TAMPA - In a commercial for Clorox Clean-Up With Bleach, it appears as if you can clean up any stain so it looks like it never happened. Consumer reports just tested 13 regular all-purpose cleaners.
Testers spread mustard, ketchup, and cooking grease on glass or tile and let them stand overnight. Then they applied the cleaners and let them sit according to manufacturers' instructions. Next, testers wipe away the spills using the same number of passes.
So were the 13 cleaners able to make the stains disappear like you see in the ad? Not always. One obviously left a lot of mustard behind, another left a greasy film.
Testers also checked to see how well the cleaners removed caked-on soap scum and whether they streaked. There were big differences -- some left easily visible streaks.
Bob Markovich with Consumer Reports says "because cleaners can spill and you may not notice it, we also left them overnight on marble, granite, stainless steel, and other surfaces to see if they caused any damage."
Turns out almost all the cleaners left visible stains on brass. So can one all-purpose cleaner do it all?
Several green cleaners excelled, though not on everything. Top-rated Nature's Source did particularly well on soap scum, and it left fewer streaks and stained surfaces. However, it's not great for grease.
Better for that and other stains is Ecover Natural, but use it with care as it stained many surfaces when left on overnight in Consumer Reports' tests.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Top Money Headlines
The companies are selected for Forbes' list because of responses from half-a million U.S. employees who anonymously provide feedback through a survey.