As Seen on TV 2013
By: Danny Lipford
We put eight popular “as seen on TV” home products to the test, from grout cleaning pads and spin mops to LED night lights and retractable garden hoses, to find out if they really live up to all their advertising hype.
Use: Remove stains from grout on tile floors.
Cost: $14.95 + $6.95 S&H = $21.90 total
The Groutinator is an abrasive block that claims to clean and remove stains from dirty grout in tile floors. To use, simply rub the grout cleaner block back and forth over the tile joints.
The Groutinator works by sanding stains off the grout. While it took a good bit of elbow grease, the Groutinator worked as advertised and removed stains—including fingernail polish—from grout joints in tile floors. (Watch Video)
Hurricane 360 Spin Mop
Use: Bucket and mop for cleaning floors.
Cost: $39.98 + $12.99 S&H = $52.97 total
The Hurricane 360 Spin Mop consists of a mop with a tilting swivel head and a special bucket with a foot powered spinner that allows you to clean the mop and remove excess water.
While the mop worked fairly well, the foot powered spinning bucket seemed like more of a gimmick than an actual advantage, and it also seemed like a lot to pay for a mop and bucket. (Watch Video)
Use: Prevent rugs from slipping on floors.
Cost: $10.00 + $7.95 S&H = $17.95 total
Ruggies claim to keep rugs from slipping by using adhesive free, tacky grip polymer technology to hold the triangular pads to both the floor and rug. Ruggies also claim to be reusable by washing with soap and water.
In our test the backing on the pads was hard to remove. While Ruggies adhered to the floor, they didn’t stick to the rug, and didn’t stop the rug from slipping. (Watch Video)
Use: Motion activated, battery powered night light.
Cost: $10.00 + $6.95 S&H = $16.95 total
Mighty Light is a motion activated, battery powered night light that comes on when motion is detected and have a timer that turns the light off automatically. The LED light is energy efficient and guaranteed to last 30,000 hours or more.
Mighty Light worked as advertised and would be a good solution around the home, especially on stairs and bathrooms. The self-adhesive pad can be stuck on walls without the need for an electrical outlet. (Watch Video)
Use: Furniture moving system.
Cost: $19.99 + $6.95 S&H = $26.94 total
EZ Moves is a furniture moving system for both carpet and hardwood floors that includes four pads and a special lifting jack to help position the pads under the furniture. To use, place the jack under the furniture, lift, insert the pads, remove the jack, and slide the furniture.
In our test the EZ Moves furniture moving system worked well on carpet, but not very well on hardwood floors. (Watch Video)
Use: Fast sprouting grass seed for your yard.
Cost: $19.95 + $6.95 S&H = $26.90 total
Quicklawn claims to start growing within seven days and provides a thick, lush lawn that stays green all year long. It also claims to grow well in a wide range of soils, including clay soil or sandy soil, and to be shade tolerant.
In our homeowner test in the South, Quicklawn didn’t hold up to the summer heat, and died off in direct sunlight. It did better in shady areas. (Watch Video)
Use: Expanding and contracting 25’ garden hose.
Cost: $12.99 + $7.99 S&H = $20.98 total
The Pocket Hose is a lightweight garden hose that claims to expand to three times its length when the water is turned on, then contract back when turned off. It also claims to never kink, twist, or tangle and is available in 25’, 50’, 75’, and 100’ lengths.
In our homeowner test, the Pocket Hose fittings were hard to attach and leaked. The hose did expand and contract, but over time it tended to contract less. (Watch Video)
Use: Hands free magnetic screen door.
Cost: $14.99 + $6.95 S&H = $21.94 total
The Magic Mesh hands free screen door is a vertical, two-part, flexible mesh screen with magnets in the center. The mesh screen is supposed to attach to the door frame, allowing you to walk through without having to open and close a screen door.
The Magic Mesh we received was mismatched and the wrong size for the opening, making it too short, so we weren’t able to test it for this review. (Watch Video)
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Preventing Slips and Falls on Steps
Exterior steps can become slippery, especially when wet. The easiest way to prevent slips and falls is by applying self-adhesive abrasive strips, available at home centers, to each step. Cut the strip to length, peel off the backing, and attach the strip to each step 1” from the nose of the tread. (Watch Video)
Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Defiant Motion Security LED Light
The Defiant 270° security light has three long lasting, energy efficient LED lights that provide an intense light. When mounted on a corner, the lights provide 270° of illumination and are motion sensitive up to 70’ away. Defiant LED security lights are available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)
Ask Danny Lipford:
Cleaning Fireplace Surrounds
To remove black soot and smoke stains from a fireplace surround, use a strong degreaser, such as trisodium phosphate (TSP). Make a paste of TSP and a little water, then use a sponge to scrub off the black stains. Rinse out the sponge and use clean water to remove any cleaning residue. (Watch Video)
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