Cleaning out the infomercial clutter: A Consumer Reports look at which cleaning gadgets work, and which ones don't

April 1, 2013 8:27:00 PM PDT
We all want to save time and money. If you think a few house-cleaning gadgets will help you accomplish that, you might be sucked into buying them.

"Many cleaning products claim to do a great job with little work, but do they really?" Consumer Reports tester Bernie Deitrick asked.

Deitrick rounded up some of the more heavily advertised cleaning products to see how they work.

Take the $15 Smart Mop.

"To wring it out, all you do is you lift, and you twist. You never bend your back, and your hands never touch the dirty water," the infomercial explains.

It did do a fine job cleaning floors, but when you try and wring it out by twisting the handles, the pole can slip. Then, you could end up having to use your hands to get out the excess water.

The $15 Perfect Squeegee was also less-than-perfect.

"And here's the secret: the pad stops the blade from drying," the infomercial states.

"But the pad also stops the blade from getting into deep corners," Deitrick said.

For about $40, the Deluxe Hi-Reach Cleaning Kit with its flexible dusting head helps you clean some pretty hard-to-reach places, as promised. But the head often popped off, and flexing eventually led to breaking.

The best money spent was the $6 on the Fuzzy Wuzzy microfiber mitt. It's double-sided, so you can sweep over screens with ease and then turn it to tackle other dusting jobs.

And because you wear it, it single-handedly can make at least one cleaning job a breeze.

Plus, the Fuzzy Wuzzy is machine washable. But keep in mind, even though Consumer Reports found it worked, it wasn't more effective than other similar cleaning products.


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