* Prices may differ from that shown
I have a steam cleaner, I have myriads of cleaning agents and I have a couple of toothbrushes I use to clean grout off tiles. For many years I've used a spare head on my battery powered Braun electric toothbrush to get the grime off in between cooker control dials, grout between tiles and taps and more recently cleaning up in between the delicate springs of my saxophone and clarinet for deadly dust. ** This is a long review **
Lakeland have been selling what can be best described as a battery operated large "toothbrush," not suitable for any pets but when I come to think of it, a Lama's teeth would probably be suitable for this very brush! It's called the Sonic Scrubber and it is a hand held cordless motor brush which comes from America with interchangeable brush heads and a passion for getting all manner of dirt from cracks, surfaces and anything which really needs to be cleaned that a sponge, cleaning agents and even the stiff brushes with steam cleaners can't shift. Too good to be true? Well at £15 it is a bargain for what you're getting. In terms of types, Lakeland sell two different brushes, one suitable for a man would you believe whilst the other escapes the sexism and comes under the "bathroom" tag for its suitability and intended purpose. Naturally the bathroom one is grey and blue whilst the man's one which is sold under the tag "detailer brush," is in yellow with black JCB/Timberland type rubber grips so that you don't lose the brush in your hours of need. This is a long review based on user experience.
Powered by four AA batteries however, the Sonic Scrubber regardless of what you may buy given that both types of brushes cost the same (blister brush packs are available and are interchangeable) both come with a medium hard brush head to get you started and can last for about 30 minutes in one continuous use - not that you will need 30 minutes of continuous use as the motor is quite powerful whilst batteries are included and fitted already in the blister pack. Naturally I couldn't wait to get this home when I purchased this item at Lakeland's store in Glasgow. However even if this is coloured in black and yellow and carries the extra name tag of "Pro," it is designed to be as effective as Sonic Scrubber's default model; I've sampled the white model already and find that the claimed "extra power," on the Pro brush is just about the same regardless of this claim!
The blister pack that this brush comes in is very well designed, full of handy information and written in large to medium white wording on a black background. The pack already has perforations cut out at the back so that you can simply push the brush through and take it out. However! Keep the perforation "door" as it gives four graphics of how the brush can be used, in case you're not too sure how to go about using it whilst a colour paper manual is also provided. The medium brush which comes with it for example can be used on most surfaces although delicate surfaces that you wouldn't attack with a scourer or medium brush obviously don't get a look in with this type of gadget either. The body of the Sonic Scrubber is fully wet protected, and it has come in handy already for use in our bathroom as well as other areas around water. With the bristles being made of rubber you can use any manner of cleaning agents including abrasive chemicals.
One of the very first things I wanted this brush to do was clean grout off tiles. I went about my usual, spraying vinegar glass cleaner on the bathroom tiles in the shower and immediately got the brush out and angled it so that the brush would get into contact with the grout. Similar to a torch or hand vacuum idea, the power switch has two functions; you can either keep your finger on the button for intermittent power at your disposal or push upwards to keep the motor on permanently. Just like the tough aluminium inspired rubber grips, the switch is also made of rubber. Then the brush spins at a very fast rate and all heads are angled for ease of use which is unfortunately also accompanied by a noisy grating noise due to the motors built into the brush. It is lightweight though - with the brush fixed on, it weighs in at just 202grams. All I need to do is hold the brush whilst the brush actually does the job; no moving of the wrist unless moving along cleaning areas at a time and even then the power of the brush is dislodging the dirt for you.
For those who can't be bothered to read the whole of this review, the price is £14-99!
However after a couple of seconds I didn't see very much going on and initially I was disappointed with the Sonic Scrubber with its first performance. However, as soon as I carried on and saw that black particles were falling out of the cracks, my mind was restored. What I wasn't expecting was the rivers of black pouring out of the tiles once I had put the shower on and went about washing the tiled wall! At the same time the Pro brush also got clean simply by holding the brush next to the shower spray; each head has perforations that drain water so each head is easy to clean although the plastic body and motors means it is not dishwasher proof. Whilst my tiles came up looking new and the redness and blackness of different conditions of grout came up whiter, I realised that my shower head was looking decidedly black itself, not just on the spray head but also on the turnable part to adjust the spray.
Now most people who know how to clean shower heads will simply unscrew the head and lay it in a bowl of water with vinegar or Borax to rid the head of limescale, grout and other nasties such as algae which comes through bathroom taps. Well I don't have time to make changes or intend to go into the kitchen for that purpose to occur. Simply taking the shower head in one hand and the Sonic Pro in the other, I sprayed more window cleaner and soon went to work moving the brush slowly and lightly over the cracks and the rubber triangular rubber spray heads that are usually grey to black with grout and algae. Within seconds the shower head was brand new. Sonic Scrubber can be used with all matter of agents and cleaning solutions. After I cleaned the shower head, the trails on the shower screen and the sliding doors also got treated with the Sonic Scrubber and a different head I used from an additional blister pack of differences of brush strength. Generally there are four types; soft, medium, gentle and firm.
