With so many cleaning products on the market, and advertisement claims that each particular cleaner works the best, it is difficult to know which ones actually do work and where they work best. This article gives the pros and cons to helpful cleaners to have around the house. Read on to see which products will be helpful for your spring cleaning.
Tilex Soap Scum Remover:
This product states that it “dissolves bathroom grime with THICK FOAM” , “cuts through tough soap scum FAST” and “No scrubbing required”. Directions for use include spraying on surface and allow product to penetrate dirt and soap scum, leaving it on for several minutes longer for tough jobs.
Pros: Did not stain my porcelain tub or any other surface I tried it on. Basically a decent cleaner for every day cleaning-removes surface dirt and soap scum fairly easily with little scrubbing. It did a fine job in removing the surface soap from my shower walls. You can find this product anywhere that sells cleaning solutions for a reasonable price.
Cons: Even after letting the product sit for 10 plus minutes, tough soap scum and grime still was not removed. After attempting to use this product a couple of times on the same stains, I gave up and moved on to the next product. You do have to do some scrubbing, especially if it is more than just surface dirt. Using a spray bottle for cleaning is fine when the bottle is full, but once the bottle is ¼ full, it becomes more difficult to get the solution out, especially when the bottle is tilted so that you can get to hard to reach areas or areas on an angle, such as in a tub. Also, I did not see any “thick foam” and certainly did have to scrub.
Uses for Spring Cleaning: Bathroom tubs, counters
This product was recommended to me for use on my porcelain tub by the person who previously owned my home. You simply squeeze the product onto the surface you want to clean (or onto a sponge), let sit for about 3 minutes (to kill 99.9% of the germs) and then wipe off, and rinse.
Pros: Can be used on delicate surfaces such as porcelain. This product is easy to use, and it comes out of the bottle pretty easily, until you get to the very last remnants. Then, like any other bottle such as ketchup, you have to shake it a bit to get the remainder out. Soft Scrub comes in lemon and bleach. I recommend the lemon, since the bleach type really does have bleach in it and can present a problem (see Cons). There is little scrubbing to do when using this product and dirt and soap scum come off fairly quickly. Soft Scrub has finally updated their scents and their line now also includes lavender and mountain breeze (which I have yet to try either of). Works well on faucet and shower heads, sinks and tiles. The scent of the lemon is refreshing, and your bathroom smells really nice and clean after using it. This product really does work well on removing soap scum and dirt in your tub with very little to no scrubbing required. I have had to use it a few times to get at tough soap scum and grime in the tub, to not 100% satisfaction, but better than most products do. It is also inexpensive. This is a must have for those with porcelain tubs and sinks. If you don’t have either, try this out as it is a great cleaner.
Cons: The bleach product left a noticeable stain on my porcelain tub that has not yet been removed after about a year. I also got bleach stains on my shower curtain and any shirt I wore while cleaning, as well as a towel that was sitting nearby (it was apparently splashed with some solution while cleaning). These stains do not come out as they are bleach. You really can’t leave this product on for a long period of time (i.e. if you forget that you were cleaning the tub and got distracted) because of possibilities of staining (at least with the bleach type). The manufacturers DO caution against prolonged contact with surface and suggest testing in an inconspicuous spot, so I will give them that. However, I don’t think I would leave this product on for 3 minutes to kill germs as suggested for fear of further stains. Soft Scrub is hard to use on shower curtains as the product is thick. You also have to rinse very well to remove residue. I suggest using only a small amount in smaller spaces such as in sinks, or on stoves. I have only used this product in my bathroom.
Uses for spring cleaning:
Bathroom tubs, tiles, counters, delicate surfaces, kitchen surfaces such as stainless steel
Fantastic All-Purpose Cleaner and Fantastic Clean & Shine:
Fantastic All-Purpose cleaner “cleans, shines deodorizes and disinfects for a complete clean”, according to manufacturers. This product comes in a spray bottle, and manufacturer’s suggest spraying onto surface and allowing to penetrate before scrubbing. The Clean & Shine line leaves “no smeary residue” and “cleans and shines in one easy step”. I used “fresh scent” and really liked the light lime green solution in the see through bottle as well as the clean, fresh scent it leaves behind.
