J.R. Watkins Natural Home Care All-Purpose Cleaner


I've been fairly conflicted about my choice of household cleaner recently: on the one hand, I like to know that I'm buying something decent-ish for the environment---as well as relatively unlikely to cause my potential children to be born with three and a half heads each---but on the other hand, nothing gets my countertops cleaner and whiter and more sterile-feeling than good old Clorox. 

(Well, once I used baking soda and vinegar and lemon juice or something, after I'd seen it on How Clean Is Your House?, and that did a fairly okay job too, but still, it wasn't a patch on the Clorox, if we're honest. It wasn't particularly practical, either. Also, my countertops smelled like a salad for days)

So I've tried Method's sprays, I've tried Mrs Meyer's, and I've even tried Clorox's new attempt at trying to be trendy and green. And they all did a pretty good job---I'm a big fan of Method for other things around the house---but none of them were truly amazing. Am I perhaps expecting too much from my kitchen spray?, I thought. And then: Yes. Maybe so.

But then I was in Target the other weekend---along with half the population of San Bruno; I will be repeating that experience just as soon as I've GOUGED MY EYES OUT WITH A BLUNT BUTTER KNIFE---and my eye just happened to fall upon the display of J.R. Watkins Natural Home Care products.

I shall admit it: it was the label that drew me in first. I liked the design, and I hadn't tried this particular product out before,  so I threw a bottle in the cart---aloe and green tea to start; later I went back for the lemon---and went home to try it out. (Hello! Welcome to my exciting life! Maybe next time we'll dust the sideboards!)

Well, let me tell you, this stuff is FANTASTIC. (Not Fantastik, mind you. Fantastik actually kind of sucks.) I'm not sure exactly how seriously to take its claim of being "pure, natural, and organic," but it gets things clean, it smells good (but not overpowering), and it really, really, really does cut through all that gross grease and grime. And now that I've  realized that just I've written approximately seven hundred words extolling the virtues of a kitchen spray, I'm going to go bake a tuna casserole, watch a few of my stories, and yell at those pesky kids playing out on my lawn. Wake me up if you find a coupon for prune juice.


Liberal Banana
Sep 17, 2008

I got to the end of the post and I was like "Wow, she's going to make tuna casserole? I haven't had that in like 20 years! That actually sounds kinda good! Wait...wait........she's making a joke. Ah ha."

Well, damnit now I want some tuna casserole. Maybe I can find a recipe for it in our 50 year old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook...

Anyway, you should be paid by that company because you've sold me - I am definitely going to check that stuff out. Who couldn't use a nice-smelling, (supposedly) earth-friendly, effective cleaning product? And I, too, love that label!

Sep 17, 2008

Okay, I can't be the only one amused by the line about gouging your eyes out with a butter knife, followed IMMEDIATELY by the line "my eye fell upon." That right there is high brow humor.

Sep 17, 2008

must. try. that. product.

was at target last night but I'll be happy to visit target again. target target target. love the store.

and I used to shop at that san bruno target...are there still two within a mile of each other? (one by the mall and the "old" one?)

Sep 17, 2008

I'd never heard of this brand until last night. My boyfriend and I were at the pharmacy, when I spotted the bottle of J.R. Watkins Lavender Hand & Body Lotion. I said, "Ohhhh! Pretty!" My boyfriend said, "Oh, great. Yet another brand trying to make us think it's from the good old days, what with its sepia toned photographs, jumpy film reels, old-timey font and words like apothecary." He's a cynic like that.

Anyway, if you endorse these products I might just give them a try. The brand is indeed 140 years old, and I think the marketing is actually pretty brilliant. I'm particularly interested in their Dry Oil Body Mists.

Speedy Canizales
Sep 17, 2008

I bought some J.R. Watkins products a few weeks back, as I was moving into my new place, and they are great.

I loved the all-purpose cleaner so much that I ended up buying other products as well. I love the glass cleaner with a lavender scent and the shower spray. The one product that didn't live up to my expectations is the dish soap, but I still kept the bottle because it's so pretty.

Sep 17, 2008

OOO... I didn't realize they now sold Watkins in stores! I will have to try and find it in Ohio. My mom has used Watkins apothecary products since before I can remember - their camphor/menthol salve is a great replacement for Vicks, and they have a phenol salve that works wonders on cuts and scrapes.

Sep 17, 2008

Go to the Target in Foster City. It's a Greatlands and is/was (ok so I haven't lived there for 6 years) so nice! And afterwards you can go to Mimi's Cafe and have a muffin!

Sep 17, 2008

This is the second review I've seen for this product line this week, and I admit I'd be sucked in by the packaging first too. I use mostly biokleen products because they're kind of local (same state) and I can get them delivered to my house with my vegetables. I particularly like the toilet cleaner and the citrus soy solvent. I'm not afraid that the toilet cleanser will burn my skin off if it touches me (and it smells real minty, not fake minty) and the solvent is like goo gone but better.

It's totally easy to make tuna casserole (and the 50+ year old BHG cookbook does have a recipe). My family likes the classic "use cream of mushroom soup" method: Cook 1lb of pasta, add one can cream of mushroom soup, add one can milk, add one can tuna, stir. And if you want to get fancy after you mix it up put it in a pyrex, cover with bread crumbs and shredded cheddar and bake 20 min at 350. (I swear I'm not an old lady yet - I don't turn 30 for three months)

Sep 17, 2008

I've seen that at Target and I've always been curious. Since you've never steered me wrong on clothing, make-up or any other product, I guess I'll be picking this up next week.

Sep 18, 2008

Like Nicole, I only recently discovered that they sold Watkins in stores now. My grandparents used to sell all sorts of Watkins products out of their home. I was so excited to see it in Target a couple weeks ago.

I've yet to try out the cleaning stuff, so I'm glad you did a review... definitely going to get some once my current stuff runs out!

Sep 18, 2008

Just an FYI You can get the petrocarbo salve at along with anything else theat watkins offers at retail.

Sep 19, 2008

I LOVE Watkins products. You should check out their Seasonal products they offer this time of year. Pumpkin Butter and Cinna-Cream Sprinkles are my personal favorite. With the new natural household cleaning products out recently, I'm hooked!!

Nothing But Bonfires
Sep 19, 2008

Wait, can you EAT Pumpkin Butter and Cinna-Cream Sprinkles or are they for cleaning? I sincerely hope it's the former: that sounds delicious.

Sep 19, 2008

Ha-ha! Pumpkin Butter and Cinna-Cream Sprinkles are for eating, not for cleaning. Both taste wonderful! Try Cinna-Cream Sprinkles on toast or in your oatmeal. Pumpkin Butter is wonderful on their Pumpkin Bread mix that Watkins offer as well.
Happy Cooking and Cleaning. :)

Sep 19, 2008

I must try this J.R. Watkins Natural Home Care All-Purpose Cleaner you speak of, if you say that its better than Mrs. Meyers. I might honestly pay upwards of $50 for a bottle of the lavendar countertop spray. Its magical!

Sep 20, 2008

Janssen, that's exactly what I thought! :)

I, too, like that label but I'm afraid they don't sell that stuff over here. Boo.

Sep 22, 2008

I might give the J.R. Watkins Natural Home Care All-Purpose Cleaner a try, but honestly, I'm having a hard time in believing that there is anything better than Mrs. Meyer's Geranium all purpose cleaner. I'm completely hooked on this brand, which actually makes me want to clean! :-)