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10 Best All-Purpose Cleaners for Disinfecting, Everyday Use, and More

All-purpose cleaners are a household staple – you can use them to wipe down almost any surface in your home. But with so many to choose from, which do you pick?

Best All-Purpose Cleaners by Category

We’ve combed through the leading multi-purpose cleaners and narrowed down the top eight store-bought options and the two best homemade recipes. Here’s the best cleaner for you, depending on your needs.

Best All-Purpose Cleaners by Category

How to Use an All-Purpose Cleaner

You can use all-purpose cleaners on all hard, non-porous surfaces. To use an all-purpose cleaner, spray the solution on the area you’d like to clean and wipe it with a microfiber cloth, rag, or paper towel.

If you have a disinfecting cleaner, let the cleaner sit for several minutes before wiping it away. The length varies by product, but it usually takes 4-10 minutes for a cleaner to disinfect.

You must be cautious when using all-purpose cleaners on porous surfaces such as natural stone and unsealed wood. All-purpose cleaners that contain acid or bleach are too harsh. Instead, you’ll need a gentle all-purpose cleaner like Mrs. Meyers or Method brand.

Best All-Purpose Cleaners Review

While you can use all-purpose cleaners for most surfaces in your household, not all will fit your needs. Here’s a breakdown of multi-surface cleaners based on criteria such as disinfecting, natural, granite-safe, and more.

Best Overall: Mr. Clean Clean Freak Mist

Mr. Clean Clean Freak MistView in gallery

Mr. Clean Clean Freak Mist is safe to use on stainless steel appliances, showers, glass stove tops, toilets, and most other hard surfaces. If you want one cleaner that can go from room to room, this one is hard to beat.

The Clean Freak Mist from Mr. Clean allows you to spray or pump it for a long continuous mist. To use it, mist the surface and wipe it with a cloth or paper towel. It’s safe for laminate, sealed granite, and marble countertops. 

Mr. Clean Clean Freak Mist has 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 1,200 reviewers. Users love this product since it works on many surfaces. The most common negative review is that it isn’t antibacterial.

Pros:

  • Cleans numerous surfaces
  • Safe for granite and marble countertops
  • Light, pleasant scent
  • Easy to use bottle
  • Refillable

Cons:

  • Not antibacterial
  • Not safe for quartz countertops

Best Kitchen Cleaner Spray: Lysol Kitchen Pro

Lysol Kitchen ProView in gallery

Lysol Kitchen Pro is a good choice for degreasing and disinfecting kitchen surfaces. It’s safe for sinks, stovetops, appliance exteriors, and most countertops.

To use this as a regular cleaner, spray it on the surface you’re washing and then wipe it with a cloth or paper towel. To disinfect, let the spray sit for at least five minutes before wiping it away. It doesn’t leave behind any harsh chemicals, so it’s food-prep-safe.

This spray is safe for non-porous surfaces, so it should work well for all sealed stone countertops, laminate countertops, and sealed wood. And even though it’s labeled for the kitchen, it’s still appropriate for bathroom cleaning.

Lysol Kitchen Pro is one the highest-rated all-purpose cleaners, with 5 out of 5 stars from over 3,800 users. Many negative reviews are complaints about shipping, not the product. 

Pros:

  • Safe for most kitchen and bathroom surfaces
  • Cleans and disinfects
  • It doesn’t leave chemical residue behind

Cons:

  • It needs to sit for 5-10 minutes to disinfect
  • Some users don’t like the smell

Best Bathroom Cleaner Spray: Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner

Lysol All-Purpose CleanerView in gallery

Lysol All-Purpose Cleaner Spray features a classic lemon scent and cleans, deodorizes, and disinfects hard surfaces. It eliminates germs and bacteria in the bathroom, but you can use it throughout the house.

You can spray this cleaner on a surface and wipe it away for regular cleanings. If you want to disinfect, let it sit for at least two minutes before wiping it clean. 

