Skip to content   Skip to footer navigation 

Best and worst household products of 2019

Winners and sinners from this year's CHOICE lab tests.

graphic of good and bad shopping basket icons
Last updated: 20 December 2019

Need to know

  • CHOICE tested hundreds of supermarket products in 2019
  • Six multipurpose cleaners failed to outperform water
  • In great news if you're on a budget, we often find that price isn't always an indicator of quality: many expensive products were outclassed by cheaper alternatives

In 2019, our experts tested hundreds of supermarket products that you probably add to your shopping basket each week, from detergents to toilet paper, nappies and fabric softener. Each product is rigorously tested and rated in our labs to help Australian shoppers find the best and dodge the duds.

Here's a selection of products we can recommend, and some you should avoid.

Multipurpose sprays

windex multi purpose cleaner surface glass mountain fresh

Best window cleaner 2019

windex multi purpose cleaner surface glass

Best window cleaner 2019

Glass and window cleaners

The best

It's a tie! Our two top performers got a CHOICE Expert Rating of 74%:

  • Windex Multi-Purpose Cleaner Surface & Glass
  • Windex Multi-Purpose Cleaner Surface & Glass Mountain Fresh

The worst

Plain water scored just 35% in our surface cleaner review, which isn't exactly surprising. What is surprising is just how many products failed to outperform plain water, or only delivered a marginally better result. 

Here are the worst performing glass cleaners we tested:

  • Ecostore Ultra Sensitive Glass & Surface Cleaner (33%)
  • Aldi Power Force Pro Glass Cleaner (35%)
  • Community Co Clean Freak! Glass & Window Cleaner (35%)
  • Earth Choice Window & Glass Crystal Clean (36%)
sard wonder superpower stain remover

Best stain remover 2019


Worst stain remover 2019

Stain removers

Turns out, stain removers are one of those categories where brand loyalty won't serve you well. Our best and worst performers both come from Sard Wonder!

The best

Sard Wonder SuperPower Stain Remover topped this test with a CHOICE Expert Rating of 79%. But if you're on a budget, we found that Coles and Aldi's own-brand products worked pretty much as well, scoring just one percentage point lower for around half the price per 100mL. 

The worst

Sard Wonder Deo and Sweat Stain Remover scored just 52% in our test. By comparison, detergent with water (no stain remover) also scored 52%. This product also didn't do much for perspiration stains: it scored just 46% for our perspiration test. 

omo with a touch of comfort inspired freshness powder front

Best laundry detergent 2019


Worst laundry detergent 2019

Laundry detergent

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

We wash the swatches with the laundry detergent we're testing, then use spectrometers to compare how much of the stain remains. 

The best

Omo with a Touch of Comfort Inspired Freshness (for front loaders)

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 84%
  • Cost per wash: $0.51

The worst

Woolworths Essentials Laundry Liquid Clean Wash Apple Fragrance (for top loaders)

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 39%
  • Cost per wash: $0.06

Yes, it's a bargain, but this Woolworths liquid performed even worse than plain water, which scored 42% in our test. It was outdone by plain water on just about every stain, including blood, baby food, tomato, perspiration and grass/mud. 

earth choice dish tablets

Best dishwasher detergent 2019


Worst dishwasher detergent 2019

Dishwasher detergents

The best

Earth Choice Dish Tablets

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 77%
  • Cost per wash: $0.39

The worst

Woolworths Shine Dishwasher Powder Concentrate

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 38% 
  • Cost per wash: $0.08

Best fabric softener 2019


Worst fabric softener 2019

Fabric softeners

Our testers say that not only are fabric softeners bad for the environment and leave your clothes coated in chemicals, but they're often largely unnecessary and expensive (and some that we tested don't even work!). To find out more, read our fabric softener buying guide. But if you must buy one, here are our best and worst buys...

The best

Huggie Easy Iron Fabric Conditioner Lavender

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 82%
  • Cost: $0.80 per 100mL

The worst

Cuddly Concentrate Soft & Sensitive Fabric Conditioner

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 46%
  • Cost: $0.90 per 100mL

Best nappies 2019


Worst nappies 2019

Disposable nappies

The best nappy can make the world of difference to your bub, so if you haven't yet settled on the perfect brand, see our test results to see what rated best in our labs. We test disposable nappies for absorbency, leakage, rewet factor (the absorbency of the nappy five minutes after it's been wet), and the velcro strength. 

The best

Pampers Baby Dry Size 3 

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 95%
  • Cost: $0.52 per nappy

The worst 

Little One's Infant 

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 52%
  • Cost: $0.20 per nappy

Best toilet paper 2019


Equal worst toilet paper 2019


Equal worst toilet paper 2019

Toilet paper

Either you're one of those people who gets pretty fussy about toilet paper, or you just pick up whatever's on special. Either way, our tests prove that all loo roll is not created equal! See our toilet paper review

The best

Quilton Toilet Tissue Double Length Floral 

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 83%
  • Cost: $0.29 per 100 sheets

The worst

It's a tie!

Who Gives a Crap Premium Bamboo Toilet Paper 

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 65%
  • Cost: $0.32 per 100 sheets

Pure Planet Club Superhero Large 

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 65% 
  • Cost: $0.51 per 100 sheets
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.