Tag Archives: Bathroom

Review: Spring Cleaning with Bar Keepers Friend

I dislike cleaning but I like living in a nice clean house. When I clean I like to use things which will be quick and effective, leaving my kitchen and bathroom gleaming with minimal effort. I was sent a selection of cleaning products from Bar Keepers Friend to try out, so this weekend we set about cleaning our kitchen and bathroom to see if Bar Keepers Friend would help our house to sparkle.

Bar Keepers Friend was first launched in 1882 in America, where the story goes that in 1882 a chemist from Indianapolis noticed how clean and shiny his tarnished pot was after cooking rhubarb. Using an active ingredient that’s found in the plant he made a talcum smooth cleaner and sold it to the city’s taverns. It worked so well that it was called ‘Bar Keepers Friend’. 

Bar Keepers Friend uses a blend of Oxalic Acid (found in rhubarb, parsley and chives) and a mineral base with surfactant to make one of the most popular cleaning brands in the UK.

bar keepers friend

We were sent the following products to try –

  • Bar Keepers Friend Stain Remover Powder: (250g, RRP: £2.99)
  • Bar Keepers Friend Power Cream – a superior cream formulation that “cleans where others fail”. For for cookware, kitchens and bathrooms (350ml, RRP: £2.99).
  • Bar Keepers Friend Power Spray – this easy-to-use format is for use in everyday cleaning situations, from kitchen and bathroom to stainless steel and glass (500ml RRP: £2.99).

Using the three products we tackled the kitchen and bathroom areas. We used the Bar Keepers Friend Power Spray in the kitchen, we cleaned the kitchen sink and hob with it and I was impressed with how shiny they were after use. 

bar keepers friend

We didn’t have to deploy too much elbow grease either. They power spray cut through the dirt and with a little (and I mean a little) amount of buffing and soon the sink and hob were shining.

Hubs used the Bar Keepers Friend Stain Remover Powder on the kitchen floor. There were a couple of stubborn marks from some crafting we’d been doing in the kitchen (don’t ask) and they needed a bit of focussed attention rather than a waft over with my damp mop. The stain remover is a powder you sprinkle onto a damp cloth. I have to say we were both very impressed at how quickly the stain lifted from the floor and the shine it left afterwards. I can tell why this is their “original and best” product.

Lastly we had a go at the bathroom with the Bar Keepers Friend Power Cream. This was a white cream which we used with a damp cloth, cleaning all the nooks and crannies in and around the taps and in the basin and bath. I was really impressed at how  bright and sparkly everything was afterwards. It’s so lovely I’m loathe to let the boys back into the bathroom again.

Bar Keepers Friend removes stubborn stains and cuts through mineral deposits, oil and grease, rust stains and everyday grime on stainless steel, tiles, ceramic, glass, plastic, chrome, brass, copper and other surfaces too.

I liked Bar Keepers Friend, I think it’s a fantastic range of products, especially for those times when your cleaning needs an extra boost and a bit of a stain lifting supercharge. I was genuinely surprised when those crafting marks came off the kitchen floor and both the kitchen sink and the bathroom were gleaming. I couldn’t fault it. I’ll be looking at rhubarb in an entirely different way from now on.

Bar Keepers Friend is available in Robert Dyas, B&Q, Lakeland, John Lewis, Waitrose, Ocado and a range of independent retailers. For more information visit the Bar Keepers Friend website.

 

Review: Spring Cleaning with Astonish

This weekend the sun streamed through the windows and I saw my house properly in the warm glow of daylight for the first time in months. I like many others felt the urge to give everywhere a good scrub. I suspect I was not alone, up and down my road husbands were cutting the grass whilst their wives were hanging out line after line of washing, taking rugs outside for a good shake and polishing windows. It’s that time of year where everyone feels the need to have a spring clean.

Years ago I was less cautious about the chemicals I used around the house, I didn’t really care as long as the house was clean, but these days I’m a little more careful, I have the small boy to worry about as well as an asthmatic husband, and I try not to use cleaning products which make me catch my breath.

Astonish has a full range of products, which are all Vegetarian Society Approved, to help you clean your home from top to bottom. Better still, many of the products in the range have an RRP of just £1, so you can clean your house and not break the bank too.

We were sent some Astonish cleaning products to try out, including the new All in 1 Dishwasher Tablets, Oven & Cookware Cleaner, Grease Off Spray & Wipe, Antibacterial Cleanser and Grout & Tile Cleaner.

Astonish

The antibacterial cleaner is brilliant, often these kind of cleaners have a strong smell so we don’t buy them again, but this had virtually no smell and cleaned the kitchen surfaces really well. I’d happily use this multipurpose product all over the house again.

The Grease Off Spray & Wipe was so good on the hob. I know I should wipe it down every day, but it probably gets a scrub once a week, sometimes I have to really give it some elbow grease, but this lifted the burnt on bits and left my hob clean and shiny with very little effort at all.

I loved the Grout & Tile Cleaner, my bathroom grout has started to get a bit grubby and difficult to clean. This is easy to use, just spray it on and leave for 10 minutes, then go back and give it a rub with a cloth and it comes up almost like new. More stubborn bits of grout might need a second application, but it couldn’t be easier to use. Although we didn’t review it, we’ve been using the Astonish Mould & Mildew Remover for years and it’s fantastic for sorting out mould on bathroom sealants and very grubby tiles.

