Today’s mini-project entailed testing out some cream scrub (similar to Soft Scrub), which ended up with me testing out several products you use to clean in and around your sink. This wasn’t necessarily the next cleaning product on my list I wanted to test out, but last night I burnt the heck out of my finger cooking dinner and skipped the dishes to sit with my finger in a bowl of cold water for the night. This resulted in one nasty sink today when I was able to do the dishes.
Here’s the first product for today: Ecover Natural Cream Scrub. I also found it at Natural Grocers, but you can buy it here.
This product has seven ingredients, all that are supposed to be powered by nature. However, I only recognized one on the ingredients list, so I had some research to do. I’ll address each ingredient independently:
- Aqua: Water. Yay! I knew this one! 😉
- Calcium Carbonate: Ready for it? It’s Tums. It is a naturally occurring ingredient. While it could be questionable in its use as a tummy helper, as an ingredient in my cleaners…I’m not too worried. If you really want to get scientific about what it is and where it comes from, check out this PDF.
- Bentonite: I find it slightly funny that this is also an ingredient that can be used for tummy troubles. This one has been used as a laxative. Apparently there are different forms of Bentonite, which is a type of clay, for more on the types and sources check out the every trusty Wikipedia 😉 . Once again, it’s naturally occurring and although I haven’t researched it’s effects as a consumable product (although, Natural News lists it as a safe detox option), as far as cleaning goes, I think we’re in the clear.
- Glycerin: Although this just gets the Bush song stuck in my head, I’ll tell you the low-down. Once again, this is a consumable ingredient. It’s a naturally occurring substance that is used as a sweetener, in soaps and lotions, medicine. I’m not sure about putting this substance in your body, and again I’ll have to look into that more later, but for a cleaner I think we can say it’s safe. (Thanks, Pioneer Thinking!)
- Phenoxyethanol: This one scared me. It was long and I couldn’t pronounce it, which is the number one rule against leaving food on the shelf. But, this one is used in cosmetic skin creams and sunscreen, as well as a long list of other bodily uses. It’s an organic compound according to Wikipedia which is used for a preservative. This one I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t put in my body. I’ll let it stick around on my cleaning list for now.
- Coco-glucoside: This one is caused by a chemical reaction between Glucose & coconut oil derived ingredients according to EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic’s Database. This is also used in cosmetics and skin care products. Sounds a little nastier than the other ingredients, however, in the cosmetic world it’s apparently know for it’s mildness. A far cry from bleach which is found in many Soft Scrubs.
- Xanthan Gum: This is found in natural food stores and you eat it. I guess I recognized this one as well, but I wasn’t really sure what it actually was. It caused by the fermentation of a few easily recognized substances: glucose, sucrose, or lactose. Doesn’t it go without saying at this point? Not sure I’d eat it, but for cleaning…let’s test it out!
Okay. Whew. Now that we got the ingredients out-of-the-way, let’s test it out. This is the way my sink looked before I started cleaning. We had Cauliflower crust pizza last night, so cheese and tomato sauce were causing me some problems.
Gross, right? I never want to leave dishes in my sink over night again. I’m tired of cleaning up messes like this! But, if I have to (and I know I will) I need to have a good product to get it clean. So, I got to work and applied a generous amount of the Cream Cleaner as well as some good old-fashioned elbow grease. I did let it sit for a few minutes and then rinsed it off. This was the outcome:
It was definitely cleaner, but there was still some discoloration. This didn’t pass the test for me of a sink that has been officially shone. (Thank the Fly Lady for this habit. She’s slowly teaching me the skills I need to keep this house free of chaos! Check her out, she’s great!) I got really excited and wanted to try a homemade bleach recipe. However, you need hydrogen peroxide for all of the homemade bleach recipes and we apparently don’t have any. So, I decided to try a mix of the Ecover Cream Scrub, Ecover’s Dishwashing Liquid (I promise I’ll tell you all about this one soon!), and some good old Baking Soda.
I just squirt a bit of the dishwashing liquid and cream scrub in, add a sprinkle of baking soda, and a splash of water and scrub until the sink is covered. Then I wait 5 minutes. Pretty easy…and it smelled delicious! Citrus from the dishwashing liquid and freshness from the baking soda. I didn’t really notice much of a smell from the cream scrub. Here’s what I got after this combination:
As you can see, it’s better, but there is still some discoloration. It was clean though. Just discolored. I doubt if you have a stainless steel or darker colored sink you’d have this problem. Our white sink was just causing problems here. Overall, I think the Ecover’s Natural Cream Scrub did almost as good of a job as the Soft Scrub I have used in the past. However, the Soft Scrub had the advantage of having bleach as an ingredient. So, if you take away the bleach, I think it probably did a better job. One of the most noticeable differences: I didn’t have a headache when I was done using this product like I usually do when I’m using Soft Scrub.
Incase you were wondering, I am still singing Glycerine. Now, go shine your sink (as the Fly Lady would say)!
P.S. I also gave my stainless steel faucet a shine while I was waiting for the cleaning supplies to soak with some good old baby oil. I trick I learned from Pinterest a while back: put some baby oil on a rag, rub down the stainless steel and shine it up!