My Mom Swears by This Old-School Cleaner, and It Never Disappoints

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Credit: David Dines

My mom is an expert in all things natural cleaning, and she has introduced me to many classic cleaning products that I might have otherwise missed in crowded grocery store aisles. My favorite one so far? Bon Ami

Quick Overview

What Is Bon Ami?

Bon Ami is a powder cleanser that’s been around since 1886. Its main ingredients are calcium carbonate, feldspar powder, sodium carbonate, and sodium bicarbonate. It has many uses, making it a great multi-purpose cleaner.

Bon Ami is one of my favorite cleaners because it’s simple, satisfying to use, hypoallergenic, and free of fragrances and dyes. And because it doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients, it’s safe for people and pets alike. It’s effective yet gentle, so it doesn’t scratch most hard surfaces. This makes it a great multi-purpose cleaner that you can use in many areas of your home.

What Is Bon Ami? 

Bon Ami is a powder cleanser that’s been around since 1886. Its main ingredients are as follows:

  • Calcium carbonate, a chemical compound that occurs naturally in rocks such as limestone.
  • Feldspar powder, a type of igneous rock that’s commonly used for glassmaking.
  • Sodium carbonate, a baking soda-like compound also known as washing soda.
  • Sodium bicarbonate, which is also known as baking soda.

While Bon Ami can wash germs away, keep in mind that it isn’t antimicrobial, which means it doesn’t kill bacteria or viruses like many liquid cleaners do. My mom primarily uses Bon Ami as a bathtub and sink cleaner, but it serves many other purposes as well.

8 Things to Clean with Bon Ami 

Bon Ami is great for removing mildew, stains, scuff marks, rust, and food particles from all kinds of surfaces, including the following: 

  1. Bathtubs and showers
  2. Sinks
  3. Toilets (but not inside the tank) 
  4. Stovetops
  5. Countertops (unless they’re made of natural stone and require special care)
  6. Microwaves
  7. Grills 
  8. Pots and pans (except for the nonstick variety) 

Before using Bon Ami on any surface, be sure to test it out on a small area by sprinkling a little bit of the powder onto the surface, rubbing it with a wet sponge or rag, and rinsing any residue away.