Lysol All-Purpose cleaner is safe for non-porous surfaces such as stovetops, laminate counters, toilets, appliance exteriors, and sealed wood. Don’t use this product on marble, unfinished wood, brass, or acrylic.

Lysol All-Purpose cleaner has 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 10,000 reviewers. Most negative comments list problems with shipping or complaints about price, not about the quality of the cleaner.

Pros:

  • Cleans and disinfects many surfaces
  • Cuts through grease and soap scum
  • Suitable for the entire home
  • Classic lemon scent

Cons:

  • It may be too harsh for stone countertops

Best Natural: Better Life Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

Better Life Natural All-Purpose CleanerView in gallery

Better Life Natural All-Purpose Cleaner will wick away dirt and grime with a barely-there scent. Because it’s so gentle, you can use it on all hard surfaces.

You can use Better Life Natural Cleaner in any room, on any hard surface, as long as it’s sealed. To clean, spray the area and wipe away. Since this product doesn’t disinfect, you don’t need to let it sit before washing it off.

While Better Life is pomegranate-scented, the smell is so light that it quickly fades away, making this a good choice for those who don’t like strong scents. 

The Better Life All-Purpose cleaner has received 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 15,000 user reviews. Many users love that the gentleness of this cleaner makes it practical for every room. But, some negative reviewers don’t think the product cleans well enough. 

Pros:

  • Natural, plant-derived ingredients
  • Safe for all hard surfaces
  • Ultra-light scent

Cons:

  • Doesn’t disinfect
  • Not a good fit for those who like scented cleaners

Best for Granite: Method All-Purpose Cleaner

Method All-Purpose Cleaner SprayView in gallery

If you don’t want to use a different cleaner for your countertops as you do for other surfaces in your home, consider Method All-Purpose Cleaner. It’s gentle and safe for granite and other sealed stone.

This plant-based cleaner works on dirt, grease, and grime but doesn’t disinfect. You can use it in the kitchen, bathroom, living room, and bedrooms. It will clean common hard surfaces, including wood, tile, and glass, and comes in six scents.

Method All-Purpose Cleaner has a 5 out of 5-star rating from over 2,000 users. Most reviewers state that this product cleans well and delivers a light scent. The biggest complaint is a faulty bottle.

Pros:

  • Safe for stone, wood, tile, and other hard surfaces
  • It comes in six light scents
  • Plant-based
  • Mild household cleaner

Cons:

  • Doesn’t disinfect
  • Several complaints about faulty packaging and leaking spray bottles

Best Smelling: Mrs. Meyer’s All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

Mrs. Meyer’s All-Purpose Cleaning SprayView in gallery

Mrs. Meyers All-Purpose Cleaning Spray comes in several scents, including seasonal ones. If you want a cleaner that will leave your house smelling amazing, it’s hard to beat.

You can use Mrs. Meyer’s Cleaner on sealed stone, tile, wood, laminate countertops, stainless steel, and more. But, while this product cleans, it doesn’t disinfect.

Mrs. Meyer’s All Purpose Cleaners come in five regular scents, including honeysuckle, basil, lemon verbena, geranium, and lavender. In addition to their signature scents, they also release various seasonal options such as fall leaves and peppermint.

Mrs. Meyer’s All-Purpose Cleaning Spray has a 5 out of 5-star rating on Amazon with over 36,000 reviews. The smell of these products is what makes them a fan favorite. 

Pros:

  • Safe for most surfaces, including sealed stone and wood
  • Can use on stainless steel
  • Several fresh scents to choose from
  • Cleans well

Cons:

  • Doesn’t disinfect
  • Not a good choice for those who have an aversion to scents

Best Antibacterial: Microban Disinfectant Spray

Microban Disinfectant SprayView in gallery

Disinfecting cleaners are ideal for bathrooms, kitchen sinks, counters, and anytime there’s an illness in the house. Microban Disinfectant Cleaner is a top choice since it kills bacteria for up to 24 hours after you use it.

