Introduction: Mr. Clean Challenges Mrs. Green (Do Green Products Really Work?)
I owned and operated a cleaning company for 20 years working by myself. During that time I had a few customers who wanted me to use their green cleaning products. I did not like using them because it took me much longer to clean. I believed the products that I used were superior in their performance. My products allowed me to accomplish more tasks in a given time.
The past several years I have been able to visit my sister on several occasions. She told me that she switched to all natural cleaning products and makes them herself. Her concern for the inviroment and her health were her deciding factors.
I decided to try these green products and see if they cleaned as well as she claimed. This instructable is about a few test that I did myself using some of her cleaning suggestions. I also thought it would be beneficial to use Mrs. Meyer's products because some of the prizes are Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products for the Spring Cleaning Contest. Are these products going to pass the Mr. Clean challenge? Let's see.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Supplies Used for This Challenge
Here are the supplies needed to try this test.
Several bar towels.
A sponge textured with a non-abrasive material
Tooth brush or small cleaning brush
Mrs. Meyer's dish soap
Dirty tennis shoe
Double-edged razor blade.
Empty soap (foam pump) bottle
Please note: I put enough dish soap in the pump bottle to cover the bottom about 1/4 inch high. Then I filled it with water up to the white part of the top of the bottle. You can't put too much soap or water in these pump bottles or they won't work properly.
Step 2: Stove Challenge Test 1
Our friend wanted to treat us to his fried chicken dinner, so he cooked dinner at our house. I usually don't cook very many fried foods for obvious reasons. He made the best fried chicken I had eaten in years. It did leave my kitchen a mess though.
Here you can see the grease and all the black junk on the stove top. I was not disappointed because I knew that I was going to make an instructable for the contest and the mess offered me a good topic.
Step 3: Baking Soda and Mrs. Meyer's Dish Soap for Test 1
It is difficult to clean black plastic stove fronts and knobs. I finally found a product to clean them efficiently.
I have been using it for several years. It is a brand name oil soap. I also use bleach and a powdered cleanser for the metal part. I have avoided oven cleaner because it is so strong. But on occasion when the grime was real bad I would resort to it.
My sister swears by baking soda. Let's see what baking soda and Mrs. Meyers dish soap can do.
Step 4: Stove Test 1 Cleaning
I took a paper towel and wiped any excess grease off of everything.
Removed the grates, knobs, and the drip pans.
I Placed them in the sink and coated them full strength with Mrs. Meyer's dish soap. I used about the size of a quarter on a non-abrasive textured sponge.
I sprinkled baking soda on everything except the plastic parts and worked it in with the sponge.
Letting it sit a while I began cleaning the stove top with the sponge and baking soda.
After everything was coated with the dish soap and baking soda I allowed them to set for about an hour.
After an hour I began lightly scrubbing everything.
I rinsed the grate and knobs under hot running water and cleaned the stove with a bar towel.
I noticed that there were some burnt residue left around the gas spout.
I used a double edge razor blade and gently scraped off the residue.
I used the dish soap on a sponge (from the pump container) to clean the sides and front of the stove using a bar towel to wipe the surface.
I did not use baking soda on the plastic parts because I was afraid it might scratch the surface.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
I wiped everything down again with a wet bar towel for the finishing touches.
Dried and buffed to a nice shine.
I will write an evaluation after I complete the other test.
Step 6: Test 2: Kitchen Sink Challenge
For this test I had to refrane from cleaning my sink very much because pictures do not capture dirt very well. I am cleaning a white porcelain sink using baking soda and Mrs. Meyer's dish soap. I would normally use a powdered bleach cleanser and bleach for this sink along with lemon oil. I usually clean the sink with the cleanser and rinse well. Then I fill the sink up using hot water and add a little bleach. I Let it sit for an hour or two and then drain, rinse, and buff dry. Then I pour a little lemon oil in the bottom and rub it over the surface and buff to to give it a nice shine.
My sink does not stay clean very long because it is old. Very soon I will be getting a brand spanking new porcelain sink! For its age though this sink cleans up fairly well.
Step 7: Sink Challenge Test 2 Cleaning
I used baking soda and Mrs. Meyer's dish soap for this test.
I dampened the sink with water.
Sprinkled it with baking soda.
Squirted about a quarter size amount of dish soap on a non-abrasive sponge and began scrubbing lightly.
