I grew up in a upper middle class neighborhood, and actually in one of the richer neighborhoods within the neighborhood... in Junior High I learned that the kids who didn't live on the hill called it "snob hill" -- really it wasn't any snobbier than the rest of the area -- but anyhow... and we weren't rich. A lot of our neighbors were rich, some quite rich, but we weren't rich, my parents were in the market at the right time, had property to sell before they bought that house, and an inheritance to help out with the land. Plus, there were NINE of us, for crying out loud, even if my parents had an inkling of rich, that flew out the window as soon as mom went to the grocery store to feed all of us little brats. So the point of all the economics is that my mom would buy, for my dad, FREQUENTLY, the most giant can of store brand scouring powder available. It smelled a little like comet and dishwasher detergent combined together, and it scoured the hell out of everything, including the finishes off of everything. All of my rich friends mom's bought Bon Ami or Comet or usually both - because Bon Ami didn't scratch (or forcibly remove the finish/surface/color/etc.) This scouring powder, I do believe was actually rocks mixed with straight lye. My father would use it religiously, on everything. Burnt crap on the grill, get the scouring powder. Burnt crap in a pan, get the scouring powder. Greasy crap on the floor, get the scouring powder. Shower floor, get the scouring powder... in fact I didn't know that shower basins were smooth and nice until I got old enough to spend the night at someone else's house (who's mom no doubt used scrubbing bubbles, and maybe just once in a while hit the worst of it with a dash of Bon Ami). Our shower basin floors were almost like concrete! In addition to that (and I must thank this post for reminding me that my dad even used scouring powder as part of his own personal hygiene), while the rest of us were gagging on the fumes and dying from the nasty gritty crap under our fingernails and eating away the skin on our hands while we scrubbed the marks from the hallway floor that came from someone's boots... dad was merrily digging out from under the boy's bathroom sink ONE of his trusty 12 pound cans of scouring powder and a can of GOOP to wash off car grease or printer's ink from his hands. My dad worked on all of our cars, and he had a printing press in the basement, so he could be home while he did his night job... and of course we could help (which he managed to "Tom Sawyer" us into thinking was fun), he had nasty hands frequently... but during the day, when he wore his suit to work, no one would ever have guessed he had ever been anywhere near the hood of a car, let alone re-packing bearings the night before -- in case you don't know, re-packing bearings is a super nasty job, imagine 80 gazillion large BBs and a wad of axle grease that could fill a large coffee mug... then put them together, BY HAND. His hands were spotless, all of the time... it had to be the handful of GOOP and the generous sprinkling of scouring powder which he would rub and rub all over his hands and up his wrists and then (ever the water conservationist) call whoever was nearest the boys bathroom in to crank up the water so that he could rinse off. I remember spending many times sitting on the boys toilet waiting to turn on the water for him, after helping him with a printing or car repair job and having to use the same ritual to clean my own hands (cuz it was SO cool, not because I wanted to have lovely hands later in life).
Later, when I worked on a pit crew (not because I'm a car genius, because the driver of the car was cute,and I impressed him with my knowledge of cars, and he wanted in my pants), I discovered that other mechanic type people use Fast Orange... and that's what I have in my house now. But seriously, I don't think it does nearly as good of a job as GOOP and scouring powder -- it sure does smell better though.
I also don't work on my car... those days sailed when I was able to buy a car that had fuel injection and electrical crap, so that bottle of fast orange under the kitchen sink has probably been there for ten years - besides, the one time that I did change the oil in the car, in the driveway, in full view of the neighbors, it embarrassed the hell out of my husband and he sort of unspokenly forbade me from making him look like a slacker ever again.
Oh yeah, and for those of you who are wondering... when you have 6 brothers, and your mom is the smartest woman on the planet (I'm not being sarcastic, my mom is a frigging genius)... the boys have their own bathroom - which they are responsible for keeping clean, and the girls have their own bathroom, which they are responsible for keeping clean. Also, the other question I thought might arise is this... yes my dad comes from the sit on your ass and make your woman do all the housework generation, but he is a workaholic, believes that "chores build character", grew up (well a little bit) on a farm, and understood that the woman he adored had already spent all day chasing kids around, cooking, cleaning and disciplining... he had no issue at all with keeping his own shower clean, vacuuming, doing windows, dishes, whatever needed doing (except laundry, he doesn't do laundry) - and he way didn't have an issue with making us do it, and he would show us by example just how a little elbow grease and scouring powder could do everything but chop wood - which we would also be doing later.