The Best All-Purpose Cleaners of 2023

The best all-purpose cleaners tackle germs, grease, and grime on a variety of surfaces. Here are the best ones on the market.

By Carol Benton and Jasmine Harding | Updated Oct 31, 2022 11:56 AM

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The Best All-Purpose Cleaner Option


Versatile and effective, all-purpose cleaners save money by performing multiple cleaning functions. The best ones are environmentally safe and sustainable, removing grime and germs from countertops, walls, windows, floors, bathroom surfaces, and upholstery without posing any health risks.

With so many options available, finding the right cleaner can be tricky. In this guide, we look at all the features to consider when shopping for an all-purpose cleaner and offer a list of safe, sustainable options that quickly dissolve grime and rinse away, leaving little to no chemical residue.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Mr. Clean Clean Freak Deep Cleaning Mist
  3. BEST FOOD-SAFE: Puracy All Purpose Cleaner
  4. BEST DEGREASER: Krud Kutter Original Concentrated Cleaner/Degreaser
  5. BEST DISINFECTANT WIPES: Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi Surface Wipes
  6. BEST PLANT CONCENTRATE: Biokleen Natural All Purpose Cleaner
  7. BEST GERMICIDAL SPRAY: Clorox Healthcare Bleach Germicidal Cleaner Spray
  8. BEST SCENTED CLEANER: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner
  9. BEST STAIN REMOVER: Good Life Solutions Stain Remover and Odor Eliminator
  10. BEST FOR UPHOLSTERY: Rocco & Roxie Oxy Stain Remover
The Best All-Purpose Cleaner Option


Before You Buy All-Purpose Cleaner

Soap and water is an effective cleaner for many everyday messes, but for a deeper or more convenient clean, an all-purpose cleaner is a good choice. When looking for an all-purpose cleaner, shoppers will want to consider a product’s purpose, form, ingredients, and ease of use. Whether the product is environmentally sustainable and safe should also be a chief concern.

Commercial and industrial settings typically need strong disinfectants that contain harsh chemicals proven to kill germs. But households with young children and pets benefit more from all-purpose cleaners made with natural, chemical-free ingredients that don’t pose health risks. Many of these sustainable, all-purpose cleaners usually display the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safer

Choice certification on their labels.
Regarding sustainable options, aside from product packaging, we also encourage shoppers to consider the effect an all-purpose cleaner has on the environment after its empty bottle or container, for example, is placed in the trash.

How We Chose the Best All-Purpose Cleaners

Our top all-purpose cleaners were chosen based on extensive product research, with efficacy and overall safety in mind. Consumer reviews, brand reputation, product ingredients, and overall effectiveness all factored into our selections, balancing cleaning power with safety.

In evaluating safety, we looked at each product’s effect on individual users along with its broader environmental footprint, reviewing every ingredient list. Although we acknowledge that harsher ingredients are often necessary for disinfecting and sanitizing, we stuck to all-purpose cleaners with gentler ingredients. We also prioritized EPA Safer Choice-certified products.

No matter how safe an ingredient list, an all-purpose cleaner is not a good product if it doesn’t work, so we also considered efficacy and ease of use. We leaned toward sprays, concentrates, and wipes that could be used on just about any surface.

Last, we also considered price. Because all-purpose cleaners are used frequently, we prioritized affordable options.

Our Top Picks

Our top picks are among the best all-purpose cleaners available for multiple cleaning tasks around the home. They’re also safe to use and environmentally friendly.

Best Overall

The Best All-Purpose Cleaner Option Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner

The Simple Green all-purpose cleaner is suitable for both hard and soft surfaces, including counters, floors, appliances, carpets, and fabrics. This concentrate, which comes in a spray bottle, can be used at full strength for really tough cleaning jobs or diluted to create a general-purpose or light-duty cleaner. Though it isn’t safe to use on certain materials such as suede and leather or on unfinished wood, opals, or pearls, it’s suitable for most surfaces.

Beyond just cleaning, this versatile product can also be used to degrease surfaces and remove stains. Though powerful, this cleaner is a safe choice for most households: it’s biodegradable, septic-safe, and is EPA Safer Choice certified. It’s available in sassafras, lemon, and lavender scents that leave a pleasant smell after cleaning.

