Female hands in rubber gloves hold a rag and spray on blue background.
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The 11 Best All-Purpose Cleaners for Every Part of Your Home

We recommend Clorox Disinfecting All-Purpose Cleaner for its disinfecting powers.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

When deep cleaning every night is not a doable task, quick habits like spraying the countertops and other surfaces in the kitchen or bathroom with all-purpose cleaner can help to maintain a tidy home. All-purpose cleaner is perhaps the most versatile cleaning product, given that it can clean up messes, disinfect surfaces, and in some cases deodorize your home. 

To determine the best all-purpose cleaners, we spent hours researching top-rated options, looking at factors like fragrance, formula, versatility, and ability to clean, sanitize, and/or disinfect. We also asked Sara San Angelo, professional housekeeper and founder of Confessions of a Cleaning Lady, and Vera Peterson, President of Molly Maid, for their tips and recommendations on how to choose the best all-purpose cleaner.

Our top pick is Clorox Disinfecting All-Purpose Cleaner, which sets the bar high when it comes to thoroughly cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting almost any surface. 

Here are our picks for the best all-purpose cleaners, along with tips and useful information on how to choose an all-purpose cleaner and maximize its effectiveness on nearly any surface in your home.

Our Top Picks

All-Purpose Cleaner
Credit: amazon.com

Best Overall All-Purpose Cleaner: Clorox Disinfecting All-Purpose Cleaner

View at Amazon ($7)

Also available at Target and Walmart.

Who it's for: People with kids or large families who use the kitchen often and want to disinfect surfaces without bleach.

Who it isn't for: People who want a plant-based cleaner.

Clorox might be the most well-known disinfectant brand, even earning a spot on the EPA's list of disinfectants to use against COVID-19. The Clorox Disinfecting All-Purpose Cleaner is bleach-free, but still powerful enough to clean and disinfect an array of surfaces including stainless steel, sealed granite, and plastic.

While this cleaner is not plant-based and contains some harsh ingredients, including fragrance, it's definitely one of the most effective all-purpose cleaners for most surfaces from the kitchen to the bathroom. As the label claims, this cleaner kills 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses—just spray it 6-8 inches from the surface and let it stand for 30 seconds to sanitize and 10 minutes to disinfect. The Clorox Disinfecting All-Purpose Cleaner may also be the best choice for large households, especially those with children, since it will fully clean and disinfect without bleach while leaving a light, lingering crisp lemon scent.

Product Details:

  • Type: Liquid
  • Size: 32 ounces
All-Purpose Cleaner
Credit: target.com

Best Budget All-Purpose Cleaner: Everspring All-Purpose Cleaner

View at Target ($3)

Who it's for: People who want a fragrant cleaner with a bio-based formula.

Who it isn't for: People who want a disinfectant cleaner.

Everspring's All-Purpose Cleaner is naturally fragranced with essential oils and plant extracts, but the real star is the refreshing and herbaceous scent combinations. This cleaner is great for cutting through grease and grime and is a 98 percent bio-based product, which means it's derived from organic and renewable resources and made without ammonia and parabens. Besides its effective cleaning power, it is also cruelty-free and one of the most affordable all-purpose cleaners on the market.

Available in a number of earthy scents, including Lavender & Bergamot and Lemon & Mint, Everspring's selection of naturally scented all-purpose cleaners are a great choice for any room throughout the home.

Product Details:

  • Type: Liquid
  • Size: 28 ounces

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All-Purpose Cleaner
Credit: aspenclean.com

Best Natural All-Purpose Cleaner: AspenClean Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

View at AspenClean ($10)

Who it's for: People who want an effective and natural plant-based cleaner and disinfectant.

Who it isn't for: People who want a more affordable cleaner.

When it comes to natural or organic cleaners, AspenClean takes the cake for clean ingredients and eco-friendliness—in fact, it's one of only six all-purpose cleaners verified by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). This all-purpose cleaner is naturally fragranced with essential oils, made with plant-derived and biodegradable ingredients like aspen bark extract, and is 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free. Every bottle is also made with recyclable materials.

AspenClean's natural all-purpose cleaner can be used on any washable surface and is just as efficient at removing dirt and grime compared to conventional all-purpose cleaners. The soothing Grapefruit & Lavender scent is gentle enough around pets and kids, yet aromatic enough to linger for that clean home smell. It's definitely more expensive than other cleaners, but its quality ingredients more than make up for it.

