Best and worst household products of 2018


The products which performed best in our tests and those which failed to impress.

2018 lab test winner and losers


This year we spent more than 65,000 hours testing nearly 2000 household products – from hair dryers and toasters to TVs and laptops – in order to determine which are the best buys. 

Here's a selection of products we can recommend (and those you should avoid). 

Want to see all the results of the thousands of hours of work in our labs this year? Join now to get full access to all our expert reviews of products and services.

Laundry detergent

We test laundry detergents by using cloth swatches embedded with specific amounts of dirt.

Once the swatches have been washed, we use spectrometers to compare how much of the stain remains in order to determine which product performs best. 

The best

The winner this year was Coles Ultra Front which scored 81%. 

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Coles Ultra Front scored 81%.

The worst

Less impressive was the Supreme Heavy Duty Laundry Liquid, which managed a score of just 45%. 

(Water alone performed only slightly worse, scoring 42%.)

Multipurpose cleaners

The best

Easy-Off Bam Power Cleaner Grease & Sparkle, earned an impressive 95% score in our multipurpose cleaners test.

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Easy-Off Bam Power Cleaner Grease & Sparkle scored 95%.

The worst

Shamefully, 13 of the 27 products we tested scored just 30% – that's almost as bad as cleaning with water alone, which managed a score of 29%. 

  • Strike Multi Purpose Cleaner Antibacterial Citrus Blossom.  
  • Safe4u Vanilla Fresh Fridge & Kitchen Wipe. 
  • Pine O Cleen Pine O Cleen Multi Purpose Cleaner Crisp Apple. 
  • Organic Choice Multi Purpose Cleaner Lemongrass & Australian Myrtle. 
  • Orange Power Multi Purpose Cleaner. 
  • Ecostore Multi-Purpose Cleaner Citrus. 
  • Earth Choice Multi Purpose. 
  • Dettol Healthy Clean Multipurpose Cleaner Citrus Lemon Lime. 
  • Dettol Anti-Bacterial Surface Cleanser With Fresh Lime & Mint. 
  • Coles Ultra Multi Purpose Cleaner Lemon. 
  • Aldi Power Force Pro Multi Purpose Cleaner Orange Fragrance. 
  • Aldi Green Action Eucalyptus Multi Purpose Cleaner. 
  • Ajax Spray N Wipe Divine Blends Orange Mountain Blossom.

Toilet cleaners 

Nobody loves cleaning the toilet, so finding a product that makes this chore a little less hard work is a no-brainer. 

The best

Three products earned the top score of 75% in our toilet cleaners test:

  • Aldi Power Force Bright & Clean Oxy Thick Toilet Gel.
  • Janola Power Clean Toilet Bleach Gel.
  • White King Premium Bleach.

aldi-power-force-bright-clean-oxy-thick-toilet-gel_1janola-power-clean-toilet-bleach-gel_1white-king-premium-bleach_1

(Top to bottom) Aldi Power Force Bright & Clean Oxy Thick Toilet Gel, Janola Power Clean Toilet Bleach Gel, White King Premium Bleach all scored 75%.

The worst

  • Coles Toilet Cleaner.
  • Coles Ultra Toilet Gel.
  • Harpic Fresh Power.
  • Woolworths Essentials Toilet Cleaner.

These all scored just 40% – worse than using water alone. Buying any one of these is definitely money down the gurgler!

Glass and window cleaners

We included shop-bought products and a homemade vinegar and water solution (at a ratio of 1:1) in our glass and window cleaners test

We found the vinegar solution actually performed better than some of the products you'd buy at your local supermarket. 

The best 

Two products earned the top score of 78%:

  • Coles Ultra Glass and Window Cleaner.
  • Glitz Glass Cleaner.

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Coles Ultra Glass and Window Cleaner (top) and Glitz Glass Cleaner (bottom) each scored 78%.

The worst

Windex Mr Muscle Glass cleaner scored only 50% – less than the homemade vinegar solution, which scored 64%.

Stain removers

Don't you just hate getting a load of washing done only to find that that your clothes aren't clean? 

We tested 23 stain removers to determine which were best and worst at removing stains. 

The best

Coles Ultra PreWash Stain Remover scored 79%.

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Coles Ultra PreWash Stain Remover scored 79%.

The worst

Orange Power Pre-Wash Stain Remover received an OK score of 62%.

Dishwasher detergents

How annoying is it when take your dishes out of the dishwasher – only to find they aren't actually clean? 

Buying the right dishwasher detergent can help prevent that.

The best

Earth Choice All in One Dish Tablets scored 81%. 

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Earth Choice All in One Dish Tablets scored 81%.

The worst

Earthwise Dishwasher Tablets was the poorest-performing product with a score of just 40%.

Fabric softeners

Fabric softeners are far from essential and have a number of downsides (they can reduce the flame retardant qualities of kids' pyjamas, for example).

But if you do decide to use one, you want to be sure it at least does the job intended, so we compared 26 products in our fabric softeners test

The best 

Soften Concentrate Fabric Softener Ocean Fresh scored 73%.

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Soften Concentrate Fabric Softener Ocean Fresh earned a respectable 73%.

The worst 

Fluffy Summer Breeze Fabric Conditioner scored just 48%, the same as water alone.

Disposable nappies

We tested 46 different nappies across the newborn, infant, and crawler ranges for absorption, leakage, rewet and velcro strength. 

The best

  • Huggies took the prize in the newborn and crawler categories, with scores of 88% and 92% respectively. 
  • Moltex Nature No. 1 Mini won the infant category, with a score of 84%. 

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Best infant nappy: Moltex Nature No.1 Mini scored 84%.

The worst

  • Little One's failed to impress in both the infant and crawler category, scoring 52% and 62% respectively.
  • Ecoriginals were at the bottom of the list in the newborn category, with a score of 62%.

Toilet paper

Our toilet paper test compared 39 products for softness, ease of tearing at the perforation, strength and resistance to puncturing and how quickly they disintegrate.

The best

Quilton Shea Butter In Gold scored 86%.

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Quilton Shea Butter In Gold scored 86%

The worst

Kleenex Complete Clean 4Pack earned 61%.

Tissues 

Which tissue scores best when it comes to strength, absorbency, softness and the ability to resist tearing when wet? 

The best

Kleenex Tissues To Go 4 Ply 6 Pocket Pack 9, scored 81%.

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Kleenex Tissues To Go 4 Ply 6 Pocket Pack 9 scored 81%

The worst

Confidence 2 Ply White Facial Tissues 224 Pack failed to impress with a score of just 49%.

Paper towel 

We test paper towels on a range of criteria, including absorbency and how easily they tear and puncture.

The best

Viva Multi-Use Cleaning Towel Double Length With Bamboo Fibre, which scored 84%. 

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Viva Multi-Use Cleaning Towel Double Length With Bamboo Fibre scored 84%

The worst

Less impressive were Woolworths Homebrand Paper Towels, which scored just 42%.


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