For decades, Good Housekeeping has been with you every step of the way, providing cleaning advice and product testing recommendations to help keep your home running smoothly and your family safe. And that’s why we are thrilled to present our second annual Best Cleaning Product Awards. To select these 28 top-performing products, we considered all cleaning categories, then narrowed the field to the things and places our readers clean most often, and selected the ones that were best in our Cleaning Lab tests for washing dishes, removing stains, shining floors, and more. Some of these picks are tried-and-true favorites, others are new and innovative, but all are ones our experts can’t (and don’t want to) live without.
Cleaning Lab Director
Good Housekeeping Institute Director
Cleaning Lab Testing Analyst
Dynamite Dish Degreaser
Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray
This new formula from multiyear winner Dawn eliminates overnight soaking and the endless scrubbing of greasy pans and casserole dishes with burned-on food. Spray the foam on one item or a sinkful, then have your dinner. Before you can finish dessert, gunk will be ready to remove with just a rinse or light scrub.
WHY IT WON: A grimy grill, a charred frying pan and a splattered oven door were no match for this powerful spray in our tests. You can even use it on your sinks.
Magic Cooktop Wand
Scratch-Free Glass Cooktop Cleaning Wand
Keeping glass cooktops clean and streak-free is not as easy as it seems. Wait too long, and bits burn on. Use the wrong cleaner, and you get streaks. With ScotchBrite’s cool tool, all that’s needed for a showroom shine is water and a light rub.
WHY IT WON: This gentle scrubber removed tough stuff easily without scratching. We used it to clean a stovetop in our Test Kitchen and were super impressed.
Hardworking Grout Brush
Smart Scrub Heavy Duty Grout Brush
Ditch the toothbrush and step up to a tool that attacks dirty grout from any angle. Casabella’s diamond-shaped head and double rows of sturdy bristles mean less wrist twisting and less pressure while you scrub.
WHY IT WON: This tool makes it easy to clean vertically, horizontally and in hard-to-reach corners, and it’s comfortable to hold
800 Series Dishwasher with CrystalDry
Who wants to run the dishwasher and have to hand-dry items when it’s done? Bosch’s new models pass warm, moist air through a chamber of minerals, then send dry heat back in to finish the job — all in only 30 minutes and without compromising energy efficiency.
WHY IT WON: Even dishwashers that clean well often leave plastics wet, but with Bosch’s innovative drying approach, we literally threw in the towel. The storage containers, lids, utensils, and drink bottles we placed inside came out thoroughly dry and without the spotting other models leave behind.
Round-the-Clock Cleaning Spray
24 Hour Multi-Purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant Spray
Bacteria can be reintroduced to a surface as soon as it’s touched. New Microban 24 Hour cleans, sanitizes, disinfects and provides continuous surface protection, killing bacteria for up to 24 hours.
WHY IT WON: We found it’s a great all-around cleaner that works quickly and on most surfaces, has long-lasting benefits and comes in bathroom-cleaning and sanitizing-spray versions.
Spotless Machine Tabs
Dishwasher Cleaner Tablets
Yes, the appliance that cleans your dishes needs cleaning too. Drop in an Affresh tablet monthly to power away limescale and mineral buildup. Use it in an empty machine or with a regular load.
Catch-All Hair Remover
Tub Drain Protector Hair Catcher
The only real way to avoid bathtub backups is to keep hair from going down the drain. TubShroom fits into the drain opening and catches hair before clogs happen —without slowing the flow, so you won’t be ankle-deep in a pool of water.
Gentlest Fabric Softener
Ultra Free & Gentle Liquid Fabric Conditioner/Softener
Thanks to Downy’s dye- and perfume-free formula, even those with sensitive skin can have soft fabrics. And it helps eliminate the stretching and fuzzing that can happen to garments in the wash cycle, so clothing feels smoother and less scratchy.