Product Details:

  • Type: Liquid
  • Size: 22 ounces
All-Purpose Cleaner
Credit: amazon.com

Best All-Purpose Cleaner for Bathrooms: Mr. Clean Clean Freak Deep Cleaning Mist

View at Amazon ($6)

Also available at Walmart and Target.

Who it's for: People who want an all-purpose cleaner for tackling large surfaces, such as those in the bathroom.

Who it isn't for: People who want a larger amount of cleaner or who want a plant-based cleaner.

Mr. Clean's Clean Freak Mist is a powerful multi-surface spray that stands out for its power nozzle, which offers large coverage and can be used to spray at any angle. This is particularly helpful in the bathroom when cleaning sinks, tubs, and showers. This spray is also safe on aluminum, granite, marble, nickel, chrome, and even finished wood if wiped dry immediately after spraying.

While the Clean Freak Mist contains several ingredients (including synthetic fragrance) that can cause skin and eye irritation, when used properly and safely, it can leave surfaces sparkling clean with an uplifting and long lasting scent. You can also choose to purchase it with a large bottle of refill solution, so you can use the same spray bottle again and again and waste less plastic.

Product Details:

  • Type: Liquid
  • Size: 16 ounces

RELATED: The 4 Best Steam Cleaners, According to Our Testing

All-Purpose Cleaner
Credit: amazon.com

Best All-Purpose Cleaner for Kitchens: Lysol Kitchen Pro Antibacterial Cleaner

View at Amazon ($4)

Also available at Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want an all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant for their kitchen.

Who it isn't for: People who want a plant-based cleaner.

Like Clorox, Lysol products are also recognized by the EPA for being able to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses. This particular antibacterial cleaner is catered to kitchen messes and surfaces, able to thoroughly penetrate grime, grease, and dirt to leave nothing but a clean shine. This cleaner is safe to use on non-porous surfaces and will work best on kitchen counters, cabinets, appliance exteriors, sinks, and stovetops. It can also fully sanitize and disinfect surfaces if they are pre-cleaned and the cleaner is applied for the recommended amount of time—30 seconds to sanitize and 10 minutes to disinfect.

Product Details:

  • Type: Liquid
  • Size: 22 ounces

RELATED: The 7 Best Dish Soaps for Getting All Your Kitchenware Clean

All-Purpose Cleaner
Credit: amazon.com

Best Scented All-Purpose Cleaner: Mrs. Meyer's Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner

View at Amazon ($5)

Also available at Target, Walmart, and Grove Co.

Who it's for: People who want a uniquely scented, plant-derived cleaner.

Who it isn't for: People who prefer a fragrance-free cleaner and people who want a cleaner that can sanitize.

Mrs. Meyer's cult-favorite cleaners come in a wide selection of scents, including seasonal ones to really get into the holiday spirit. The Lemon Verbena scent, however, may be its most revitalizing and verdant scent, and is perfect for cleaning any time of year. Mrs. Meyer's Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner is cruelty-free, 97 percent derived from plants, and free of harsh chemicals like parabens and phthalates. Each bottle is also made with at least 30 percent post-consumer plastic.

Since this cleaner is safe to use on non-porous surfaces such as kitchen counters, walls, and floors, it's versatile and effective for any room of the house while leaving a garden-fresh aroma indoors.

Product Details:

  • Type: Liquid
  • Size: 16 ounces

RELATED: The 23 Best Candles to Make Your Home Smell Amazing

All-Purpose Cleaner
Credit: amazon.com

Best All-Purpose Cleaner Wipes: Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

View at Amazon ($11 for 3-pack)

Also available at Walmart and Target.

Who it's for: People who want a more cost-effective cleaner for large surfaces.

Who it isn't for: People who don't have a lot of surfaces to clean.

Clorox disinfecting wipes offer an easy and convenient way to sanitize and disinfectant most surfaces. These wipes are powerful enough to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses, and are the best to use on tricky items and surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, cell phones, and keys. They are made without bleach and can be used on finished wood, sealed granite, stainless steel, and non-food-contact surfaces.

Since most wipes are made with synthetic fibers, they are not recyclable and therefore not sustainable or eco-friendly. If you absolutely prefer wipes to spray cleaners, though, Clorox's disinfecting wipes are the most powerful and effective when it comes to fully cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. Each container contains 75 wipes and is typically sold in packs of three, so they're also very cost effective compared to other cleaners.

