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How we test surface cleaners

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

person using multi purpose cleaners lead

Whether you're doing a full spring clean or a quick whip around to spot-clean some daily messes, the job is made much easier with an effective surface cleaner.

Our expert testers

We send surface cleaners available from major supermarkets to a laboratory for testing. We also calculate in-house the value for money of each product by measuring how much detergent comes out with each pump of the trigger.

How we choose which products we test

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

We check instore to see what's available across the 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 purchase each product, just as a regular 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 for better performance.

How we test surface cleaners

We've changed the way we test surface cleaners. Lab experts put each cleaner to the test using pre-soiled melamine tiles. Using a scrubbing apparatus with a sponge attached, the sheet is scrubbed 40 times. The reflectance readings are taken before and after cleaning to determine the CHOICE Expert Rating, which is a measure of dirt removal.


For surface cleaners, dirt removal accounts for 100% of the CHOICE Expert Rating (our overall score that determines which products we recommend).

For glass cleaners, the CHOICE Expert Rating is made up of dirt removal (50%) and a streak test (50%). The streak test is a visual assessment whereby each product is rated based on how many streaks and/or drops are left behind. The test is carried out three times and the results are averaged. 

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.