Life·8 min read

We Tested Popular Cleaning Products on Amazon and Here Are the Results

amazon popular cleaning products for your home
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Amazon
Oct 11, 2022

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Welcome to Skimm Tested, where we put products to the test and then give 'em a report card. (Check out all of our tried-and-tested faves here.)

The assignment…

To put a few Amazon-popular cleaning products to the test. Because you may have seen ’em (and their thousands of five-star reviews) before, but are they actually worth the hype? Enter: Gelivable mold- and mildew-removing gel ($12.99+), Bottle Bright tablets ($24+/36 tablets), and Affresh dishwasher tablets ($8.98+/6 tablets).

Gelivable Mold- and Mildew-Removing Gel

Straight A’s in…

  • Effectiveness on tile. The gel works remarkably well on tile, and removed a mildew stain easily in the shower (with zero traces left behind). It also did a great job on a shower window, where the bottom corners are inevitably in a splash zone and there was a buildup of mildew. 

  • Thickness and consistency. Since the gel is actually quite thick, it clings to surfaces easily. This is great if you’ve got stains on walls or underneath built-in shower shelves. The gel will sit on the stain and work to break it down over the course of a few hours (the bottle suggests three to five).

Room for growth…

  • Effectiveness on grout. We found that the gel was slightly less effective on grout, although it definitely worked to lighten stains. Overall, we’d say it was about 80% effective on grout.

Amazon

Plays well with…

  • Those with some mold and mildew spots in their bathroom, like in the corners of their shower or bathtub, around handles on their sink, etc.

  • Anyone who loves the set-it-and-forget-it cleaning style.

Gets extra credit for…

  • Range of use. The gel can be used in various places in your home, including the kitchen and within window tracks. It can also be used on oil and yellow stains on white clothing. (Note: We didn’t test this, but the bottle does list this as a use.)

How we did our homework…

  • We had one Skimm HQ’r use this in her home and bathroom since she was noticing some darker spots around her shower. She followed the directions precisely, making sure to let the gel sit for the recommended amount of time before wiping away. She did have a tougher time with grout, so she repeated the steps a total of three times before she was fully satisfied with the results. 

Footnotes…

  • $12.99+

  • Bleach-free, non-acidic, low odor

  • Should sit for three to five hours before removing

  • Wear rubber gloves, keep a window open while using

  • Store in a cool, dry place

Bottle Bright Tablets

Straight A’s in…

  • Effectiveness. We love how well these tablets work, no scrubbing required. We’ve dropped ’em into numerous bottles, only to watch them foam quickly to banish stinky smells and any residue that’s left behind from liquids like coffee and tea.  

  • Won’t affect taste of liquids. At all. We’ve washed out bottles with these tablets and have then immediately drank from them. Zero soapy taste left behind. 

  • Versatility. You can use the tablets on water bottles, coffee tumblers, hydration reservoirs, coolers, and more.

Room for growth…

  • Individually packed. Since the tablets are solo-wrapped, it does feel a bit wasteful. We’d prefer them in a single bag where we can grab one whenever our bottle needs a little boost. 

  • Need for repeated use. With how often we use our bottles, a lil’ smell (plus water spots and coffee stains) can build up rather quickly, so these tablets are not a one-time solution. (This is more an FYI than a deterrent.)

Amazon

Plays well with…

  • Those who are dedicated to their reusable bottle and wanna keep it sparkling clean.

Gets extra credit for…

  • No scrubbing required. Pop in, let it sit (15–30 minutes), and then rinse out.

How we did our homework…

  • We had a few Skimm HQ’rs test these tablets, first filling their reusable bottles with hot water before dropping in a tablet for the suggested amount of time. They paid special attention to odor and stains — especially hard-to-reach stains in the nooks and crannies since those are the toughest to scrub out by hand. 

  • We also incorporated anecdotal evidence from others who have used the Bottle Bright tablets for over a year now. 

Footnotes…

Affresh Dishwasher Tablets

Straight A’s in…

  • Effectiveness. When we added them to the dishwasher and ran a normal cycle, it ended with one very, very clean appliance. The odor was gone and the inside of the dishwasher looked (literally) sparkling. 

  • Ease of use. There’s really zero effort needed. You add one tablet into the detergent tray, and then set your dishwasher to run its normal cycle. That’s it. You can also run it with dirty dishes if you need. (Just add detergent to the tray and toss the tablet directly in.) 

Room for growth…

  • Need for repeated use. Again, like with the Bottle Bright tablets, these are not a one-time cure-all. We use them monthly to keep things looking and smelling right.

  • You don’t know what you can’t see. And by this, we mean that we’re not 100% certain that the tablet aids in cleaning your machine's tub, racks, pump and valve, drain and recirculation hoses. So we wanna note that we’re speaking to the parts of the dishwasher we have direct access to. 

Amazon

Plays well with…

  • Those looking to keep every appliance in their kitchen clean, especially if that one appliance is smelling a bit rank as of late. 

  • People who love to set it and forget it. 

Gets extra credit for…

  • Not only working to remove limescale and mineral buildup, but also descaling glasses and dishes.

How we did our homework…

  • We had a few Skimm HQ’rs test the tablets, running their dishwashers with and without items inside. They took note of smells before and after, how dishes and glasses looked at the end of the cycle, and if there were stains remaining in the dishwasher. 

  • We also incorporated anecdotal evidence from others who have used the Affresh tablets for over a year now.

Footnotes…


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