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  • Review & Giveaway: Smelly Washer

    As you may recall, early last year, we bought a new HE washer. I still think it’s a great machine, with a large capacity, and it does get clothes clean with a relatively small amount of detergent and water. Plus, the clothes come out less wet so they spend less time in the dryer.

    The thing about a front-loading washer, though, is that there’s a big rubber ring around the door area, and unless it’s allowed to thoroughly dry, it gets musty. We’ve mostly gotten in the habit of leaving the door open after the last load of the day so the insides can air dry, but sometimes the door gets shut with some water still left inside. And I immediately know when that’s happened, because I can smell it.

    So when the folks over at Smelly Washer asked if I’d be interested in reviewing their washing machine cleaner, I said sure! Smelly Washer is a “the only available washing machine cleaner that will remove mold odor from any towel or clothing that has picked up bad mildew smell from the washer.” It used to be known as Purewasher, but they changed the name and removed all scents or dyes to conform with all natural product standards.

    Smelly Washer is just a white powder that you run through your washer according to the directions. The most important thing, of course, is that Smelly Washer delivers. The first time I used it, I followed the directions and ran it through an empty washer. Well, I forgot to go down at the end of the cycle to open the door so the washer could air dry. I left the door closed for a couple of days, and figured I’d have to run it again with Smelly Washer to see if the stuff really worked. But when I opened the door, there was no smell! I was genuinely impressed then.

    Best of all, Smelly Washer wants to give one CFO reader the chance to win a free bottle! To enter this giveaway, simply fill out the form below. (If you’re reading this in a feed aggregator or email, you may need to click through to the post to reach the form. If you’re having trouble filling out the form, try going directly to the published form.)

    For an additional entry, subscribe to CFO via RSS or email and fill out the form again to let me know you’ve done so. You’ll get the latest on CFO delivered right to your favorite feed aggregator or inbox, so you don’t miss any weekly giveaways. (If you’re already a subscriber, just fill out the form to let me know.)

    For a third entry, follow me on Twitter and tweet the following: Chief Family Officer is giving away a bottle of Smelly Washer: http://tinyurl.com/qobx42. Then fill out the form to let me know you’ve done so.

    For a fourth entry, blog about the giveaway on your own blog. Then let me know about it by filling out the form again.

    You can enter up to four times (one for each type), and you must complete the form once per entry. Only one entry of each type per email address will be counted. I’ll select the winner using Random.org and announce them here on CFO as well as contact them by email. The winner must respond within 48 hours, otherwise their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be selected.

    The giveaway ends at 6:00 p.m. PDT on Monday, August 24.

    Good luck!

    A few Quick Product Reviews

    Fling Milk Chocolate bars – I had a coupon for a free package, so of course I picked one up. Marc said they were really good. Plus, they have an awesome slogan: “Naughty, but not that naughty.”

    AngelSoft toilet paper – I’ve gotten quite a few 4-packs for free after coupon at Ralphs, which is the only reason I even tried this brand. I don’t like it as much as our preferred brands, which are Charmin Ultra and Quilted Northern Ultra. I’ll also buy Cottonelle, if it’s the cheapest, although I don’t like it quite as much as Charmin or Quilted Northern. The AngelSoft is at the bottom of my list, so I’ve decided that I won’t pay for it, but I’ll definitely get it (and use it) when it’s free.

    Kids’ Crest Cavity Protection Sparkle Fun – Alex says this toothpaste is too “spicy” and hates it. He’s had to use it for a week or so, and he still hates it.

    Skintimate Cream Shave – These were free at drugstores a few weeks ago, and I just finished up my first tube. It’s a little weird, because the texture is so different from traditional shaving creams and gels. But I did find my legs were smoother and more moisturized with this “cream shave” versus traditional products. On the flip side, though, it was harder to wash out of the razor. Still, I’m perfectly happy to keep using this. I won’t pay a premium for it when I run out of my free tubes, but I’ll certainly buy it if it’s below my target price for shaving cream of $1 per can/tube.