Pros: The All-purpose cleaner is a great versatile product for use in both kitchens and bathrooms. This works very well on grease, such as on BBQ grills, stove tops and counter tops. You can use this product on stainless steel, which is a plus. It also is great for use cleaning refrigerators, dog kennels, and kitchen floors. This product also works well in wiping down patio furniture and general spring cleaning on really dirty surfaces. The Clean & Shine product works well as a general cleaner around the house and kitchen. In a pinch, I tried some of this on my kitchen floor and thought it worked pretty well. It provided a decent clean without soap residue of other cleaners. However, I would not use this for my typical floor cleaning as it does not seem to penetrate as deeply to remove dirt such as ammonia. I was pleased with the way this product penetrates grease and dirt around the kitchen. I have been using this to clean my puppy’s kennel and to remove urine scents when she has an accident on the kitchen floor and have been very pleased with its effectiveness in killing the scent as well as cleaning the mess. I also really like the bottle and smell of the product. Both products also work well on washer and dryer surfaces and inside the machines. This product is a must have for every household.
Cons: Not really great as a bathroom cleaner to remove grime or soap scum. For really greasy areas such as on BBQ’s, you will need to reapply a number of times and do some scrubbing, but I think that is to be expected. Again, the spray bottle has its drawbacks but I have found this bottle to be better at spraying than others, even when it is held at odd angles.
Spring cleaning uses: BBQ grills, kitchen walls, appliances, kitchen floors, dog kennels, other household walls to remove dirt and grease
This company has a full line of cleaning products for your bathroom, such as flushable bathroom wipes, the automatic shower cleaner and the toilet cleaning system (both which seem to me a waste of money and I have not tried). The Mildew stain remover uses bleach to remove mildew stains, while the special Soap Scum Remover with Orange Action is supposed to leave a fresh orange scent while penetrating touch dirt and grime. The product I used is the Aerosol Bathroom Cleaner. This product states that it removes hard water stains, dirt, soap scum and mildew (not sure why they have a special Mildew product unless this one is not that great for mildew).
Pros: The aerosol can method works well for being able to get to the bottom of the can. This product leaves behind a pleasant clean scent and it is pretty cool to watch the foaming action on your tub after you spray it. It cleans nozzles and faucets well as well as the tub, toilet or sink. You can spray it on your tub walls and the product will stay in place for a couple of minutes to do its work, unlike other products that will immediately drip down. This product works well on tiles and leaves a really nice shine behind as well as picks up deep dirt on your tile floor. Scrubbing Bubbles is a good cleaner for removing soap scum and you don’t have to scrub much at all, just basically wipe with a wet sponge. For really tough soap scum you have to use a few times, but it is one of the best bathroom cleaners I have used. If used with paper towels rather than a wet sponge, clean up is much easier.
Cons: Aerosol cans are of course not good for the environment. If your nozzle breaks for some reason, you are out of luck with the rest of the can (which has happened to me). The foaming bubbles are not as portrayed on TV of course, but they are thicker than any other brand I have used. Deep dirt can take several applications to clean. You have to rinse a few times after using this product as it can be slippery and you have to make sure all the bubbles are washed away.
Spring cleaning uses: bathroom tubs and tiles, tile floors
This product is a powdered cleaning product that comes in a can.
Pros: This product provides good cleaning for tough jobs when other cleaning products just won’t do. It is inexpensive, usually less than a dollar, and not much more at most stores. I have used Ajax on my kitchen linoleum to get dirt out of the divets in the floor and it worked very well, removing tough dirt and grime my regular cleaner missed. Excellent on stainless steel and works beautifully to clean kitchen sinks, leaving a nice, clean shine behind. It cuts through grease and deep dirt as well as other caked on residue very well. Also can be used for cleaning toilets, some bath tubs (as long as they are not sensitive to scratches.
