Keepin’ Clean + Giveaway

June 6, 2011(updated on April 24, 2023)
Bon Ami cleaning products

I’ve noticed that there something of a natural progression when you start canning, even if it’s on a very small scale. Suddenly you start looking around your home and looking for ways that you can streamline, simplify and make from scratch. Several years ago, I started replacing counter top cleaners with vinegar solutions and powdered bleach scrubs with baking soda. And they were pretty darn good for a variety of basic cleaning.

Thing is, there were a couple things that those more natural cleansers didn’t do particularly well. For instance, the enamel in my bathroom sink is chipped near the drain and it bleeds rust on a daily basis (we haven’t replaced the sink because the whole bathroom must eventually be gutted, but it is still serviceable so we soldier on). It needs aggressive scrubbing with something more potent than baking soda. But after all the energy that went into ridding my home of chemical cleaners that made me light-headed, I didn’t want to invite them back for this one job.

Bon Ami bar

A couple of weeks ago, the answer arrived* in the form of a box of Bon Ami products. Made from feldspar and a gentle soap, it’s an incredibly easy to use and made quick work of my rust stains (it also worked on rust-stained jars). You just rub a web cloth or sponge over the Bon Ami bar and scrub. It’s a fantastic complement to my arsenal of vinegar spray and baking soda (I must say, their spray cleaner is also terrific and has the added bonus of not smelling like pickles).

Now, I realize that I sound a little like an ad here. But truly, I’m a bit smitten with the Bon Ami bar (and the powder too). I’ve always had a weakness for old fashioned ways of doing things (which is probably why I started canning in the first place) and so I get an unnatural amount of satisfaction from using something that my great-grandmother may well have applied to her own sinks and tubs.

You’ll be excited to learn that Bon Ami has given me two more of these cleaning kits to giveaway here. To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment on this post and share a story about cleaning unguents, solutions, powders or soaps (do you make your own cleansers? Did you grow up with Bon Ami? What’s your take on hand soap – bar or liquid?). Comments will close at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. The winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States (my apologies to all you reading from Canada and beyond).

One last thing. Because we’re in the social media age and all, I thought I’d mention that Bon Ami is on Facebook and they’re currently running a contest for a chance to win a green house cleaning. If you feel so moved, you can toss your hat in that ring too.

*I was sent this box of cleaning products at no cost to me. However, my elbow grease and opinions are all my own.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

372 thoughts on "Keepin’ Clean + Giveaway"

  • My first introduction to Bon Ami was my first housecleaning job for a former professor of mine. She had me use Bon Ami powder. I loved everything about it from the way it worked so well to the chick on the label.

  • I purchased a natural-brand powdered dishwasher detergent that was TERRIBLE. It wouldn’t dissolve, no matter what, and my dishes were still dirty, AND covered in soap lumps. However, I discovered that it makes a wonderful tub and tile scrub! I mixed it with a little baking soda and peppermint oil, and give a splash of vinegar for a little post-cleaning disinfecting and my bathroom is always shiny and fresh.

  • We use a lot of vinegar and baking soda. I do however use Bon Ami spray cleaner in the kitchen for quick clean ups. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Huge Bon Ami fan here. I’ve never seen their cleaning bar before and would be thrilled to try it. We make a lot of hydrogen peroxide based cleaners and I am a huge fan of adding grapefruit seed extract. Trying little by little to phase out the harsh cleaners that denigrate indoor air quality.

  • Hooray! I’ll try anything that is a “good friend”! I’d like to see if it works as well as Bar Keeper’s Friend 🙂

  • I grew up using the powder, but have never seen the spray or the bar until now. I’d love to try them out!

  • I make my own laundry detergent… and BOY is it cheaper and cleans better IU find the clothing softer and fluffier than with store bought… but still the best part is that it costs me 1.70 for a months batch (and i have a handicapped child who entails ALOT of laundry).

  • We use vinegar on all the windows and mirrors and use baking soda as a scrub on other services. I can’t do laundry without Charlie’s soap, which isn’t homemade and natural, but is a wonderful alternative to those other messy detergents.

  • Baking soda and vinegar are the basis of everything in my house, but I’m sure Bon Ami would be a welcome addition with the likes of Mrs. Meyers and Dr. Bonner’s.
    I’ve heard of Bon Ami but never used it. Based on your intro, however, I certainly need to give it a try as Charleston is humid and we seem to acquire rust spots over night!

