It turns out most multi-purpose cleaners work only slightly better than water, Consumer NZ finds

If you fork out money on different cleaning products for your kitchen and bathroom, you'll be surprised to learn you might as well be using water to clean your home.

Consumer NZ has released the results of a new study today after testing 28 different household cleaners. And the consumer watchdog has found many of these supermarket cleaners work only slightly better than water.

The products were tested by applying them to a PVC sheet covered in greasy soil, following manufacturers' instructions, and then using a mechanical arm to clean the sheet. They were then ranked on a scale from "terrible - don't buy" to "excellent".

The results showed that 17 of the products tested were only slightly better than plain water or water and vinegar.

The products ranked "terrible" included popular supermarket cleaners Ajax Spray n' Wipe Multi-Purpose Cleaner, Dettol cleaning spray, and Ecostore Multi-Purpose Cleaner.

Products ranked "excellent" included budget-friendly options Mr Muscle disinfectant and Value Brand Lemon Creme Cleaner and Orange Multi-Purpose Spray.

It seems cheaper cleaning options are often more effective. In 2017, Consumer NZ rated a $1 Necessities brand cleaner as one of its top performers.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin said at the time that price doesn't matter when it comes to the effectiveness of cleaning products.

"It shows the value of our testing. It's not very much on a one-off basis, but if you think of all the multi-purpose cleaners you buy it does start to mount up. If you can get it for a sixth of the price, you're doing well."

It's not the only way you could be losing money on supermarket cleaners.

Last month a professional cleaner revealed how you could be wasting supermarket sprays.

She took to TikTok to demonstrate how you're probably using your cleaning products wrong - but her solution will change your cleaning routine for good.

Kacie revealed that most popular supermarket cleaning sprays actually need to be left on a surface for at least 10 minutes for them to work properly.

Most of us simply spray and wipe straight away.

"So you think you're a clean freak? Well, here's a hard truth from a professional cleaner," Kacie said.

"Just because you're using a disinfectant spray, that doesn't mean you're disinfecting anything [you need to read the labels].

"These supermarket sprays need to be left on a surface for a whole 10 minutes to kill any germs."

This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.