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What's behind our all-purpose cleaners Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 12 models in all-purpose cleaners to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    This is based mainly on cutting performance, handling, and ease of use. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
  • Soap scum
    This Score indicates how much soap scum the product removed in testing.
  • Did not streak
    This is the score for the products streaking on a mirrored surface. A high score indicates that the product did not streak in testing.
  • Soils removal
    This Score indicates how well the product removed the four soils in our testing. The four soils were Mustard, Ketchup, Concentrated Grape Juice and Crisco shortening.


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Recommended all-purpose cleaners

Recommended all-purpose cleaners are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Ratings
With elbow grease and repeated application, most all-purpose cleaners will eventually remove soils. For bathrooms (especially toilets), use a product that contains bleach and is meant for bathroom surfaces.

All-purpose cleaners buying guide

Can one household cleaner vanquish tough kitchen stains such as grease and grape juice, soap scum and other bathroom scourges, and stubborn mineral deposits left by hard water? To find out, we applied those and other common stains to tiles, sprayed or wiped on several all-purpose cleaners, and inserted the tiles into our scrubbing apparatus, which gave each tile the same number of swipes with a paper towel. We also conducted a staining test, in which we let the all-purpose cleaners sit overnight on common kitchen and bathroom surfaces, as they might after an unnoticed spill.

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