Each bristle of the brush heads are made of thin rubber and nylon mix and depending on the type used, differ from the strength and design built in; you can feel the bristles themselves if you can't remember the differences of each if you buy more interchangeable heads. As soon as I was impressed with the bathroom session, I soon went to work on other areas in the home; this is more than just a life size electric toothbrush!
Outdoors, of which the Pro Brush is specifically designed for, has excelled itself in terms of shifting all matter of grime, mud and general dirt. My recent Karcher pressure washer for example simply needs a wash down once it is finished being used but it's the smaller areas such as dirt and mud near the motor vents where water just can't get into; well this brush can, and without the use of water it flicks out dirt just as easily as it does with the use of water or agents. Dirt from the door bell mounts shifted in seconds whilst cleaning light switches and plugs has proved a lot easier than getting down on one bended knee; the length of this hand held brush is approximately 27cm and with its rubber inserts it is easy to hold it from the bottom for difficult to get to areas. Although no stand comes with it, the Sonic Scrubber can independently stand up on its own just like a human's electric toothbrush.
At the time of purchase I also bought a 4 pack blister pack of interchangeable heads. Although Lakeland go to the bother of pointing out that the blister packs are somewhat different, at a cost of £6-99 I thought that the initial outlay of the three brush pack in the same colour for my Sonic Pro Detailer brush was expensive and given that the design is interchangeable with the other brush, it made more sense to opt for the other style pack which features 4 brush heads as opposed to 3 for just another pound on top. The firm medium sized brush head has a triad of bristles mounted up on each other with a minute brush cone in the centre; this brush is excellent at picking out grout and dirt between cooker control dials and gives a marked and faster performance when it comes to dirt removal. However because of those firm bristles which are more compacted and built up, if you attack areas like grout, it can actually start to remove this white chalky substance upon initial contact. Three other brushes are supplied in the pack; a large brush head which is great for scrubbing stains out of carpets and has a diameter of about 3 to 4cm whilst other smaller heads consist of a brush suitable for cleaning PVC window frames and soft rubber mounts on double glazing; this brush is also quite soft and coloured in green bristles so it can be used on more delicate areas which also heightens its suitability amongst all the other brushes which are black.
Another small brush has more compacted bristles and this is ideal for increased grout and dirt removal of hard areas like glass and tile; it is different and smaller to the multi coloured medium brush you get as standard with the Pro Sonic Detailer.
Each brush can simply be twisted to unlock and pulled upwards for quick removal. Similarly just like my Oral B battery powered toothbrush, the brush heads simply slide on and then twist to lock. It doesn't really get any easier than that.
Holding the brush defies logic from the suitably addressed rubberised areas but I don't need to put any heavy weight onto the brush itself so that it gets into nearer contact with whatever surface I'm using to clean the brush with. Simply by lightly resting the brush on the desired surface gets the areas cleaned with no need to apply pressure.
The downsides of the Pro Sonic Scrubber Detailer are very little. In terms of comfort, the brush is very easy to hold and it only vibrates slightly against the grating noise of the brush heads which can be off putting. But when it cleans up in milliseconds compared to more traditional means, it does have a slightly befitting belief to Lakeland customers who attest it is a lot easier to use because of Arthritic conditions. My mum is one of those Lakeland customers and although she doesn't like using a lot of electric gadgets to clean (when she has "Muggins" to do it for her) she has already taken to the Sonic Scrubber and with a medium gentle brush has attacked dirt accumulated on her sewing machine parts and her piano. With the smallest gentle brush removing dust between the pads on my saxophones and clarinet has never been simpler or faster; previously I've used cotton buds which often get caught on springs and thus leave trails of cotton threads and fluff; here of course there is none of that with the rubber and nylon bristles which make up most of the brush heads.
A slight downside to purchasing is of course made by the fact that Lakeland are currently the only retailers who are selling the products AND the interchangeable heads. The differences in price are minimal between £6-99 and £7-99 for one extra brush in the kits available and if you like your colours you'll be swayed between the both even though on appearance the brush packs look identical save for the colours. At £8 however for the grey/black 4 pack, it makes all the difference to have five brushes against four for ultimate and practical uses around multi cleaning areas in the home.
Regardless of the power used in this brush, (I've had mine now for two weeks and the fitted batteries are still going strong and I've got rechargeable ones in waiting) I'm generally impressed with the Sonic Scrubber Pro Detailer brush. It may not be to all tastes, but unlike a sponge or scourer, it is certainly faster, can be wet-used as well as dry and not as wrist-wrenching for anyone who wants minimal fuss and quick hygienic areas looking clean and sparkling. Simply put, the Sonic Scrubber is ideal! Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2008.
Ref 21569 (£14-99)
o brilliant is the Sonic Scrubber, you might find the chaps are tempted to make off with it for cleaning the car, bike, boat, golf clubs and football boots / Heres a dedicated one they can keep in the toolbox for those messier outdoor chores / With chunky non-slip grip and extra-powerful motor to suit tougher tasks.