Product Specs

  • Purpose: Heavy-duty and general-purpose cleaning, degreasing, and removing stains
  • Form: Concentrate/spray
  • EPA Safer Choice certified: Yes


  • Can be used as is or diluted
  • Safe for a variety of hard and soft surfaces
  • Degreaser and stain remover


  • Not safe for all surfaces

Get the Simple Green all-purpose cleaner at The Home Depot or on Amazon.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best All-Purpose Cleaner Option Mr. Clean Clean Freak Deep Cleaning Mist

This spray from Mr. Clean is an affordable, safe, and effective multisurface cleaner. Available in a spray bottle that’s equipped with Mr. Clean’s manual Power Nozzle, this product creates an easy-to-disperse, large-coverage mist that coats surfaces from any angle. Users can pull the trigger to activate short or medium sprays, or pump it for a continuous spritzing.

This product is recommended for bathrooms, kitchens, stainless steel appliances, and (thanks to the Power Nozzle) other large hard surfaces. It’s available in a lavender, lemon, or Original Gain scent, though the lavender-scented one is the only option that has EPA Safer Choice certification. This product isn’t available as a concentrate. Refill bottles are available to cut down on waste.

Product Specs

  • Purpose: General-purpose cleaning
  • Form: Spray
  • EPA Safer Choice certified: Yes (lavender)


  • Convenient Power Nozzle sprayer
  • Multisurface cleaning
  • Pleasant lavender scent


  • Only the lavender-scented option is EPA Safer Choice certified

Get the Mr. Clean all-purpose cleaner at The Home Depot or Target.

Best Food-Safe

The Best All-Purpose Cleaner Options: Puracy All Purpose Cleaner

Puracy’s plant-based formula is safe for use around kids and pets. It’s biodegradable, vegan, hypoallergenic, nontoxic, and never tested on animals. It works on all household surfaces, including food-contact surfaces, to remove messes without streaking or leaving a residue.

Use Puracy on any solid surface in a home, including kitchen countertops, appliances, showers, toilets, floors, toys, smartphones, and tablets. It’s a cleaning powerhouse with a fresh scent of either green tea and lime or organic lemongrass, containing no harsh fumes or chemicals. It cleans glass without streaking, too. The formula is made from plants and water, so it’s safe for gray water and septic systems.

Product Specs

  • Purpose: General-purpose cleaning
  • Form: Spray
  • EPA Safer Choice certified: No


  • Safe for all household surfaces
  • Safe for use on food-contact surfaces
  • Not tested on animals
  • Pleasant green-tea-and-lime or organic-lemongrass scent


  • Finicky spray nozzle

Get the Puracy all-purpose cleaner on Amazon.

Best Degreaser

The Best All-Purpose Cleaner Option Krud Kutter Original Concentrated Cleaner Degreaser

It can be hard to clean grease and oil off surfaces, but Krud Kutter’s all-purpose cleaner does the job without a long list of harsh solvent ingredients. This spray cleaner goes beyond just removing grease. It’s suitable for all types of tough soils, including grime, wax, adhesives, and stains.

This product is safe for use indoors and outdoors on most hard surfaces, carpets, fabrics, and even surfaces such as concrete and metal. It can be used at full strength to remove grime, buildup, and grease, or diluted to use as an everyday general-purpose cleaner. The lightly scented water-based formula is EPA Safer Choice certified, using gentler, biodegradable ingredients to get rid of crud.

Product Specs

  • Purpose: Heavy-duty and general-purpose cleaning, degreasing, and removing stains
  • Form: Concentrate/spray
  • EPA Safer Choice certified: Yes


  • Cleaner and degreaser for all types of jobs
  • Suitable for most indoor and outdoor surfaces
  • Cuts through grease and oil


  • Still requires a bit of scrubbing for tough messes

Get the Krud Kutter all-purpose cleaner on Amazon (two-pack) or at The Home Depot.

Best Disinfectant Wipes

The Best All-Purpose Cleaner Option Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi Surface Wipes

These wipes from Seventh Generation are one of the few products on the market that offer natural disinfecting. Instead of a harsh active ingredient such as bleach, its active disinfecting ingredient is thymol, a component of essential oil extracted from thyme.

