In Praise of Dish Soap
Being out of Mr. Clean for the rest of that day, I ended up using the dish soap mixture on everything I would have used Mr. Clean for. It was perfect. Excited, I spent the week trying it out on several other applications. It removed the fingerprints from door jambs nicely. It's great for appliance fronts and even stainless steel. It cleans marble and stone counter-tops to a streak-free shine. It even works well on bathtubs and showers, provided they are not coated with heavy buildup. Most surprising of all, to me, it was even better than the name brand glass-cleaners for windows and mirrors. Just spray on, rub around with a sponge (if necessary), and wipe dry. And all this for a fraction of the price of Mr. Clean and window cleaners.
With a spray bottle of dish-soapy water on hand, I've found the only other products I need on a daily/routine basis are 409 (or other degreaser) for more heavy-duty messes like stove-tops or the insides of microwaves, a bleach-based scouring powder, Barkeeper's Friend, and Endust. (See my previous posts for other quality products I recommend and their particular uses.)
An added advantage I noticed, as someone who cleans for a living, is that it does not irritate my lungs. There are no fumes, so I get no cough. Now, for a professional, there can be a downside to this, though, as the house will smell less like the cleaning products that the general public has come to associate with "clean". If this is becomes a problem, you can add a little Mr. Clean, or your preferred all-purpose cleaning concentrate to your soapy water bottle. You'll still be using fewer chemicals and fewer dollars each day.
Finally, I know what some of you are thinking: "What about GERMS?!" Yes, I understand. This is why I recommend a bleach based product for the toilet bowl and sink area. And you still may prefer to use a specialized product for the bathroom surfaces. That's fine. But keep in mind that the scientific community is no longer encouraging the use of any antibacterial products which are not either bleach or alcohol based in non-hospital settings. Look for soapy water to be making a come-back!
* I am not specifically endorsing Dawn here, though it is a good brand. Any quality brand of dish soap will do the trick. I cannot recommend the cheap brands, however. Very often they are watered down and require you to use twice as much, which defeats the purpose as far as I'm concerned.
P.S. You can also use a dab dishsoap on a grease-spot before laundering to prevent a permanent grease stain.