Product Details:

  • Type: Wipes
  • Size: 75 wipes per container
All-Purpose Cleaner
Credit: everneat.co

Best All-Purpose Cleaner Paste: Everneat Soft Scrub

View at Etsy ($18)

Also available at Everneat.

Who it's for: People who want a great-smelling, eco-friendly paste cleaner.

Who it isn't for: People who don't want to spend a lot on a cleaner.

Using a therapeutic-grade blend of essential oils, Everneat specializes in natural yet effective cleaners that smell better than a spa scrub. Their all-purpose soft scrub is a non-scratch paste made with plant-based ingredients that works as a degreaser and soap scum remover. This paste is powerful enough to clean the oven, tile, grout, and even pots and pans, yet gentle enough on hands and safe to use around pets and children.

While this soft scrub might take a little elbow grease to clean particularly grimey surfaces, it is a great natural alternative to conventional all-purpose sprays or wipes. It's free of dyes, fragrances, and harsh chemicals like parabens. Plus, all of Everneat's products are cruelty-free and made in the U.S., and all of their containers and bottles are reusable and recyclable.

Product Details:

  • Type: Paste
  • Size: 16 ounces
All-Purpose Cleaner
Credit: amazon.com

Best Disinfectant All-Purpose Cleaner: Purell Multi-Surface Disinfectant Spray

View at Amazon ($16 for 2-pack)

Who it's for: People who want to disinfect while they clean.

Who it isn't for: People who want a plant-based spray, or one with a nicer scent.

For anyone who's mostly concerned with their all-purpose cleaner being able to thoroughly sanitize and disinfect surfaces, Purell's Multi-Surface Disinfectant Spray is the best choice. This disinfectant spray rapidly kills 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses, no water rinse required.

It can be used on just about any surface, including food-contact surfaces and toys. Unlike other all-purpose sprays, it's safe to use on sealed granite, glass, and laminate, among other hard and soft surfaces. It also earned the EPA's lowest allowable toxicity rating, making it safe to use while disinfecting quickly and effectively. Plus, each bottle is pretty large at 28 ounces—and since it's sold in packs of two, you can stock up and not have to worry about replacing it for quite awhile.

Product Details:

  • Type: Liquid
  • Size: 28 ounces
All-Purpose Cleaner
Credit: branchbasics.com

Best All-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate: Branch Basics The Concentrate

View at Branch Basics ($55)

Who it's for: People who want to cut back on plastic and people who use large amounts of all-purpose cleaner and want to make it last longer. 

Who it isn't for: People who want to save time not diluting their cleaner.

For those who prefer either a more diluted or concentrated cleaner, concentrates can be the best way to control the strength of an all-purpose cleaner and make it last a little longer than a conventional spray. By adding water to the Branch Basics concentrate in your own spray bottle, your all-purpose cleaner is ready to use on a variety of surfaces including countertops, sinks, bathtubs, and even dishes.

Branch Basics products are plant and mineral-based, cruelty-free, and made without harmful preservatives or chemicals, which make it safe to use around children and pets. With this concentrate, you might even be able to replace all your cleaning supplies and clean every part of your home with just one product.

Product Details:

  • Type: Liquid
  • Size: 33.8 ounces
All-Purpose Cleaner
Credit: amazon.com

Best All-Purpose Cleaner Kit: Force of Nature Multi-Purpose Cleaner Kit

View at Amazon ($70)

Also available at Force of Nature.

Who it's for: People who want to cut down on single-use plastic. 

Who it isn't for: People who don't want to make their own cleaner.

It's quite simple to formulate cleaning products at home using ingredients like vinegar and baking soda, but for something a little more powerful and sophisticated, the Force of Nature starter kit is the ultimate homemade all-purpose cleaner, disinfectant, and deodorizer. Using an electrolyzer appliance and activator capsules containing salt, vinegar, and water, this kit quickly creates a powerful yet gentle all-purpose cleaner that is fragrance-free and tough on grime, grease, and soap scum.

This cleaner might also be the most versatile—it can be used on sealed stone like granite, marble, and quartz, stainless steel, wood, glass, laminate, grout, porcelain, plastic, tile, rubber, and more. Without the use of dyes, preservatives, fragrances, and allergens, the Force of Nature starter kit is a fantastic kit for families and those with sensitivities.

