2018 Toilet Cleaners
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Compare toilet cleaners from ALDI, Domestos, Coles, Duck, Earth Choice, Harpic, White King, Bref and Woolworths on effectiveness, product design, ease of use, smell, environmental friendliness, value for money and overall customer satisfaction.
Canstar Blue research finalised in November 2017, published in December 2017.
See our Ratings Methodology.
ALDI sitting pretty at top of toilet cleaner ratings
It’s certainly one of the less glamorous cleaning jobs, but it’s probably one of the most important. We’re talking, of course, about cleaning the toilet. Scrubbing the toilet to make that porcelain shine can be an unpleasant experience, but like with most cleaning tasks, it becomes more difficult the longer you leave it. A clean toilet can be the pride of a clean bathroom, while protecting you and your family from all the nasty bacteria that tends to live around an uncleaned toilet area. To help you keep your toilet clean and healthy (as much as toilets can be), you’ll want a toilet cleaner to offer a helping hand, while keeping the cleaning process as fuss-free and contactless as possible. So, which toilet cleaners are best-equipped for the job?
To find out, we’ve surveyed more than 2,000 Australian adults and asked for their feedback on the toilet cleaner they’ve most recently purchased and used when it comes to important factors like effectiveness, smell, product design, ease of use, environmental friendliness and value for money. This year, 10 brands have featured in the results, with ALDI Powerforce leading the way from its supermarket label rivals, as well as all the big name brands you’ve no doubt heard of or used before.
- ALDI Powerforce was the only brand to rate five stars for overall customer satisfaction, value for money, product design and ease of use. It scored a respectable four stars on effectiveness, smell and environmental friendliness.
- Coles Ultra, Domestos, Duck, Earth Choice, Harpic and White King all achieved four stars overall, with just a couple of five-star reviews between them. These came for Earth Choice on smell and environmental friendliness, while Domestos was notably the only brand to receive top marks on effectiveness.
- It was just three stars overall for Bref, Coles (the supermarket chain’s cheaper toilet cleaner) and Woolworths Homebrand. These three brands earned mainly three and four-star reviews across the board.
This year’s ratings highlight an interesting difference between ALDI private labels and other supermarket products. ALDI has been a strong performer in our annual reviews of cleaning products for several years, including laundry powders and laundry liquids. The discount supermarket chain has seemingly struck the winning balance between price and quality.
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How to find a good toilet cleaner
Our review provides a helpful guide as to which toilet cleaners are deemed by consumers to be the most effective, but in addition to packing a potent punch, you’ll also want a cleaner that’s easy to use, doesn’t smell too bad and represents good value for money. There’s little point having a great cleaning product if you don’t use it properly. This is particularly important when it comes to toilet cleaners as you’ll likely want to minimise your contact with the inside of the toilet. This is where nozzle-style toilet cleaners can be useful as you don’t actually have to touch the bowl, leaving just the toilet seat and surrounding areas to contend with. Toilet cleaning can be tackled relatively efficiently when you have the right tools. This year’s research identified the following drivers of customer satisfaction:
Top Toilet Cleaners
Here is an overview of the 10 brands in this year’s toilet cleaner review, in order of their ranking.
ALDI’s PowerForce range has a variety of products to make that bowl beautiful, including hospital grade disinfectant bleach that is said to hygienically clean and remove mould and dirt. It’s available in ‘marine’ and ‘alpine’ fragrances. Meanwhile ALDI’s gel cleaner and discs apparently make flushing not only smell great, but also keep the bowl looking nice and clean. ALDI Powerforce topped our ratings this year, with five-star reviews for product design, ease of use, value for money and overall satisfaction. It earned four stars in all other areas, including effectiveness.
Coles has a range of disinfectants and an easy-application toilet cleaner gel under the ‘Ultra’ branding, which can reasonably be thought of as the supermarket chain’s ‘premium’ private label offering when it comes to its cleaning products. This brand has been rated separately from the cheaper ‘Coles’ branded cleaning products mentioned below. Evidently, a lot of consumers were satisfied with Coles Ultra, which rated four stars overall and in most other research categories this year, making it a solid all-rounder at a budget price compared with big name brands.
