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The right iron, all-in-one cleanser can help make chores easier

Testers offer their choices on the ones with the best value.

First Published Oct 17 2012 07:18 pm • Last Updated Oct 17 2012 07:19 pm

No matter how hectic your week, you’ll always have clothes that require pulling out the ironing board and counters that need cleaning.

This may never be fun, but having the right tools makes these chores easier.

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That’s why Good Housekeeping evaluated 17 of the latest irons and 17 all-in-one cleansers, the former for among other things their wrinkle-removing prowess and ease of use, the latter for among other things their effectiveness and convenience.

Hot irons

These high-tech, high-performance models make wrinkle removal a pain-free proposition.

Easiest to use • Preset steam levels make the Electrolux Perfect Glide ($100) a no-brainer. Its precision tip maneuvers nimbly around buttons; controls are a snap to operate.

Across-the-board performer • The DeLonghi Easy Turbo Professional Steam Iron ($100) has a comfy grip, a large, easy-to-fill reservoir and reliable steam output. It held its temperature well and did best on synthetics, silk and cotton.

Bargain Buy • Black & Decker’s D2030 Digital Advantage ($30) has adequate steam flow and nicely smooths synthetics and wool. It’s the lightest pick, but testers found the brand’s customer service lacking.

Full of Features • Hamilton Beach Durathon Digital 19901 ($50) held heat exceedingly well. A retractable cord and a sound indicator (alerting you when it hits the desired temperature) added to the appeal.

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All-in-one cleansers

Best Overall • Mr. Clean Multi-Surfaces and Antibacterial Spray (Lemon Scent) cut through grease and grime more rapidly than the rest, leaving few streaks. Mr. Clean, the sole antibacterial spritz here, is a serious bargain at just 9 cents per ounce ($3 for 32 oz.).

Stainless Steel All-Star Spic and Span Cinch Glass & Multi-Surface Cleaner • Coming in at a close second, Cinch ($3.49 for 32 oz.) tackled all types of soil, excelling on stainless steel and glass. But it did leave dirt behind on a painted wall, which was among the easiest surfaces for its competitors to clean.

Kitchen Champion Windex Multi-Surface Vinegar • The only cleanser ($3.26 for 26 oz.) that completely removed dirt from stainless steel, laminate and a painted wall. Testers found that it required a few extra strokes to thoroughly clean glass, but it left little streaking; it also eliminated grease fast. Contains vinegar, although not its pungent smell.

Natural Selection Replenish Multi-Surface Cleaner • A 2012 winner of our VIP (Very Innovative Products) Awards, this concentrated formula ($7 for 50 oz; $4 for refills), in a squeezable pod, makes three bottles of a plant-based cleanser that works well on glass, laminate, steel and walls. In lemon, lavender, green tea and unscented.

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