Stems and All

My journey to buy less, consume smart, use what's there.

Meet my good friend, Bon Ami


I’m on a quest to start removing toxic, bad cleaning products from my house cleaning ritual. I’m pretty particular, however, so was not looking forward to this process. I had read about a safe, green, environmental product that could replace my current, not-so environmentally friendly products: Bon Ami was rumored to outperform my normal go-to’s, Ajax and Comet.

The skeptic in me cried – “No way”. After all, how could a seemingly simple, 5-ingredient cleaning product actually beat out a highly engineered, super-duper powerful one?

After reading up on the relative ‘goodness’ of Bon Ami, made from just 5 ingredients for the past 125+ years, I decided to give this alleged ‘friend’ a try.

The results far exceeded expectations.

blackened pyrex dish

BEFORE: Well-loved Pyrex dish before Bon Ami test

I decided to go big, so I took a very, very baked and blackened Pyrex glass dish from the cupboard, and set it on the counter. Bon Ami in hand, I sprinkled some of the white-ish powder into the dish, added a bit of water, and rubbed all over with my copper scouring pad. I let it soak for about 10 minutes.

pyrex soaking in bon ami and water

Pyrex dish soaking in Bon Ami and water

After 10 minutes, I came back, picked up my copper scouring pad, and started to scrub. And scrub. And then I began to notice that the solid patches of caramelized residue was begin to break apart and lift off of the glass surface. It was actually working.

The dish still has a little bit of residue along the edge, so still a work in progress. But with a few more rounds in the Bon Ami ring, I’m confident that this will be scrubbed away eventually as well.

clean pyrex using bon ami

AFTER: Almost new Pyrex with a little Bon Ami love

1.) Green clean: Environmentally friendly cleaning product that proves itself again and again.
2.) New lease on life: All of my pyrex dishes and stainless steel pans are looking like ‘new again.
3.) Upper arm work-out: Soaking helps, but a good scrubbing definitely requires a little elbow grease. I have learned to swap out using both left and right arms, to get a more balanced workout.

I’m now very happy to call this yellow bottle my ‘good friend’, and we have a play date every week to clean not only dishes but house and home throughout.


Details about Bon Ami can be found on their site (
), and the 5 ingredients are:
– Limestone
– Feldspar
– Biodegradable cleaning agents
– Soda Ash
– Baking Soda
Details about Ajax cleanser:
– According to the Colgate-Palmolive website, Ajax is an eye and skin irritant. The site also notes that over-exposure to the product “can cause respiratory irritation.” The site mentions that Ajax contains crystalline silica, a low-level carcinogen.
– Toxic Ingredient: Crystalline Silica – eye, skin and lung irritant, carcinogenic

Author: Jane Newcomb

“Stems and All” is my personal journey to become a more environmentally responsible human, live a more sustainable life, and practice sustainable consuming habits.


  1. I’m a huge Bon Ami fan as well. It’s amazing that such a simple product is so effective. I’m slowly making the switch with all of my products as well, and was thrilled to find a commercial one that works as well as other scrubbers. Extended aesthetic life for my much-loved pots and pans – woohoo!

  2. BI, the only thing Grandma used until . . . she started using Ajax! I remember this, really.

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