Thymol is one of the only natural disinfectant cleaner ingredients present in EPA-registered disinfectants. This product itself is EPA registered as a disinfectant, which means the EPA validates its disinfectant claims. These wipes kill nearly 100 percent of the germs identified in the product label, which include influenza A, H1N1, and salmonella enterica. This product leaves a lemongrass-citrus scent behind, and because less harmful ingredients are used, no rinsing is required after use, even on food-contact surfaces.

Product Specs

  • Purpose: General-purpose cleaning and disinfecting
  • Form: Wipes
  • EPA Safer Choice certified: No


  • Natural active ingredient
  • No rinsing required
  • Safe for food-contact surfaces


  • A bit on the dry side
  • Some users dislike the smell

Get the Seventh Generation all-purpose cleaner on Amazon (three-pack) or at Target.

Best Plant Concentrate

The Best All-Purpose Cleaner Option Biokleen Natural All Purpose Cleaner

Biokleen’s all-purpose cleaner has no artificial ingredients, fragrance, colors, or preservatives. Its eco-friendly cleaning power comes from plant-based surfactants with citrus and grapefruit-seed extracts, so there are no harsh chemicals or fumes.

A surfactant is a compound that loosens the bond between dirt and a surface, acting as a detergent that lifts away the dirt. Biokleen uses only those surfactants that are derived from plant sources. For example, one of its main cleaning ingredients is sodium lauryl sulfate, which appears on the EPA’s Safer Chemical Ingredients List.

This all-purpose concentrate is gentle enough to use safely on most nonporous surfaces, but it gets rid of grease, goo, and grime quickly. A 64-ounce bottle makes up to 64 gallons of cleaner, so there’s less packaging, making it more earth-friendly.

Product Specs

  • Purpose: General-purpose cleaning and degreasing
  • Form: Concentrate
  • EPA Safer Choice certified: Yes


  • Highly concentrated formula
  • Affordable
  • Light scent


  • Not as effective at degreasing

Get the Biokleen all-purpose cleaner on Amazon or Biokleen.

Best Germicidal Spray

The Best All-Purpose Cleaner Option Clorox Healthcare Bleach Germicidal Cleaner Spray

This germicidal spray from Clorox’s Healthcare line is made for serious disinfecting jobs. The active germ-killing ingredient in this spray is bleach (in a ready-to-use 1:10 dilution of bleach and detergent).

Though bleach is less safe than some alternative ingredients, it’s still often used for disinfecting because it’s extremely effective. And the fact that this product is ready to use improves its safety profile, as there’s no need to handle a bleach concentrate.

This spray is effective against germs, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores, eliminating 50 or more microorganisms in just 3 minutes of contact time (a full list of affected pathogens is on the product label). It also meets surface-disinfection recommendations set by the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. It’s suitable for medical settings, which means it’s a reliable home disinfectant for those who need to kill germs, such as after an illness or accident.

Product Specs

  • Purpose: Disinfecting
  • Form: Spray
  • EPA Safer Choice certified: No


  • Medical-grade disinfectant
  • Ready to use
  • Fast 3-minute disinfecting time


  • Harsher ingredients
  • Bleach smell
  • Spray nozzle prone to leaks

Get the Clorox all-purpose cleaner on Amazon or at Lowe’s.

Best Scented Cleaner

The Best All-Purpose Cleaner Option Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday

This sprayable cleaner from Mrs. Meyer’s blasts household dirt and leaves a home smelling fresh with the scent of the lemon verbena herb. Use this cleaner to remove dirt and grime from a variety of nonporous surfaces such as porcelain tile, laminate, synthetic stone, and bathroom fixtures.

The cleaner is safe to use on countertops in food-preparation areas but strong enough to clean floors and walls. Plant-derived cleaning ingredients make Mrs. Meyer’s cleaner a viable choice for users who are wary of the overdependence on chemical cleaning agents.

Mrs. Meyer’s is made with plant-based ingredients such as essential oils and birch bark extract. It does not contain parabens, artificial color, glycol solvents, or formaldehyde. This natural cleaner leaves behind no chemicals or residue and is not tested on animals.

