“ Brand: Keep It Handy / Type: Bleach / Category: Laundry „
As some of you will know from my other reviews I'm getting ready to sell my house and when you get to the point where you're thinking about selling you start to notice things that need doing that you fully intended to do but somehow kept putting off and they never got done but in order to get the best price for your home need doing before it goes on the market. One of those things for me was cleaning the grouting in the bathroom tiles. I kept meaning to do it and found myself looking at the vast expanse of tiles around the bath every time I had a bath but it always got shelved because of other things. Trying to decide how to whiten the grouting however wasn't as easy as I thought. I looked at a whitening pen in Boyes one day but knew it wouldn't contain anywhere near enough white liquid for all the tiles in my bathroom so I Googled it to see how everyone else did it and kept coming up with bleach and a toothbrush which sounded like a lot of hard work. A couple of people mentioned bleach pens however so I started to look for one and found one for £1 in Boyes.
This Keep It Handy Bleach Pen contains 56g of super strong bleach and a brush on the top. You can't see the brush though until you buy it and open it. It claims to be good for removing stains on laundry (surely it would bleach clothes?), tile grout and caulking (I don't even know what caulking is). The warnings are it causes burns, contact with acids liberates toxic gas (I don't understand that warning), dangerous to aquatic life, keep away from food, drink and animal foodstuff, in case of contact with eyes rinse immediately with water then seek medical advice, if swallowed seek medical advice, do not empty into drains and keep in original container. Strangely it doesn't mention keeping it away from children but I think you probably should if you have any.
To use on laundry you test a piece of the garment first then squeeze some bleach on, rub with the brush then immediately wash the item. I had no intention of using it on clothes though. To use on tiles you apply some bleach, rub with the brush then wipe or rinse clean. Do not use on silver, plastic laminate countertops or metal surfaces, and some stains such as rust, permanent inks and dyes may be impossible to remove.
I know now that basically what I'd bought was a toothbrush and bleach but at the time it sounded like it would make life easy. To use you shake well then cut the tip off the end of the bleach pen, the tip is on the end of a slim nozzle for accuracy and the brush is on the side of the tip. The brush was a huge disappointment as it turned out to be a small group of plastic bristles. My boy's (cat) toothbrush is similar and while it works well for gentle cleaning on his little teeth it didn't strike me as something that would work for hard scrubbing on grouting.
The bleach is a thick gel so when I squeezed some out onto the grouting it didn't run anywhere. I tried a particularly bad area first and left the gel on for a few seconds before using the brush to scrub it. The brush was exactly as expected, rubbish. It doesn't really scrub the area the bristles just bend backwards and forwards and slide the bleach gel around. Undeterred I then wiped the area clean and the bleach had made a small difference but it was all the bleach and not the brush. A few more attempts made me realise this wasn't going to work out and while the bleach gel was getting low because of how much comes out with each squeeze the brush was totally useless. The areas I treated were slightly better but without the scrubbing action not drastically better. The solution? An old nail brush for large areas, an old toothbrush for intricate areas and a bottle of good thick bleach. The bleach pen was binned and armed with these implements I got the whole lot pristine and fresh white again in about half an hour so I really should have saved my £1 for a bottle of bleach!
Overall the gel is quite strong but I wouldn't go as far as "super", the brush is useless and the whole thing is actually a waste of money for large areas. Maybe on small areas and very light staining this is worth it but for me it proved a waste of money. I'm going to give it 1 star and not recommend it.