What Does an All Purpose Cleaner Do

By: The Cleancult Team

January 24, 2018

It sounds like a wonder and awesome product: the all purpose cleaner (or multi-purpose cleaner) that typically does away with many of the hassles associated with cleaning. There is, apparently, no need to store five separate bottles of expensive cleaning products, when just the one will do! No more reading instruction labels to see what cleans what, just take the all purpose cleaner and spray around! But are there any limitations to an all purpose cleaner? What exactly is it for? What does a multi-purpose cleaner do?

Well, in short, an all-purpose cleaner is designed to be used on many different surfaces and for a variety of cleaning tasks around the house. There is, actually, no ‘standard’ set of ingredients for these types of cleaners, but they usually act as either a disinfectant, detergent, de-greaser, or solvent or a combination of some or all of those. In other words, different brands of cleaners will usually have a different balance of ingredients, thus making them better or more effective on some surfaces than others. If you try one brand and find that it isn’t working on a particular surface, it might be a good idea to try another and see if that one does.

Like with all mainstream cleaners, we recommend reading the label carefully and protect yourself while handling potentially corrosive or harmful chemicals. A few quick precautions will make the cleaning hassle-free and speedy! Rubber gloves or disposable cleaning clothes are musts when starting to use a new all-purpose cleaner.


With a multi-purpose cleaner (or with most), you can clean glass, steel, and laminate effectively.


Removing dirt, cleaning and buffing up glass is very easy with a multi-purpose cleaner. Although it depends on which instructions your cleaner has, usually by just spraying on the solution, then wiping it off with a dry cloth will do the trick! Make sure to rub windows and mirrors thoroughly after cleaning, because any leftover solution that isn’t removed will create smear marks on the glass.

Laminate and steel

Since glass, laminate and steel surfaces can all be cleaned effectively with all purpose cleaners, they are frequently used in kitchens and bathrooms. Just spray and wipe of with a dry cloth. The majority of multi-purpose cleaners also serve as disinfectants, so they can be used to wipe down food handling areas and inside the fridge, and will leave the surfaces clean and germ-free.


Your average multi purpose cleaner can also be used to mop down tiles or linoleum flooring. Again, depending on the instructions on your detergent’s bottle, simply dilute the fluid in a large bucket of warm water and mop away! It will take out or clean any dirt in your floors, leaving your house or apartment smelling clean.


Even though they are great for many different types of surfaces, most all purpose cleaners are not suitable for use on wooden surfaces, including wooden floor, tables or furniture. When treating wood, it’s incredibly important to make sure you check the label of the product before going anywhere near your antique mahogany chairs or your new maplewood table!

The Verdict

All purpose-cleaners indeed work on almost any surface. Like with every type of cleaner, it’s incredibly important to check the labels on your detergent’s bottle, though. Be sure to check, specially, which types of surfaces is it not recommended for. Although it’s important to keep your house and life clean, you don’t want to damage any furniture doing so!