Cleaning products that are worse than water

Here it is - a list of cleaners worse than water :droplet:


Astounding isn’t it what marketing can sell. Yeah they clean just not very well at all but a bit of marketing and well they sell better than water out of a tap does (and that’s an essential in any house).


I expect many are loyal customers to these products because of their smell and appearance.

We use limited cleaning products and usually use water with a dash of bleach…to disinfect surfaces. We also use microfibre cloths as well. Microfibre cloths work particularly well cleaning windows. All you need is a clean damp one (wrung out hard so there is not free water) and a dry one. Wipe the window with the damp cloth and dry with the dry cloth (before it air dries). We once used a window cleaner but found it leaved a residue on the glass which was noticeable, particular when sunlight struck the glass.

The only cleaning product we specifically buy is one to remove soap residues from the shower…mainly we prefer the smell to vinegar.

I have heard that dihydrogen monoxide must be handled with care as it can be highly toxic to humans where it is over-consumed. There are other posts on this forum about it’s risks.


As with many drugs the method of ingestion is important. Sipping rather than snorting or inhaling is recommended.


The latest cleaning products tests by Choice.

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It is interesting to see the number of products down the bottom of the list in multipurpose cleansers. One would have to see the data and do some sums to test the idea but my guess is that the 18 products rated between 39 and 42% are in everyday use indistinguishable from water scoring 40%, that is two thirds of the number tested. Then there are about 8 also-rans between 44 and 66% and the two recommended over 80%. Given there is little difference in price it looks like the choice is efficacy (buy one of the recommended) or economy - use water. Many products seem nothing more than marketing with a colour and smell that you may (not) like.

There is a big sales opportunity for a new product here;
“Use Aitchtuoh, all natural, no artificial colours or flavours, hypoallergenic, easy on the hands, renewable, environmentally friendly, septic-safe, pet-safe …”
The space on the label saved on the ingredients list you would need to show all the boxes ticked. Winner!

A colourless greenwash so to speak.


But will bottled rainwater, spring water or mineral water be better than tap water?

It must be with some people paying around $10 a litre for it.


Considering the testing methodology it makes sense. Floor cleaners are designed to float dirt but they do not require rinsing which is their sales pitch. How many of us mop with a cleaner and then rinse well if we rinse at all?

All the dirt floating in water is going to dry and the dirt will settle back on the floor but instead of being in particulate form (eg raw dirt) it is now ‘homogenized’ into a scum-like consistency that dries on. The latter will not be as reflective as the former. Water by itself will not ‘homogenize’ to the same extent as will a detergent.


At the end of the day, is using water a problem or are have consumers been acustomed to using chemicals to get something squeaky clean?

If water suffices, it is a cheaper and far more environmentally solution.

Maybe food for thought for Choice when doing testing. Is the water clean okay for most purposes to get something nearly clean or for a reasonably satisfactory result?

We mainly use water on our timber floors…in a squirt bottle using paper towels OR a damp microfibre cloth and are happy with results.

Because it is water, doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.


Other than tap water, it may be cheaper to buy the cleaner than bottled water, brand dependent?

While Cleopatra supposedly bathed in milk, perhaps we should all be doing the final rinse off in the shower with Evian or Perrier, ‘For a 100% revitalising experience, just as Mother Nature intended’. :wink:

Has the Choice Community discovered the truely universal product, that can replace everything else under the sink and in the bathroom?

With many cleaning methods it is the wiping action that does most of the work.


Microfibre cloths seems to clean very well in many situations with only the addition of water to make them effective. The downside is that they are not a renewable fabric but they are a man made one that has other environmental impacts. Though some of mine are still going strong many years since their purchase and first usage. They have antibacterial cleaning properties because of their action when cleaning:

From a study into cleaning effectiveness of various types of cloths (

“Therefore, microfiber cloths seem to be effective in the removal of both viruses and bacteria from nonporous surfaces.”

“Although effective at virus removal by themselves, future research should involve evaluation of cloths identified to be the most effective all around (i.e., cellulose/cotton blend cloths and microfiber) in combination with sanitizers and other cleaning regimens.”