Bathroom Cleaner Comparison
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Bathroom Cleaner Buying Guide
Types of Bathroom Cleaners
All bathroom cleaners fall into one of two categories:
Abrasive – This type of cleaner is used to take care of heavy soil and offers users additional elbow grease that prevents them from having to do as much hard scrubbing to achieve the desired results. Abrasive bathroom cleaners can come in either powder or liquid form.
The ingredients responsible for making up the abrasive quality of this type of cleaner include particles of metal, copper, steel wool, minerals or nylon that is embedded in the cleaner. Abrasive cleaners do not all have the same degree of abrasiveness. Using them on the wrong surfaces can result in scratching and damage to the finish.
Overusing abrasives can remove glaze coatings from surfaces as well. To prevent this from happening, be sure to check the label and find out what surfaces you should not use that particular abrasive bathroom cleaner on.
Abrasive cleaners can include ingredients that allow them to disinfect as well as clean. These antimicrobial ingredients reduce bacteria on the surfaces and can include sodium hypochlorite, pine oil and quarternary ammonium compounds. If the abrasive cleaner states on the label that it kills germs, it is a disinfectant.
Powdered abrasive cleaners are stronger than liquid abrasive cleaners and care should be taken when using them so finishes are not damaged. The abrasive properties in powdered abrasive cleaners include particles of quartz, silica, calcite, and feldspar. It is these particles that provide the abrasive action of the powdered cleaner.
Non-Abrasive – There are many different types of non abrasive cleaners as well. They can be powder, gel, and liquid. They may come in full strength form that can be used right out of the bottle or in concentrated form where the user adds water to make up the cleaner. Non-abrasive cleaners can be in spray bottles, aerosol cans and canisters.
This type of cleaner can also be a disinfectant to take care of the germs that are present in the home. They are good for cleaning floors, walls, countertops, and anything else in the bathroom that needs cleaning.
They can contain pine oil, ethanol, isopropanol, and ammonia to make them a disinfectant. You still need to use care when using a non-abrasive cleaner on different surfaces but you will not have to worry about the cleaner scratching the surfaces you are using it on.
Types of Specialty Bathroom Cleaners
There are many different types of bathroom cleaners available that have specific jobs. These are most commonly:
Shower Cleaners – Shower cleaners are designed to be used on a daily basis to prevent soap scum, hard water deposits, and mildew stains from building up between deeper cleanings. Users don’t have to rinse, wipe or scrub when using a shower cleaner and there will be no streaks or residue to worry about as well.
You can purchase shower cleaners in liquid form, most often in spray bottles. Depending on the brand, some shower cleaners may have surfactants in the formula to help prevent these irritants (soap scum, etc) from building up and to help the surfaces rinse clean. They can also contain chelates or builders and other ingredients such as alcohols and solvents to provide a continual cleaning process.
Some may even be disinfectants that will prevent build up of mold and mildew. Read the label before using to make sure the product can be used on the surfaces in your bathrooms. Some can’t be used on marble, plastic surfaces and other surfaces.
These shower cleaners are very easy to use. Simply mist the surfaces of your shower walls and floor right after you shower and that’s it. They have the best results on a clean shower. If you’re starting with a dirty shower, you can expect it to take 2-4 weeks to remove any pre-existing shower deposits.
Toilet Bowl Cleaners – There are many different types of toilet bowl cleaners. You can purchase sprays, gels, powders, and solids. They are designed to clean and maintain a nice smelling toilet bowl. Many are also disinfectants so you are killing germs along with getting rid of dirt, grime and other buildup.
Many toilet bowl cleaners are exceptionally thick so they will cling to the sides of the bowl. This extra thickness gives them time to breakdown anything on the sides of bowl that need removing. They can also have extended fresheners that are designed to work in between major cleanings.
Some are even created to be put in the tank of the toilet rather than the bowl and add a quick freshening between deep cleanings with every flush. The main ingredients responsible for removing grime include surfactants and acids or oxidants.
The presence of acids helps prevent hard water deposits from forming. Most toilet bowl cleaners have a pleasant scent that can be very strong but not overpowering, although you should never clean a bathroom, including the toilet, with the door shut. Keep the room well ventilated and be sure to never mix any toilet bowl
Tub, Tile and Sink Cleaners – Tub, Tile and Sink cleaners are designed to remove regular day to day dirt that is found in bathrooms but they are also formulated to take care of soap scum, rust stains, mold and mildew, and hard water deposits.
They are most often in liquid form and can come in concentrates that the user adds water to as well as aerosols and spray form. Depending on the brand, they may come out in foam form that will stick to surfaces better and break down the dirt and other unwanted grime. Tub, Tile and Sink cleaners almost always have surfactants in them that will penetrate and loosen any type of soil.
They can also have ingredients that dissolve calcium deposits and metal discolorations from occurring. If the tub, tile and sink cleaner states that it removes mildew, you may find antimicrobial ingredients in there are well that will get rid of mold and mildew. These ingredients may include sodium hypochlorite, sodium carbonate, sodium hydroxide and others like hydroxyacetic or sulphamic acid.
Glass Cleaners – Glass cleaners are used in bathrooms to clean the windows if there are any, but they are also great for cleaning the mirrors to a polished, streak-free shine. Most glass cleaners come in a spray bottle. They are great for removing splattered shaving cream, toothpaste and hair products from the mirror.
Most glass cleaners are designed to not leave streaks, film or residue and do a great job of leaving the mirror looking brand new. They come in a variety of scents as well including lemon, floral and others.
Hard Water Mineral Cleaners – Hard water can cause mineral salts such as calcium, iron and others to leave stains and build up on toilets, tubs and sinks. Once these deposits are present it is very difficult to remove them without the right product. Regular cleaners will not usually take care of the problem. This is when you need to get a hard water mineral remover. These are chemical based powerhouses that can remove build up without a lot of scrubbing or problems. Regularly using these products can prevent build up as well.
Having a clean bathroom is important for many reasons. With all the germs that can be present in the home, the bathroom can be the germiest due to the nature of what people do when in the bathroom. Improper hand washing and other issues can cause all kinds of germs. Cleaning the bathroom properly with the right bathroom cleaner can prevent the spread of these germs and reduce the likelihood of passing illness around.
A clean bathroom that is sparkling and that has a fresh clean scent is a pleasure to use and be in. All three of the bathroom cleaners we have featured above are excellent for providing a multitude of cleaning benefits such as removing soap scum, mold, mildew, and disinfecting by killing almost 100% of the germs present.
With the right cleaners and the right cleaning tools such as toilet brushes, rags or paper towels, your bathroom will look and smell terrific and be a lot healthier for you and your family as well.