  • Longtime Bon Ami powder user. Would love to try it in bar and spray form (neither of which I knew existed until now!).

  • I have recently started ridding my house of chemical cleaners, but I’ve been struggling with the soap scum on the vertical sides of the tub. Perhaps this would do the trick!

  • Sounds like Bon Ami would be a great alternative! We have really bad hard water where I live, and none of the nasty chemicals work that well. I wonder if this would?

  • I make my own almost everything- from counter spray to laundry soap- but bon ami all the way in the 80+ year old bathtub. Good to know about the soap bar- I’ll look for it- I am out of the powder!

  • I have not really started the whole move from harsh chemical cleaners yet, though I have a slew of blogs bookmarked with tips and recipes for more natural cleaners. I suppose it is time to start replacing all of those old cleaners with the natural ones.

  • i currently use mrs. meyer’s for practically everything (i love the lavender scent!) but would love to give another brand a try.

  • I’ve heard of the Bon Ami products but never used them myself. I use Felsnaptha soap bars for laundry stains and I’ve used it in my own homemade laundry detergent. I would agree that as we go back to the old ways we look for more old ways that worked!

  • My grandmother always used bon ami I have used it before but forgotten about It would love to try these products thanks

  • For hand soap, I’ve been buying the all-natural all-purpose liquid soap at the co-op and spiking it with a few drops of spearmint essential oil. We have a very small bathroom and with five people messing with a bar, I’d have to wipe the sink of soap slime several times a day. I believe that by buying the liquid soap in bulk and using resusable containers, I’m avoiding the packaging problem most liquid soaps have. The advantage of the spearmint oil is that the soap smells so nice that it is pleasant to wash hands… and three messy kids need all the encouragement they can get 🙂

  • I use vinegar and baking soda solutions whenever I can – I also love barkeepers friend – and a great, no-chemical way to get fingerprints off the wall – rub a piece of white bread on them!

  • Love their products and use them instead of harsher products. I’m a big fan of white vinegar, baking soda and elbow grease.

  • Sometimes I feel like loving Dr. Bronner’s soap is like drinking the hippie Kool-Aid, but it really does clean everything and a bottle lasts forever. It’s also the best product I’ve found for cleaning the grease filters in the range hood. I just soak them in a solution of hot water and Dr. Bronner’s and the grease just melts off. A light scrub and a rinse and they’re sparkling!

  • I haven’t jumped into the relm of doing things the old fashioned way in regards to cleaning materials. I do, however, use natural, handmade soaps from the Shepherd Soap Company in Washington. Their soaps are gentle and so good on the skin!

  • Thank you so much for your suggestion! I have never heard of it but I will try to find it up in Vancouver. Keep up the good work 🙂 I have been reading your blog for the last six months but just too nervous to write a comment. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  • my mom used bon ami when we were kids, but i’ve all but forgotten it. i’ve been on a natural cleaners kick but could use something a bit more abrasive to get the job done in the shower.

  • for hand soap, i use liquid soap, but we use bar soap in the shower (dr. bronners) and green/natural products every where else.

  • I also clean with the baking soda/vinegar solutions. I started making my own laundry detergent about a year ago…I’m still iffy about that one.

  • I’ve been using baking soda and vinegar a lot. Lemon juice works really well on those jams/jellies that have cooked onto the stove top. It would be great to try the bon ami products and have them on hand for when I’m out of lemons and baking soda.
    I recently have been making my own hand soap with dr. bronners and lavender oil. Its cheap, works well and smells great.

  • I am like you… I use vinegar and baking soda mixed with Castille soap to clean most things. I actually just bought the powder today to try on my stove top. It needs a little more umph… LOL! I would love to be entered into your drawing.

  • I use a lot of vinegar in cleaning, and buy locally made, natural bar soaps for the shower, but am trying to go even more green.

  • Would LOVE to win this giveaway! I’ve always had Bon Ami in my house because my mom used it and said it was less toxic than other cleaners. I have been working on switching over my cleaning supplies to vinegar, baking soda and lemons (I have an almost 2 year old in the house and don’t want his mouth on a table, chair or floor that was cleaned with harsh chemicals – plus I want him to be able to help me, be involved, etc). Love the idea of these cleaning products from Bon Ami. Fingers crossed!

