This is the time of year when people start focusing on cleaning and janitorial items - it's cold and flu season - and keeping things clean and sanitary. So when a manufacturer's rep came to see me with a new product line called PAK-IT, I thought it would be a timely topic.
PAK-IT is a new system of cleaners that has a broad product line, encompassing bathroom cleaners, carpet cleaners, glass & hard surface cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, floor cleaners and more. It's competitors are products such as Windex, Lysol, Pine-Sol, Tilex, Kaboom, Vanish, Resolve, Febreze and Mr. Clean.
What It Is
PAK-IT is a color-coded cleaning system designed to save you money and space, while being environmentally friendly and simple to use. You purchase an empty spray bottle, which is printed in a certain color that corresponds to the refills. Then you purchase the cleaner, which comes in small, pre-measured packets. You put warm water in the spray bottle, drop the packet of cleaner it in and shake gently to mix. The packet completely dissolves in the water, creating a quart of perfectly mixed cleaning solution. The color coding helps you to see which cleaner you have - for instance, the Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner bottle is orange, the Neutral Disinfectant Cleaner bottle is green, the Glass and Hard Surface Cleaner bottle is blue, etc. You get the idea. The jars and tubs of refills are color coded the same way, so you can match them up. It's like the K-cup of cleaning supplies.
PAK-IT can significantly lower your janitorial costs. If you use RTU (Ready-to-use) products like Lysol or Windex, consider this: the average cost of a quart of Windex is $3.49. A PAK-IT spray bottle and a 20-count jar of packets is approximately $24.98. That makes 20 quarts of solution. 20 Windex @ $3.49 = $69.80. That's a huge savings. And the rep who showed me the product told me that you don't need to use as much as you would with your normal product because PAK-IT is highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way.
Eliminate Product Waste - they're pre-measured, so there's no pouring or measuring required.
Small Footprint and Lower Storage Costs - the refills are sold in 20, 50 or 100-count tubs, which take up very little space in your storage cabinet.
Lower Equipment Costs - No special equipment is required. Just a spray bottle and the packets.
Improved Safety - because there is no opening, pouring or measuring needed, there is also no risk of exposure to chemicals like you have with Free-Poured Concentrates. There is no need for goggles, gloves, etc.
Environmentally Friendly - the spray bottles are reusable and won't end up in a landfill. The packet dissolves completely, so there's no disposable cartridge to throw away.
Easy to Use - need I say more?
Of course I tested it! I have a spouse, a teenager and a dog at home. My house backs up to a wooded nature park and we go in and out through the back door constantly. The dog brings in leaves, dirt, etc. on his paws and his fur. He rubs against the wall, he snorts on the windows, and with two parents working full time, the house just doesn't get the cleanings it needs. You know how that is............
So I figured that my house was the perfect place to test the samples I was given. If they can cut through the dirt at my house, I'm sure they can clean your office. I tested the Glass & Hard Surface Cleaner, the Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner and the Neutral Floor Cleaner. I cleaned the sidelights on my front door inside and out, as well as my pocket door windows and another interior door that has glass on it using the Glass & Hard Surface Cleaner. I also used that to clean some painted doors and baseboards. I did the same with the Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner. I mopped my kitchen and foyer (tile floors) with the Neutral Floor Cleaner. Finally, I divided my sliding patio door windows into quadrants and cleaned each quadrant with a different glass cleaner - the Glass & Hard Surface Cleaner, the Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner, Windex, and Invisible Glass.
The presentation of the product was very impressive and the advantages I listed above are true, but I expected a cleaner that was better than other leading products. The glass cleaner and the all-purpose cleaner both left dirt and streaks on my windows. The Windex and the Invisible Glass both left dirt and streaks as well. The rep told me not to use too much or I would have streaks, so I didn't use as much as I used of the Windex. I used paper towel on my sidelights and on the patio doors I used a freshly opened package of lint-free cloths. It didn't make any difference. The Invisible Glass cleaner was the worst of the four, but the two PAK-IT products and the Windex were pretty much even. As for cleaning my painted doors and baseboards, the PAK-IT products fared slightly better. The Citrus All-Purpose Cleaner was the better of the two, cleaning the dirt and grime off more quickly and with fewer swipes. The floor cleaner didn't do any better than the Spic 'n Span that I normally use. It didn't do any worse either - just not any better.
I give PAK-IT 4 paperclips. It does have some incredible advantages for price and storage and those can't be ignored. And the green features are important as well. There are 35 different PAK-IT cleaners and I tested only 3, so I can't honestly speak to all of them, but the ones I tested didn't perform any better than the current market leaders, so I'm putting it in the upper-middle of my scale. If you've tried PAK-IT already, please post a comment and let me and my readers know what you thought of it.
Until next time......................