Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'll never be Heloise, but...

Everybody has to do housework, right? And most normal people hate it, right? I hate it. So, when I find things that make doing my chores slightly more tolerable, I like to share. (Please note that I am making these recommendations solely because I like the products, and that I did not receive any free merchandise or payment for my opinions. However, I certainly would accept free swag if it was offered.) 

Bounce Dryer Bar
One of the perpetually aggravating things about laundry is fabric softener. I want to use it, but I hate most of the softener-delivery mechanisms. If you use liquid, you have to remember to add it at the rinse cycle. If you remember to add it, you can never be too sure that it won't stain the clothes. And those stains don't come out, which could prompt your spouse to ask why it looks like someone peed on the leg of his work pants. I also hate dryer sheets, because I don't think they work very well on static cling, plus the whole embarrassment factor of leaving your house with a sheet poking out of the back of your pants. Enter the Bounce Dryer Bar. This is a solid cake of fabric softener that comes with a holder that attaches easily to the inside of the drum of your dryer. It smells great, my clothes come out soft, and I have yet to need to replace it, despite doing at least four or five loads a week. I highly recommend it.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
This is not a new product, but it definitely deserves a mention. I first discovered Magic Erasers when I was trying to find a way to clean, well, dog slobber off of the wall. (The dogs play fetch in the hallway. Fetch=slobbery ball that sometimes hits the wall. I know, it's gross.) I had tried everything, and was about to go out and buy paint, when I saw the Magic Erasers at the grocery store. Oh. My. Gosh. If you've never used these things, it really is like magic. One of these little treasures and some elbow grease had my hallway looking like it was freshly painted. They remove soap scum, too, and the black crud that accumulates around the edges of sink drains. I keep three or four in the house at all times.

Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly 
I know, this post was supposed to be about things that make household chores easier. But, since I'm trying to grow out my super-short haircut right now, the daily struggle to make my hair look reasonably suitable definitely falls into the "chore" category. Have I written about my hair here before? It's like an alien creature has landed on my head, and I know there's no chance of conquering it and forcing it to obey my will. The best I can hope for is to try to keep it happy and maintain a good relationship with it so it won't turn on me. (It's thick, super-curly, and as coarse as a horse's tail. I've been fighting it since my first haircut, when I was six.) Since I'm letting it grow, there are all of these weird layers and humps that must be dealt with, in addition to the general unruliness. My sister (who has gorgeous, shiny dark hair that looks perfect curly or straight) recommended Tousle Me Softly, so I picked up a tub--with my usual dose of skepticism that anything could help this wig of mine. It not only helps, it actually makes my hair (the horse's tail, remember?) feel soft. And it smells good. And the tub is huge, and only cost about $5. Score! I think it's going to work even better once my hair is long enough to fall into its usual curl. I'm loving this stuff, and props to my wonderful sister for recommending it.

Have you found any miracle products lately? Anything that makes the thought of doing chores a little less soul-suckingly awful? I'd love to hear about it, because I'm lazy and willing to take any and all available short cuts.

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