  • I have been using Bon Ami for several years after I read about it in MaryJane’s Farm magazine. It works great. Thank you for the great give away.

  • we actually used bon-ami at my job in a microbiology teaching lab at university, it worked great and we didn’t have to worry about chemical contaminants in our experiments!

  • I use homemade laundry soap for towels, jeans, heavy duty things. Really love bar keepers friend for a scouring powder. Don’t know if it is on the bad chemical list, but it cleans my sink and flat cook top without scratching, as well as my stainless steel pans.

  • I’ve never seen Bon Ami before but it looks like stuff I would love. I use a lot of Meyer Clean Day products now .. . I love the lemon verbena smell!

  • i’ve never seen/heard of bon ami before, but i’ll definitely be checking them out, now. i am in the process of turning everything over to greener & purer products & ways :o) this is perfect! i’ve loved learning about making homemade cleaners, detergents, etc.

  • Your vinegar cleaner doesn’t have to smell like pickles! Just put a little essential oil in with it. We use lemon, lavender, rosemary and thyme in some combination. The essential oils are also anti-bacterial and you only need a few drops so a small bottle will last a long time.

    I’ve used the bon ami powder, but not the bar. Would be interested to try it.

  • I love making my own soaps and cleaners! I so want to win this! Mainly because they are so cute!!!

  • I use their powder and have forever, but I have had my eye on their new line of products. I would love to try them out. I can’t handle the vinegar smell of the homemade ones, but I love Mrs.Meyers stuff!

  • I have always loved the “Hasn’t scratched yet” chick on their label. It reminds of when I was young! MK

  • I am always looking for something to make cleaning easier on my (and my household). I have EXTRAordinarily sensitive, dry skin and hate the way most cleaners and soaps make my skin feel. I use goatsmilk bar soap (local guy around here makes Kitchen Coffee soap…with grounds…awesome for waking up AND exfoliating!) for my body, hands and face, but haven’t found anything that does the same kind of job for my kitchen…yet!!!

  • With two small children who want to help do everything it is nice to have green cleaners around. thanks for the tip and info on Bon Ami. I have only used the dry cleaner for my sink and love it! So many great tips from your readers too!

  • I’ve never used Bon Ami but now I’m quite interested in it. Thus far we’ve stuck with baking soda and Mrs. Meyers.

  • I had no idea that Bon Ami made more than one product (the powder scrub) which I’ve been using instead of comet for years now. My trick is to put a few drops of essential oil on the sponge I use for sink cleaning for a pleasant scent.

  • I would love some of this stuff. I was making my own laundry detergent until I realized it was making me all itchy. I do use baking soda to clean my stainless pans, sink, etc. It works amazingly well!

  • I’m really hoping they start carrying these products in my Fairbanks Fred Meyer soon. I love Bon Ami cleanser and use it all the time. I have terrible allergies with even “all-natural” scents and often find myself in a fit of sneezing with ECO-friendly all natural products and yes even unscented products! I’m always thrilled to find something that actually cleans and doesn’t leave me look like I was on some sort of crying fit. I hate cleaning, but not enough to make me cry!

  • My co-workers just introduced me to Bon Ami recently, I was planning to pick some up on my next trip to the store, but winning some would be great too! Yay for green and clean!

  • My favorite cleaning story is that I have an awesome husband who cleans the bathroom for me. I do most of the rest and the cooking and such, but I’d happily trade that for not having to do the bathroom!!!


  • I LOVE Bon Ami! I use it to polish all my stainless steel cookware. I love it because it’s chemical free, and seriously easy to use. I had no idea they had a bar and liquid cleanser, too. I will definitely look out for that at the store next time I shop.

  • oh my gosh, i LOVE bon ami! i just started making my own detergent, which has been awesome. a group of girlfriends and i got together and made 5 gallons of soap for each of us over brunch on a sunday afternoon. 🙂 now, on to window cleaners!

  • I make my own laundry detergent, use vinegar water and baking soda on just about everything, and castille soap for myself. I haven’t found a solution for the old tub and sink yet, though. I also switched from sponges to dish cloths a long time ago, and likewise I use rags instead of paper towels. It’s handy cause instead of buying new, I just throw them in the laundry.

  • I’d love to try that – I hope I win!

    Yes, I make virtually all of my house hold cleaners with good old vinegar, baking soda, borax, Dr. Bronner’s soap and essential oils.

