What’s with these purported “green” cleaning chemicals? I’ve been known to mutter “it’s all a bunch of tree-hugging hippie crap” while I coat every surface in my house with the strongest, cheapest chemicals I can find. I’m fond of bleach. But other people have consciences or something, and it’s for them that Consumer Reports evaluated eco-friendly dishwasher detergents.
Windex works great on your windows, but will it clean your TV? How about those expensive cleaning kits they sell at Best Buy? Our sister publication, Consumer Reports, says that both of them are bad ideas, but for different reasons.
Katy’s KitchenAid dishwasher hasn’t dissolved soap or cleaned dishes since July, despite receiving four new parts over seven service visits. KitchenAid’s service plan promises a replacement unit if the same part breaks three times, but KitchenAid still isn’t sure which part of Katy’s dishwasher is broken, and so they’re refusing to give her a new one. Does that seem fair?
Harsh chemicals aren’t just bad for you and the environment, they’re bad for your wallet too. Cleaning most things, from clothes to your kitchen, can be done greenly and cheaply with these six nifty do-it-yourself cleaning recipes from Consumer Reports…
What’s better than Billy Mays? Remixes of Billy Mays? We agree. And guess what? We’re tripling the offer inside. Yes. That’s right.* *These are all probably NSFW.
In which Consumer Reports employees harm themselves or their real estate with consumer products, part 2. In this episode, a CR staffer’s son uses the stove’s self-cleaning feature without removing a plastic cutting board from inside the oven. Yes, the fire department was involved. They had to pull the range out of the kitchen and leave it to cool in the driveway. Awkward. [Consumer Reports]
Update: The owner of the California Tortilla left an excellent response, republished inside in full.
Kay Jewelers deformed Lisa’s wedding ring during a routine cleaning and refuses to provide a replacement ring. Lisa first noticed that a tiny diamond was missing, which Kay Jewelers found stuck in their cleaning equipment. In the process of reseating the diamond, Kay again deformed the ring, scratching out the ring’s beaded edges. Kay decided they couldn’t repair the destroyed ring, but rather than ordering a new one from the manufacturer, Kay decided to remake the ring using a low-resolution picture of the original as their guide. Shockingly, that ring didn’t work out either. It’s now been three months and Lisa wants her wedding ring back.
Consumer Reports’ vacuum cleaner test results are in and there’s bad news for Dirt Devil. Their pretty “Kone” vacuum poses a safety risk.
Reader Kirin says he’s suspicious of Arm & Hammer’s assertion that the same 1lb of baking soda will only deodorize for 30 days when it used to work for 3 months.
Don’t call Isias Vidal Maceda for advice if you see a creepy critter crawling across your apartment. While spraying for bugs, the New Jersey resident blew out his kitchen windows and started a fire that destroyed 80% of his apartment. Sound outlandish? According to TV, it’s entirely plausible…
No amount of interior decorating wizardry will help sell your house if the windows are dirty. “When you’re marketing a house, clean windows are like clean teeth: they’re the first thing people see on the outside and the first thing they see through on the inside,” according to broker Phyllis Jane Young. So how do you make your windows sparkle? You need two things: sudsy water and a squeegee. That’s it!
Barbara Flanagan of I.D. Magazine has a fascinating article about microfiber, a cleaning cloth introduced in Europe a decade ago that’s never caught on in the U.S., despite its ability to clean all sorts of things without the use of cleaning chemicals—”the product cleans surfaces mechanically, not chemically, by scraping them with microscopic precision.”
Consumer Reports noticed, as so many of us have, that stainless steel is awesome until you have to clean it. With that in mind, they’ve tested a bunch of stainless steel cleaners and found that they all work just about the same.
If you end up with a bad case of Christmas Fleas next week—hey, we’re not judging—save yourself the expense of buying flea poison. “Vacuum cleaners kill fleas just as well as any poison, surprised U.S. researchers said,” noting that a “standard vacuum cleaner abuses the fleas so much it kills 96 percent of adult fleas and 100 percent of younger fleas.” Of course, you won’t be able to train them after that, but it’s your decision.
Zout wins Slate’s test of the best stain removers.
DIY Site Curbly has an excellent post about teaching your kids to clean their own rooms.