The 5 Best All-Purpose Cleaners


There are products specifically designed to clean glass, wood, plastic, tile, and practically any other surface you could imagine. A good all-purpose cleaner can save you both money and storage space by combining all these functions into one bottle.

What Is an All-Purpose Cleaner?

An all-purpose cleaner is a cleaning agent, usually a liquid, used to remove dirt, grime, and stains from surfaces. Some all-purpose cleaners require dilution, scrubbing, and rinsing, while others employ a simpler "spray and wipe" process. Oftentimes what you gain in convenience, you lose in cleaning power. Here are the five best all-purpose cleaners on the market.

Best 5 All-Purpose Cleaners

Mr. Clean Multi-Surfaces Antibacterial Spray

This household mainstay with the familiar, bald-headed mascot was the recipient of a rare "A+" rating from Good Housekeeping. Deemed one of the fastest-working cleaners, the antibacterial spray from Mr. Clean proved effective in tests on a wide variety of surfaces, including painted walls and stainless steel. This particular line of Mr. Clean is bottled with a convenient spray mechanism.

Currently $6.17 for 32 oz bottle ($0.19/oz) on Amazon.

Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds Liquid Cleanser

This cleaner's combination of efficacy, environmental friendliness, and versatility is unmatched. It's a little pricey, but highly concentrated, and therefore long-lasting. While formulated for hard surfaces, Sal Suds can also be used to clean your dishes and even your laundry. Consumers rave about sparkling clean, residue-free surfaces, and a pleasant lingering scent. On top of everything else, Sal Suds is completely organic and biodegradable, containing no synthetic dyes or fragrances, and is easy on your skin as a result; you likely won't even need to wear rubber gloves.

Currently $15.14 for a 32 oz bottle ($0.47/oz) on Amazon.

Spic and Span Cinch Glass & Multi-Surface Cleaner

This Cinch cleaner has fierce adherents: more than one Amazon reviewer claims it's the best cleaning product they've ever used. Good Housekeeping gave it an "A" and deemed it especially effective on stainless steel, glass and laminate countertops. Cinch also gets points for the useful directions on its label, including a list of recommended surfaces and instructions on how to spot test.

Currently $7.92 for a 32 oz bottle ($0.25/oz) on Amazon.

Pine Sol Original

A proven wizard in trials against everything from grease to grape juice to mustard, Pine Sol shows that sometimes the old classics are still the best. It contains disinfectant agents that are effective against both salmonella and staph, and has long been a favorite among professional house cleaners. One drawback to Pine Sol is that it can't be used on brass, marble, or unfinished wood, but its very reasonable price resulted in it being named a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

Currently $3.75 for a 24 oz bottle ($0.16/oz) on Amazon.

Windex Multi-Surface Vinegar Cleaner

This effective spray-and-wipe cleaner — the recipient of an "A" grade from Good Housekeeping — contains no ammonia and uses natural extracts as disinfectants. Consumers love this Windex cleaner's versatility, citing its ability to remove everything from carpet stains to the odor from a garbage disposal. In tests, Windex proved to be a topnotch performer on virtually every kind of surface, though it did leave some streaks behind on glass.

Currently $4.99 for a 32 oz bottle ($0.16/oz) on Amazon.

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Guest's picture

Water and Norwex's micro-silver cloth cleans 90% of my home.