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.
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.