    Previously: More quick product reviews

    Review: Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner

    Last fall, there was a great deal on the Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner at Walgreens, but I didn’t get one because I was concerned that the spray would shoot into the gap between the ceiling and our shower door. However, when BzzAgent offered me the chance to receive a cleaner and “bzz” about it, I accepted.

    And then I let the cleaner sit on my floor until there were only five days left in the campaign.

    My delay means I can’t tell you whether it really works to keep my shower clean. But I can tell you that it was incredibly easy to set up, and that because we have a curved pipe that dips down, the cleaner sits low enough that my fear of spraying the entire bathroom and not just the shower was unrealized. It’s super easy to use, since all you do is press a button. You’re actually supposed to not squeegee, because the cleaner needs the water on the walls to work properly.

    The manufacturer says that with daily use, my shower will look noticeably cleaner in two weeks. Since we’ve only used it for three days, I can’t see a difference yet. But I’ll refer you back to Lazy Man and Money’s review of the cleaner, which was quite positive. CFO readers had mixed feelings about the cleaner last year, and I’m looking forward to seeing the long term results for myself!

    Review & Giveaway: Weight Watchers products (3 winners)

    I have to admit that I’ve fallen completely off the Weight Watchers bandwagon – I think that I just have too much on my plate still. But when I was asked to try some of their food products, I happily agreed.

    First up, the 2-point brownies. Remarkably, they taste pretty much like any prepackaged brownie. I would never say that these brownies are good – I mean, it can’t compare to a freshly baked brownie. But I think it’s incredible that technology has come so far that I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this brownie and a “regular” prepackaged brownie in a blind taste test.

    The same goes for Weight Watchers cream cheese. It tastes just like cream cheese to me. I opted for the individual 1-point packages, which make for super easy portion control. They’re more expensive, though.

    The only thing that tasted low fat were the vanilla sundae cones. Which isn’t to say they tasted bad – on the contrary, they were delicious. But I could tell that the “ice cream” was low fat. It didn’t bother me at all, but if full fat ice cream is important to you, I would recommend you get something else. If you’re okay with low fat ice cream or frozen yogurt, you’ll love this.

    Best of all, I get to share the love. Three lucky CFO readers will win a free Weight Watchers product coupon – the winners will be able to pick their favorite brownie, cookie, muffin or cake.

    To enter this giveaway, simply fill out the form below. (If you’re reading this in a feed aggregator or email, you’ll need to click through to the post to reach the form.)

    For an additional entry, subscribe to CFO via RSS or email and fill out the form again to let me know you’ve done so.

    For a third entry, spread the word about this contest – tell a friend, tweet about the giveaway, Stumble this post, write about it on your own blog, etc. Then let me know about it by filling out the form again.

    You can enter up to three times (one for each type), and you must submit separate entries for each type. Only one entry of each type per email address will be counted. I’ll select the winner using Random.org and announce them here on CFO as well as contact them by email. The winner will have 48 hours to send me their address, otherwise their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be selected.

    The giveaway ends at 6:00 p.m. PST on Tuesday, April 14.

    Good luck!

    Quick Product Reviews Part 4

    If you like these reviews, don’t forget to read my previous quick product reviews: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. Most of these items were free or almost free thanks to coupons and sales.

    Garnier Fructis Fortifying Deep Conditioner – I got this conditioner free in a bonus pack last fall as part of a money-making deal at Walgreens. (Thanks again, Mercedes!) I liked the product a lot, but wouldn’t pay money for it when I’m getting all of my hair-care products for free in The Drugstore Game.

    Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser – I used up my last bottle of ProActiv cleanser and really didn’t want to pay the high price for a new one. Since the active ingredient is benzoyl peroxide, I looked for a drugstore cleanser with it as the main ingredient and found this product. It’s a lot harsher than ProActiv, so it’s dried my skin out a little bit, which the ProActiv never did. It also did nothing to prevent PMS-induced breakouts, which was a little worse than with ProActiv but only lasted about three days. The end verdict is that I’m sticking with this product for the price, which is less than one-third the price of ProActiv.

