1 BEST SPONGE CLOTH
Vileda All-purpose Cloth
$3.40, from Cold Storage
This is thin yet absorbent, easy to hold, and got into both large and tight spaces well.
2 MOST ABSORBENT SPONGE CLOTH
Scotch-brite Sponge Cloth
$3.30 (pack of two), from major supermarkets
Thick and comfortable, it soaked up spills readily and felt like a glove when cleaning large surfaces like cabinets and tabletops.
3 BEST MICROFIBRE CLOTH
Nanosun Microfibre Cloth
$8.99 (pack of two), from Giant Hypermart
Smooth on one side and textured on the other, this is for liquids, grease or dust. It was absorbent and slid across surfaces, picking up dirt and crumbs in one sweep.
4 BEST DRY MICROFIBRE CLOTH
Microfibre Kitchen Cloth
$2, from Daiso
This light and thin cloth didn't leave streaks behind when used dry to polish windows, glass hobs and mirrors.
5 MOST VERSATILE MICROFIBRE CLOTH SET
Staples Home Microfibre Cloths
$2.90 (pack of four), from John Little
There's a cloth for every task here, in a different colour. The thin and fine ones are best for picking dust off study tables, and drying up damp windows. The thicker ones are great as kitchen cloths, for cleaning out grease and wiping up spills.
1 MOST REFRESHING KITCHEN CLEANER
Magiclean Kitchen Cleaner
$4.60, from major supermarkets
This no-rinse cleaner left countertops and hobs fresh and squeaky-clean to the touch.
2 MOST TIME-SAVING BATHROOM CLEANER
Mr Muscle Bathroom Cleaner
$3.80, from major supermarkets
Foam is fun, but not when you need to waste copious amounts of water – and time – washing it off. This detergent created the fewest bubbles, but cleaned well, and was easy to wipe or rinse off.
3 FRESHEST-SMELLING TOILET CLEANER
Harpic Active Cleaning Gel Wild Flowers
$3.10, from major supermarkets
Its light and floral fragrance didn’t have an overwhelming clinical smell – so pleasant!
4 BEST ALL-PURPOSE DETERGENT
Dettol Multi Action Cleaner
$5.70, from major supermarkets
Top marks for versatility. This removed grease and stains from floors, countertops and even mirrors easily – and equally well.
5 FRESHEST-SMELLING BATHROOM CLEANER
Cif Bathroom Cleaner
$4.50, from major supermarkets
There was nothing artificial about the scent – we loved the lingering powdery fragrance that scented the bathroom.
VACUUM CLEANERS AND MOPS
1 BEST VALUE-FOR-MONEY ROBOTIC VACUUM CLEANER
Mamirobot Pporo K7
$698, from sg.mamirobot.com
This gadget with a pocket-friendly price cleans moderately well and comes with a handheld vacuum cleaner so you can reach the corners the machine can't.
2 QUIETEST UPRIGHT VACUUM CLEANER
$299, from major department and electrical stores
The machine's silent mode is what you need if you don't want to wake your sleeping baby. It's the quietest and the longest-running too, clocking 50 minutes on a full charge.
3 MOST VERSATILE UPRIGHT VACUUM CLEANER
Bosch Move 2in1 BBHMOVE4
$249, from major department and electrical stores
A powerful machine that cleans more than floors – it also tackles sofas and car interiors, as the vacuum cleaner can be detached and used as a handheld. As an upright vacuum, it is light, quiet and reaches under low furniture easily. The foldable handle is space-saving, too.
4 MOST INVENTIVE CLEANING GADGET
iRobot Braava 380t Floor Mopping Robot
$588, from Best Denki Vivocity, John Ackerman and Robinsons
This little mopping robot is in a class of its own – it maps a route around your home and seldom misses a spot. The most wonderful thing about this fellow is that it’s as silent as a mouse – you can set it to work at night while you sleep.
5 BEST ROBOTIC VACUUM CLEANER
LG Hom-bot Square
$1,299, from major electrical stores
This advanced robotic vacuum cleaner has all you can ask for in a high-tech machine. It picks up dirt and dander well, is sensitive to furniture, and is quiet and user-friendly, too. Even its dust bin is the easiest to remove and empty, and it comes with a brush that makes cleaning it out fuss-free.
6 BEST HEAVY-DUTY STEAM SANITISER
Philips Steam Plus Steam and Sweep Cleaner FC7020
$269, from major department stores
This steam machine is best for quick, hassle-free mopping. Its water tank holds enough water to clean a three-storey house.
7 SMOOTHEST UPRIGHT VACUUM CLEANER
Rowenta Air Force
$249, from major department and electrical stores
Effortless to manoeuvre and swivel, it cleans up dust from tight corners well, thanks to its mop head with a pointy tip.
1 MOST USER-FRIENDLY KITCHEN SPONGE
$2, from Daiso
A sponge that makes washing up less of a chore. It comes with a suction cup that you can stick to the wall or the side of the sink – just push the sponge through the plastic nail to secure it, as it drips dry.
2 BEST HOB AND STOVE CLEANER
Bio-home Kitchen Cleaner
$5.50, from major supermarkets
The quick-acting detergent dissolved grime faster than the other soapy solutions tested. Wiping down greasy hobs and oily residue was a cinch.
3 BEST BASIN SPONGE
Spontex Extra Strong Sponge
$2.15, from Fairprice
It’s the most powerful sponge of all those tested, great for scrubbing out grime and dirt from sinks and basins effortlessly.
4 MOST ERGONOMIC KITCHEN SPONGE
Swash 2-in-1 Sponge All Duty
$2.90, from Fairprice
Twice as thick as the other sponges, the middle is contoured, making it easier to hold when washing pots or wiping down the sink.
FLOOR AND GLASS ESSENTIALS
1 BEST WINDOW CLEANING TOOL
Scotch-brite Multi-purpose Window & Glass Surface Cleaning Tool
$28.85, from major supermarkets
The 1.1m-long, adjustable handle was very handy when it came to cleaning windows and glass doors. One end can be bent to different angles to reach the tops of wardrobes, too. It comes with two attachments – a scourer and squeegee to scrub and wipe, and a microfibre cloth to dust or clean.
2 MOST ERGONOMIC FLAT MOP
Scotch-brite Disposable Paper Wiper Mop
$18.95, from major supermarkets
With a height-adjustable handle, the lightweight mop caters to users of different heights. It picked up hair and dust quickly, leaving floors spotless. Your kids can help you with the chores now!
3 BEST FLAT MOP FOR KITCHENS
Magiclean Wiper Mop
$20.85, from major supermarkets
It took just a few swipes of the mop for its attached wet wipe to leave a sticky and greasy kitchen floor feeling fresh.
4 BEST FLOOR CLEANER
Magiclean Floor Cleaner
$5.75, from major supermarkets
This was the most effective in soaking up and cleaning away oily smears, leaving the floor sparkling clean and grease-free.
5 MOST ERGONOMIC HAND SCRUB
Scotch-brite Handy Scrubber
$7.10, from Home-fix Marina Square
The long padded handle makes the chore of cleaning bathroom walls and corners easier. The hard bristles brushed out the dirt from tile grouting easily.
This article was originally published in Simply Her January 2014.
All product and pricing information was correct at the time of the magazine’s publication. We advise readers to check with the store for the latest availability and pricing information. All stores are located in Singapore.