Product Specs

  • Purpose: General-purpose cleaning
  • Form: Spray
  • EPA Safer Choice certified: No


  • Gentle but effective cleaner
  • Lovely scent
  • Concentrate option is available for refills


  • Some users find the scent too strong

Get the Mrs. Meyer’s all-purpose cleaner on Amazon or at Target.

Best Stain Remover

The Best All-Purpose Cleaner Option Good Life Solutions Stain Remover and Odor Eliminator

Removing stains is easier with the Good Life Solutions spray-on stain remover and odor eliminator. It delivers a natural remedy for stains while offering peace of mind regarding its safety around children and pets. Use it on machine-washable fabric, vinyl, plastic, hard-flooring surfaces, concrete, and more.

This stain remover relies on bio-enzymatic ingredients to break down any organic staining substance so that the stain and odor are removed. It contains specific bacteria, enzymes, and microbial nutrients that target the staining substance and digest it. Essentially, the ingredients in this spray-on stain remover break down the molecules in the stain to eliminate it, along with its odor.

Product Specs

  • Purpose: Removing stains and odors
  • Form: Spray
  • EPA Safer Choice certified: No


  • Uses natural bacteria and enzymes to break down stains and odors
  • Unscented
  • Suitable for all water-safe surfaces


  • Pricey

Get the Good Life Solutions all-purpose cleaner on Amazon or Good Life Solutions.

Best for Upholstery

The Best All-Purpose Cleaner Option Rocco & Roxie Oxy Stain Remover

Formulated with pet parents in mind, Rocco & Roxie Oxy Stain Remover is designed to get rid of tough stains and odors from soft surfaces. Using hydrogen peroxide and a bio-enzymatic formula, it’s a fast-acting cleaner that works out tough stains on upholstery, carpet, and even hard surfaces. Safe for households with pets and children, this gentle but powerful spray is useful against urine, feces, vomit, blood, dirt, grass, and food stains.

This product is chlorine-free and color-safe, so it is suitable for most surfaces (although a small test spray is recommended). It’s certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute and is a gentle and safe cleaner for colorfast carpets. Best of all, it won’t leave behind residue, which means no crunchy upholstery or carpets.

Product Specs

  • Purpose: Removing stains and odors
  • Form: Spray
  • EPA Safer Choice certified: No


  • Chlorine-free
  • Color-safe
  • Safe for use around pets and children
  • Certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute


  • Expensive

Get the Rocco & Roxie all-purpose cleaner on Amazon or at Tractor Supply Co.

Or, DIY Your Own All-Purpose Cleaner

There are plenty of benefits to making a DIY all-purpose cleaner. Compared with store-bought cleaners, DIY cleaners can be cheaper, can have a shorter and often safer ingredients list, and are more customizable to household needs. Our recommended DIY all-purpose cleaner recipe uses only three ingredients:

  • 2 cups white distilled vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 to 12 drops of essential oils (lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus)

Mix the ingredients in a suitable spray bottle. The active ingredient in this cleaner is white distilled vinegar, a food-safe acid that can cut through dirt and grime; remove hard-water deposits, soap scum, and rust stains; and kill some pathogens. Water dilutes the vinegar, making it safer and more pleasant to use. An essential oil of choice makes the all-purpose cleaner smell a little more pleasant. Even though vinegar has a strong odor, the smell dissipates quickly once the vinegar evaporates.

This natural all-purpose cleaner is great for everyday cleaning jobs. It will clean surfaces and also sanitize them to some degree, but it’s best to reach for an EPA-registered sanitizer or disinfectant cleaner to kill germs.

Our Verdict

Effective and versatile, Simple Green’s all-purpose cleaner is safe for almost all surfaces. The budget-friendly Mr. Clean all-purpose cleaner is equally effective. Popular all-purpose cleaning products such as Lysol, Microban, and Pine-Sol weren’t listed because they didn’t meet our sustainability guidelines—each contains chemical ingredients that can harm health.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best All-Purpose Cleaner

The best all-purpose cleaners simplify cleaning routines, delivering effective, multisurface cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing power. To find the best one, shoppers will want to start by reading the product labels to make sure their final choice is safe and sustainable. They’ll also want to think about where the all-purpose cleaner will be used and how often among other considerations.