Domestos seems to be a socially-conscious brand, with partnerships with organisations such as Unicef to help deliver sanitation and more hygienic living to developing nations. As for its toilet cleaning products in Australia, Domestos doesn’t mess around and has only disinfectant in its range, available in either the original or ‘mountain fresh’ fragrance. For no-bull toilet cleaning, Domestos could be for you. It was the only brand to rate five stars for effectiveness in our latest review, while earning a creditable mix of four and three stars in other areas, with four stars overall.
Duck was another solid middle.-of-the-road performer in our latest review, with four stars across all but two research categories this year. Its toilet cleaner range includes bleach cleaners in a variety of scents, plus fresh disks and rim blocks. Duck’s main strength seems to come in its fresh discs and rim blocks that are available in scents like citrus, but the brand also stands out for its rather unique nozzle design, which should make the in-bowl cleaning a little easier. This is reflected by its four stars for product design and ease of use. However, it wasn’t quite enough to bump Duck up from its four stars overall.
A brand from the Natures Organics group, Earth Choice seems to represent the eco-conscious choice for cleaning enthusiasts. Its toilet cleaner product comes in two scents – Aqua Fresh and Wild Lavender. So if you’re feeling pretty wild or fresh then Earth Choice may be for you. It comes in an easy-application bottle and evidently a lot of Aussie shoppers are suitably impressed. Earth Choice achieved four stars in most research categories this year, but it was the only brand to score top marks for both environmental friendliness and smell. Earth Choice topped our ratings last year, but this time has to settle for four stars overall.
Harpic has a large range of toilet cleaners, ranging from gel discs to disinfecting liquids boasting various levels of strength. For the bowl it also sells a cageless rim block to keep your toilet fresh with every flush. Its toilet cleaner gels include ‘Active Fresh’, White & Shine’ and ‘Power Plus’, while a ‘heavy duty’ crystal cleaning product is also available. Harpic achieved four stars for overall satisfaction in our latest review, plus four stars in the key areas of effectiveness and ease of use. However, it notably only achieved three stars on value for money.
Bleach extraordinaire White King comes to the toilet cleaning contest with some apparently hard-hitting and effective solutions. It has a large range of toilet cleaning products, including bleaches, wipes, bleach tablets, power gels and cistern blocks to have every part of your system smelling fresh, while minimising harmful bacteria. The toilet gel range includes fragrances such as eucalyptus, lemon, aqua and lavender. The brand that claims ‘the power to protect’ scored four stars for overall satisfaction this year, with four stars across most other research categories, including effectiveness and ease of use.
A new addition to our annual toilet cleaner review this year, Bref is a brand that specialises in cleaning blocks and cubes, claimed to provide anti-limescale action, stain removal and dirt protection every time the toilet is flushed. Its line-up includes the ‘Power Active’ and ‘Blue Active’ ranges, bringing visible blue water action between flushes. Bref received three stars for overall satisfaction, plus three stars in most other research categories. It did, however, earn four-star reviews in terms of ease of use and smell.
The supermarket chain’s budget-oriented cleaning line-up is fairly modest, but like with all supermarket private labels it seemingly represents a trade-off between quality and price. In terms of toilet cleaners, the Coles ‘Marine Fresh’ toilet gel appears to be its flagship product, with 700mL of cleaning product at a fraction of the cost of major brands. Coles achieved three stars for overall satisfaction this year, with three stars in most research categories. The two exceptions were value for money and smell where the brand recorded respectable four-star reviews from shoppers.
The Woolworths budget-oriented Homebrand line-up includes a 500mL toilet gel cleaner, with a similar bottle shape to most other brands, plus a blue toilet cleaner block that’s claimed to freshen and clean. It was just three stars for overall satisfaction for Woolworths Homebrand this year and three stars across most other areas. However, the brand did earn a respectable four stars from Aussie consumers in terms of value for money.
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 toilet cleaner in the last 12 months – in this case, 2,279 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.