We’ve tested a slew of cleaning products and gadgets to bring you the most effective ones, from detergents to mops and vacuum cleaners – because only the best will do for your home.
1. BEST HOB AND STOVE CLEANER
Bio-home Kitchen Cleaner, $5.60
A powerful cleaner that worked like magic on greasy hobs and oily spots – it dissolved grime faster than any of the other soapy solutions we tested.
2. BEST ALL-PURPOSE DETERGENT
Dettol Multi Action Cleaner, $5.50
If you need just one cleaner for your kitchen, this is it. It cuts through grease to leave countertops, floors and even mirrors spotless and gleaming.
3. MOST REFRESHING KITCHEN CLEANER
Magiclean Kitchen Cleaner, $4.50
It leaves countertops squeaky clean to the touch, with a pleasant, fruity scent to boot!
4. FRESHEST-SMELLING BATHROOM CLEANER
Cif Bathroom Cleaner, $4.50
This leaves a subtle, powdery scent with no clinical afternotes.
5. BEST FLOOR CLEANER
Kao Magiclean Floor, $5.75
This cleaner consistently soaked up and cleaned oily smears effectively – a must have for sparkling floors.
6. FRESHEST-SMELLING TOILET CLEANER
Harpic Active Cleaning Gel – Wild Flowers, $3.10
It got rid of noxious stains and odours, leaving behind a light floral scent.
1. BEST WINDOW CLEANING TOOL
Scotch-brite Multipurpose Window & Glass Surface Cleaner, $28.85
When you need to wipe down windows, mirrors and the glass doors of bookshelves without climbing onto a stool, this tool does the stretching for you. It has a handle that can be lengthened to 1.1m, and comes with a microfiber cloth to dust, a squeegee to wipe, and a scourer to scrub. The bonus: one end can be bent at different angles to reach and clean shelf tops too.
2. BEST FLAT MOP FOR KITCHENS
Magiclean Wiper Mop, $20.85
Whether your floor is greasy after the daily dinner prep or at the end of a long day at home with the kids, a few swipes with this mop gives it the freshest underfoot feel.
3. MOST ERGONOMIC FLAT MOP
Scotch-brite Easy Sweeper, $18.95
If you have a cleaning roster for everyone in the family, there’s no excuse for the kids not to help out with this height-adjustable, lightweight mop which they can handle easily. Plus, it picks up dust and hair to leave floors spotless.
UPRIGHT AND CLEAN ROBOTIC MACHINES
1. THE ULTIMATE UPRIGHT VACUUM CLEANER
Dyson DC74 Fluffy, $999
It’s powerful, versatile and user friendly. The cordless machine really sucks up dirt and dust, leaving floors spanking clean. It also doubles as a competent hand-held vacuum: just detach the motor and fix a roller or brush attachment or a crevice tool, which makes it great for blinds, sofas and car interiors.
2. BEST HEAVY-DUTY STEAM SANITISER
Philips Steam Plus Sweep and Steam Cleaner FC7020, $269
If your good ol’ mop needs to be retired, this new-age electric one makes a good replacement. This sweep-steam-wipe machine with rotating bristles picks up dust as it ejects steam and wipes away dirt. Its tank easily holds enough water to clean a three-storey house in one go.
3. MOST FUSS-FREE UPRIGHT VACUUM CLEANER
Bosch Athlet BCH6ATH25, $649
Just charge it, then swipe it across your floors. It’s a cinch to manoeuvre and use, and has a washable dust canister. Unlike most other uprights, it can stand on its own so you don’t have to lean it against the wall when you need your hands free.
4. BEST ROBOTIC VACUUM CLEANER
LG Hom-bot Square, $1,299
It cleaned well, quietly and gently. Thanks to its effective sensor, it does not bump into furniture legs, yet sweeps out dust from around them well. With an easy-to-empty dust bin that comes with a brush to dislodge dust from the filter, it’s user-friendly too.
5. MOST INVENTIVE CLEANING GADGET
iRobot Braava 380t Floor Mopping Robot, $549, from John Ackerman
This modest-looking mopping device gets the job done effectively – no pushing needed. It’s quiet, and left nary a spot untouched when we tested it.
1. MOST USER-FRIENDLY VACUUM CLEANER
Rowenta Silence Force Extreme Eco Intelligence, $499
This machine won us over with its user-centric design. Making adjustments is easy – just press a button or push a knob to affix and remove attachments, adjust the tube length and select the power setting. Other vacuums have a brush attachment, but this one has an attached brush, so you only need to remove the telescopic tube to switch from cleaning the floor to brushing your armchair.
2. BEST-FOR-SMALL-SPACES VACUUM CLEANER
Electrolux Ultrasilencer Green, $369
Not only is this compact in size, it also has features that make it a natural for tight spaces: a slim nozzle that’s half the size of other vacuum cleaners’ nozzles, and a retractable handle that makes it a breeze to store. It’s easy-to-fix attachments ensure you don’t have to struggle with the appliance in a small space.
3. MOST POWERFUL VACUUM CLEANER
Philips Performerpro FC9192, $439
It picked up cereal, talcum powder and coffee beans quickly, leaving hardly a speck behind. We were also impressed by how well its unique parquet nozzle cleaned our wooden floors – the nozzle has two round detachable and washable micro-fibre pads that rotate as it vacuums. Other useful features: an easy-to-lift handle at the top of the machine, and a swivel hose that makes tugging it along a cinch.
By Lim Tsiao Hui and the Simply Her Team, March 2015