Skip to content   Skip to footer navigation 

How we test bathroom cleaners

Here's how we get the results that help you choose the best bathroom cleaner.

colourful spray bottles

Let's face it; no one enjoys cleaning their bathroom, that's why you want the right cleaner to make this chore as pain-free as possible. You'll need a product that can tackle all the grimy mess that builds up in your bathroom; one that can remove soap scum from tiles and glass as well as shower heads, bath tubs and taps.

Our expert testers

We select a range of bathroom cleaners that you can buy at major supermarkets and send them to a laboratory for testing. In-house, we work out the value for money of each product by calculating cost per 100mL as well as checking for various claims from the manufacturer.

How we choose which bathroom cleaners we test

With a range of products on the market, what makes us choose one bathroom cleaner to test over another? As with most of our product testing, our aim is to test the most popular brands on the market and what you're most likely to see in stores.

We first check out the products you can buy in-store and then survey manufacturers to find out about their range of products. From this information we put together a final list that goes to our buyers. They then head out to the retailers and buy each product, just as a normal consumer would. We do this so we can be sure they're the same as any consumer would find them and not 'tweaked' in any way.

How we test bathroom cleaners

Our overall score is a measure of soap scum removal and the testing lab follows the manufacturer's instructions for application times. This is how the lab synthesises the soap scum:

Soft soap scum is a combination of a variety of hard soaps, synthetic sebum (bodily oils) and carbon black (which provides the dark colour so soil removal can be measured). This is to simulate the effect of hard soaps combining with body oils to form sticky deposits (important in soft water areas and bathtubs). This is applied to tiles and baked on at 80°C for one hour. It is then scrubbed with 10 strokes of the scrub tester before soil removal is measured.

In the past we also tested bathroom cleaners against hard soap scum. However, the majority of the population lives in soft water areas, making soft soap scum the more common type we'd need to tackle. Previously, our overall score was also weighted more heavily towards soft soap scum so we made the decision to only test against soft soap scum.

CHOICE Expert Rating

This overall score is made up purely of soft soap scum removal.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.