Super-Duper Stink Stopper
Odor Removing Packs
Managing trash is definitely one of the downsides of kitchen cleanup, but with Fresh Wave Odor Removing Packs, it doesn’t have to be smelly. Place one of these little mesh packs in the bottom of your trash can, and the beads of odor-busting plant oils nix smells for up to 30 days.
Trusty Pet Stain Zapper
Professional Pet Stain & Odor Remover
Frequent messes made by a puppy or kitty can ruin not only your carpet, but the padding and flooring below. That’s why it’s important to remove both the stain and the odor. Bissell’s formula contains enzymes to attack odor-causing bacteria so your fur baby won’t pick up the scent and repeat the offense.
WHY IT WON: Not only does it work on pet accidents, but it also removes food and other stains, like makeup, from carpet, upholstery and mattresses.
Unparalleled Upright Vacuum
Dynamic U1 Powerline Upright Vacuum Cleaner
A great vacuum is your cleaning BFF, and this Miele is a keeper. Use it on carpets, floors, upholstery, draperies, delicate surfaces, and beyond. For allergy sufferers, it includes a HEPA AirClean filter and a high-efficiency dust bag.
WHY IT WON: Miele tops our tests for pickup and filtration, so you’ll know that what goes into the vacuum will stay there.
Potent Paper Towels
Select-A-Size Paper Towels
Our favorite does it again! Whether you are sopping up spills, shining mirrors, or removing a stain, Bounty paper towels blow others out of the water and are at home in any room of the house.
WHY IT WON: Bounty paper towels always top our tests for wet and dry strength, absorbency and performance. We swear by them at home and in our Institute Labs.
Do-It-All Cleaning Cloth
Waffle Weave Cloth
These oversize microfiber cloths from Maker’s Clean are so large, they should be called towels. Use them to dry dishes, pets, or the shower as well as to clean windows, pick up spills, and more.
WHY IT WON: With just a few drops of water, we easily shined mirrors, chrome, and appliances. They’re so large that there’s always a dry spot, and we liked that we didn’t need to switch off to a second towel for buffing.
Coolest Cordless Vacuum
Cordzero A9 Ultimate, Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
We’ve tested many of the latest “pole” vacuums in our GH Cleaning Lab, and LG’s CordZero tops the list. Use it with the telescoping wand for floors and high places or as a handheld for stairs, the sofa and the car. It comes with two batteries, three nozzles, a compact storage stand and more.
WHY IT WON This amazing machine is powerful, versatile, beautifully designed and easy to use and store.
Leave it to Mr. Clean to make a great thing better. That’s what the company did with Magic Eraser Sheets. Slimmer and more flexible than the blocks, they’re made for cleaning tight spaces like around faucets and in shower-door tracks.
No-Mess Silver Wipes
Silver Wipes Polish & Tarnish Remover
Go ahead, wear your silver jewelry and use Grandma’s sterling tray. Polishing silver has never been easier than with Weiman’s wipes. They are thick, effective, and neat. The snap-top canister keeps them from drying out quickly.
Sizzling Grill Steamer
Grilltastic Steam Cleaning BBQ Grill Brush
Charred grates are a pain to clean, and frankly, who wants to? Sienna’s steamers do well in our tests, and this one was no exception. It is easy to use and works fast, and the head is dishwasher safe.
Rejuvenating Leather Cream
Leather Recoloring Balm
Faded leather furniture is no longer destined for the trash heap with Furniture Clinic’s restorative balm. Select the best match from 21 colors and work it into the cleaned worn area to make the leather look new again.
Time-Saving Fabric Refresher
Clothing Odor Eliminator
You know you do it — we all do. We drape items we’ve worn only once on the back of a chair with the hope of rewearing them before they have to be washed. Febreze’s new spray can help get your clothes back into use. Lightly mist clothing and allow to dry to nix odors such as trapped sweat, smoke, and cooking smells.
WHY IT WON: Use this genius formula to get at least one more wear out of your clothes. The fine mist penetrates and dries quickly. Plus it cuts down on laundry and can keep the house neater.
