9 Products to Pick Up This Spring Cleaning
Sharon King Hoge finds some things to fill up that newly-freed space.
The season of “spring cleaning” is a time of year I give myself a chance to review some new products I’ve come across which claim to enhance life around the house and garden. Here’s a scattering of items designed to cope with various problems and situations. There’s additional information about each item, sometimes demonstrations, on their websites.
Since I’m away from home so often, this indoor camera with advanced motion and sound detection, night vision, two-way audio is helpful. Easily installed with a bracket and screws or tape, it sets up with the Cync app and monitors movement — children, pets, strangers — from nearby rooms or far away. A built-in SD drive can store footage, and a sliding privacy shutter disables the camera and microphone at will.
To avoid the laborious scrubbing of food particles off grill wires, cook on a PTFE emulsion grill mat. It prevents food from sticking, catches food fragments and avoids drips falling into the flame. This one can be used flat or the corners can be snapped together to form a leak-proof, high-rimmed dish which can be taken to serve the food at the table . Withstanding temperatures up to 660 degrees, the mat can be cleaned in the dishwasher for reuse.
If my boots are too low, water seeps in. But if they’re too high, my legs get too hot. The solution is Muck’s waterproof and flexible Forager “Wellingtons.” The drawstring gaiter top offers three different height options for comfort and protection: pulled upright, flip cuffed, rolled down tucked in. Pliable, lightweight and easy to roll, the two-tone unisex boots come in four color choices and come packed in a nylon bag.
Dreadfully susceptible to poison ivy, oak, or sumac as I am, I’m more than glad to clean off poisonous oils before they can spread. Individually wrapped, these Cutter wipes kept with the garden tools are conveniently on hand to cleanse exposed areas before an itchy rash can set in. Wiping once, in one direction, across any area that might have brushed a plant, they remove urushiol plant oils from skin and tools. No soap and water required.
No more groping and grabbing the roll. Merely wave your dirty or sticky hand, and this appliance dispenses just the amount of paper towel you need. Clean, hygienic, and designed to fit any size and most brands the dispenser comes in two models: the plug-in undercabinet frees up counter space, and the battery-operated counter top unit is portable.
Who knew there are eleven different methods of cooking rice? This upgraded version of the Microm rice cooker has added settings for steam, regular and quick Jasmine rice, and congee. A unique umami setting produces a sweet, soft, fluffy rice though extended soaking, cooking and steaming, and the steam setting allows cooking without extra oils and fats. Besides rice, the device comes with a free steaming basket for vegetables. Soups, stews, and one-pot meals can also be made on its slow cook setting.
Instead of ugly black box speakers, substitute this upholstered eight-inch square Flow wireless speaker that comes supported on a tiny color-compatible kickstand. Portable, it amplifies the hearing range of iPhones and iPads, Android smartphones and wireless audio players. Easily activated to Bluetooth, a tiny LED light indicates when its li-ion battery requires recharging. The volume controls and song selectors are artistically displayed on the front fabric, which comes in four colors: peach, purple, teal and black.
I’m always hanging pictures too high or low or crooked, so this system provides a chance to change my mind and try again without damaging the wall. Heavy-duty adhesive strips mount the picture to the wall. They can be removed and torn off like a Post-It without leaving nail holes or marks. On clear, smooth surfaces, the tape attaches to a wall mount which receives a frame mount attached to the picture. No tools are needed – a tiny level is included to help achieve the exact horizontal. If the location seems wrong, the adhesive can be stretched from both sides until it snaps off the unmarked wall.
Displaying a new set of towels can “remodel” the bathroom and Luxome’s Plus Performance Towels come in neutral color choices salt, pebble, oyster, fossil and harbor. Ecologically sensitive, they are made of bamboo viscose in a ribbed pattern. Woven with a patented dual-loop, they are said to dry 30% faster than cotton terry cloth while staying fluffy and plush through multiple washings.