  • I grew up with Bon Ami in the green can, and haven’t seen the bar version before; I’d like to try it!

  • I didn’t realize they were still in business. Wow. we used to use the powder when growing up. it came in a gold paper shaky can. It was the best ever for cleaning the sink in the bathroom.
    You have to scrub, tho.

  • I love the powder version of Bon Ami and didn’t know they had a bar. I’d love to add it to my arsenal of natural products of which vinegar and baking soda feature.

  • I’ve been using vinegar and baking soda for a long time to clean and freshen drains, and Bon Ami for toilets and porcelain sinks. But I’ve never tried their bar or spray and would LOVE to!

  • Love Bon Ami! We’ve always had the powder around my parents’ house and mine. It was such a fixture that it was only recently I realized that “hasn’t scratched yet” referred to the chick, fresh from the egg. Too cute!

  • Sounds like a wonderful product and I would love to try it! I have just recently began to focus on making things from scratch and have not tackled household cleaning supplies just yet! I have began to use baking soda to clean with and to make toothpaste with.

  • We’ve been a cleaned by vinegar household since last summer, Bon Ami since this past fall and Dr. Bronner’s for YEARS- ain’t no turnin’ back now!

  • I use Bon Ami in my kitchen all the time – it’s the only thing that can get my poor, stained white porcelain sink to look remotely clean. We just finished up gutting and remodeling our bathroom and I think I’ll be using it there, too! I like the scents of Method and Mrs. Meyers cleaning products as well, but they don’t have the oomph that I need to be able to really scrub clean a gross surface.

  • I had a short flirtation with washing my hair with baking soda and vinegar, which I actually loved except that my hair smelled like vinegar until it dried which wasn’t good for me and my always-running-lateness.

  • I have 4 kids and wanted to clean more naturally so I switched to Method cleaning products a couple years ago. Always used baking soda for cleaning sinks and marks off the walls though. Just started using vinegar too. Would love to try the Bon Ami cleaning products too!

  • I’ve been using Bon Ami for years. I was grateful I didn’t have to replace it when I did my chemical purge. I also love the new/old look.

  • Oh, I love Bon Ami powder (the only product I can find locally) and use it for all sorts of things, including cleaning lighting fixtures (who knew)? I do make my own general purpose cleaner for countertops, tabletops, windows, bathroom tile, etc—by using vinegar, water, and a few drops of dish soap. It works like a charm!

  • I’ve never heard of Bon Ami but would love to try it! We’ve been trying to integrate greener cleaning into the home but it’s a struggle.

  • I’ve never made my own cleaner to clean my house, but I did make homemade cleaners to wash my horse when I was growing up. They were more gentle on his skin, and they smelled delicious and natural!

  • i’ve never heard of bon ami, but as i am becoming increasingly allergic to things with lots of chemicals, anything simple catches my eye. i love the tried-and-true products!

  • I love the reto look of products I see… And this bar is so cute!! I haven’t used Bon Ami in awhile, but I love it. I just returned from vacation, where I bought some homemade soaps. Made me want to make my own! Need to finish the house first! Then time for “play!” And speaking of soap, I like variety – bar and liquid! When my hands are really dirty, I go for the liquid. Otherwise, it depends on my mood!

  • Vinegar also works in a cat-centric household. Recently our kitty was accidently closed in a bedroom for the night, away from her litterbox. The poor thing just had to go so she chose….wait for it….my husband’s open suitcase, all packed and ready for his trip the next morning. Upon discovery the clothing could all be laundered, of course, but what to do about the suitcase itself which, of necessity, had to be repacked for the trip? I sprayed it liberally with a vinegar and water solution and hoped for the best. Other than my husband smelling faintly of pickles throughout his trip there was no eau de feline to contend with.

  • I have a friend that will only use Bon Ami on sinks, tubs, etc. The realtor who sold her house said her fixtures looked brand new when they were 20 years old. She credited that to Bon Ami. I have never seen the bar. How cool!

  • I’ve not tried Bon Ami, but you had me at “the enamel in my bathroom sink is chipped near the drain and it bleeds rust on a daily basis”. Amen, sister. Amen.

  • I use dr bronner’s and baking soda for most cleaning. I could probably use more vinegar if I tried, but I’m not a fan. Bon Ami I have used before…… but I don’t know where they sell it here in south carolina

  • I am always trying to green up our living. Natural cleaners are a must for me. I would love to give this a try!

