Awhile back, the people from Mr. Clean sent me a box that told me to take the Mr. Clean challenge. “Interesting,” I thought, and I put the box aside to deal with a bit later. I was cleaning house recently and came back across the box and decided to open it up. It was an interesting challenge- they provided a bottle of the “leading cleanser”- I can’t tell you the brand, but I can tell you it’s one of those “with bleach” kinda deals- and a package of 2 Mr. Clean Magic Erasers with foaming action and the fresh scent of Febreze, haha. Nifty.
To see how the challenge went, click to:
So, I took the challenge. First, I went to clean off a door my youngest son had colored on with a Sharpie. He’s the fastest draw in the west, I tell ya. Sadly, he prefers drawing on doors and walls to drawing on paper, so cleaning off the door is a regular chore in my house. (Normally, this is Nate’s chore. You make the mess, you clean it up, pal. But this is a special situation.) When I started, my door looked like this:
First, I used the “leading product” on the door. I had very little hope for it, since I’ve used all sorts of cleaning materials in the past on my walls and doors, and I already know what works best: Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, that’s what. So, I sprayed the cleaner on the door and it faded the marks some, but not much:
That was unsurprising. Then, I used the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (with powerful cleaning action and the fresh scent of Febreze) and I was surprised. Here’s why:
I don’t know how well you can see it in this pic, but a trace of the marker is still there. I went and got my regular Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and it scrubbed the trace off. Could the foaming cleanser make the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers less effective? Possibly. Hmmm.
So, now I wanted to put it to the test suggested by the company. They sent me some tiles to try it on, but I wanted to try it out in the real world. Luckily, I pick up cleaning gigs on the side sometimes for extra money, and I happened into one where I got a doozy of a dirty tub. Perfect. I asked the owners of the really dirty tub if I could use their tub as a test between the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (with powerful foaming cleanser and the fresh scent of Febreze) and the “leading brand” and, if I could take pictures of it. The owner was cool enough to say yes. Right on! Thanks! (You know who you are) So we started off with a tub that looked awful. I used a regular Crayola marker to mark which side of the tub was which. Here’s the before pictures:
If you look carefully, you can see that the soap scum was so bad on this side that I had a hard time getting the marker to write.
This side was slightly less bad, but it was still pretty dirty. And as we all know, dirty is dirty is dirty.
I started with the Mr. Clean side. One thing I really did like about the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (with powerful foaming action and rainbows and ponies and Febreze) was it did smell good- a whole lot better than bleach, yo. I also thought it did a good job of getting the soap scum off, but I had to use an awful lot of elbow grease to get the mold and funk on the ledges clean.
It ended up sparkly clean, but I think it took a bit more work than necessary. Here’s the after picture:
On to the “leading brand.” I sprayed it down, went outside, pondered life and love and the meaning of life for about 10 minutes, and came back in. The mold and funk on the ledges wiped right off, but the soap scum? Not much change. Here’s what it looked like when I was finished:
Finally, I just went and grabbed my vinegar and water mix to finish cleaning the soap scum. Now, here’s another thing about the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (with powerful foaming cleanser and rainbows ponies, AND unicorns AND the fresh scent of Febreze) that bothers me. When I was finished with both of these exercises, I had about 90% of the bottle of the “leading brand” left. The Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (with, well, you know) were pretty much spent. I could have used the soft side as a sponge for a bit longer, but the white side, ewww. Look:
Now, both the rag and the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (with powerful
friends in Washington foaming action and the fresh scent of Febreze) were filthy after use, but I was able to take my rag home and toss it in the washing machine and it was good as new. The Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (with powerful foaming cleansing action and the fresh scent of Febreze)? Not so much.
Now, I’d estimate that the Magic Erasers and the “leading brand” are similar in cost to purchase, but the “leading brand” lasts much longer and might win the edge in being more earth-friendly, since we’re not throwing anything away after just one (hardcore) use. Except it’s all chemically and bleachy and all, so it might lose in the Earth-friendly department. I’m undecided on that one.
The winner here? Neither, really, nor is either a clear loser. I think the lesson to be learned here is to use the right tool for the job. Cleaners with bleach work great on mold. Vinegar and water works great on soap scum. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (withOUT powerful foaming cleaning action or the fresh scent of Febreze) work best on cleaning Sharpie off your doors and walls. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (WITH the powerful foaming action and the fresh scent of Febreze) would be best suited to cleaning non-filthy kitchen sinks and counters and, perhaps, clean off soap scum.
Do we really need a hundred different cleaning products in our home? No, not really. I could clean my house, your house, and the guy down the street’s house to spotless with nothing more than a bottle of vinegar and water and some baking soda and a few rags. (Okay, and a broom and dust pan and a vacuum cleaner, and I DO love those Swiffer duster thingies.) Is that all I use to clean my own home? No. I love gadgety cleaning stuff. I am a total sucker for cleaning products that smell fabulous. And if they can be earth friendly and all of the above, I’m a sucker for it.
I suppose what I’m saying here is this- use the right tools for the job, and use the stuff you love. I’m way more eager to mop my floors with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day (Geranium scent), so I buy Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day. I use the stuff I enjoy using and get the cleaning done. Getting the cleaning done, I think, is the most important part no matter which brand (or non-brand) you use.