“ Brand: Smart / Type: Cloths / Category: Cleaning Products & Utensils > Wipes, Towels, Tissues „
Since the purchase of my Mac Book late last year (one of these days I may well get around to reviewing it) I just seem to be able to do a lot more word processing and general day to day things on my Mac Book compared to my old PC laptop. The ease and general navigation around my Mac Book is easier than anything I've ever used. However as the experiences get better with general usage, at the time of purchase, I had to make do with Apple's darker black Mac Book model for extra memory capacity to save paying out extra for a memory upgrade on their white model which means the black model shows up finger marks and dirt more easily. One of the worst aspects I dislike is keeping the glossy screen clean and it seems to be a problem that occurs with many owners online too. At the time of purchase I received a black cleaning cloth that for all intents and purposes mirrors the same finely weaved cloth you'd get with standard reading spectacles and due to its size it is no surprise that over time I've misplaced it. A visit to the Apple Mac store in Glasgow reveals that whilst the Apple Mac Screen cloth is not available to buy, they sell a similar sized micro-fibre cloth for the price of £15-95. Certainly from the price this has to be the most expensive micro fibre cloth on sale and Apple has a cheek to sell even bigger ones with different sizes at £19-95! I however had other ideas.
** This is a long review **
Just up from Apple's main store in Glasgow on Buchanan Street, I decided to pay a visit to one of my favourite stockists of hard wares, Lakeland who are by no means a quality and premium brand in their own right. However not all of their products are expensive and it pays to shop around even though in Buchanan Galleries, this Lakeland store is notoriously busy. On the first floor I originally paid a visit to buy some frosted adhesive window screens to patch up an old bathroom window when I came across the "Smart Fiber Dusting Microfiber Cloth." The spelling of "fibre," indeed is no surprise to find that this product is American. Whilst not being a relative of this country, I respect a lot of American goods, especially in the Home and Garden department, because unlike most British goods, I find that most American Home and Garden products deliver on their promises. Further research into this company reveals that they don't just produce microfibre products but in fact, a whole line up of cleaning cloths.
Now where I'm coming from, I still own several JML Micro-fibre cloths I bought from Woolworths years ago and although they aren't the best colours in the world, they are still blemish and nick free looking as good as new the day I bought them. The key here is to always chuck them in the washing machine and put them through a dryer for longevity and certainly for the £6-95 I paid at the time for three of the pastel colours, they have certainly won me over in terms of long term dusters or wipers for a myriad of cleaning tasks. The same application can be done with this cloth, although for its price of £1-45 (reduced from £2-45) you could have hit me over with more than just a feather duster on price alone! Being made of similar micro-fibre material means there's a little more to this product than meets the eye however.
Unlike micro-fibre cloths that I can buy in many stores priced cheaply to middling such as £6-95 for multi packs, most cloths I've owned always have that peppered consistency of finely packed woven threads and often the UK cloths have a particular thin style to them. I was taken in by the Microfiber dusting cloth simply because it claims it can dust natural wood as well as other surfaces to a perfect shine and the difference was largely the fact that the packet that holds the cloth in felt substantial. How would it cope then with an Apple Mac Book screen?
If you can imagine the fluffy nature of golden brown teddy bears with synthetic fur as opposed to the more premium priced teddy bears from companies like the "Bear Company," then you'll find the same kind of fur on this cloth. Behind the fur is the micro-fibre technology of finely spread beads of cloth woven tightly to the cloth, and it's a big beast of a cloth when it's unfolded and taken out of the plastic packaging. Measuring approximately 30cm by 30cm the Smart Fiber Dusting cloth is a somewhat large cloth that can do a myriad of tasks in just one swipe. So far it has been a god send compared to UK cloths that have to be used in two applications when cleaning both the keyboard and the screen at the same time. Unlike standard micro-fibre cloths that stick to my dry hands and can be heavily static, the Smart Fiber dusting cloth is static free on skin and doesn't painfully rip from my hands when they get dry up when I'm using it. Smart Fiber claim that this product is "perfect for allergy sufferers," and on fact alone that it's gentle on skin somewhat proves this. Coloured in bright golden orange, it mirrors the same bright colour as the cheaply priced red seamed yellow dusting cloths you can find in supermarkets. The difference here is that I only need one splash of water to get the cleaning action of this cloth going on virtually any non-porous surface I care to apply or no water alone due to its overly soft nature. My mum is impressed with it as it reduces hand fatigue and arthritis pain.
When it came to cleaning my Apple Mac Book, I was delighted to find that with just one swipe the cloth took off a lot more dirt than I imagined was on the screen. The glass gleamed and sparkled once the laptop was closed and shut down. The keys of my Mac book aren't dirty but the spaces in between the pads are, not to mention sweat spots where my hands naturally rest on the outer part of the keyboard. Once again I applied a little water to the dusting cloth and gave it a swipe, not needing to apply a lot of pressure. Hey presto! Once again my Mac book looks pristine and I can't believe that this cloth in particular managed to get the hand prints off the outer layers of the keyboard. I've tried other cloths in the past but the sweats off the back of my hands have been impossible to shift.
Since then I've tried the Smart Fiber cloth on many different materials such as glass and hard surfaces. It doesn't smear glass and it moves marks off our bathroom window with ease without having to use water making this cloth ideal to keep in mobile places like a car for example. The most delightful discovery is that it brings up my saxophones looking smart and clean, void of finger marks or water marks caused by leaky pads. Normally I have a polishing cloth I've kept since I bought my saxophones but they're like normal thin dusters that get dirty over time as well as bobbling and sometimes catching on vulnerable springs that make the key pads work. The free nature of the extra teddy bear like fur ensures gentle applications get to work on vulnerable areas of musical instruments and already its been used to spruce up my acoustic guitar and electronic drum kit. Naturally I've been back to Lakeland again to pick up a further three of these all round polishing cloths and one for our cherished grand piano alone. One of the aspects I notice with this dusting cloth is that it has an electrostatic nature that works instantly the moment it's rubbed over a surface. Now other cloths that claim to have this (especially JML) don't work as well as this and as such cleaning it means less time and more pick up. On car seats it picks up dry pet hair instantly which means I don't have to get the vacuum cleaner out! I can't say my JML cloths do that well!
The downsides to the Smart Fiber cloth are obvious however; they are not available to buy other than at Lakeland or online (Smart fiber sell it themselves at £7!) and that can be hard for anyone who doesn't shop online or have a Lakeland store near them. It is also a product on Lakeland which has been priced reduced and I have a feeling that means it won't be on sale for very much long. It advertises under the slightly strange brand name of "Damm Duk," which I'm not easily sure what that means. It may be a product code that has simply been put on to show the seller what to grab out of the box when selling. Certainly in anyone's mind, if they are looking for this product this is what they would find in white letters on a blue squarish plastic packet. The Lakeland product number it comes under is 21894 and originally priced at £2-45. What a wonderful dusting cloth which doesn't need chemicals and polishes to an extremely high standard. It has been a time saver and a cloth that I wouldn't normally look for although it has many applications; it feels well made, is machine washable and comes out of our electric dryer fluffy and pristine ready to be used again and again. Over standard microfibre cloths, it's not called "Smart," for nothing! Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2009
This unique cleaning system holds the dust within the cloth so it cleans it away instead of just moving it around!