Hubs who is in charge of the dishwasher tried out the new All in 1 Dishwasher Tablets, they are formulated to remove even the toughest dried on stains including tea, coffee, dried sauces and gravy. They have a built in salt and rinse aid and they don’t contain Phosphates, so the product is kinder to the environment. They are also really good value (I’ve found them online for £2.99 for 40 dishwasher tablets).

He’s tried a lot of different brands of dishwasher tablets and he was very happy with these, the glasses were sparkly and there were no dried on bits left on the cutlery or dishes. We would definitely buy these again. It’s nice to be using a brand name product for a budget price.

Astonish

I used to think cleaning products were all the same, but they’re not (years of cleaning have taught me something at least). These products from Astonish don’t smell so bad that you can taste them in the air, they’re pleasant to use and they do the job well. They’re not expensive, with an average RRP of £1, having a clean house won’t cost the earth. I’m glad I’ve got these Astonish products in my spring cleaning armoury, I’ll be looking out for them in the future.

You can find out more about Astonish on their website. Astonish cleaning products are available from a wide range of retailers.

 

Review: Aquaint Sanitising Water

As a parent blogger I sometimes get to try out products for review. I usually really like the products I’ve been sent, but occasionally I get one where a loud voice in my head shouts “where were you when I had a newborn?”. This week I was sent one such product, Aquaint sanitising water.

When I became a Mum, I was incredibly torn between wanting to sterilise every single thing my precious baby would ever come into contact with, and wondering whether the frankly industrial smell of the products used to make things 100% germ free might be harmful in itself. And then there’s always the argument that a little bit of dirt does no one any harm (thanks Gran).

When I opened the box and had a good look at the bottles, I was surprised to read that the sanitising water can kill 99.9% of bacteria in seconds, but it’s safe enough to spray into your mouth and has passed official UK drinking water tests. It has no smell and it tastes only of water and it’s ideal for sensitive skins and people with allergies, perfect for me then, I’m as sensitive as they come.

Aquaint

You can use the Aquaint sanitising water on hard and soft surfaces including cutlery, tables, toilet seats, toys etc. as well as surfaces that come into contact with the mouth such as toothbrushes, dummies, feeding bottles and even food (e.g. fruit, meat, fish etc.).

We tried it out in the kitchen, cleaning up after we’d eaten a meal at the dining table. It doesn’t remove dirt, a damp cloth and elbow grease do that, but a spray with Aquaint and a quick rub with a clean damp cloth and everything is sanitary and germ free. Hubs even tested the claim that it was okay to spray in your mouth, he didn’t die and he said it just tasted like water.

I’m ex-NHS and in the course of my career (and also as a parent), I have tried every anti-bacterial gel on the market. I have sensitive skin so it was a necessary evil at work and I’d often be left with cracked and sore hands due to the gel we had to use. I can hand on heart say that this is the gentlest anti-bacterial product I’ve used on my hands ever. It doesn’t contain any alcohol, fragrances, preservatives or harmful chemicals and it comes in a handy little bottle which you can easily slip in a handbag or changing bag.

I am genuinely sad I didn’t know about this product earlier. We’ve gone through gallons of anti-bacterial products over the last four years and all of them have cracked my skin or made me feel sick if I’ve accidentally licked a finger afterwards. I’m putting a small bottle of Aquaint in my bag and it’s staying there until the boy has gone to university.

Aquaint Sanitising Water is available from a range of shops including Boots and Amazon for £4.99 for 500mls and £2.49 for a small 50ml bottle.

Note: I was sent some Aquaint sanitising water to try out for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Tackling limescale with Durgol Universal

Coming from Manchester we are used to delicious and soft water flowing from our taps, we don’t really suffer from limescale build up at our home in the glorious north, but here in our uncle’s holiday cottage in Devon I’ve never known anything like it. The kettle is furry, the taps have crusty white deposits on them and the shower head is the worst. We’ve been coming here for years and each year we try to clean the shower head of its limescale build up. Over the years we’ve tried vinegar and a range of descaling products, all with mixed amounts of success.

I was sent a bottle of Durgol Universal to try out. Durgol is a liquid decalcifier from Switzerland, which is designed to remove limescale from kettles, coffee machines etc as well as household items such as shower heads.

Costing £9.99 for a 500ml bottle I was expecting really good things from it. The instructions suggested a ten minute immersion in undiluted Durgol for our shower head. Knowing just how bad it would be I gave it 15 minutes and then rinsed the shower head throughly in cold water. We tried the shower out the next day, it was vastly improved, but as I still had the bowl of Durgol I decided to give it another soak, so I popped it back in the undiluted Durgol and left it for another half an hour. I then tested it again and it was almost like new.

Having previously tried a number of other products of this ilk, I was impressed with the Durgol. Sure it took a bit longer than the instructions suggested, but the limescale was thick and years old. The bonus was that we were still left with the bowl of Durgol, so waste not, want not, we cleaned the sink and taps with it, which left them very clean and limescale free, a little in this instance, does go a long way.

For such a powerful liquid you expect it to smell quite potent, it didn’t, it had a neutral smell, not chemically or bleachy at all. I think Durgol Universal is a really useful kitchen maintenance product, we re-used the solution once we’d soaked the shower head, so we made it go further and therefore we thought it was good value for money.

I think if you live in an area prone to limescale build up, then maintaining your appliances is essential and can keep them in good working order for longer. It’s a case of spending a little to save money in the long run.

You can find out more about Durgol Universal and other Durgol limescale products on their website.

Durgol

Note: We were sent a bottle of Durgol Universal free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.