Mild, minty scent
Removes rust and water stains
Abrasive formula works well on hard surfaces
Comes with stiff bristle brushes
Labor-intensive cleaning process
Abrasive can scratch soft surface
We purchased the Bio Clean Hard Water Stain Remover so our expert reviewer could put it to the test in her home. Keep reading for our full product review.
Perpetually wet surfaces—like bathtubs and showers—are sure to accumulate rust, hard water, soap scum, and other hard-to-clean messes. But shower cleaners, like Bio Clean Hard Water Stain Remover, are meant to make things easier. We picked up a 48-ounce container (which comes with cleaning brushes) to see if was able to tackle our glass shower door. Read on to get our take on the application process and performance of this eco-friendly option.
Ingredients: Eco-friendly claims, but difficult to track down
For many people, whether or not a cleaning product is eco-friendly is a big deal—it matters almost as much as the power of the product itself. This Bio Clean formula claims to be eco-friendly but the company doesn’t make it easy to identify and track down the ingredients. On the label and on the brand’s website, three contents are listed: LAS Complex CAS # 27176-87-0, Surfactant CAS # 68436-49-3, and Silica Flour CAS # 14808-60-7.
Researching those numbers shows that what we’re actually dealing with is dodecyl benzene sulfonic acid, paraffin sulfonate, and silica flour. These are typical ingredients in laundry detergents, surface cleaners, and some beauty products. Alone, and together, in this case, they’re safer options for the environment than harsher ingredients in some cleaners. Don’t confuse eco-friendly with all-natural or organic, though. This cleaner can cause damage if it comes into contact with your eyes or is accidentally ingested.
Bottle Design and Application: Get ready to work, unless you have a drill
It’s a good thing this cleaner comes in a wide-mouth container. Although the manufacturer also sells it in more traditional bottles, the thick green gel would be hard to extract from a smaller opening because you have to dip a cloth or a paper towel into the gel to remove it. We tried this with both paper towels and a microfiber cloth. The paper towels worked fairly well, but since the cleaner itself is slippery, it was harder to get a good grip. The cloth was easier to use because of its textured surface.
Once you’ve extracted the cleaner, it scrubs and spreads well—so, while you have to use more cleaner than you would with a spray, you still get a lot for your money. To get full use of this product, however, you need a drill to attach the brushes to. It takes the sweat out of the job and quickly rids your shower door of any cloudiness (more on that below).
Cleaning Performance: Sweat equity removes stains
We focused our cleaning on our shower door, but we couldn’t resist trying it on a few other problem areas, too. We also tested out its included accessories: a Magic Cloth and three stiff bristle brushes that attach to an electric drill for added power.
First, before we enlisted the help of a drill, we wanted to see how this formula worked using standard cleaning methods. In our first two tests, we used a microfiber cloth and plain paper towels. Per the instructions on the container, we rinsed the surface of our shower door with water, dried it, loaded the cloth, and got to work. From there, it was a matter of sweat equity. The instructions don’t specify a preferred scrubbing pattern, but we used circular motions. At first, we didn’t scrub very hard—you can feel the abrasive in this cleaner, and we didn’t want to scratch the surface. Once you’re done scrubbing, you rinse it away with water.
On our shower door, most of the water stains were at the edges and in hard-to-reach areas like around the handles, near the rollers, and where the two sliding doors overlap. There was a slight clouding over the door and more significantly at the corners.
The microfiber cloth did a good job with our first test. Even with light scrubbing, we could see that some of the water stains were gone, especially on the door handles and rollers, though slight cloudiness remained on the door itself. We weren’t done yet, though.
For the second round, we scrubbed with paper towels and more muscle power. Again, even with the less textured surface of the paper towel, we could see that some of the cloudiness disappeared, but not all—especially in areas where it was harder to get leverage.
For our final round of testing, we used one of the stiff bristle brushes that came with the cleaner. The drill took the sweat out of the process completely and even on a low speed, it cleared up any remaining cloudiness within a minute. There was a noticeable difference before and after using the brush and cleaner.
Excited by our success, we tried the formula on a stubborn rust stain on the fiberglass surface of the shower and another on the tub. One disappeared while scrubbing with a paper towel, and the other came off when using the Magic Cloth that came with the cleaner.
As a side note, the Magic Cloth feels like an extra thick paper towel, but the tiny fibers give it more grip. It’s not disposable like a paper towel but it is lightweight. One word of caution: Bio Clean warns against using this cleaner on soft plastics and a few other surfaces, so test it on a small spot before scrubbing too hard. We didn’t experience any damage, but it’s always best to be cautious.
Overall, to say we were impressed would be an understatement—we were extremely satisfied with the performance of this cleaner.
Fragrance: Mild chalky mint
Harsh fragrances and chemicals are usually associated with powerful cleaners, but Bio Clean’s fragrance is a mild mint. We’d compare it to the smell of Pepto Bismol. It’s not overpowering and doesn’t give off any fumes, which we liked.
Price: Priced right for occasional use
Bio Clean’s Hard Water Stain Remover is fairly expensive—one 48-ounce tub alone is priced at nearly $30 on the brand website—but its cleaning ability makes it worth it. Also, you can find it on sale, as well as bundled with more accessories, on sites like Amazon. Regardless, we still think the product is a good investment, especially because it can clean many more surfaces than just your shower door.
Competition: For tough stains, Bio Clean stands out
Puracy Natural Multi-Purpose Cleaner: This spray is better for light surface cleaning rather than rust and stains. While Puracy has created a natural multi-purpose cleaner, it doesn’t help with hard water stains and tough build-up like Bio Clean.
Rain-X Extreme Shower Door Cleaner: This formula is similar in purpose to Bio Clean, but doesn’t live up to its promises. It doesn’t have the abrasive edge to cut through water stains and rust like Bio Clean, even though it took the same amount of effort to use.
- Product Name Hard Water Stain Remover
- Product Brand Bio Clean
- UPC 794504535433
- Price $29.99
- Weight 48 oz.
- Product Dimensions 6.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 in.
- What's Included Cleaner, three stiff bristle brushes, magic cleaning cloth