Colorful cleaner can be confused with a fruity drink

Consumer Reports News: August 30, 2012 02:13 PM

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"It's a floor wax!" "It's a dessert topping!" So the mock commercial goes in a classic 1976 Saturday Night Live sketch for "Shimmer." Unfortunately, almost four decades later it can sometimes still be difficult to distinguish a cleaning product from a food. This time the product is real. It's called Fabuloso and it's an all-purpose cleaner not a sports drink.

To its credit, Colgate-Palmolive put childproof caps on Fabuloso several years ago but the cleaner still smells fruity, comes in bright lime, purple and orange, and the label is covered with apples and pears. When we lined up Fabuloso next to some orange soda without the labels showing, it was difficult to tell which one was the cleaning product and which the beverage.

That means that parents who use Fabuloso have to be hyper-vigilant about keeping it out of the reach of children and pets. And frankly, Fabuloso didn't do so fabulous in Consumer Reports tests of all-purpose cleaners. The lowest ranked of the three liquids we tested, Fabuloso was poor at removing soap scum, mediocre at food soil and left streaks behind.

You'd be better off switching to plain Pine-Sol Original, which looks like a cleaning product and was tops in our tests. It was very good at both the soap scum and food soil test and left no streaks, the only one of the 19 liquid and spray cleaners in our labs to ace that test. But we certainly won't be using the SNL tagline, "New Shimmer, for the greatest shine you ever tasted!"

Mary H.J. Farrell

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