The girl in the State Farm commercial would have us believe they can't put anything on the Internet that isn't true so I decided to put her proclamation to the test on a couple of cleaning tips I kept seeing online. Unlike her date who claimed to be a French model, I think my results came close to being the real deal.
Homemade Tub and Shower Cleaner:
I've seen this one numerous places but after I saw a friend (Hi, Jan!) post it had worked for her, I decided to give it a go. Mix equal parts white vinegar and Dawn dishwashing soap, spray it on and let it sit for an hour before rinsing it off. Most instructions call for heating the vinegar first although some said they skipped this step and had good results; I zapped mine in the microwave for a minute...cause I'm a rule-follower.
What I liked about this: Dawn. Vinegar. No caustic chemicals that I had to worry about breathing or having my hands in for an extended period...I knew exactly what was in it. Plus, the Dawn is bright blue so I could see exactly where I'd sprayed, making it easier to get good coverage. It cut right through the soap scum with minimal scrubbing, especially on the glass portion of the shower enclosure and the tub positively shines. The shower needed cleaning but wasn't necessarily mildewy so I can't say how effect it would be eliminating that.
What I didn't like about it: Rinsing down shower walls is a challenge anyway but it was particularly so with that much full-strength Dawn. A detachable shower head would make the job easier but we don't have that so it took a while to get completely rid of the soap. Needless to say, the tub was easier. And that soap is more slippery than commercial cleaners so you need to use extra care not to fall.
Conclusion: I'd use it again. Apparently the mixture retains it's cleaning power so you don't have to throw out (or reheat) what is left over so I'll probably try it in a few other locations. It won't be the tile floor, however; I don't know how you'd ever get that soap-free.
Pumie Scouring Stick:
I have one toilet bowl in the house that developed an ugly ring at the water line. Why this one and not any of the others I have no idea as they're all getting the same water but that ring has been the bane of my existence. I've tried everything...cleanser with a wire brush, bleach, CLR; nothing worked. Thanks to some Internet recommendations and the Pumie Scouring Stick, it's now completely gone. I've linked to Amazon so you can read additional reviews and get ideas for other uses for it but you can find it at Walmart (cheaper, too). I had to look three times before I located it though as it was with the Damp-Rid and other related products, not with the cleansers or scrubbing tools.
What I liked about it: It worked and it was cheap. You do have to put a little effort into it but I don't mind that if I'm going to get the desired result.
What I didn't like about it: It's really coarse so it feels like you must be scratching the porcelain but it didn't. I would, however, be selective about where I used it because of this. I don't know if the gritty residue was from the stick or the mineral deposits but I suppose it doesn't matter since it worked. I didn't have the same experience as the one critical review on Amazon; mine wasn't even noticeably smaller after my task was done.
Conclusion: This is a handy addition to my cleaning supplies and a good investment of a couple of bucks. I'm already planning some yard-tool clean-up with the Pumie.
Despite the assurances of the girl in the commercial, you can't blindly accept what you read on the Internet. In this case, however, it did turn out to be true. Bonjour!