I rinsed it with water.
Repeated the baking soda and lightly scrubbed it with the sponge.
Rinsed it well.
Step 8: Test 3 Challenge: Tennis Shoes
We are going to clean a tennis shoe now.
I will be using baking soda and peroxide on this shoe.
My sister promised me desired results on this one.
Here is a pair of dirty tennis shoes.
Normally I would wash them with detergent and bleach in the washer, but the down side is: the inside sole eventually gets messed up or the shoes shrink.
I put a spray nozzle on the peroxide bottle. You can dampen a bar towel with peroxide if you don't have a nozzle.
Sprayed it directly on the tennis shoe.
Sprinkled baking soda over the toe area.
Lightly scrubbed with a brush.
Wiped the cleaner off with a damp bar towel.
Results later . . .
Step 9: Results for Test 1,2,And 3
The results for challenge 1
It usually takes me about 40-45 minutes to clean the outside of my stove using my normal products.
Baking soda and Mrs Meyer's dish soap were equlavent or maybe even slightly better than what I normally use.
It took me 40 minutes to clean the outside of the stove using these two products.
I usually spend about 10 minutes cleaning my sink with my regular products.
Mrs. Meyer's dish washing soap and baking soda performed just as well and it took me 10 minutes.
I spent a few minutes cleaning the tennis shoe. I was not scrubbing. I have not cleaned tennis shoes this way before but I was happy with the results.
Step 10: Test Results
After performing these 3 test as well as other test I did not put in this instructable, I am convinced that Mrs. Meyer's dish soap and baking soda are very good cleaners.
Their performance were as good as or better than what I have been using.
I do not feel Mrs. Meyer's dish soap would clean the sink as well by it's self, but my cleaners did not either.
The dish soap was the best thing I have tried on my stove top.
The truth is I have been using Mrs' Meyer's All Purpose Cleaner on occasion, to spot clean, because I loved the clean fresh scent of lavender.
I usually used it when guest were coming.
I assumed her product would not accomplish any heavy cleaning, so I never used it for that purpose.
Recently I gave my neighbor a small sample of the Meyer's cleaner and she loved it so much she bought some.
She also purchased the hand soap and raved about it.
What did I do?
I bought Mrs. Meyer's dish soap and washed my dishes that night.
I noticed right away how great her product cleaned my dishes.
My dishes rinsed well even in our hard water.
I did not scrub the shoe. It was mostly cleaned by the cleaner. Pretty impressive I thought. Of course it needs a lot more cleaning but I was just seeing how well the products worked with little effort.
Step 11: Cost Differance
I began to get low on the Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Product so I went to the store to buy some more.
I was very tempted to purchase the dish soap but noticed it was about $4.00 for 16 Oz.
I did not buy it that day.
It was when my neighbor told me she loved the hand soap that I finally decided to give it a try.
After using it just one time I mentioned to my husband that I was going to buy it because I was going through the cheap stuff so fast and it was about the same price when you took that into consideration.
Her products are very concentrated so if you compare it to other brands I suggest you try one bottle and make your decision based on the performance and how long it last before deciding it is too much.
I found it useful to delute the dish soap by putting a little in an empty foam pump bottle and diluting it with water. Sometimes you don't need it full strength.
If you are interested in making your own products there are links on this site that offer recipes to do this.
I have used vinegar with great success on floors, laundry, and windows.
The down side is it does not smell very well. I hope to find a great recipe that will make it smell better.
I want to mention that the time it took to clean my stove might vary with each person. I am above average at keeping my kitchen clean. A person who does not clean as often might not get the same results. I have no way of knowing, I am retired now and do not have stoves to experiment on.
Step 12: The Winner Is . . .
Mrs. Meyers beats Mr. Clean hands down!
I am a believer and have made the switch!
I am also pleased that a lot of major companies have begun to make earth and people friendly products.
I may be new to using green products but am not ignorant to the dangers of chemicals, as I have had personal experiences with loved ones who have suffered from exposure to chemicals, not necessarily cleaning chemicals but chemicals in general.
I hope this has motivated you to do the research and make the switch yourself.
Thank you for stopping in. If anyone has a great lemon oil recipe or know of product that is a natural one please leave a comment. I am still using my favorite brand. I think it is fairly natural but I am not totally sure.