Crease-Relieving Dryer Sheets
WrinkleGuard Mega Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets are known for pulling the plug on static, but they usually don’t leave fabrics as soft as liquid softeners do. Bounce’s new sheets are twice the size of regular ones, so they soften more and have extra ingredients to help relax and align fibers for fewer wrinkles and less ironing.
WHY IT WON: We washed 100% cotton sheets, pillowcases, and dress shirts, and after tumbling with Bounce, all were soft and noticeably smoother.
King Size Detergent Pods
Power PODS Laundry Detergent Liquid Pacs
Today’s large washing machines hold some pretty large loads, and big loads mean more dirt even if you can’t see it. Tide Power Pods have more cleaning power than two regular packs to tackle stains and odors better in large, heavily soiled loads.
WHY IT WON: The cotton and polyester swatches we smeared with coffee, wine, salad oil, lipstick, ink, and more (and let set for almost two days), came out as close to stain-free as we have ever seen, even in cold water!
Sleekest Garment Steamer
Handheld Garment Steamer
CHI irons are a Cleaning Lab favorite, and now this new slim steamer is too. Comfortable to hold and about the size of a flat iron, it heats up quickly, is easy to fill, and pumps out five minutes of steam when you press the button.
WHY IT WON: We got pro results even on the front placket of a cotton shirt. It works in any direction without dripping and has a travel case.
First Rate Stain Remover
Advanced Action Gel Stain Remover
This gel formula clings to fabrics to quickly penetrate and break down tough, dried-on stains. And no worries if you can’t wash an item right away: Shout is safe to apply to and leave on fabric for up to a week. Phew!
WHY IT WON: If there’s one thing we know in the GH Cleaning Lab, it’s stains. Shout’s powerful formula works not only on fresh stains, but also on set-in ones that have gone through the dryer (oops!).
Game-Changing Washing Machine
UltraFresh Vent System Front-Load Washer
Front-load washers’ dirty little secret is out: they stink. Deposits that pool inside lead to mold growth and odors that can transfer to clothes. GE Appliances’ washer vents the drum with fresh air post-cycle to eliminate extra moisture, and Microban components help prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
WHY IT WON This is a breakthrough for front-loaders. In GH tests, the UltraFresh Vent option worked like a charm, and it has other cool features like bulk dispensing and a one-step wash and dry.
Powerful Dish Soap
Dish Liquid Soap
When Seventh Generation made this dish soap, it thought about performance and the planet. It’s a tough grease-cutting formula inside a 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic bottle—that includes the cap.
WHY IT WON: In our evaluations, it washed more dishes than any other plant-based dish soap we tested. We applaud that it is USDA Certified Biobased, carries the EPA Safer Choice Certification, and lists all ingredients on the label for transparency.
Botanicals Liquid Laundry Detergent
A good laundry detergent is hard to find, and Gain proves that doing good doesn’t have to come at the expense of being good. Made with 65% plant-based ingredients, it’s also free of dyes and brighteners.
WHY IT WON: In our test of 43 detergents, Gain Botanicals was a top performer, beating out traditional brands on cotton and polyester fabrics in hot and cold water.
Great-Smelling Vinegar Spray
Vinegar cuts grease and dissolves limescale, but it does smell. Schmidt’s took the power of cleaning vinegar (20% stronger than regular white vinegar) and added essential oils and plant-based cleaners for a pleasant, effective spray.
WHY IT WON: We erased splatters, smears, and smudges with ease. Schmidt’s is a USDA Certified Biobased product in a 100% PCR plastic bottle.
Heavy-Duty Sponge Cloth
Kitchen sponges are absorbent but get germy and don’t last, and washable dishcloths can be wimpy. Ten and Co.’s cellulose-cotton sponge cloths offer the best of both. They soak up spills, feel hefty in your hand, dry surfaces without streaking and can be washed and reused.
WHY IT WON: Once you try these, you’ll never go back to stinky sponges again. We used them for dishes and kitchen cleanup and found them flexible and absorbent.