Monday, April 30, 2007

Not So Brilliant Bathroom

It's been quite a while since I've had the chance to post any new products or tips on this blog. Life has gotten in the way of pretty much everything. This sadly includes housework, so you didn't miss out on any times that I tried out a new product to post about. I'll admit I've cleaned a little but not with anything new to talk about it.

Today, I ran out of the wonderful Brilliance Salle de Bain I talked about last time. So, I was stuck rummaging through my other cleaners for a replacement. I really like being able to spray it on and walk away to do something else while it does its thang. Unfortunately, I didn't have anything else that would fit that bill. So, I decided to do a little internet search for a homemade cleaner that might replace it nicely. I found this one. I later find out that it's actually a recipe from a book I own (Talking Dirty With the Queen of Clean). It's a spray cleaner meant for ceramic tile, and my sink is ceramic, so I thought it might work in the same way.

First, you have to mix all the ingredients. There's no toxic explosion when you combine them, but you'll want to have a window open and maybe hold your breath because of the ammonia. That's some nasty stink. Reminds me of cleaning out an over-due cat litter box. I even added a few drops of grapefruit essential oil in the hopes of taming the odor a bit. Didn't work, so an open window was also necessary in the bathroom while I was using the stuff.

After playing kitchen chemist, I spritzed it all over the very dirty bathroom sink (I've mentioned the grubby hands that get washed there before). It was particularly grimy this morning (see the picture above for photographic evidence). I'm not sure why, but this may have something to do with the oil-based cleansers I've been experimenting with to care for my ultra-sensitive skin (more on that some other day).

Like I said earlier, I like to be able to walk away while the cleaner does its job. This is an especially good idea with this mixture. That ammonia is really something. So, I left the room for a bit. When I came back, I took out a non-abrasive vegetable sponge and went to work on it. It took more than a few swipes to see anything happen, and what I did see wasn't was I was hoping for. I pretty much just succeeded in moving the grime around the sink a little (if you look at that second picture closely, you'll see some areas are nice and white while others are even dirtier than before.). I even sprayed a little more on and scrubbed a bit harder without any better results.

I'll admit I was disappointed, but I was still determined to clean the sink. I mean, look at the thing. I couldn't exactly leave it like that. So, I went to the kitchen to grab what passes for dishwasher detergent around here (50/50 mixture of washing soda and borax), which I've found does a lovely job scrubbing pots and my stainless steel kitchen sink. It's basically just a mild abrasive, so I figured it might do the trick on this sink. I sprinkled about a tablespoon in the sink. By this time, I was getting a little tired of this experiment and was ready to move on to other chores, so I didn't wait for anything to start doing its job. I'm not sure what it would have done, if anything, anyway (though, I would like it to grow little hands, pick up the sponge and scrub the sink itself). Instead, I just used that same sponge and lightly scrubbed the sink again. Much better results this time. I'd have preferred for the spray concoction to work, because there wouldn't be those little borax crystals to rinse off, but at least this was fast.

I guess the conclusion to this experiment would be that a nice homemade scouring powder works more quickly and more efficiently than the spray-and-walk-away cleaner I was hoping to be able to use. Now, I just have to figure out what to do with all the leftover spray cleaner I made. I spritzed a little on the bathroom mirror to see if it could someday become my window/mirror cleaner of choice. It left all kinds of streaks and watermarks, so I guess that's out of the question. I'll have to experiment on the Quaryl (acrylic/quartz blend) bathtub or the toilet to see if it'll do the trick there.

In the end, I think I'll either have to break down and buy some more cleaner (a chance to try out something new!) or make up a batch of the scouring powder I've got a link to in the sidebar over there. It's a lot like the dishwasher detergent I used here, so it'll most likely do the trick.