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photo by Sheri Dixon

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Tale of Two Gizmos

I don't do product reviews.

Not for any altruistic or moral reason, mostly because I don't use a lot of gadgets, tools and whatnot.

We're ridiculously low-tech and I don't use any girlie-type items- no curling irons, hair dryers, or even makeup other than mascara and lip gloss.

In the kitchen I don't employ dishwasher, garbage disposal, automatic ice maker or blender, but I DO loves me my coffee pot, bread maker, electric knife (to slice aforementioned bread) and the little hand mixer my first husband's grandmother gave us for a wedding present...32 years ago.

I'm not allowed to use most power tools. An unfair but probably wise rule.

That's not exactly true. I'm not allowed to use ANY power tools. Or use a ladder with more than 2 steps without close adult supervision.

My POINT is that generally speaking, I don't have cause to rate most "As Seen On TV" type items...

...until now.

When we built this house we were undecided as to what to do about the floor. So we did what we generally do. We did nothing. The house is on a cement slab and we told the concrete guy that until we knew for sure how we were going to finish the floor we were leaving it nekkid, so he put a very nice finish on it. We then sealed it with low-gloss garage floor sealer.

It looks fabulous.

With all the different natural surfaces (all wood walls,ceilings and trim- aspen, pine, cedar) and the vibrant colors and patterns of the Stuff of Our Lives, the varying but muted shades and whorls of gray pull it together calmly and without fanfare.

So we love it.

But how to clean it? I hate hate HATE any of the floor cleaners- they all leave some sorta filmy-to-sticky layer and smell like hospitals. On the other hand, we need to keep it as clean as possible.

Enter the Shark.



You've seen 'em on TV. I know you have. Uses just tap water, super-heats the water and steams the dickens outta the germs on yer floors.

And I love it.

I read the reviews, good and bad, decided the good outweighed the bad but purchased it locally...just in case.

So here's the skinny on the Shark.

I sweep the floors to get all the big chunks, because unlike a mop, the Shark won't catch up stray stuff unless it's dust. I use a cup of water to do the entire 1,498 sq. ft. and it takes me less than 30 minutes.

It takes 30 seconds to heat up and start steaming. It's gloriously silent except for the gentle hiss of the steam hitting the floor.

It dries instantly, leaving the floor warm and shiny smoothy clean.

The re-usable pad gets tossed in the washer and cleans up fabulously.

So for the cost of the Shark you have the whole system- no special cleaners or disposable pads to re-stock. As long as you have access to a cup of water and a live plug, yer good to clean.

My personal rating of the Shark? Five Flippers Up. (Get it? Cuz it's named for a big fish...)

Still floating on the euphoric cloud of gizmo success, when I saw THIS at Home Depot, I had to have it-



Frog Tape.

Oh, sure it was roughly three times more expensive than the generic beige masking tape, but LOOKIT THIS STUFF!!!

I had 11 (eleven) doors to paint last week. 'Course they each have 2 sides, so that's...carry the 2, add a zero...a shitload of doors.

Took over 2 rolls of Frog Tape to secure the areas.

Read the directions. Taped, painted, waited and peeled.

A fair amount of the paint from the surface came up with the tape. A fair amount of the neighboring surface had bleed-through paint adhered to it.

So I thought "Hmmm...maybe I peeled too soon. I'll wait an additional 12 hours before taking the rest off".

(See two paragraphs up and add- a fair amount of the Frog Tape did not come off at all without extreme tenacity accompanied by liberal cussing.)

I was very disappointed in the Frog Tape. Very. Disappointed.

My personal rating for Frog Tape? Five flippers down. (Get it? Cuz it's named for an amphibian with little flipper-feet...)

So there you have it, fellow consumers- my completely politically and religiously benign opinion of infomercial household gizmos...

...As Seen On TV.

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