While I have my own obvious reasons for buying Bon Ami, the brand name wasn't the only reason it was a staple in my household when I was growing up. Hippie moms like mine followed the lead of generations of housewives, choosing the chick that "hasn't scratched yet" over others that use phosphates, chlorine or other harsh chemicals.
Recognizing this selling point, Bon Ami recently set about reviving their brand with the introduction of new labels, new products, and the tag line, "America's Original Natural Home Cleaner." For those of us who prefer the old label design, the company still produces the original 1886 formula too, which is safe for use on glass. (NASA even used it to clean windows.)
Their Powder Cleanser, however, got an update—the addition of more renewable cleaning agents to the standard feldspar and limestone, as well as a little baking soda to help out with odor. Drawing on the success of their all-purpose powder cleaners, new products feature similarly natural, simple ingredients and come packaged in post-consumer recycled plastics.
The new line includes dish soap, an all-purpose spray cleaner and a liquid version of the powder that makes it easier to apply to vertical surfaces, in both "free and clear" versions or with a tangerine and thyme scent. The upshot is a line that's safe to use around young kids and pets, better for those who suffer from allergies, and that gets the job done. Look out for it in major retailers with prices starting at about $3.