Hang onto your hats, folks: here’s a truly weird household hint. Diluted hair conditioner works, quite nicely and pretty efficiently, to clean the brightwork in your bathroom. Matter of fact, it’ll clean the sink and countertop, too. And probably the bathtub, if you’re in the mood to experiment.
The bizarre factoid came my way by pure serendipity. By accident, as a matter of fact.
As you may recall, I like to make my own glass cleaner, fabricating it with the same active ingredients that Windex uses. The product, which is clear as water, resides in a Home Depot industrial-strength squirt bottle in a bathroom cabinet. And not so long ago, I learned to pre-condition the dog’s fur before washing her by spraying her with diluted hair conditioner and working it into her fox-like pelt. Yesh. Supposedly if you do this, it somehow creates magnificent results.
Well, it doesn’t. It serves mostly to enhance the degree of canine annoyance at the dog-bathing experience. HOWEVER, this much-diluted hair conditioner (about 1 part conditioner to five or six or more parts water) does have a salutary effect on the human’s fur, when the weather in the low desert is so dry that static electricity makes it stand up all over one’s head like you stuck your finger in a light socket. A very light misting of the stuff instantly eliminates the hair-crackle, and, as a bonus, enhances one’s natural curl. Assuming one has that to start with.
This clear stuff also resides in a Home Depot industrial-strength squirt bottle in the bathroom cabinet.
So, as you may now imagine, the other day when it was past time to clean the bathroom, I reached under the cabinet and hauled out the spray bottle of DIY Windex. Squirted it all over the faucet and sink and tile countertop and…thought well, hell!
I’d managed to douse everything with hair conditioner. This, the train of thought continued, is going to be one big, gloppy mess to clean up!!!!!
Hauled out the paper towels, figuring to soak up the worst of it and then scrub, scrub, and scrub again with Simple Green to get the rest of it off.
It wiped off the hard surfaces like a freaking dream! It left the faucet clean, bright, and shiny. Did the same to the tile.
I expected it just looked that way, so attempted to rinse what I imagined was the rest off with water.
Nothing. No glop, no suds, no slime.
Cautiously, I squirted a bit of it on the kitchen faucet.
Polished the thing right up.
Okay. The acid test: I apply my powdered mineral makeup in the back bathroom, where the light is adequate. The stuff settles on every available surface, merrily staining the sink and countertop a lovely “medium-beige” puce and requiring some serious cleaning to keep the place more or less presentable. So it was off to the back bathroom with the squirt bottle full of diluted hair conditioner. If this doesn’t make the mess from Hell, I figured, nothing will!
Apparently nothing will. It cleaned the back bathroom sink and faucet right up, just as bright and shiny as if I’d washed it down with Lysol or Simple Green. And it smelled a lot better.
I have no idea what on earth the chemistry behind this phenomenon might be. We do know that some women have taken to washing their tresses with hair conditioner, having developed, for reasons incomprehensible to personkind, an abiding suspicion of shampoo. And we also know that a very light skiff of olive oil or other vegetable oil will polish chrome faucets quite prettily. But…but…hair conditioner as bathroom cleaner?
Dunno. All I know is it worked.