Compare toilet cleaners Coles Ultra, Domestos, ALDI Powerforce, White King, Earth Choice, Duck, Harpic, Woolworths Essentials, Bref and Coles on their effectiveness, value for money, ease of use, smell, environmental friendliness, packaging design and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
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 1,500 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, value for money, ease of use, smell, environmental friendliness and packaging design. This year, 10 toilet cleaner brands featured in the results, with Coles Ultra 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. It achieved five-star reviews on ease of use, smell and packaging design, with four stars in all other areas.
The 10 brands in Canstar Blue’s 2019 toilet cleaners review were rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:
Domestos, ALDI Powerforce, White King and Earth Choice got four stars for overall satisfaction, while Duck, Harpic, Woolworths Essentials, Bref and Coles were left on three stars apiece. Some other results of note include Domestos being the only brand to get five stars on effectiveness while Earth Choice was the only one to receive five stars on environmental friendliness. Earth choice also got five stars on smell alongside Coles Ultra. ALDI Powerforce and Woolworths Essentials got five stars on value for money. In addition, Earth Choice and Bref achieved top marks on packaging design, as did this year’s winner.
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:
Effectiveness was the most important factor for Aussie consumers, with value for money coming in second. Almost half (49%) of survey respondents admitted they always buy the same brand of toilet cleaner, while a similar number (48%) always go for the cheapest option. Interestingly, 63% noted that they trust supermarket label cleaning products to do a good job.
In addition, 44% of respondents use gloves or protective gear when cleaning, while more than half (54%) buy cleaning products that don’t trigger allergies or irritations. Two in three adults (67%) said they have also used natural cleaners such as bicarb soda or vinegar.
Here is an overview of the 10 brands in this year’s toilet cleaner review, in order of their ranking.
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 number of consumers were satisfied with Coles Ultra, which rated five stars overall, plus for its ease of use, smell and packaging design. It rated four stars in all other research categories this year, making it a solid all-rounder at a budget price.
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’ fragrances. It was the only brand to score five stars for effectiveness in our latest review, while earning a credible mix of four and three stars in other areas, with four stars overall. It was just two stars on environmental friendliness.
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. Meanwhile, ALDI’s gel cleaner and discs apparently make flushing not only smell great but also keep the bowl looking nice and clean. The range is available with ‘marine’, ‘lime’ and ‘citrus’ fragrances. ALDI Powerforce topped our ratings in 2018 but had to settle on four stars this year. It did, however, receive five stars on value for money. It earned four stars in all other areas, including effectiveness.
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 brand from the Natures Organics group, Earth Choice seems to represent the eco-conscious choice for many cleaning enthusiasts. Its toilet cleaner product is stated to use plant-based ingredients and comes in an ‘Aqua Fresh’ scent. It claims an easy-application bottle, and evidently, a lot of Aussie shoppers are suitably impressed. Earth Choice achieved top marks this year for smell, environmental friendliness and packaging design. It earned four stars on effectiveness, value for money and overall satisfaction, but just three stars on ease of use.
Duck was a solid performer in our latest review, with four-star ratings on effectiveness, ease of use, smell and packaging design. 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 marks for design and ease of use. However, it wasn’t quite enough to get consumers over the line, rating Duck just three 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 citrus and fresh scents, while a ‘heavy duty’ crystal cleaning product is also available. Harpic scored three stars for overall satisfaction in our latest review, plus four stars in the key areas of effectiveness, ease of use, smell and packaging design. However, it notably only achieved three stars on value for money and environmental friendliness.
The Woolworths budget-oriented Essentials line-up includes a 500mL toilet cleaner potpourri, with a similar bottle shape to most other brands, plus a blue toilet cleaner block that’s stated to freshen and clean. It was just three stars for overall satisfaction for Woolworths Essentials this year, in addition to environmental friendliness and packaging design. However, the brand did earn a respectable five stars from Aussie consumers in terms of value for money and four stars in all other rated variables.
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 scored 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, as well as five stars on packaging design.
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 in-cistern toilet cleaner appears to be its flagship product in a pack of two at a fraction of the cost of major brands. Coles achieved three stars for overall satisfaction this year, with three stars in all other research categories.
Picture credits: Rasulov/shutterstock.com
Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a toilet cleaning product in the last 6 months and have used it to clean their toilet – in this case, 1,674 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 by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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