Best All Purpose Cleaners
An alternative for those wishing to avoid harsh chemicals is Gumption’s mild abrasive smooth paste which removes ingrained stains and dirt to leave a great shine.
Safe for use on multiple surfaces
No bleach or harsh chemicals
A little goes a long way
- Award Winner 2021
Featuring a broad selection of cleaning supplies, the Koh Cleaning System is made up of an arsenal of weapons intended to destroy mould and other harmful bacterias.
Powerful spray formula
Recommended by the Australian Asthma Council
- Value for Money4.3 (3)
- Ease of Use5.0 (3)
- Smell5.0 (1)
Great at removing tough stains, Jiff’s cream cleaner can be used in many kitchens and bathrooms to provide a sparkling clean.
Effective at removing tough stains
Great value for money
The new formula is less concentrated
- Value for Money1.0 (1)
- Ease of Use1.0 (1)
- Smell3.0 (1)
Selley’s Original Sugar Soap can be used diluted or neat to tackle tough stains and can be used on a variety of surfaces around the home.
Can be used diluted or neat
Suitable for use on multiple surfaces
Effective at cleaning
This ammonia and chlorine-free product uses a plant-based, eco-friendly formula to effectively clean surfaces around your home.
Ammonia and chlorine-free
Doesn’t leave streaks
What does a multi-purpose cleaner do?
Multi-purpose cleaners, otherwise known as all-purpose cleaners contain a cocktail of ingredients that often work as a disinfectant, a de-greaser, a detergent or a mix of all three at the same time.
Should you sack off all your other cleaning products for this one? Well, no. Because multi-purpose cleaners are not geared specifically for a certain surface, they might not tackle delicate materials as effectively as a specialised cleaner would.
A massive pro for these types of cleaners is that they contain a wider variety of cleaning ingredients for better performance across a multitude of tough stains.
All-purpose cleaners are extremely convenient since they can be used for multiple surfaces around the house and are a cost-effective choice.
What surfaces can multi-purpose cleaners be used on?
Because there is no one size fits all with multi-purpose cleaners, it’s important to read the label to see what is and isn’t recommended by the manufacturer. As a general rule, multi-purpose cleaners are suitable for use on these materials:
Tiles and linoleum
Many tiled flooring and kitchen countertops can be effectively cleaned with multi-purpose cleaners as they are durable, non-porous and can withstand harsh chemicals.
Laminate and steel surfaces can handle harsh chemicals and therefore multi-purpose cleaners are suitable for kitchens and bathrooms. It’s useful to use a formula with disinfectant properties for both of these locations to keep your house sanitary and safe.
They are also great for use on steel appliances such as kettles, microwaves and the outside of fridges.
These all-encompassing cleaners are particularly useful for places that require deep scrubs such as wastebins and driveways or even as a detergent booster to help get rid of stubborn leftover grease on pots and pans.
When shouldn’t you use multi-purpose cleaners?
It’s best to buy specialised cleaning products when cleaning raw wood, mirrors and windows, stovetops, fabrics and porous surfaces such as stone.
Glass and mirrors will require a cleaning product with vinegar or ammonia in it which cuts grease without leaving unattractive residue and marks behind. Mould or mildew should be tackled with specifically-targeted cleaners that contain acidic ingredients.
Unfinished and porous surfaces such as raw wood, concrete or unsealed stone can absorb the product and leave it discoloured. Upholstery requires a much milder solution that is suitable for porous fabric. Similarly, luxurious surfaces such as marble or copper can be cleaned with a simple vinegar and salt, or diluted soap, solution.
It’s important to always wear the appropriate cleaning gear before using harsh cleaning products including gloves and, in some instances, a mask.
Ingredients to look out for in all-purpose cleaning products
There can be many confusing words on the back of the label - so what exactly should you look for?
Water: This is a common ingredient used in spray cleaners to allow them to be sprayed, it acts as a great base to loosen debris and dust.
Surfactants: They dissolve in water and oil and help remove dirt and oil. Many of the surfactant ingredients will end in “glucoside” or “sulfate”.
Acid: Citric, lactic and acetic acid and vinegar are great ingredients to tackle stubborn limescale and rust.
Alkaline: Sodium carbonate, ammonia, bleach and potassium hydroxide help remove oily or waxy stains.
Alcohol: This acts as a solvent, de-greaser and disinfectant.
Essential oils and fragrance: Many cleaning products will include essential oils or other fragrances to cover the chemical smell and leave your house smelling fresh.
Preservatives: Potassium sorbate and other preservatives keep your product lasting longer.
Antiseptic: Chloroxylenol, triclosan and thymol are all examples of antiseptics which kill germs and bacteria.
Formula enhancer: Xanthan gum often thickens formula to make liquids more gel-like.
Common allergens: Some people have allergic reactions to these common allergens so watch out for: limonene, linalool, benzisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone.
Types of all-purpose cleaners
Cleaners can come in many different forms which can help tackle various types of cleaning surfaces. The application you choose to use with your cleaner can also make a big difference as to which form is the most suitable for you.
Sprays are easy to use, store and come in eco-friendly options. However, those that use natural ingredients may not properly disinfect surfaces and these sprays could be incompatible with wood and acrylic surfaces. When using sprays, you should spray on the cloth or application and then wipe the surface/product rather than spraying directly onto the surface.
Liquid cleaners are versatile and effective and can be used in conjunction with a bucket and mop or just a cloth. They can be diluted to suit your need, however, they are not eco-friendly and there are fewer choices on the market for cleaners in this form.
When you’re on the go and need to disinfect your hands or belongings, wipes are a convenient product that allows for easy access, disposal and portability. Wipes are not great for scrubbing and cleaning on a large scale and tend to cost more than their spray or liquid counterparts.
Polishes and pastes
Other things to consider
Hypoallergenic: If you’re especially sensitive to certain chemicals, it’s worth investing in a poven hypoallergenic product which will be easier on your lungs and skin than a standard cleaner.
Eco-friendly: For those who are environmentally conscious, it’s worth considering the ecological impact of your product including the ingredients, how much plastic is used and whether the product packaging can be recycled.
Fragrance: It’s worth choosing a product with a fragrance that you enjoy as after you have cleaned, the room will smell of it for a while. If you prefer no scent, there are fragrance-free cleaners available on the market.
Disinfectant: If what you’re looking for is a cleaning product to get rid of bacteria, then you’ll need a multi-purpose cleaner with disinfectant properties - otherwise you’ll simply be getting rid of stains while the bacteria continues to build.
Ammonia-free: Ammonia is great for cutting grease, however, can be harmful when it comes into contact with the skin or is inhaled. It is also not very eco-friendly, therefore, many people opt to cut ammonia from their products. Ammonia should never be mixed with bleach as it will release toxic gasses.
Greywater & septic safe: If you intend on recycling water, to protect wildlife and plantlife, you should look for a ‘greywater safe’ label on your product to ensure it doesn’t contain chemicals which can pollute the environment.
You can read reviews on our website to get the inside scoop on the best all-purpose cleaners that others are raving about.