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Wipes cleaning claims a little greasy

CHOICE tests reveal cleaning wipes claims aren't so sparkling

09 September 2016

A CHOICE test has found four out of five cleaning wipes failed to remove any dirt although their packs make claims such as "powers through grease, grime and dirt" and "one-step dirt lift".

CHOICE tested 27 multipurpose sprays, liquids and wipes for dirt removal, scrubbing white ceramic tiles 40 times with each cleaner to see if it removed oily grime.  

"Most of us have multipurpose cleaners in our arsenal but costing as much as $13.99 a bottle, we wanted to know how well they worked," says CHOICE head of media Tom Godfrey. 

"While some sprays performed very well, we were surprised to find the cleaning wipes failed to remove any dirt. 

"Wipes may look like a convenient, cost effective option to keep your home clean and sparkling but our test has shown their claims are questionable." 

Although they failed to remove any dirt in our test, Pine O Cleen Disinfecting Wipes claim they provide a "one-step dirt lift", Power Force Protect n Clean Disinfectant Wipes claims it "powers through grease, grime and dirt" and Woolworths Select Disinfecting Surface Wipes promise to "leave your surfaces sparkling clean".  

"With wipes costing up to $4.99 a pack, it's a lot of money to pay just to push dirt around a household surface," Mr Godfrey says.  

"There was good news for cleaning sprays, though, with seven products scoring 74 percent or more, with household favourites such as Easy off Bam Power Cleaner Grease and Sparkle and Ajax Spray and Wipe Multi-Purpose Apple & Citrus cleaning up. 

"Interestingly, cost didn't necessarily translate to superior performance with  Pine O' Cleen Multi Purpose Lemon Lime Burst, the second top performer costing $2.50 a bottle, $10.89 cheaper than  CLR Industrial Strength Cleaner ."

CHOICE also found the products were safe when used as directed, but a couple might be better suited for industrial use. Our standout performer, Citro Clean Multipurpose Cleaner, and  the lower scoring CLR Industrial strength cleaner should both be used with caution. 

"Always remember to keep these cleaners out of reach of kids and store them securely," says Mr Godfrey.

Safety tips for consumers

  • Store them securely
  • Read and follow the directions on the label
  • Avoid contact with skin, eyes and mouth

For more information see the full results of our multipurpose cleaner reviews

Media contact 

Tom Godfrey, CHOICE head of media and spokesperson: 0430 172 669


Set up by consumers for consumers, CHOICE is the consumer advocate that provides Australians with information and advice, free from commercial bias. As vital today as when we were founded in 1959, CHOICE continues to fight for consumers and uncover the truth. By mobilising Australia's largest and loudest consumer movement, CHOICE fights to hold industry and government accountable and achieve real change on the issues that matter most.

Editor's note 

Testing process: Each cleaning product was tested by soiling white ceramic tiles with oily grime. Using a scrubbing apparatus with a damp cloth attached to it the tiles are scrubbed 40 times. Reflectance readings are measured before and after cleaning to determine the overall score which is a measure of how much dirt is removed.