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Friday, January 14, 2011

Bzz: A Review of Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean (A Bzz Agent Flashback Review)


I recently received 2 bottles of Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean from Bzz Agent.  Extend-A-Clean features a continuous sprayer so you don't have to keep pressing on the trigger, making for an easier-to-use and better coverage cleaner.  Another feature is that they claim you can go up to 4 days longer without having to clean by providing an invisible barrier on the surfaces that are being cleaned.  

The first thing I did was explore the Scrubbing Bubbles website to learn more.  
 Useful information from the website ( 
         "Works on most bathroom surfaces, including tubs, showers, glazed ceramic tile, stainless steel, chrome fixtures, fiberglass, vinyl and glazed porcelain. Avoid prolonged contact with wood, aluminum and painted, lacquered or soft surfaces. DO NOT USE on gold plated fittings, semi-glazed and resurfaced enamel baths, natural marble, travertine or brass."
  1. Squeeze and hold trigger for continuous spray. Spray 8-12 inches from surface to clean. Cover surface evenly. Allow foam to penetrate dirt and soap scum (for tough jobs, let stand several minutes).
  2. Wipe clean with a damp cloth or sponge, then rinse.
  3. Good ventilation during use is recommended. 
 Where to use it?  Everywhere in the bathtub (except the inside of the toilet)- shower, tub, tile, shower doors, sinks, faucets and fixtures.
 What's the difference between this and other cleaners?  The invisible barrier cleans every time the surface gets wet, up to 4 days. 
Anything else?  No visible residue is left behind, according to the site.  The triggers are designed to last 2 years and the batteries are expected to last through approximately 8 refills (that relieves my "OMG- more batteries?" feeling).  The product is citrus-scented.

My initial thoughts on this product:  
*Easy to set up and use.  I like the safety lock feature.
*What does an invisible barrier mean when it's time to bathe the kids?  With four kids I'm giving baths usually at least once a day.  And what about if their toothbrushes or toys that they might put in their mouth or in the tub touch a wet surface that was sprayed?  Will they be "cleaned"?  A little concerning!  The site says that, if used properly, the product can be used around kids.  It doesn't say "safely used".
*I was curious about how the continuous sprayer would compare to a regular spray bottle- is it really necessary to have ANOTHER product that requires batteries to function?  
*Would having a different type of sprayer ensure that the entire product would be used (or would some be wasted)?  
*$10 for a cleaner??  Yikes!  $7 for a refill?  Double yikes!          
*"use with good ventilation" is never a good phrase to use with a cleaner, especially with kids and the lack of a bathroom ventilation fan.

So...I gave it a try.  I opened a window and turned on the bathroom's ceiling fan (we only have 1 bathroom).  I set it up (easy to do) and started spraying.  Then I immediately dropped the bottle and ran from the room!  The smell!!  It would be a good smell if there wasn't so much of it.  I don't have asthma but thought this might trigger an attack anyway.  It was very overwhelming.  

The sprayer was kind of fun to use- you squeeze the trigger and it makes a whirring sound as it sprays the desired surface.  It comes out sort of foamy, so you know where it's going.  I sprayed the whole bathtub and let it sit for a few minutes (you sort of have to wait- away from the bathroom- because of the smell).  After a few minutes I took a washcloth and started wiping.  I was impressed with how well it cleaned.  It got off some of the stains that I thought were permanent in the tub.  Nothing else has ever gotten them off (though I haven't tried baking soda yet).  I was a little afraid to let the kids take a bath after using it though, so after I was done cleaning I ran the shower and then wiped the tub down again with a new wet washcloth because the barrier made me uncomfortable.  

The verdict: I give this product a 10 for cleaning power, a 10 for ease of use, a 1 for "green" power, a 1 for price and a 2 for safety around kids after cleaning, during regular bathroom use (I wouldn't consider allowing my children in the area during or for 5-10 minutes after spraying).  

I would not buy this product to regularly clean my bathroom, especially at the retail price.  I'm just not comfortable enough using it around my kids and it's one of the most costly bathroom cleaners I've ever seen.  The scent is good but far too strong and I do not have any respiratory issues.  While it was fun to use, I think having a battery-operated sprayer is totally unnecessary and wasteful.  If I wasn't as environmentally aware of what I use in my house, and if I didn't have kids I would consider it as my regular bathroom cleaner. 

I have to add that I did a comparison against another product and Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean totally beat the other product (A natural product) in the cleaning competition.  It really does work well, but for our family it is not a good fit. 

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