Product Details:

  • Type: Liquid
  • Size: Makes five 12-ounce bottles 

Final Verdict

To fully clean, sanitize, and disinfect almost any surface, the Clorox Disinfecting All-Purpose Cleaner is the best and most effective choice for most homes, especially when it comes to killing bacteria and viruses. For a natural, plant-based cleaner and disinfectant, AspenClean's Natural All-Purpose Cleaner is safe enough to use around pets, children, and those with sensitivities, while leaving behind a natural and light fragrance.

How to Shop for All-Purpose Cleaners Like a Pro

Type

While it may be in the name that an all-purpose cleaner can be used anywhere, any time, for any surface, not all are created equally. First, it's important to decide if you want a cleaner, a sanitizer, a disinfectant, or a combination of all three. While those three terms are often conflated together, they are actually different (more about that below). 

Next, decide where you are most likely to use this all-purpose cleaner (mostly in the kitchen, mostly in the bathroom, or anywhere in the home). Lastly, double check the cleaner's label to see if it can be used on a certain surface. "Do not use all-purpose cleaners containing bleach, citrus, ammonia, or hydrogen peroxide on marble countertops," says San Angelo. "These cleaners will corrode or burn the marble finish creating dull spots called etching."

While most all-purpose cleaners are liquids that are sprayed onto surfaces, there are some other varieties. Wipes are a popular alternative due to their convenience and cost effectiveness, but they're undoubtedly wasteful compared to liquid cleaners. Pastes are another, less common option that are typically more natural (and more expensive) than liquid cleaners. While they requiring a bit of a learning curve, they're a good choice for people who want to avoid plastic and harsh chemicals as much as possible.

Ingredients

While chemical cleaners are the most effective in killing more bacteria, viruses, and germs, there are plenty of natural options that can get the cleaning job done too. All-purpose cleaners may include more natural ingredients like essential oils, coco glucoside, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), decyl glucoside, and/or vinegar. Those with asthma, skin sensitivities, and allergies should avoid products with ammonia, bleach, synthetic fragrances, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), and chlorine, among other ingredients.

Fragrance 

Most all-purpose cleaners will contain some type of fragrance, whether it's synthetic, naturally derived through essential oils, or a combination of both. Some natural cleaners might have a smaller amount of fragrance for a subtler scent, but if a scented all-purpose cleaner is not for you, it's best to check the label for the "fragrance-free" stamp.

Questions You Might Ask

What is the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting?

When shopping for an all-purpose cleaner, you might find that different product labels have different functions: cleaning, sanitizing, and/or disinfecting. While these might all seem like the same or similar concept, each is different and understanding their meaning can help you determine which all-purpose cleaner is best for you and your home. 

According to the EPA, cleaning involves removing organic matter (such as dirt) from surfaces using a soap or detergent; sanitizing means killing bacteria but not viruses; and disinfecting kills both viruses and bacteria.   

Are there any surfaces you shouldn't use all-purpose cleaners on?

While all-purpose cleaners are safe for most surfaces, particularly those that are non-porous and sealed, some materials such as quartz, marble, and certain types of wood may not be able to withstand an all-purpose cleaner, even if it is natural or plant-based. 

"If you have surfaces such as granite or marble, purchase a product made specifically for those materials to avoid doing damage over time," says Peterson. It's best to use all-purpose cleaners on treated wood, porcelain, stainless steel, tile, laminate, plastic, and ceramic. All-purpose cleaners should never be used on fabric, including carpet, leather, and upholstery.

How often should you wipe down surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner?

While different all-purpose cleaners have different instructions on how often it should be used or how long it should be left on before wiping it, a good rule of thumb to follow is to use the solution a couples times a day and leave it on the surface for a few minutes at a time, depending on the strength and surface. 

"Spray the solution liberally all over the surface and let it sit for about five minutes, or as directed by the label," says San Angelo. "This lets the ingredients soften up grime and grease so you don't have to scrub as hard, and you can spend time cleaning something else during this time."

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by L. Daniela Alvarez, contributing writer for Real Simple with nearly three years experience writing about lifestyle content and product reviews. To compile this list, she spent hours researching all-purpose cleaners and their ingredients, and reading customer reviewers. She also received tips on how to shop for all-purpose cleaners from Sara San Angelo, professional housekeeper and founder of Confessions of a Cleaning Lady, and Vera Peterson, President of Molly Maid.