You can use Microban 24 on sinks, bathtubs, showers, toilets, laminate countertops, and door knobs. To use it as a disinfectant, spray it on a surface, allow it to sit for five minutes, and then wipe it clean. For 24-hour protection, you can mist this cleaner on a surface and let it air dry.

The biggest downside to Microban 24 is that it’s not food-contact safe. So while this cleaner is excellent at getting rid of bacteria, you can’t use it on your kitchen counters.

Microban Disinfecting Multi-Purpose Cleaner has a 4.5 out of 5 stars Amazon rating from over 4,000 reviewers. Top reviewers believe the product works well and has a good scent. Many negative reviews are related to shipping.

Pros:

  • Disinfects bacteria, viruses, and fungi
  • Kills and prevents mold
  • Safe for all hard non-porous surfaces

Cons:

  • Not food-prep safe
  • Better for disinfecting than regular cleaning

Best Wipes: Lysol Disinfecting Wipes

Lysol Disinfecting WipesView in gallery

Lysol Disinfecting Wipes provide a quick and easy way to clean your home. You can use them to wipe away bacteria and viruses in the kitchen and bathroom, but they’re also ideal for cleaning remotes, backpacks, doorknobs, and phones.

Lysol Disinfecting Wipes come pre-moistened in an easy-to-open tube. But for the wipes to disinfect, the surface must remain wet for four minutes. They come in a few scents, including classic lemon, crisp linen, and new day.

Lysol Disinfecting Wipes has a 5 out of 5-star rating from over 1,600 reviewers. Most of the negative complaints are about shipping, not the product itself.

Pros:

  • Easy and convenient to use
  • Cleans and disinfects
  • Safe for all hard non-porous surfaces
  • Disposable wipes are ideal for cleaning toilets

Cons:

  • Not ideal for large cleaning jobs

Top Two Homemade All-Purpose Cleaners

If you’d rather make your own cleaner, you can. Homemade all-purpose cleaners clean well and cost pennies to the dollar compared to store-bought options.

White Distilled Vinegar and Water All Purpose Cleaner

White distilled vinegar is acidic and capable of cutting through dirt, grease, and built-up grime. If you want to make a vinegar-based all-purpose cleaner, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Essential oils for scent (optional)

Add all ingredients to a spray bottle and shake to combine. Use this mixture to clean laminate countertops, ceramic and porcelain tile, the inside of microwaves and refrigerators, showers, mirrors, windows, and toilets.

Avoid using this cleaner on stone countertops, unsealed grout, and unfinished wood – the acidity in vinegar can negatively affect these surfaces.

Dish Soap and Water (Homemade Dawn PowerWash)

Dish soap is a PH-neutral cleaner, meaning it’s safe for all surfaces, including wood and stone. To make this gentle cleaner, here’s what you’ll need:

Add ingredients to the spray bottle and give it a slight shake to combine. Spray the surfaces you want to clean and wipe away with a damp microfiber cloth.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Which cleaner is best for everyday cleaning?

The best everyday cleaner is a gentle one that’s safe for many surfaces. Some top choices include Mr. Clean Clean Freak Mist, Mrs. Meyer’s All-Purpose Cleaner, and Method All-Purpose Cleaner.

Can you clean a refrigerator with an all-purpose cleaner?

You can clean a refrigerator with any all-purpose cleaner that’s food-safe. Consider a gentle, plant-based product. You can also use vinegar and water to clean and deodorize.

What is the best alternative to 409 cleaner?

An excellent alternative to 409 cleaner is Lysol All-Purpose Cleaning Spray. Both products clean, disinfect, and deodorize.

What’s the difference between an all-purpose cleaner and a multi-surface cleaner?

All-purpose and multi-surface mean the same thing – both are cleaners that work for multiple hard, non-porous surfaces.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best all-purpose cleaner depends on your needs. If you want something for daily use, consider a gentle plant-based cleaner. If you want a powerful cleaner, go with one that can disinfect.

Remember, if you’re using an all-purpose disinfecting cleaner, let the solution sit for a few minutes before wiping it clean. If you don’t, the cleaner won’t have time to kill bacteria and viruses.