March 7, 2002 at 12:37 PM CST - Updated July 12 at 3:30 AM
You smell it as soon as you squirt it... Orange Clean. It claims to harness the cleaning power of orange oil, to help you wipe away grease, grime and dirt.
"These are food stains," says our tester, Doyle Parmer, as he runs his hands along a kitchen counter. "You can't see them, but you can feel them. And there's always grease that gathers under the knobs."
Doyle Parmer and his wife, Julie, own Dutch Cleaning service. So he knows his dirt, and his cleaning products. And he agrees to help us test Orange Clean in the kitchen. We start with the sink.
"I like to wipe if off sooner than it recommends at first, because I don't want a film to develop," he says. But he has no problem with Orange Clean drying out too fast. And there's no rinsing needed. Directions say to spray it on and wipe it off.
"My first impression? Not too bad," says Doyle. "And it smells good. Some of those orange-type products are so strong it makes you gag. Not this one. There's no residue left behind. It's dry and slick."
The counter tops prove to be the same. Daily food stains wipe right up, with not much scrubbing.
"Now, this is the real trick!" Doyle laughs, as he walks to the stove. The black, glass-topped stove shows smears really easy. Right away, Doyle notices more grease coming off the burners... enough to leave his paper towel black. "It cuts through burner grease a lot better than Soft Scrub," he mumbles.
But the glass surface is another story. Orange Clean just seems to push the cloudy film around, without lifting it. "I don't know about this, to be truthful," says Doyle, disappointed in the performance. So he reaches for Windex, with amonia. That's the only product he relies on to clean glass surfaces. And it works again, here.
But one more test... this time on a metal kettle that sits on the stove top and collects splatters. "It did work!" Doyle concludes. "On metal surfaces, like the burners and the kettle, it's much better than other products.
So Orange Clean has its place in the kitchen, it works on some things. But what about soap scum in the shower? That's Julie Parmer's area, and she'll test that for us. "I've tried all sorts of products, The Works, Mean Green," says Julie, referring to the shower. But Julie hasn't been able to get soap scum off the shower door. You can see the scum easier on the aluminum frame... but those specks and runs are spread across the entire glass door.
"It looks better, but we'll see when it's completely dry," says Julie as she works with the Orange Clean. "It's better on the metal."
How about on soap scum inside the shower? Orange Clean dissolves the grime with less scrubbing that Julie's other cleansers. "It feels clean," says Julie. "Down here, along the bottom, it's always looks dull."
So will the Parmers be adding Orange Clean to their supply list? "I'd use it," says Julie. "It smells wonderful. Better than a chemical smell."
To wrap up, Orange Clean doesn't work real well on glass. But it does a good job on other kitchen and bath surfaces. Just make sure to read the "warnings" on the back of the bottle, because there are certain surfaces you should NOT use it on... like softe, shiny plastic surfaces, soft vinyl, varnished surfaces, or aluminum. Also, it may make floors slick.
Overall, we give the $4 spray bottle of Orange Clean a B+.