cleaner, the Woolworths Select Multipurpose Cream Cleanser has received results comparable with many name brands in this year’s ratings. The lemon-scented cleanser got four stars in most categories, with three stars for value for money and environmental friendliness. The handy 375mL size bottle is priced at less than $2, making it one of the cheapest cream cleaners on the shelves.
Coles offers household staples at low prices. In the multipurpose cleaners department, the Coles Cloudy Ammonia comes in a 1L bottle ready to dilute with water to make a multipurpose spray or applied as-is for more heavy duty cleaning applications. Coles received three stars for all ratings categories this year. This is a result reflected across most other cleaning categories for Coles’ cheapest private label cleaner.
The Coles lemon-scented multipurpose cream cleaner and lemon trigger spray offer a more affordable alternative to the big name brands, although according to our survey respondents this comes at a cost. The premium private label Coles Ultra received just three stars for overall satisfaction in 2018 and the same outcome across all other ratings categories.
Mr Muscle is perhaps most well-known for flexing its cleaning muscles in the drain-cleaning department. However, it also has several ‘5 in 1’ broad-use household cleaners for floors, bathrooms and kitchens all claimed to kill 99.9% of bacteria. The kitchen and bathroom cleaners are sprays that produce both foam and mist, while the floor cleaner comes in a 750mL or 5L bottle. Floor and kitchen cleaners have a lemon scent. In this year’s multipurpose cleaner review, Mr Muscle received three stars for overall satisfaction and for most other categories, with its better four-star performances being in effectiveness, ease of use and product design.
At the cheapest end of Woolies’ home brand spectrum is its standard multipurpose cleaner trigger with a price tag of less than $2. It comes in a 750mL bottle and pretty much looks like the most basic cleaner you’re likely to find. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but the consumers we surveyed who have bought and used the product are clearly not convinced of its quality, rating it just three stars across all research categories this year.
Frequently asked questions
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used multipurpose cleaner in the last 6 months – in this case, 2,373 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.