What I Love: Bar Keepers Friend

Is  it lame to love a cleaning product so much that I feel the need to write about it?  Probably, but I don’t care.  I’ve loved a mop and a magical mint pain patch before, so why not a cleanser?  My name is Lisa, and I can’t live without Bar Keepers Friend.  Neither can you, you just don’t know it yet.

What is Bar Keepers Friend, you ask?  Well first, because I’m picky that way, Bar Keepers Friend is a product in need of an apostrophe.  I keep wanting to write Bar Keeper’s Friend or even Bar Keepers’ Friend, but no.  It’s just Bar Keepers Friend.  Missing apostrophe aside, Bar Keepers Friend is magic in a can.

The Bar Keepers Friend website (yes, they have a website) says, “Bar Keepers Friend is a premium all-purpose cleanser that works without chlorine bleach for everyday cleaning and tough stains including lime and rust.”  (They’re also on Twitter, which I find hilarious for some reason.)

For the sake of my sanity and for fear of wearing out the keys on my keyboard, I will now refer to Bar Keepers Friend as BKF.

I had heard several people talk about BKF as a great product for cleaning tough stains, like the crud that burns on your glass top stove, and the black stuff that develops on the outside of your stainless steel cookware.  It sounded like something I’d like to try as I have both an evil glass top stove and dirty stainless steel pans.  I was waiting in line one day at Lowe’s and happened to notice a container of BKF at the checkout priced at a not-too-hefty $1.99.  I brought it home, I sprinkled it on my dirty stove, and I fell in love.  Man, that stuff works!

I’ve cleaned my glass top stove, my stainless steel pans, the white rubber on my Chucks, the nasty toilet bowl, paint that had been stuck on the bathroom floor for seven years, sugar that burned to the inside of my favorite saucepan, rust off the formica counter top, and my most recent favorite, rusty stains on the gas tank of Luke’s 1970 Kawasaki Avenger.  This stuff cleans EVERYTHING and it doesn’t scratch a thing.

It’s very much like Comet.  Same round, cardboard container with the holes in the lid to shake it from, same white, gritty texture, but BKF is somehow just the right amount of scrubby without being scratchy.  You know what I think it is?  I think it’s the magic that’s in the Magic Erasers.  I use it for everything I used to use Magic Erasers for, only now there’s no crumbly bits of used eraser foam as I clean, and I get a whole can for $1.99 instead of two erasers for $5!

Check out the BKF website with its quaint logo and adorable clip art for more ideas on what you can clean with BKF, and keep an eye out for it the next time you’re in the grocery store.  You won’t be sorry.

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Stuff and Such

I’m feeling somewhat scattered lately. Small random thoughts don’t make for nice long posts, so here’s what’s been bouncing around in my head.
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I keep having the weirdest dreams.  Over the weekend I dreamt that Luke kept sneaking up and pulling a knife on me.  When I screamed at him, he would tell me over and over, “You need to know how to react! You need to know how to react!”  Then I dreamt that I was hosting a big barbecue for all of my favorite crafty bloggers.  They were all there – Amy of Angry Chicken, Claire of Loobylu, Amanda of SouleMama, Betz White, Patricia of A Little Hut – but I insisted on observing them through the windows from inside the house, since that’s how I usually spy into their lives online.
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I will never be cutting edge.  Last night I watched my first episode of 30 Rock and now I’m hooked.  Netflix has season one and two available to watch instantly so I blew through most of season one while cleaning the house last night.  So funny – where have I been?
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And speaking of cleaning, I think Method’s Multi-Surface Cleaner must surely be made of magic.  I usually use Simple Green to clean everything but it’s not great on glass and I’m tired of the smell.  I bought a bottle of the lavender scented Method cleaner and – holy crap.  It’s magical.  It cleaned EVERYTHING.  No streaks, no residue – it even cleaned the smudges off the stainless case on my MacBook.  Now I’m on a cleaning binge and I want to wipe everything down with this miracle cleaner.
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I just finished reading one of my birthday books. French Milk by Lucy Knisley was the first comic-style book I’ve ever read.  It’s a hand drawn journal of her month-long trip to Paris with her mom and I loved it.  I read it in two days and now I want to go to Paris.  Also India, thanks to a conversation I had with someone headed to India to visit family for a month.  Time to get a part-time job to fund my travel fantasies.

