You know you’re an adult when a cleaner gets you more excited than a can of soda. So, the fact that you don’t have to buy several cleaning products and just one will get you even more excited. Thankfully, that’s just what all-purpose cleaners are for!
All-purpose cleaners are gentle enough so they don’t damage surfaces but effective enough to remove dirt, stains, and grease. There is no standard “ingredients list” of an all-purpose cleaner, and the cleaning potential of each may vary. But, if chosen right, this multipurpose cleaning agent will let you tackle different tasks with just one product.
That being said, the variety of products in the market might be confusing for some people. If you’re in the same boat and looking for a reliable all-purpose cleaning agent, you’re in the right place. We’ve curated a list of the leading all-purpose cleaners of 2022 and some tips to help you choose the right one. Let’s have a look!
Finding Your Next All Purpose Cleaner: A Buying Guide
If you’re finding yourself spending tons of money on an assortment of cleaning products, it’s time to rejoice. A good all-purpose cleaner will typically suffice for all your cleaning woes. With one, you don’t have to spend your hard-earned money on multiple cleaning products, because now just one can do nearly every job around the house. Not only that, but these are the safest choices in homes with kids, pets, and the elderly. As such, learning how to find the ideal all-purpose cleaner for your place is essential.
Things To Consider When Buying an All-Purpose Cleaner
Getting your hands on a viable cleaning product can be quite a task. You must know the important features to make the right choice.
Synthetic vs. natural or plant-based
Typically, all-purpose cleaners have chemical compositions to ensure they duly accomplish their jobs. Some are composed of synthetic materials, while others depend on chemicals produced by mother nature.
A good cleaner is designed to cut through dust and grime and rinses off easily. It will leave little or no residue when used according to the instructions. On the other hand, a poor cleaner will fall apart when dissolved in water. In general, it would be best if you found an all-purpose cleaner that is natural and works effectively.
If an all-purpose cleaner leaves behind residue, it can release harmful particles in the air or become a breeding ground for bacteria. When a recently cleaned surface gets dirty quickly, it is a sign that an all-purpose cleaner is not free rinsing or that you are taking the wrong steps during the rinsing process. Essentially, the same chemicals designed to bond and lift the dirt away will continue to do their jobs when left behind in a residue form.
Ensure that the all-purpose cleaner you opt for is easy to use — you shouldn’t have to put in the extra effort while wiping away stains and dirt. There are several options when considering the usage of the cleaners. For example, some cleaners contain strong chemicals, while some require water to wipe the residue.
The smell is a subjective thing, so investing in an all-purpose cleaner that appeals to your senses is important as you will be using it for several months. Fragrances like pine or lavender will help you to relax and is always a safe bet for a pleasing atmosphere.
Safety for people and pets
Due to their neutral pH, all-purpose cleaners are the safest choices for children, the elderly, and those with asthma. Cleaners beyond the 6 to 8 pH range can irritate the skin, eyes, and internal respiratory tissues. It is important to acknowledge that cleaning-solution manufacturers are allowed to integrate a broad range of chemicals into their solutions, and not all of them are safe.
If you have cleaning products in the house, you should ensure that the ingredients are non-toxic. The bright colors of some cleaners will appeal to curious children, so when not using the cleaner, you should store it in a closed cabinet to keep it away from the reach of pets and children.
Things You Should Never Do With an All-Purpose Cleaner
All-purpose cleaners are highly effective and smell great. They come in environmental-friendly options and help us streamline your supplies. That said, there are some things you should never do with an all-purpose cleaner:
Don’t use it to wipe your wooden furniture
Don’t use it on leather
Don’t use it on items that require disinfection
Don’t use it to clean natural stone
An all-purpose cleaner will do wonders around the house. Using an effective product will leave each corner glistening and bright. Unfortunately, the hunt for the perfect all-purpose cleaner can be quite long and difficult. Whatever you choose, ensure that you don’t use it on surfaces that could get damaged or stained.
Optimal All-Purpose Cleaner Worth Considering for 2022
Some people disregard the use of all-purpose cleaners because of their complexity, but this is not the case with Windex Dissolve All-Purpose Cleaner, as it is quite easy to use. All you need to do is drop the pod in an empty bottle, fill it up with warm water, twist the spray, and shake until the pod completely dissolves. The solution is ideal for instant cleaning and works wonders on hard surfaces like walls and countertops, but you can also use it to clean other surfaces like acrylic, ceramic tiles, Formica, steel, and fiberglass. If you ever need quick cleaning touch-ups, you should use this product to provide streak-free shine with no dull residue left back. We’ve ranked this all-purpose cleaner as the best on our list due to its powerful cleaning at a fair price.