Cons: You can’t use these products on every surface, such as porcelain and you have to rinse well to remove residue.
Spring cleaning uses: kitchen sinks, stoves, ground in dirt on linoleum floors, toilets, stainless steel surfaces
These products are similar to baby wipes, except they are used for cleaning and instead of a flat box, come in a cylindrical shaped plastic bottle.
Pros: Awesome for just wiping a spill, or some surface dirt around the bathroom or kitchen. Both products disinfect and you can use them after cutting chicken and other meats. This product works very well for a quick cleaning of the bathroom sink, toilet and other surfaces. It also works well at picking up dog hair and dirt in crevices and corners that your mop does not reach, wiping down walls, door knobs and other handles, window sills, spills, high chairs and baby toys, car seats and any other surface you want to disinfect and/or clean.
Cons: The bottle can be cumbersome to get the first wipe out and you have to be sure to keep the top closed, or you will find dry wipes when you next go to use them. Deep cleaning using this product probably just will not happen and you won’t be able to get heavy duty soap scum or grime out of your tub bottom with this.
Spring cleaning uses: counters, surfaces, door knob handles, window sills, high chairs, children’s toys
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is a soft cleaning pad that acts just like an eraser, magically washing away tough dirt, grime, marks and soap scum. The Magic Eraser is useful for soap scum, interior doors, baseboard and light switches, crayon marks, car hub caps, interior car dashboard and console, scuff marks on floors and patio furniture, dried food in microwaves, refrigerators and built up dirt on surfaces around your home. Once the eraser has been removed from the package and wet with water, users should squeeze the eraser to activate the special ingredients inside the sponge. Then, rub over the dirt, stain or soap scum you wish to clean.
Pros: The Magic Eraser really does seem to magically make dirt and stains disappear without use of additional cleaning agents or tough scrubbing. It removes the really tough soap scum and grime that any other cleaner I use does not completely get at. Really caked on grease on microwave and stove surfaces came off in a breeze using this (that even Fantastic could not get at). Finger prints, pen marks on linoleum, even pen or pencil on paper are actually removed with this product. I tried this on my dog water and food dishes and it easily removed the slimy saliva they left behind, which usually takes me about 3 washes with dish detergent and a sponge to remove.
Cons: I did notice though that after using the Magic Eraser for only these two uses, the sponge had a tear in it that cut halfway across the sponge. While 2 sponges only cost $2.50, seeing how this product wears, this can get expensive. However, if you use this for only really tough jobs and not as a general cleaner, it is well worth it. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is not recommended on high sheen surfaces such as stainless steel, brushed, satin, dark or faux finishes. Product directions indicate that you should test use of Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on an inconspicuous spot before using. In fact, when using this product on my polished kitchen floor, it became evident that the Magic Eraser, while erasing the marks and stains did also erase the polished finish, leaving a dull area behind. After wiping the area down with a sponge, water and soap however, my floor was fine.
Spring cleaning uses: grease on any surface, walls, soap scum in bathroom tubs, stove tops, major kitchen appliances
Bottom line: While most products claim they can be your sole cleaner, I have not found this to be the case with any product I have yet to try. I suggest a combination of products for the variety of uses around your home while you are spring cleaning. While no one probably wants 10 different cleaners under their kitchen sink, I highly recommend Ajax for tough cleaning, Clorox Wipes for every day wiping down and disinfecting of surfaces, Fantastic All-Purpose Cleaner for kitchen cleaning and outdoor grill cleaning and either Soft Scrub or Scrubbing Bubbles for your bathroom cleaning. For good measure and to really get at tough jobs, keep a couple of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers on hand as well. Don’t forget the tried and true ammonia for disinfecting and glass cleaner for windows to round out your spring cleaning needs.