All-purpose cleaners sanitize and disinfect multiple areas and items in a home, from floors and countertops to stainless steel, glass, and trash bins. How harsh the ingredients are typically depends on what the product is meant to clean. Disinfecting outdoor trash cans, for example, requires stronger ingredients than a kitchen’s food-contact surfaces.

Some all-purpose cleaners are designed for quick stain removal. Others target larger areas that call for a concentrated liquid cleaner to help mop up dirt or grime. No all-purpose cleaner is optimal for every cleaning task, though, as ingredients, forms, and applications vary.


All-purpose cleaners typically contain natural or chemical ingredients that aim to loosen dirt, remove stains, dissolve grease and oil, and kill bacteria.

Chemical-based products typically have acids and other ingredients (such as chlorine bleach) that may be effective but are also extremely toxic if ingested. All-natural cleaning products—commonly labeled “green” or “eco-friendly”—are generally safer but can be just as harmful if they’re misused.

Most states don’t have laws requiring manufacturers to reveal all ingredients on their products’ labels. Shoppers will want to research products ahead of buying, looking for EPA certification, for example, rather than blindly trust any brand.


All-purpose cleaners are commonly sold as:

  • pre-diluted liquids packaged in spray bottles
  • concentrated liquids that must be diluted for use
  • powders, gels, wipes, and aerosol sprays

Sprays are convenient and effective for daily use. A user simply sprays it on and wipes it off. Disposable wipes treated with antibacterial cleaner also offer a quick, convenient way to zero in on smaller surface areas that need disinfecting.

Concentrated all-purpose cleaners usually require diluting, scrubbing, and rinsing for optimal results, removing stains, dirt, grease, and grime. These all-purpose cleaners work most effectively with a little elbow grease.


Multiple and varied uses are what make all-purpose cleaners champions on cleaning day. They remove dirt, grease, and grime in kitchens, bathrooms, playrooms, and other household rooms. Although most all-purpose cleaners are multisurface disinfectants, they usually work best on laminate, tile, glass, and plastic.

Spraying a disinfecting cleaner directly on an area, such a kitchen or bathroom countertop, is the most effective way to disinfect surfaces. Using wipes on the specific area that needs cleaning works, too.

All-purpose cleaners containing bleach work well to kill mold and mildew and remove the stains they cause. Cleaners with disinfecting properties may be especially useful in showers and bathrooms. For the toughest cleaning jobs, a strong, concentrated, all-purpose cleaner might be the best choice.

Ease of Use

Because users can apply all-purpose cleaners to multiple surfaces and messes, they are easy to use, eliminating the necessity of carrying numerous cleaners around the house. All-purpose cleaners deliver tip-top cleaning results with minimal effort. Although concentrated cleaners require dilution in a bucket of water and application with a mop, sponge, or cloth, wipes and sprays offer the greatest ease of use.

Disposable wipes are handy in the kitchen, bathroom, car, and around the house to accomplish quick and easy cleaning tasks. As a bonus, some wipes offer antibacterial properties for extra peace of mind.

Additionally, pre-diluted all-purpose cleaners in spray bottles are easy to use. Diluting and rinsing are unnecessary with spray cleaners. A user simply sprays the product and wipes it off with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.


This guide addressed many of the issues and concerns most shoppers have when they’re looking for the best all-purpose cleaners to use at home. Safety and sustainability are key, and many often wonder how to use and dispose of these products properly without posing health or environmental risks. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding all-purpose cleaners.

Q. What is the difference between an all-purpose cleaner and a multipurpose cleaner?

All-purpose cleaners can be used on a wide variety of surfaces, such as glass, stainless steel, and floors, for example. Multipurpose cleaners only work on specific surfaces. There are also specialized cleaners available, such as the best glass cleaners.

Q. How do you use an all-purpose cleaner?

For concentrated all-purpose cleaners, follow manufacturers’ directions for diluting and rinsing. For spray varieties, spritz and wipe with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

Q. How do you clean carpet and upholstery using an all-purpose cleaner?

Start by removing any loose dirt from the carpet or upholstery fabric. Then follow the directions on the all-purpose cleaner’s product label.

Q. What is the best natural all-purpose cleaner?

Simple Green all-purpose cleaner and Biokleen all-purpose cleaner are among the best options. These products provide safe and effective cleaning without harsh chemicals.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.