Consumer advocate Choice has awarded the entire retail category of floor cleaners a 2020 Shonky award for "being flawed cleaners", in some cases worse than water.

Three cleaners, including Coles Ultra Floor Cleaner and Long Life All Purpose Cleaner sold at Bunnings, received lower scores than plain water.

"Floor cleaners are little more than perfume for your floor," Choice testing expert Ash Iredale said. "If you want your floors clean you can just use a plain old bucket of hot water. Save your money."

The floor cleaners from Coles and Bunnings ‘perform worse than water’.
The floor cleaners from Coles and Bunnings ‘perform worse than water’.

The floor cleaners were tested in a scientific setting in labs against typical soils that you're likely to find in your own home.

"We found that, despite how expensive they are compared with water, they didn't perform any better," Mr Iredale explained.

"When you take, say, 50 millilitres of a given floor cleaner and dilute it with five litres of water, you're really not going to get much performance at all."

News.com.au reached out to Coles and Bunnings for comment.

The Shonkys awards call out practices from companies “taking advantage of their customers”.
The Shonkys awards call out practices from companies “taking advantage of their customers”.

'PATHETIC' PURIFIERS

Greentech air purifiers, sold at retailers like Officeworks and Kogan, have secured a 2020 Choice Shonky Award for "pathetic purification".

Following the bushfires of last summer and concerns about the spread of COVID-19, Choice tested major air purifier brands and found most of the products do provide some benefit to the air quality of your home.

However, the Greentech Pure Air 500 performed so poorly that Choice's independent lab tests couldn't detect any difference in air quality, with the product landing dead last in its rankings.

The air purifier that ‘will not leave air pure’.
The air purifier that ‘will not leave air pure’.

"The two Greentech models we tested performed so poorly that we basically couldn't detect them doing anything at all," Choice testing expert Chris Barnes said.

"They were abysmal at removing dust from the air, terrible at removing smoke from the air, they couldn't remove volatile organic compounds from the air," he said.

"They really are complete duds. I can only assume the problem is in the design. Certainly the price tags don't indicate that they're cheap," Mr Barnes said.

the floor cleaners that performed the worst come with an ‘expensive’ price tag even though they ‘didn’t perform any better’ than water.
the floor cleaners that performed the worst come with an ‘expensive’ price tag even though they ‘didn’t perform any better’ than water.

If the $179 Pure Air 500 paperweight wasn't bad enough, the second worst model in the Choice test was Greentech's Pure Air 3000, costing an eye-watering $889 and scoring a measly 22 per cent.

"These two Greentech purifiers have truly earned this Shonky for their pathetic purification," Mr Barnes said.

News.com.au has reached out to Greentech for comment.

The products have been tested in labs.
The products have been tested in labs.

THE SHONKYS

The 2020 Shonkys uncover and call out practices from companies "taking advantage of their customers", according to Choice CEO Alan Kirkland.

"The Choice Shonkys are here to help you avoid buying a dud," he said.

He said that Choice's work is "more important than ever in 2020" as Australians negotiate through the COVID-19 health crisis and tough economic times.

"This year alone we've campaigned for banks to treat people in financial hardship fairly, identified dodgy hand sanitisers and called out the insurance industry for playing tricks with their definition of fire," Mr Kirkland said.

Lab tests showed some floor cleaners don’t do much more than plain water.
Lab tests showed some floor cleaners don’t do much more than plain water.

With the bushfires last summer and COVID-19 not long after, air purifiers have been heavily marketed to Australians as a solution to bushfire smoke and airborne viruses, he explained.

"Not so for Greentech air purifiers, which performed abysmally, coming dead last in our testing. In fact, our labs could barely find any difference in the quality of air when they tested the Greentech purifier," he said.

As for the floor cleaners from Coles and Bunnings, which "perform worse than water", he said that "floor cleaners barely work".

"In our lab tests some brands sold at retailers like Coles and Bunnings performed worse than water. In fact, our experts say floor cleaners are basically 'floor perfume'. They won't do much more than make your floor smell nice," he said.

"Without someone checking, you could be buying products that barely work."

Originally published as The cleaning products 'worse than water'



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