What I Love: Method OMOP

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photo courtesy of Lil Moxey on Flickr (because I’m too lazy to take one)

I happened to be looking for something entirely unrelated to floor cleaning at the grocery store the other day when a big CLEARANCE!! sign caught my eye and twisted my arm and forced me to leave the store with my new favorite household helper: The Method OMOP.

Our entire house is covered in wood laminate flooring.  1,400 square feet of smooth unforgiving floor, no rugs in sight, and I don’t own a vacuum.  Luckily Molly doesn’t shed, but our house is surrounded by mud and wood chips and between Luke’s boots and the shaggy pup, the floor is always covered with some sort of grit.  I’ve tried almost every mop device out there trying to find the perfect one.

I have a Swiffer… meh.  It’s OK, but the wet cloths are useless and I have to use an entire box of dry cloths to clean the whole house.  I use it occasionally to dust under the couch and the places that the broom won’t reach, but I prefer using the dry cloths alone to dust the furniture, rather than using them on the floor. My biggest complaint is that after going over the floor with the Swiffer, I still need the dust pan to pick up all the dirt I’ve been pushing around.

I have an Orange Glo Micro Fiber Mop with the removable, washable pads that I like a lot, but I’ve gone through two and am currently using one with a broken handle.  Perhaps I’m an aggressive mopper, I don’t know, but I seem to bend and break the handles.

I borrowed the Shark Steam Mop from my sister and tried it on my filthy floors.  It was OK.  It was good for tough stains, like the worn in grease around the stove, but the cord was annoying and the floor was clean, but streaky afterwards.  My biceps were screaming after cleaning the house, it’s not the easiest to push around, and I’m not sure it’s worth the $80 price tag.

Enter the OMOP:  I love it.  First off, as with all Method products, the packaging!  I love the packaging.  The OMOP came in recycleable bamboo packaging and featured corn-based dry duster clohs that you can toss in your compost pile.  I don’t have a compost pile yet, and even if I did it would be covered in 9-inches of snow at the moment, but I love the idea that they’re completely biodegradable.  The handle is curved and snaps together snugly, the head pivots easily and all in all it’s easy to use well-designed, and pretty, as far as mops go.

So now for the real test… I dry mopped the whole house – did I mention that the dry dusting coths are ginormous?  They’re much bigger than Swiffer cloths, which means that one goes a loong way.  I was pleasantly surprised that the dry cloth picked up most, if not all of the grit on the floor.  I did need the dust pan for some of the big chunks of stuff, but I really don’t expect any dry cloth to pick up the pebbles and sticks that come in with Molly and Luke.  It fit everywhere and swiveled much easier than the Swiffer and was a million times more user-friendly than the Orange Glo mop.

Tonight I tried wet mopping and that sealed the deal.  I’m tossing my broken Orange Glo mop and giving away my Swiffer.  The wet-mopping was perfect – clean floor, no streaks, dried quickly, no complaints.  Having one mop for the dry dust-mopping and the wet-mopping greatly pleases the storage freak that I am who hates hates hates to have multiple tools cluttering up the closet.  Now in the closet I have only one broom and one mop, and best of all, the washable cloths from the Orange Glo mop fit on the OMOP – bonus!

So there you are 640 words dedicated to my love of a mop, but seriously, it’s a great mop.  And get up and go now to Waldbaum’s Super Foodmart to get one at 50% off while they last.  The wood floor kit and one box of dry dusters both rang up for less than $20.  A serious deal.