    Head & Shoulders Intensive Solutions zinc pyrithione shampoo– I don’t know if Head & Shoulders even makes this anymore since I can’t find it on their web site (link goes to Amazon for the picture; they’re out of stock). I don’t like this shampoo as much as the Herbal Essences version, so as long as that’s available, I won’t be buying more of this even if I can find it.

    Trader Joe’s Chocolate Decadence cereal – This is basically a chocolate granola, and it’s divine with milk or yogurt. It used to be $3.29 per box, but now it’s $1.99 per box – still expensive for cereal, considering I’ve been buying some for less than 20 cents per box, but worth it.

    Quaker Simple Harvest Chewy Multigrain Granola Bars – These are on the dry side, and not very tasty. For free, they’re a fine snack, but I wouldn’t pay for them.

    Keebler Sandies Shortbread Cookies
    – When I find these on steep sale, I pick up a few packages to take to the boys’ preschool. The teachers love them.

    Always Infinity pads – As pads go, these are super thin with great absorption. I won’t pay for them, since I can get pads for free through The Drugstore Game, but these are worth making extra trips for when they’re available for free. (Click through to sign up for a free sample.)

    Harry Potter: Books 6 and 7 – Having finally let go of the Twilight books, I’ve been rereading the sixth and seventh books in the Harry Potter series. They are even better than I remembered.

    Quick Product Reviews Part 3

    As with my previous quick product reviews, these are products that are new to me, and not necessarily new products. I acquired most of the products through the judicious use of coupons; some were free samples. 🙂

    • Quilted Northern Ultra Plush – I liked this very much and have added it to my very short list of acceptable toilet papers.
    • Schick Quattro for Women – As I mentioned in round one, I hated the Schick Intuition razor. The Quattro is okay, though. The Venus Embrace has a wider blade, so each stroke covers more area, which is my preference. But I’ve been using the Quattro for a couple of months and it’s been fine.
    • L’Oreal Advanced Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate – The Revitalift products were free at drugstores in the late fall, and I’ve been using this one on my neck for a few months. (I’m afraid to use it on my very sensitive face.) Honestly, I haven’t noticed a scintilla of difference. I’ll probably keep using the products since they’re free and as long as they’re not irritating my skin, they can’t hurt. But I would never recommend spending money on them.
    • Pentel Handy-Line permanent marker – I think these are supposed to be comparable to Sharpies, but I had a retractable one that dried out much faster than my retractable Sharpie. I’m sticking with Sharpies.
    • Chex Mix cereal bars – We’ve tried the Turtle and Chocolate Chunk varieties and both are good. They’re kind of chewy and hard on the teeth, though – maybe they’ll be easier to eat in the summer because they’ll be a little softer.
    • Kashi cereal bars – The boys have been eating Trader Joe’s cereal bars as an on-the-go snack for months, and Alex likes the Kashi version but Tyler doesn’t. I don’t care too much for cereal bars in general (they’re basically Nutri-grain bars, but these are a little more natural), but I’m sure there’s a subtle difference that Tyler is picking up on.
    • Kellogg’s Fiber Plus bars – These are more cardboard-like than the Chex bars, but they have a lot more fiber because of that. They’re okay, but they’re not my first choice for a quick snack.
    • Quaker High Fiber instant oatmeal – The extra fiber seems to be the result of serious chemicals, the flavor of which really comes through. I’m eating what we’ve opened, but I won’t buy more.
    • Cascade Action Gel Packs (Apple Cinnamon) – The apple cinnamon variety was on clearance at Target a couple of months ago (maybe because they don’t make them anymore?) so I snagged two 25-count bags for just 25 cents a piece. Fortunately, the scent doesn’t linger – which is a very good thing, because it’s not a good smell. The dishes still get clean, though, and that’s what really matters.