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Bon Ami Powder Cleanser, $15
Bon Ami Powder Cleanser, $15
Photo: Amazon

The future and safety of the world has felt bleak recently, at least in my Instagram feed. A former middle school classmate is now an essential oil-selling, non-toxic Internet activist mom. Neutral-hued accounts run by sustainability gurus are telling me to reduce my consumption. The planet is burning; we have less than twelve years to life. All of this is extremely stressful, which could be why the minimalist, sustainable aesthetic has taken off. It evokes a feeling of coziness, and it’s relatively easy and affordable to achieve.

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In an effort to minimize, I’ve started cleaning my tub with only two things: Bon Ami powder cleanser and a durable, reusable scrub brush. I had actually used Bon Ami for most of my life — it was there in my cabin at sleepaway camp in 2004, provided to me at my first job as a housekeeper for a small bed and breakfast, and in my first college dorm. At one point I departed from the magical cleaner for promise of better bathroom cleaners, ones that came in squirt bottles with a laundry list of ingredients but millennial-friendly packaging after some soul-searching.

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My non-toxic living Instagram community, which I have access to through the Explore page, informs me I don’t need toxic ingredients in my house. At first I wrote them off as kooky, but I’m (almost) all-in on the non-toxic living train. It doesn’t hurt that it’s (in most cases) vastly cheaper to clean without toxins. And thanks to my non-toxic mom Instagram friend, I know about Environmental Working Group, whose evidence-based Guide to Healthy Cleaning gives Bon Ami an “A.”

I’m honestly shocked at how well it cleans without harsh ingredients and chemicals. There was a short time a few years ago when my parents gave me Ka-Boom, the cleans-everything spray (“You don’t need a cabinet full of cleaners,” the description asserts) that comes with a warning label. Ka-Boom’s EWG grade? D.


Every week or so, I shake Bon Ami around my tub, run some water and scrub it into a paste with an OXO Good Grips All-Purpose scrub brush. The brush, according to friendly user jimbo49, can safely be used on carpets, bathtubs, floors, tile, and grout. I don’t notice any scratching or damaging to the acrylic surface of my bathtub. If I’m in a rush to hop into a bath, I rinse the paste off immediately, but if I’ve got more time to clean, I’ll leave the paste to stand for a few minutes while I clean the sink or sweep the floor. Bon Ami doesn’t necessarily disinfect the tub, but if you’re trying to do that, vinegar is an excellent natural option. Making small changes in my cleaning methods has helped make small changes towards a cleaner world (not just feed) while saving me some serious money.


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