September 26, 2010

Fantastic but Hazardous

Despite warnings that might be on labels, I am not in the habit of thinking of kitchen cleaning products as hazardous, but I got a wake-up call today.

I had been using various cleaners for kitchen counters in the glass-plus-other-stuff category. These cleaners frequently required recourse to my Bar Keeper’s Friend to remove stains on counters. I decided that perhaps I should be using a stronger cleaner.

A cleaner I used to use is fantastik—yes, the product name is really spelled with afantastic All Purpose Cleaner with Bleach lowercase F—so I bought a spray bottle of fantastik. What I did not realize is that fantastik has morphed into a family of four products. In the supermarket, I picked up the first fantastik product I ran across. I don’t remember seeing any of the other variants, but I may have just missed them.

In any case, the product I purchased was one whose full name appears to be fantastik All Purpose Cleaner With Bleach. (The other products in the family of cleaners are fantastik All Purpose Heavy Duty Cleaner—probably what I set out to buy—fantastik Antibacterial All Purpose Cleaner Lemon Power, and fantastik OxyPower Multi-Purpose Cleaner.)

Today, I was cleaning counters with my purchase. The bad news is that fantastik smells like, well, bleach. It is not easy on the hands, but it cleans well and gets rid of stains without having to resort to another product.

The real down side, however, was not evident until I sat down to lunch and noticed the spots on my shirt. I immediately recognized the source of those rust-colored patches on my navy blue shirt—bleach. I had not been spraying my shirt, of course, but neither had I been taking precautions to avoid getting the cleaner on it. Yes, Virginia, it contains real bleach all right.

The bottom line is that fantastik All Purpose Cleaner With Bleach works well but should be used with care. Certainly, I intend to use it sparingly, perhaps trying the heavy duty formula fantastik for routine cleaning.

Note: OxyPower, Lemon Power, and fantastik are trademarks of S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

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