Green cleaners

FRESNO, Calif.

In this commercial for Clorox Clean-up with Bleach, it appears as if you can clean up any stain so it looks like it never happened.

Consumer reports just tested 13 regular all-purpose cleaners. Testers spread mustard, ketchup, and cooking grease on glass or tile and let them stand overnight. Then they apply the cleaners and let them sit according to manufacturers' instructions.

Next - testers wipe away the spills using the same number of passes.

So were the 13 cleaners able to make the stains disappear like you see in the ad? Not always. Look at all this mustard left behind and the greasy film on this panel!

Testers also checked to see how well the cleaners removed caked-on soap scum and whether they streaked. There were big differences. Look at the streaks left behind on the right!

"Because cleaners can spill and you may not notice it, we also left them overnight on marble, granite, stainless steel, and other surfaces to see if they caused any damage," Bob Markovich said.

Turns out almost all the cleaners left visible stains on brass. So can one all-purpose cleaner do it all? Several green cleaners excelled, though not on everything. Top-rated Nature's Source did particularly well on soap scum, and it left fewer streaks and stained surfaces. However, it's not great for grease.

Better for that and other stains is Ecover Natural, but use it with care as it stained many surfaces when left on overnight in consumer reports' tests.

And if you're wondering how the Clorox Clean-up with Bleach did in consumer reports' cleaning tests - well, not the best.

It rated 10 out of 13. Better for jobs where you need a disinfectant, like cleaning your toilet, would be Wal-Mart's Great Value with Bleach Cleaner. It also costs less.

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