Do you tackle an average of 18 cleaning tasks each week over a total of five hours? If so, you're part of an influential breed of cleaners dubbed "cleaning routinists" by S.C. Johnson & Son. As the Wall Street Journal reports, manufacturers are courting these power scrubbers with advanced cleaning products that, they hope, will ultimately be embraced by the mainstream. "It's like if you're designing running wear and testing it on triathletes," Don Frey, Method's vice president of product development, told the WSJ. "The casual runner will see the benefit as well."
Here's a list of winners from Consumer Reports' reviews of cleaning products. They should all past muster with the routinists. And if you're a "cleaning avoider," take note as well. After all, if you spend a mere 2.5 hours each week cleaning, you want to make sure the products you use get the job done.
All-purpose cleaners. Hands down, Pine-Sol Original, $2.50, was the best all-purpose cleaner in our tests, tackling soap scum, ketchup, concentrated grape juice, and more without streaking.
Laundry detergent. Tide's Ultra plus Bleach, 23 cents per load, is our top-rated detergent for high-efficiency machines, able to vanquish grass, blood, mud, and more. If you have a standard washing machine, go with the Wisk Deep Clean, 17 cents per load.
Dishwasher detergents. Cascade Complete With Dawn ActionPacs, 29 cents per load, topped all other detergents in our Ratings, cleaning pots with baked on mac 'n cheese, without the water spots or food deposits.
Steam mops. The H2O Ultra, $100, did the best job of all tested steam mops at removing stains from vinyl floors. And it didn't leave residual water on the floor the way other models did.
Vacuums. The Kirby Sentria upright vacuum costs a lot more than other vacs, but it was excellent at all cleaning tasks in our tests, and it's the least repair-prone brand in its category, so it should hold up well over time.
These top cleaning products should work even if you're what the WSJ calls "a 'time-pressured appearance cleaner,' who spends three hours a week on 'drive by' cleaning—enough to make the home look good—but don't enjoy it."