Monday, January 4, 2010
It's a good thing I look good in green because one of my many resolutions this year is to go "eco". Part of this resolution is to chuck the harsh or toxic ingredients found in many of my household cleaners in favor of more natural alternatives. One of my favorite household cleaners is Lysol wipes. They're just so convenient - pop one out of the canister, wipe down the countertops or baby gear and toss in the trash. No more worries about germs, dirt or gunk. But all those wipes add up to so much waste. So, in my search for a replacement, I was delighted to hear about The Ultimate Cloth. And even more so to be able to review it.
In case you haven't heard of it before, The Ultimate Cloth is a patented "MicraFiber" cloth that promises to clean just about any surface using water - and only water - thereby eliminating chemicals as well as paper towels. It is machine washable and bleachable so you can use it, abuse it, wash and reuse it. Use it to polish windows, mirrors, windshields and glass with streak-free, lint-free shine. Clean spots on hard surfaces like stainless steel, corian, granite, marble, tile or chrome, as well as softer surfaces like leather or vinyl. Dust computer and TV screens or artwork. All with one simple step: dampen the cloth. Ta-da! The Ultimate Cloth promises to help you save time, money and the planet!
When I opened my Ultimate Cloth, I was pleasantly surprised by its large size. I liked that you could bunch it up or fold it to give you exactly what shape you need and make it more manageable.
When dry, it felt like a thick, fibrous cloth. But when wet, the Ultimate Cloth almost turned rubbery to the touch. I found it a little tough to wring out but with some persistence, I was able to get most of the excess water removed per the instructions.
First, I tried it on my bathroom mirrors. They were pretty crummy from my husband's erratic toothbrushing and in desperate need of attention, as you can see:
After less than 30 seconds of wiping, my cruddy mirror was transformed into this crystal clear reflection. Awesome, right?
I could hardly believe that I didn't use glass cleaner to achieve that shine. This will definitely make my Windex withdrawal so much less tragic. I also used the Ultimate Cloth on our laptop screens and LCD TV, with success. I always thought paper towels were a bit too rough on the delicate screens so I love having something soft yet effective.
Since the results were so impressive thus far, I had high expectations for my stainless steel kitchen appliances. Having a toddler makes for constant fingerprint smudges across our dishwasher, stove and fridge, shown here:
Once again, I dampened the cloth and hoped for another streak-free shine. But, alas, I was let down. Some of the smudges were removed but even with some muscle, I couldn't get them off completely. Guess I'll have to keep reaching for my Method stainless steel cleaner to buff out the tough spots.
I have hand-washed my cloth once with dish soap (we don't use bleach) and allowed it to air-dry so I could rid it of dirt and lint. It retained its shape and works just as well as the first time. I'm confident with the proper care, it could last for years.
Bottom line: I think the Ultimate Cloth is a great environmentally-friendly solution if, like many people, you are very reliant on using paper towels and Windex or Lysol/Clorox wipes. It worked like magic on glass, windows and delicate equipment, which you shouldn't use chemicals or sprays on anyhow. But it disappointed me on stainless steel and tough kitchen grime. I wouldn't get rid of that all-purpose cleaner just yet.
BUY IT: The Ultimate Cloth is available online at www.ultimateclothamerica.com and comes in two sizes: standard, which I reviewed (ARV $6.00), and an Ultimate BadBoy size (ARV $9.00), which is 45% bigger.
DELECTABLE DEAL: For a limited time, you can get a standard Ultimate Cloth for $.01 plus shipping and handling! This amounts to just $2.99 here in the U.S. but this deal is available in Canada and worldwide as well so hop on it!