Friday, December 28, 2007

Twist Euro Cloths

I was really excited when my nearest Whole Foods (I'm in Chicago, so when I say nearest, I mean it) responded to my request to stock Twist products. I'd been reading a lot of great reviews in eco-blogs, and while I have plenty of microfiber cloths and the Trader Joe's kitchen cloths, I couldn't resist the allure of a new product. So, I bought a pack. (You probably guessed that when I mentioned building birdhouses out of the packages per the directions written there.)

I was a bit confused to pull a few little hard squares out of the box. Trying to clean anything on my counters with these by using sprays was like trying to use a cracker.[1] These thin, stiff "cloths" are really only useful for one thing- wiping up wet messes. Even then, it had better be really wet to turn the cloth from crispy to soggy. Sprays, as I mentioned, aren't enough. It's hard to clean with something that just isn't flexible.

I actually have run a couple of these through the wash, just for kicks. I skipped the dryer, and they came out in the same state they went in. Arghh. Somehow I was hoping they'd soften.

To conclude, I don't really know what to do with these now. They're too stiff to make paper airplanes out of. Maybe bookmarks. I feel like I'm missing some important aspect of how to use this product. I think I'm supposed to be using them like a sponge (the whole stiff/soggy factor), and just cleaning with water, but I'm not positive. I'll try that.

[1] My first metaphor choice was a shoe. I revised it after spending a few minutes trying to think of a more appropriate, actually helpful comparison to make.

p.s. I have a new approach to cleaning my hardwood floors.
Step 1:
Vacuum when I vacuum my carpets (I have a 650 square foot apartment; it's not a big chore.)
Step 2: Mop infrequently using a damp mop (not wet!) and a weak white vinegar/water solution. Anything else, and I mean anything I've tried so far, makes the floors dull. My parents almost never, ever mop their hardwood floors. I need to ask what their secret is. I have two dogs and one is sporadic with her toilet habits.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Seventh Generation Natural Citrus Shower Cleaner

Before getting into the shower cleaner I have to post how disappointed I am in Burts Bees for selling to Clorox. It seems eco-friendly, natural cosmetics companies drop like flies as soon as they get profitable enough. I have been a Burts customer forever. I filled out their survey when they asked whether existing customers thought a proposal to sell in drugstores was problematic. (I said no, so long as nothing changed in their quality and ethics.) Alas, just like Tom's of Maine, they were tempted by money and sold out to a company whose products do great damage to the environment. I won't be reviewing their hand soap as planned for this reason. Treehugger wrote about the whole issue here.

On another hand, Seventh Generation's Natural Citrus Scent Shower Cleaner is the best planet lovin' shower cleaner I've used in a really long time. I use it for daily maintenance, not for thorough scrubbings (I usually keep two different products for the two different needs.) My shower doors have been so much cleaner than usual, almost as clean as if I'd just done a tough scrub. The orange smell is a little bit barfy (seriously, though this might be me), but the actual spray bottle is the best I've used in a while too. It produces these mighty, lush sprays that cover a lot of ground. I'm glad Seventh Gen is updating its scents, and I hope their new products work as well regardless. As I've mentioned before in this blog, I've only ever used one Seventh Gen product that wasn't great, and that was the toilet paper.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Method's Christmas Products

While I am still using up my Method all-purpose spray in last year's discontinued "Spiced Pear" scent, Method has launched an updated holiday line. Instead of spiced pear there is "Cinnamon bark", which sounds pretty appealing if it avoids being reminiscent of holiday potpourri. Peppermint vanilla is back, and hollyberry is an update on the "frosted cranberry" of last year (although if you still want this scent, oddly still has some). Each product is available in a hand soap, all-purpose spray, aroma ring (which I blogged this summer) disc, candle, aroma sticks, and a new aroma beads pot.

The aroma beads kind of intrigue me. Not because of the beads themselves, actually (I can get soy wax melts in a greater variety of scents), but because the burner is lovely and I'd like to use it to simmer essential oils. I have one that looks somewhat similarly minimal, but my days of paraffin wax tealight use turned it sooty all over. I admit that if I do buy one it is decidedly an inessential purchase, but one I'd probably enjoy.

The party prep kit isn't a bad price. Plus you get two reusable shopping bags for free with your order!

You know, I still haven't tried their toiletries (the body wash, soap, shaving cream etc.) I haven't been to a Target in ages, and would prefer to smell them before committing. Also still haven't tried the aroma sticks, because my wee apartment doesn't really have a surface to put them on. (That may be, but I can't say for sure, because I have 3 tart burners and one oil burner in a 650 sq. foot space.)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Twist Clean Boxes = birdfeeders

A while back I bought a couple of Twist sponges/euro cloths. The boxes had directions printed on them for how to turn the box into a birdfeeder. I made two little birdfeeders. I do wish the pattern had used up more of the box, and the resultant birdfeeder was a little bit bigger, but it's definitely a unique idea on Twist's part.

The two birdfeeders in action (note the annoying construction behind my building):

Twist lets you upload photos of birdfeeders to their gallery so I just submitted mine :) There' only one up there right now so hopefully they'll post mine.