Product Review: Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day

Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products are based on a simple, easy-to-follow mantra: keeping things clean is easy, you just need the right soap, and they believe to have created it. We've mentioned them before, and recently had the opportunity to put the mantra (and the cleaners) to the test, and they all did quite well. First, though, there are a few things we all should know about the products.All Mrs. Meyer's liquid products are biodegradable, and do not contain ammonia, chlorine or phosphates. Essential oils are used extensively to create their "uncomplicated products for a clean and happy home" and come in powerful (but not overpowering) scents of lavender, geranium and lemon verbana. Whenever possible, raw materials are obtained from renewable plant resources such as olive, coconut, corn or soy. Mrs. Meyer's, as a company, is cruelty-free and, therefore, does not test any of their products on animals. Inspired by a real-life Iowa mother, they believe that the mundane, tedious, laborious chore of cleaning should be therapeutic, pleasing to the senses and the results should be enjoyable for both you and other people; what's bad for dirt should also be good for you. Now, how does this translate in the real world of crud, dust and grime?

We did our best to put a sampling Mrs. Meyer's products through their paces, and they all performed impressively. We didn't test every product, though can safely assume that the general cleaning and aromatherapeutic qualities can probably be applied to the entire catalogue of products.

The Counter Top Spray (we tried the lavender scent) does a good job cleaning up grime and junk around the kitchen and bathroom. We let a pasta sauce spill dry overnight, dripped some coffee and "forgot" to clean it up for a couple days, and smeared some toothpaste near the sink in the bathroom and left it to dry; a couple sprays and a quick wipe, and they were all history. It made quick work of spatters around the stove, cleaning oil from an errant saute without smearing and taking out some cooked-on minced garlic that had toasted a deep-brown near the burner, and we noted how it removed old odors as well.

We tried the All-Purpose Cleaner (lemon verbana scent) in as many places as we could find: floors, walls, cabinets, sinks, bathroom, soap-scummed shower walls, and left the whole place pleasingly scented and much cleaner. Thumbs up, and since it's a concentrate, we'll be using it for a long time. For the really tough stuff, we pulled out the Surface Scrub (lavender scent) and took it to the tub floor, oven interior, stove top and those little aluminum bowls and rings around the stove burners, and, with a little elbox grease, the mildly-abrasive powder removed stains and shined things right up. We were particularly impressed with the results in the oven and stove; all that baked-on, time-toughened gunk is quite persistent. When we were all done, the Geranium liquid hand soap removed the lingering remains of grime without over-drying; we think it would be a nice addition to a sink in the kitchen or bathroom.

Generally, Mrs. Meyer's dirt-busters rated well, with good marks for overall cleaning ability and not-too-strong, non-chemical scents. In addition to the products we tested, they also make Laundry detergent, fabric softener, ironing spray, stain remover, unmentionable wash (oh la la) dishwashing liquid, shower cleaner, hand lotion, stainless steel spray, surface wipes, bar soap, and pet products like freshening spray, oatmeal pet shampoo, odor removing carpet cleaner and stain remover. Each package has a nice "Household Hint" about using the product, and even encourages you to recycle it when you're through. Mrs. Meyer's products aren't pretentious or boastful; just efficient, simple, balanced and comfortable ways to make your day a little cleaner. Available at their website, or check their store locator to find where they're sold near you. ::Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day

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