Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lysol All Purpose Cleaner: Powerful On Germs, Still Requires Scrubbing!

The Good: Does (mostly) what it says, Cleans well, lasts a while, Whitens
The Bad: Hard water stains resist
The Basics: Lysol lives up to its reputation of killing all sorts of germs and cleaning surfaces, even if hard water stains resist its All Purpose Cleaner with Bleach!

I have been spoiled by the scrubbing bubbles. Yes, back in college, I picked up a can of Dow's scrubbing bubbles bathroom cleaner and I would spray it in my tub once a week. Sure, it made my 12' X 15' apartment smell for a few minutes, but after ten minutes, the smell would dissipate and the bath tub would be clean. I didn't have to do anything else, but rinse it out (which, lazy me, I would often do by letting the shower water run a little longer at the beginning). When I discovered that the non-aerosol-type spray can did not work nearly as well at cleaning, I began to look around for another cleanser.

Here on my blog, it might often seem like the only time I am in the market for a cleaning product is when my cats make a mess. Indeed, that was what led me to Arm and Hammer Pet Fresh Odor Eliminator (reviewed here!) and Resolve Pet and Odor Stain Remover (reviewed here!). Sadly, it was also what led me to Lysol With Bleach All Purpose Cleaner. Brillo, of late, has been letting me know that he wants the litterbox moved and he continues to show me exactly where he would like to be urinating. Give him points for consistency! Neither of those pet cleaners does much for tile, so I returned to the marketplace looking for a strong cleaner that would clean up both cat pee and would eliminate any hard water/soap residue stains in my bathtub. I believed I found the right product when I came across Lysol With Bleach All Purpose Cleaner.

Lysol With Bleach All Purpose Cleaner comes in a 32 oz. bottle with a spray trigger top. The nozzle ends in a simple, pretty standard, rotating cap that offers two spraying options: Off and Spray. The "Off" function locks the trigger and prevents anything from being sprayed. This is handy for those who have children kicking around who might otherwise enjoy getting into a bottle like this. Obviously, the "Off" position does not cause the bottle to run out of power or adversely effect the product inside. The "Spray" setting creates a fairly concentrated stream of cleanser that targets the soiled area fairly precisely when held a foot away. The "Spray" function creates a fairly narrow dispersion of the All Purpose Cleaner and I like that given that there is bleach in the formula; I like having more control of the stream than most "spray" functions allow. When held six inches from the target, the All Purpose Cleaner creates sprayed area approximately four inches long by an inch wide.

The actual product is a clear liquid with a strong chlorine smell to it. The scent is pretty much what one would expect from a cleanser with bleach; it is pungent, bleach scented and it smells like it will kill virtually anything. Unlike some cleansers, the Lysol With Bleach All Purpose Cleaner will irritate skin and it will actually make worse any open wounds one might have as it is pretty efficient at killing skin. The makers of this product know that and the bottle comes with plenty of warnings to avoid getting the All Purpose Cleaner on skin, eyes, etc. As well, this is potentially toxic if swallowed and is not supposed to be inhaled either, so proper precautions are recommended when applying it in confined spaces like a bathroom.

The directions for use are simple, this is, after all a spray cleaner and not Advanced Potterymaking. Strangely, under directions for use, the bottle has the Not Helpful instructions of "It is a violation of Federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling." Further down, in more useful instructions on cleaning, the label informs one how to turn the spray nozzle from "Off" to "Spray" and instructs the user to "Spray 4-6 inches away from surface to be cleaned. Let stand for 5 minutes. Wipe clean and rinse." Following those directions yields fine results and I have had no problems with getting my floors cleaned and (apparently) disinfected by doing just that. The All Purpose Cleaner leaves no residue of any kind when properly wiped away.

The directions are pretty adamant about not getting the cleaner on clothes, rugs, etc. and for the record, the warnings are good ones. The product does cause bleach stains and whitens virtually all fabrics and fibers I have come across. If wiping away with a rag, be sure to use one that is either white or you do not care about becoming white. This product is sold on the idea that it possesses bleach and it sells itself quite effectively on that premise. It's a very concentrated product and accordingly, it works well.

This is a remarkably easy product to use. I flip the cap to the spray setting (yeah, I keep it "Off" otherwise, though I don't know why) and spray it exactly as it mentions on the bottle. This reacts to anything that possesses ammonia, so if you (like me) are cleaning up urine with it, you'll want to give it a wide berth for a few minutes after spraying as it is forming chlorine gas on your floor where you've sprayed. That gets pretty noxious and could do serious harm. I recommend wiping away as much pee and dirt as possible before spraying. Still, I take great comfort when I see the cracks in my grout foaming up because the cleanser seems to find anything on the floor and kill it. The result is when I wipe away the cleanser after five minutes, the floor is completely clear. Perfectly. This is a wonderfully effective product for eliminating odors and stains and generally cleaning up.

Spraying the cleaner in my sink easily eliminated dirt and soap slime and it simply washed down the sink when I was done. It worked wonderfully. This product has been used on virtually every ceramic and tile surface in my house, including the tile floor in the bathroom, the toilet, sink and even the metal kitchen sink. In all of those areas, the surface ended up clean with minimal effort. Indeed, the All Purpose Cleaner cut through some dirty grease residue in my rinse sink! In every place, the surface ended up both clean and odor free as a result of the cleaner.

The All Purpose Cleaner is pretty wonderful on everything, save hard water stains in the bathtub. And here is where I admit, I'm spoiled by the Scrubbing Bubbles. The Lysol With Bleach All Purpose Cleaner does work on soap-scum build-up and hard water stains in the tub, but it took two passes and I had to scrub after each pass. Because of the noxious quality of the All Purpose Cleaner, this meant I had to wear gloves, which was fine, but bleach will denature the rubber in rubber gloves, decreasing their life expectancy. I was not in the mood to scrub, but the truth is the All Purpose Cleaner works, it just needs a helping hand with an extra helping of elbow grease. This means it might not be an ideal cleaner for those who have an inability to get down and scrub (like senior citizens). I have noticed that this works fine as a preventative to recurring build up, so if the surface was cleaned once, anyone may use this once a week to prevent hard water stains from redeveloping or soap scum from rebuilding up.

As part of a weekly regimen of cleaning, the Lysol With Bleach All Purpose Cleaner works very well to eliminate much of the work that comes with cleaning and it is very effective at what it does, making it a decent cleaner for anyone who has to clean a house. It's even worth it for those of us spoiled by not having to scrub!

For other cleansers, please visit my reviews of:
Method Pink Grapefruit Cleaning Wipes
Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets
Speedy White Hearth & Ceramic Glass Cleaner


For other home and garden product reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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