Sunday, April 6, 2014

BonAmi Powder Cleanser

I found this product while hunting for a clean alternative to harsh powder cleaners like Comet and Ajax for bathroom cleaning needs: sink, tub, shower, etc. I bought it on amazon for about $5.00 as an add on item with Prime. 

There were really 2 things I wanted in a powder cleaner (or just bathroom cleaner in general)

- Free of harmful toxins
- Effective cleaning agent

Not to much to ask, in my opinion. 

As far as the ingredients of this product go, I'm pretty satisfied. No fragrances of any sort (the fresh citrusy scent may not be there, but at least you don't have to hold your breath when it is in the air)

On the website, these are all the ingredients listed for BonAmi Powder Cleanser:
Limestone- calcium carbonate
Biodegradable cleaning agents - alkyl polyglucoside 
Soda ash- sodium carbonate
Baking soda- sodium bicarbonate

Limestone was the one ingredient I wasn't sure about. There was some crontraversy on the health implications ( as there seems to be with many ingredients in cleaning products-frustrating). 

The gist of it is, if you get it into your eyes, it could irritate them.  You shouldn't eat it. Leaving it on your skin for long periods of time could irritate it.  Anytime I'm cleaning, regardless of the chemical makeup of the products, I wear elbow-high rubber gloves. When I'm cleaning the shower I usually wear a little mask just because it is such an enclosed space with nowhere to ventilate. 

Regardless, calcium carbonate does not appear to have any short or long term health effects and is natural. 

Quick science lesson for those interested: 
Many of a the ingredients I've seen in cleaning products are "something-carbonate or bicarbonate." I didn't know what that was, so I had a hard time deciding how I felt about it. Basically, carbonate means it is a salt found in carbonic acid. Usually it is created when carbon dioxide is mixed with a base of some sort. (Sodium carbonate is sodium mixed with carbon dioxide, etc). Carbonate means it is an ion surrounded by 1 carbon and 3 oxygen atoms. 

Bicarbonate means it has had the protons removed. So bicarbonate is 1 carbon and 3 oxygen but one of the oxygens has a hydrogen attached to it. (i.e. Sodium bicarbonate is also called sodium hydrogen carbonate) When a positively charged atom attaches to a negatively charged oxygen atom in carbonate, bicarbonate is formed.  Bicarbonates are greatly needed in our body because when they combine with several other components, they act like a buffering system to balance out the acids that form and would otherwise effect our central nervous system and other vital systems. 

Calcium carbonate, in its crystal form, is one of the main structures making up limestone- to bring this science lesson full circle. That is why we are even talking about this in the first place. 
When calcium in hard water reacts with carbonate, calcium carbonate is formed.  For awhile, it was taken as a dietary supplement, but has been proven as unhelpful and perhaps harmful when taken that way, so - don't eat it, but you can clean with it. That is my opinion, after all that I've read. It is not a byproduct of any harmful chemical combinations, it is found in nature and harmless in the limitited exposure that would be caused from regular cleaning habits.

 Ok, science lesson over. 

Did it clean well? 

It has a dull, virtually nonexistent scent; Almost like flour.  It didn't irritate my skin, throat, eyes or nose.  

I cleaned my bathtub and shower, bathroom counter and sink.  I used it to remove the water stains, soap scum and any icky build up that creeps into those spaces.  I used a bristle scrubber with water to work in and remove the cleaner.  I am happy with the results and am satisfied, with my current knowledge base, that is a safe cleaner for my home and family. 

So, if you like powder cleaners, I would recommend BonAmi powder cleanser to you. 

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