I like to experiment with cleaning products, usually trying out different brands and fragrances as they appear on offer. I'm always on the look-out for that miracle product that will make my job easier (I'm still looking) or for something that will fragrance my home nicely. When I came across a 750ml bottle of Cif Power Cream Kitchen Spray on offer for £1.50 in Wilkinsons (usual price around £3) I purchased this to try.
THE CIF BRAND
CIF has been a well known brand for many years (in my childhood, this was known as Jif, the name change occurred in 2001). It is manufactured by Unilever and originated in France. Historically, it has manufactured cream based cleaning products for the home, with the move into spray products occurring over recent years.
For those of you interested in ethical products, there is a section on the Unilever website about their sustainable living policies that may be worth a look.
The cleaner comes in a clear plastic bottle with a spray nozzle, which is action by pumping the trigger on the front. The nozzle on the bottle needs to be twisted to open and close. The liquid itself is a rather vivid yellow in colour and appears creamy to look at, although still quite runny.
On initial spray the strong lemon fragrance became obvious, along with quite a harsh chemically smell. There are warnings on the bottle about avoiding inhaling fumes, which I haven't usually come across on such a basic kitchen product before, so it would appear that it contains quite harsh chemicals. There are also warnings about what surfaces it can be used on - for example not on marble or paintwork.
The liquid was really easy to apply, with the spray nozzle giving good coverage. When applied to cupboard doors, it did not run down too quickly (a problem that I usually have with sprays - I tend to use thicker creams for this job), probably an advantage of being a cross between a cream and a spray. It wiped off well and did seem to remove grime easily without much effort.
On tougher grease spots, for example on my hob, a little more elbow grease was required - as I would anticipate - but it did definitely help to soften and lift the dried on food etc. I did find that a little of the spray did go along way but I found that it was hard to get a sparkly clean look. Once dry, my worktops seemed to show patches of where the spray had been applied more liberally than others, no matter how careful I was to rinse and dry all of the product off of the surface. Whereas it didn't look dirty, it didn't give the clean kitchen feel that I was after and that other products had been able to provide me with previously.
The biggest (and by far most annoying) problem that I had with this cleaner was the bottle. The bottle is made of quite a harsh, brittle plastic, as I found when I accidently knocked this off my work surface mid-clean. My kitchen floor is tiled and the bottle shattered on impact, with liquid spilling everywhere. I was unable to rescue a lot of it, and was also worried that the bottle had splintered plastic everywhere - dangerous for small children. This also left my floor really sticky, despite countless mops! Given the nature of the product, I would have expected a much more durable and practical bottle.
This product is no better than average, giving a satisfactory clean. It doesn't justify the high pricetag in anyway. Although it did leave my kitchen smelling lemon fresh, it did feel quite a 'chemically' product and is not one that I would want to use for any length of time. I was let down by the bottle and will not be buying this again.