Are you a sucker for squeaky clean furniture but can’t seem to get it? If so, you should consider the Pledge Multi Surface Cleaner Spray. The formula of this all-purpose cleaner works on most hard surfaces, whether metal, wood, steel, or even electronics. The convenient trigger spray makes it easy for the users to clean the blind corners around the house, while its pH-balanced enables it to clean different surfaces.
The spray bottle itself is made of 100% recycled plastic, making it a great pick for those always looking to minimize their carbon footprint. Meanwhile, its light, fresh citrus scent creates a refreshing vibe around the house. Only a gentle rub of this solution is enough to remove fingerprints, dust, messes, smudges, and smears. And, unlike a few other all-purpose cleaners, this product doesn’t leave behind any damage or dullness when used on a hard surface; this means you can satisfy your inner clean freak without fretting about the disastrous outcomes.
Who says a cleaning product must smell bad to prove its effectiveness? Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Cleaner is thoughtfully formulated to bring garden-inspired fragrances. Their product has a charming scent of fruits and flowers, including lavender, basil, geranium, honeysuckle, and lemon verbena. Simply dilute the solution before using it, then enjoy the soothing fragrances that fill the air around you.
Apart from the refreshing aroma, this all-purpose cleaner effectively cleans non-porous surfaces like floors, counters, and bathroom surfaces. This product is also quite tough on dirt, so you can freely use it around the house. The best part is that its biodegradable formula is made without phthalates, parabens, and animal-derived ingredients, while the bottle is made with 30% less post-consumer plastic.
Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner is the perfect choice for anyone concerned about sanitization and deep cleansing. This all-purpose cleaner spray rapidly kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19, and also cuts through the soap scum and tough grease stains.
Further, you can use this all-purpose cleaner on non-porous surfaces, like kitchen counters, bathrooms, and other household surfaces. It will completely sanitize and disinfect surfaces after they are cleaned, so you don’t have to worry about going over them a second or third time. It’s also earned an EPA certification because of its potent germ-killing formula and low level of toxicity.
Do you wish to clean your house while filling every corner with a natural scent? If you answered yes, this all-purpose cleaner by Pine-Sol could be your best friend. A classic pine aroma fills your home after using this formula on different surfaces. It cuts through the tough stains, grime, and grease, ensuring a spotless finish after application.
The product penetrates and removes the mess on most non-porous surfaces, indoor and outdoor. Its concentrated formula can be diluted to deliver a truly effective cleaning product — just make sure that you exert some additional strength when dealing with the tough stains. And for non-waxed surfaces, you should dilute this all-purpose cleaner and rinse it off immediately.
There are different methods of using this product for laundry and toilet bowls, so ensure that you have read the guidelines before using them on either material. Also available in a value pack, this product is a great bang for your buck, especially considering its potential to deliver a massive quantity of cleaning solutions.
Kills 99.9% of germs
Long-lasting fresh pine odor
Includes two 40-ounce bottles
It may leave a residue if excessively poured
People Also Asked
Q: What is an all purpose cleaner good for?
A: An all-purpose cleaner is the ultimate space-saver; its versatility makes it an important tool in every home’s cleaning box. They are safe to use to tackle messes on multiple surfaces around the room, from countertops to painted walls and even appliances. Instead of buying multiple cleaners for different spaces in the house, you can purchase one bottle of an all-purpose cleaner to get the cleaning job done.
Q: Is all purpose cleaner a disinfectant?
A: An all-purpose cleaner will provide your home clean finish. It is a degreaser and a cleaner that will remove the sticky residue and food from the countertops. But, not all solutions will disinfect when applied. If you are looking for a germ-killing formula, you should read the product description, instructions, and reviews to learn about its effectiveness.
Q: Is an all purpose cleaner food-safe?
A: It depends. Natural all-purpose cleaners may have antibacterial properties and can be safe when used around the food. Some ingredients on their label include white vinegar and thyme oil. Meanwhile, some products have a blend of various essential oils, which also contain surfactant soap or coconut-derived detergents.That said, synthetic or artificial all-purpose cleaners are not necessarily food-safe. They can contain a variety of harmful chemicals depending on the formula and brand, so make sure yours is food-safe before using it near food.
The Old House Journal Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you restore, repair, update, and decorate your home. The content is created by The Old House Journal Review Team. The Old House Journal editorial staff is not involved. Old House Journal is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.