  • I love Bon Ami for cleaning my newly purchased and beloved stainless steel pots and pans. That and a little elbow grease erases any discoloration or stain. I’ve never seen the bar.

  • Liquid soap for hands, bar soap for everything else. I love Bon Ami and never knew they made a bar version!

  • I love vinegar! It seems to clean and deodorize everything! I haven’t delved in to the realm of soap-making yet, however it’s on my list for things I would be better off making my own.

  • I use both liquid (kitchen) and bar (bathroom) soaps. I also use Bon Ami powder to clean the sinks and bathtubs, it works great! BTW Marisa, have you considered using a porcelain touch-up product to repair your sink? It’s easy to do and would tide you over until the remodel.

  • Wow! Do you ever get a lot of comments! I used to make my own laundry soap, but eventually I conceded that it just didn’t work very well and switched to a natural store bought detergent that . Other than that, I clean most surfaces (including floors and bathrooms) with vinegar or vinegar diluted with water. I like that it doesn’t make my sinuses raw and dissipates quickly. If I’m feeling really in need of a fresh scent I add some essential oils. For tougher jobs, I’m still using Soft Scrub for tougher jobs so I’m eager to find out if the Bon Ami powder works as well and smells better!

  • I have a son with special needs, so anytime I can eliminate a harmful substance in my home, I’m all for it! Thanks for the chance to win!

  • My friend Courtney’s Laundry Detergent Recipe That Changed My Life:

    Grind up some Fels Neptha laundry bar soap.
    Add equal parts Borax and Washing Powder.
    Add a little natural oxygen bleach (we like biokleen).
    Shake and mix.

    Use A TABLESPOON per load! Smells great, cleans wonderfully, good for the environment and your pocket!

  • Recently started making my own cleaning products: dish soap and shampoo so far, and it’s horrifyingly easy. Getting back to the simple basics, with stuff like Bon Ami, is so rewarding, both financially and psychologically.

  • That sounds amazingly perfect. I also usually get by with vinegar and baking soda (and a dash of bleach every once in awhile), but you’re right, that’s sometimes just not enough! I never thought of feldspar as a cleansing agent, but I imagine its abrasive qualities are useful.

  • I often use a squeezed out lemon half and salt or baking soda as a scrub. It works awesome and recycles the lemon after being used in a recipe.

  • Just want to say that I think your choice of ‘pithy words’ is hysterical… but as far as the cleaner is concerned – I would so love to try this. My body has been revolting against me and the environment. I’ve had to spend so much on different products that have not worked for me. I would love to try this product from your recommendation and if it works, I will cry with joy. 😉 LOL! (But really, the crying with joy is partially true.) 🙂

  • I’m slowly weaning my husband off of traditional cleansers and trying to get him to use more natural products, or at the very least, using the greener versions of the “regular” stuff.

    Otherwise, I love scrubbing our sinks with baking soda and white vinegar — it’s a great scrubber and science experiment! Also, to get triple-duty out of lemon rinds leftover from cooking or juicing, I boil them on the sink for their air freshening qualities, then throwing them down the garbage disposal for more lemon-scented goodness.

  • What timing! I was just introduced to these products at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, WA over the weekend. Can’t wait to try them all out!

  • I’ve used the cleansing powder before and like very much how it works. I haven’t seen the liquid or cake before but would love to try!

  • I recently rendered tallow, from organic beef, to make my own organic soap. I use Fels Naptha and Borax as my laundry stain removers. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • I’ve never really tried bon ami, but I am a big fan of cleaning with vinegar and baking soda, so I would love to give it a shot.

  • I’ve used Bon Ami powder for years! My dad introduced me to it when he swapped the Ajax for Bon Ami to clean the kitchen sink. Later, when I lived in an older, neglected house in college, I used Bon Ami to scrub the rust out of our porcelain kitchen sink after my roommates left pans to soak to long. Then I bought it into the bathroom, and wow! My hard water stains vanished. I love the classic looking label too. I didn’t even know they made a bar or a spray. I can’t wait to try them.

  • I used to visit a friend when I was a kid who lived in an old farmhouse. the bathroom had the most elusive,haunting,flowery smell from soap that i occasionally get a whiff of but have never been able to figure out what smell it is.