Soft Scrub with Bleach is one of the most common cleaning supplies used in American bathrooms and kitchens. It is the most common liquid scrubber; the other leaders are powders, Ajax and Comet. It's made by The Clorox Company, and has three little brothers: Regular, with Lemon, and Gel. With Bleach is the one with the green lid and label; it is also advertised as a disinfectant and antibacterial. Soft Scrub was my mother's Cleansing Aid Of Choice, and when I unexpectly ended up in a dorm room with a private bathroom, she got me a bottle. (My roommate got comet, but hasn't used it yet.)

Soft Scrub is a viscous white liquid that smells faintly like, well, cleaner. It's commonly sold in 36-oz plastic squeeze bottles; my bottle is 12-oz, and it also comes in 26-oz. It can also be bought at most grocery, discount, and drug stores, and the 36-oz retails for between six and seven dollars.

Soft Scrub cleans basically everything. It will clean toilets, tile, faucets, sinks, walls, floors, grout, glass, mirrors, countertops, pots, pans, billiard balls, dishes, patio furniture, lacquer, vinyl siding, collectable dolls, life preservers, and a whole host of other things. It's recommended to use sparingly on fiberglass, aluminum, and appliance enamel, but I have yet to run into a problem. (Warning: It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its packaging.) Don't use on marble, silver, or plastic laminate. Also, Clorox does not recommend use as a stain remover on clothes or shoes. (This implies to me that it's worth a try in emergencies.)

This is how I clean with Soft Scrub: Open bottle. Squirt goopy liquid violently all over whatever needs cleaning, while laughing maniacally. (This is the primary reason that I prefer goops to powders.) Go ahead and get it all over the place; it's unlikely to hurt anything and isn't (very) poisonous. Soft Scrub dries rapidly into a cakey blob if not wet down, rather than dripping, but it comes off easily and dissolves in water even if dry. So at some future time, preferably before anyone wants to use what you're "cleaning", wipe it off with some convenient object. Because my cleaning supplies are limited, I generally use a toilet brush, a washcloth, and paper towels. Scrub a bit if necessary; at least give it the old college try. It's amazing how greatly such minimal effort improves the look of a bathroom.

Here are the instructions given by Clorox: SHAKE THOUROUGHLY BEFORE USE. TO CLEAN: Squeeze directly onto tough stains or onto damp sponge. Rub. Rinse or wipe clean. TO DISINFECT HARD NON-POROUS SUBSTANCES: Apply full strength and leave on 3 minutes before wiping clean. For heavy soil, pre-clean surface before disinfecting. Close cap after each use.

The only active ingredient on the bottle is sodium hypochlorite at 1.1%, which leads me to wonder if the non-bleach version has any active ingredients listed. Regardless, it also contains calcite as the abrasive, and apparently nothing else except water.

As the only harsh chemical is a small amount of bleach, the warnings are rather mild. Mild skin and eye irritant with prolonged use; flush with water to reduce irritation. If ingested, drink a lot of water and call a doctor. Dispose of down the drain (unless you're really worried about protecting the water supply, in which case you shouldn't be using chlorine bleach anyway).

Oh, and please don't mix with products containing ammonia.

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