This Product Was Named the “Best All-Purpose Cleaner,” so I Tried It on My Toughest Messes — Here’s How It Went

published Oct 7, 2022
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As a lover of efficiency, I’m always on the lookout for one great product that can replace several others. This is especially true for cleaning supplies, which can’t help but seem redundant at times. How many sprays, scrubs, and solutions does a person really need? So, when Good Housekeeping named Simple Green the best all-purpose cleaner, I set out to see just how versatile the emerald cleaning spray really is.

We already had a bottle of Simple Green in our cleaning bucket, so I grabbed it and headed to the back porch. The cleaner made quick work of the porch furniture, which was dirty after a summer of constant use.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

I first wiped the furniture with a dry cloth, and then I sprayed it with diluted Simple Green (following the package directions). I wiped down the surfaces, and they instantly looked shiny and fresh. There were a few lingering spots that Simple Green didn’t remove. I went back over those with a Magic Eraser, and they came right off. 

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

I learned from Good Housekeeping that Simple Green could work on fabric and carpet too, which I found thrilling because I’m always looking for a good spot cleaner. Up next, I applied a few sprays of diluted Simple Green to the upholstered ottoman that my 4-year-old stands on when we cook together. It was, as you might imagine, splattered with food stains, so I was curious to see what Simple Green could do. 

This was probably my biggest surprise: Simple Green was excellent at lifting those spots from the fabric! I sprayed each spot separately with the diluted cleaner and then rubbed them with a cleaning rag. After the fabric had time to dry, it looked as good as new!

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

Buoyed by the success of my first two attempts, I wanted to test Simple Green on one more area to be sure it was truly multi-purpose: my kids’ bathtub. No matter how often I clean it, this tub always seems to feel somewhere between slightly dingy and downright grimy. On top of that, my 10-year-old is now experimenting with fantasy color in their hair, and I’ve been finding globs of their purple conditioner in the tub after they finish showering. I wondered if Simple Green could knock those out too.

I applied the undiluted spray directly to the tub, concentrating on the areas where there were purple stains. I let it sit for a minute, and then I started scrubbing. While the Simple Green did do a pretty good job at removing the normal dirt and build-up around the tub, it didn’t have much of an impact on the purple spots. For that, I went back to my trusty Magic Eraser, which was able to almost completely remove those stains.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

Overall, I’d say that Simple Green lives up to Good Housekeeping’s claim that it’s the best all-purpose cleaner for everyday use. From the kitchen to the bathroom to outdoors, it did good work, potentially eliminating the need for several other products. And even more importantly, I found its scent totally tolerable. We are very sensitive to added perfumes and scents in our house, so it’s nice (and rare) to find a cleaner that doesn’t offend anyone’s sense of smell.

When it comes to stubborn spots and stains, I’ll keep my Magic Eraser on hand, but for everyday cleaning, Simple Green has earned a coveted spot under my kitchen sink.