One of my favorite things to do is to go thrifting. I love to thrift for a few reasons, first one being that I truly believe that we should recycle and re-use as much as we can – it’s just good common sense. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen perfectly good pieces of furniture left at the curb, when there is always someone who can use it.
The second big reason I thrift is because I love a good before and after. Usually, everything from a thrift store needs a good scrubbing, or gentle cleaning, to bring it back to it’s former glory. And if that doesn’t work, you can always paint it. 🙂
My third reason, and it’s a big one, is that many of the older furniture pieces and decor were just made better back in the day. I’d rather spend $49 for a Drexel china cabinet that is solidly made,with fabulous hardware, than to go spend thousands for a new cabinet made of particle board, veneer and glue.
And finally, I love a good bargain. I’m cheap – or thrifty – or cost-conscious. Whatever you want to call it, thrifting allows me to make my home better while keeping an eye on my budget. It’s almost a sport for me – how much can I save, and what kind of deals can I make?
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Bon-Ami to see if I would like them to send me their Thrill of the Hunt kit. You remember Bon Ami, don’t you? The little canister of cleaning powder that our parents and grandparents used for everything from pots and pans, to bathtubs and silver. I remember the little chick on the front, just coming out of it’s shell, with the words “hasn’t scratched yet” next to it. As a kid, I just figured that it meant that the chicken hadn’t scratched anyone yet. Apparently, I had the idea that chickens were feisty little creatures. Of course, as an adult, I’m very aware that it means that the cleaning powder is very gentle on whatever you use it on, but whenever there are chickens around, I am sure to keep my distance…
In this day and age of chemical cleaners, I hadn’t thought of Bon Ami in years. I quickly said yes to the offer, because I remembered that it was one of the very few cleaners I can remember my grandmother and mother ever using, so it must be good, right?
I received the cutest little package a few days later. I have to give them a big thumbs up for presentation 🙂
It contained their powder cleaner, a liquid cleaner, a cloth bag to hold my treasures, a magnifying glass, a small coin/treasure sack, dishwashing liquid and sunscreen – everything I’d need to be prepared for my next shopping trip. I had never thought to bring a magnifying glass, but what a fabulous idea! I can never make out the stamps on the bottom of the silver pieces that I find.
As it so happened, I was heading out that day to look for treasures to display in my china cabinet, and I found this pitcher.
The tarnishing wasn’t all that terrible, I’d seen worse, but it looked almost like it had been burned over a flame near the handle. I love silver pitchers, so for $2, if the burn marks didn’t come out, I wouldn’t cry about it – I’d just turn it around so you couldn’t see it – easy fix, right?
I know many people like the patina that silver takes on when it’s tarnished and would never get rid of the aged look, but I like my silver shiny! And you know I love a good experiment, so as soon as I got home, I pulled out the cleaning powder.
Let me pause here a second… you all know how much I love my Weiman’s Silver polish, right? And I don’t love it any less now, but oh my goodness, this was so much easier! I just sprinkled a little on the pitcher, took a damp cloth and lightly rubbed. Then I remembered that I should take a picture…
The tarnish literally came right off. It took about a minute for me to clean the whole pitcher, and when I was finished, I washed it with water and a little of the Bon Ami dishwashing soap that was included in the box, and dried it with a soft towel. And this is how it looked when I was done.
No scratching, no soaking, no endless buffing… just shiny and clean! I loved how easy it was, and fast. I also liked that the Bon Ami didn’t dry out my hands and didn’t have a harsh smell. (I will be polishing the pitcher with Weiman’s silver polish to protect the finish and keep it from tarnishing a while longer)
I also tried the liquid cleanser on my granite countertops in the kitchen. Being black, they hide all kinds of dirt. After I had already wiped them down as usual with a wet, soapy dishcloth, I went back and used the Bon Ami liquid cleanser and a clean washcloth. I know this is kind of gross to show, but this is what my cloth looked like after I used the Bon Ami.
It really cut right through the crud and scrubbed it clean. I can’t believe what my regular cleaning was missing. Ewww…
The only thing I want to make sure to add is that you have to rinse it off very well, otherwise you will have a white powdery residue left behind.
I find it interesting that the old cleaners, that have been around for decades (or in Bon Ami’s case, 126 years!), clean better, with far fewer chemicals. I will definitely be phasing out all the “new” stuff I have been using, and adding Bon Ami to my shopping list instead. Since it can be used all over the house, think of how much money I’ll save not having to buy a different product for every surface of my home! I love saving money 🙂
Do you use Bon Ami? Does it bring back memories of your childhood?
Disclosure: I received Bon Ami cleansers from Bon Ami to try out. I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own. If I didn’t like it for real, you wouldn’t be reading this post 🙂