Category Archives: product testing

quick product reviews

Yep, its that time again guys and gals. The Febreeze company sent me goodies again, and have asked me to tell you about their products.

This time I got a nice big spray bottle of the original scent spritz. It works, or so I’m told, so I keep it on hand, and use it every time I scoop out the litterboxes.  I know it works, because, the working nose in my house will ask where the bottle is when she smells something she doesn’t like.

I normally am not a brand conscious sorta gal. I have no qualms buying store or generic brand on many items. Yet there are a few things I won’t skimp on. Toilet paper is one. It’s Charmin or nothing. I’ve tried them all, and always regret going for the other brand. Its either to rough, or not enough paper on the roll.

Cat litter is another. If it don’t clump, it stays on the grocery store shelf. With this I go back and forth between Tidy Cats or Arm and Hammer. Both work well to keep the FFA’s toilets at minimum toxic waste level.

Mayonaise? Well being a girl from the south, its the Duke’s brand of mayo. Now a jar usually lasts me quite a while, as I don’t make that many sandwiches and tend to use it only for when I’m making potato salad or slaw. But I just happen to like that brand the best.

Hair color? Well obviously I prefer the professional lines, but don’t mind trying mass market stuff. My daughter Megan wanted to go darker with her hair color, so we purchased the Garnier Nutrisse kind of hair color. We hated it! First of all the color ended up being much darker then expected, a good two shades darker then what the instructions said.  Secondly, even after a week and a half, the color was bleeding out of her hair when she shampooed. On the plus side, her hair is now a little closer to what she was asking for, but that’s not how to go about it.  I would never recommend this particular brand of home hair color to anyone.

I am also using the Cascade dish washing blocks or balls or whatever you call them. Nice,neat and convenient those things are, and my dishes get clean, despite the antiquity of my dishwasher.

Lastly one of my favorite finds recently is from Downy, although I think other companies make these as well. They are those stick on fabric softener things you stick on the side of your dryer. No more forgetting to toss in a dryer sheet, or add the liquid to the load. The discs usually last me about three  to four months before needing replacement. I happen to like the convenience of those as well.

Ok, I’m done. I you have any products you’d like to rant or rave about let me know. I’m willing to give it a try, or at least pass on the information.

Now I shall return you back to your regularly scheduled web-browsing



Febreeze Me, New Zealand style

As some of my long term readers know, a couple of years ago I was contacted by a marketing company in regards to something I had written in my Miss Mom column, then at the Spartanburg Spark. I had mentioned the word Charmin in a story I had written about the trials and travails of living in a house with teen-aged daughters and toilet paper. About six months after that column came out I was contacted and asked if I would be willing to test try a new product by the makers of that famous brand toilet paper.  I agreed and was sent a sample along with a sample of another product produced by the same company. We now use this particular brand and style of toilet paper almost exclusively, as it delivered what it promised…yeah I know its TP, but it’s soft TP, plus the double rolls are fairly long lasting.

It is with the other sample that I’ve had a long running relationship with. The makers of Febreeze send me samples of new products every so often, usually with something a bit extra tossed in as well. I test the product and then write about it, then they send me more new goodies. Usually its a new product they are focusing on and sometimes I get an early example of the product. Its a nice gig. I get free goodies in return for my writing about it in my little blog that some people actually read

The newest batch of Febreeze goodies to hit my door is part of the exotics collection. What I was sent was the New Zealand flavor in the form of the Air Effects spray. I was actually sent two cans in really pretty black boxes. I kept the boxes for future use. They will either make great gift boxes or something pretty to store something in. I just couldn’t toss them into the recycle bin.

As I have no sense of smell, the ironic part of this marketing relationship, I once again farmed out the actual testing. My tester works cheap, considering I gave birth to her. Her assessment of the scent was “It smells really fresh, with a forest/mountain stream flavor. It is not too heavy either.”

Apparently it also works well for those sudden odors that occur when a cat makes an exit from the litter box. I am besieged by four cats, so daily scooping of the cat litter is routine. Yet even then, someone in the feline platoon gets a little gassy, hence the need for a smell fix.

“UGH, that smells horrible.” Megan will cry, as she grabs the latest test product while muttering profanities under her breath in the direction of the offending feline. I remain blissfully ignorant of the olfactory assault, but I am thankful that I have something to ease what my daughter is smelling.

On a side note. I am an avid fan of the clumpable litter. I’ve been a cat owner for awhile and have tried a wide variety of litter styles. The scoop kind is my personal favorite. It makes scooping out the box less distasteful as the litter does tend to ball up in clumps when coming into contact with liquid. One still needs to chuck it all and start over with all fresh, but not as often as the daily removal of waste is much easier then with the non-clumping litter. These days I use the Arm and Hammer multiple cat kind, and I get it by the gross ton. Well not quite, but I have litter box filling masters so I get the big containers. If there is a different brand that delivers as promised, and that doesn’t cost the earth, let me know. I keep coming back to this brand, and I’ll never go back to plain litter again.

Now back to the good smelling stuff.

One thing that I happen to like about Febreeze products. I have developed a lot of chemical allergies over the years, and certain scented products bother me, even if I can’t smell them. I have yet to have an adverse reaction whatsoever to any Febreeze product I have used in the nearly two years I have been using them. That to me is a plus.

So, when you go shopping next time and have smell good stuff, toilet paper and cat litter on your shopping list, you know what I’d tell you to buy.

picker upper, quicker

So Sylvie goes back into product review mode.

This time it is Bounty paper towels.

I have tried several varieties of paper towels over the years. I tend to be of the mind of using them sparingly, because my little inner environmentalist, knows that once used, they are destined for a landfill. For most of my cleaning needs I use washrags. However paper towels have their purpose, and a good quality one sure makes a difference. I tend to use them for cleaning glass, to wrap something for cooking in the microwave, or as an “instant plate” for things like muffins, and of course they make great grease absorbers for browned meats with a higher grease content.

So does the the extra few cents spent on a Bounty brand make a difference in quality? The following test demonstrates the answer.

I got one square of the Bounty towels. My purpose was to see how long it would hold together to do the job. With that one square, I cleaned my glass top desk, using glass cleaner, the mirror over my dresser, and the triple mirror in my bathroom. I then used that same paper towel to dry the surface of the bathroom counter and to give the faucet a polished look. I like no water spots on a clean faucet.

I then set the square aside for a day.

Then I took that same square and wiped finger prints off my solid glass storm door and the little television my granddaughter uses to watch DVD’s with along with the surface in front of that television that had toddler snack remains rubbed in. Finally I took that square and cleaned off a portion of my dining table, also glass, removing fingerprint marks there. Yeah, I have a fair amount of glass. I like the clean look it can give a room..that is when the surfaces are actually clean.

At the end the square looked tired, it felt much thinner then when I had started and there was a small hole in one corner. Considering all I had put that single paper square through, however, I do believe it held up very well. So for all those thrifty minded, save trees, reduce landfill types, if you want to buy paper towels, I heartedly recommend the Bounty brand.

On a side note, along with the paper towel I had received I also got several copies of a recipe booklet. Bounty is a sponsor of Gospel Superfest. Last year the festival had a soul food cook-off. Different gospel choirs submitted entries. The winning recipes are in this little booklet. They are dishes designed for crowds or events like potlucks or family picnics. All the recipes are simple easy to prepare and sure to be a hit at any food related gathering. If you are interested in a copy (each booklet has five recipes), send me an email with your address and I’ll pop one in the mail for you.