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I am partial to snacks and quick and easy meals as much as the next person and have eaten toasted sandwiches since the infamous Breville sandwich toaster first came out when I was a child. I clearly remember the joy of burning holes in the roof of my mouth with molten cheese due to youthful impatience and the lovely smell of a toastie as my Mum carried it towards me . . . . ah, those were the days . . . .
Fast forward at least 20 years and I think I have probably always had a sandwich toaster in come guise in my kitchen cupboards ever since. The latest incarnation of this is the Cookworks Sandwich Toaster. I have had this little gadget for approximately 8 years (another of my methuselahesque gadgets!) and it is still going strong! As you may or may not know, Cookworks is an Argos own brand offering really good value kitchen appliances. This exact sandwich toaster is no longer available at Argos, however there are currently 2 very similar looking sandwich toasters shown on the Argos website. They are both a mix of chrome/stainless steel and black plastic and are catalogue numbers 423/5541 and 422/8596 costing £9.99 and £5.99 respectively (as of 30/8/11). My Cookworks Sandwich Toaster is a 2 sandwich (4 slices of bread) variety however, there are lots of different models available enabling you to cook anything between 1 and 4 sandwiches at a time.
My sandwich toaster has a large stainless steel panel on the top of the lid with Cookworks written in black text onto the panel. The surrounding framework is made of black plastic and inside is the usual nonstick coated cooking elements which have groves/cutters to make each sandwich into 2 triangle shaped portions whilst cooking. The power cable comes from the rear, is approximately 1 metre long and has a pre-attached plug. At the rear of the lid there are 2 oval shaped lights - one green and one red which act as indicators to help with cooking (I will describe in more detail later).
My husband and I do use the sandwich toaster on an intermittent basis predominantly when I can't really be faffed with cooking something decent for a meal and we fancy something hot and filling. I rather like a nice toasted sandwich in the winter when it's cold and rainy outside and a 'normal' sandwich just doesn't seem to do the job! I'm a big fan of comfort food (rather too much if I'm honest!) and toasted sandwiches are unabashed comfort food in my books!
We tend not to be overly adventurous in our choice of fillings generally sticking to a combination of ham, cheese, onion, pickle, chutney, Worcestershire sauce. However, I do know people that conjure up the most bizarre of tastes between 2 slices of bread and really you can pretty much put in whatever you like - as long as it fits! I tend to have all my component parts prepared in advance whilst waiting for the sandwich toaster to warm up.
I will plug the sandwich toaster in and switch it on at the mains. At this point the red light will illuminate to indicate it is working. Once the cooking plates are up to temperature the green light will come on and you are ready to go! For anyone who hasn't used a sandwich toaster before (of which I doubt there are very many) here is a low down on how to cook up your tasty snack:
1) Butter the bread on one side only - you can use other spreads, but I wouldn't advise using one of the very 'light' spreads as they don't contain enough fat to toast the bread.
2) Put the bread into the base of the sandwich toaster with the buttered side in contact with the cooking plates.
3) Add your filling - be mindful not to overfill as this can lead to either you being unable to shut the sandwich toaster or your contents spilling out whilst cooking (especially the case with cheese).
4) Add the other bread with butter side outermost on the top of your filling.
5) Close the lid tightly and hold in place using the catch - the innermost part of the catch on my sandwich toaster broke quite quickly after purchase however as all toasties I make seem to be on the fatter side, I still have to push down firmly on the lid to get the catch to close on the loosest setting anyway so it's no hardship.
6) Wait for a few minutes - I have never timed how long it takes, but I would estimate 3-5 minutes covers most combinations.
7) Open up the sandwich toaster and voila! Your lovely crispy and VERY hot sandwich is ready.
8) Be VERY careful removing the sandwich as both the sandwich and cooking plates will be VERY hot.
I normally then leave the sandwich on the chopping board for a couple of minutes to cool slightly before finally cutting it through the middle of the triangles with a sharp knife to separate the pieces. Depending on how large your slices of bread are, you may also want to trim the excess off around the edges as you can get quite an overhang at times. I find the best bread to use in the sandwich toaster is a couple of slices from a good old 800gram ready sliced white loaf. This minimizes waste and makes it a lot easier to construct your masterpiece in the sandwich toaster itself.
**Cleaning and storage**
The Cookworks Sandwich Toaster is relatively easy to clean. I simply wipe over the exterior with a damp cloth and use a few pieces of kitchen roll to clean the inside once it has cooled slightly. If I do leave it to go completely cold prior to cleaning, I will normally then resort to a non-scratch sponge scourer with a little warm soapy water on it to clean the interior, followed up with kitchen roll. Sometimes cheese can make a bid for freedom out of the rear of the sandwich toaster which is a bit awkward as it can end up in the hinge mechanisms. Then I will use a knife to scrape the cheese out and wipe over as before. You do have to pay attention to the underside of the sandwich toaster as things have a tendency to drool down underneath as well.
The rear of the sandwich toaster acts as cord storage as you can wrap the lead around it. I tend not to worry too much about this though as by the time I have fiddled around and put the sandwich toaster back in its place at the rear of the cupboard it has unwrapped anyway. I store it upright on the rear end and it takes up very little space.
The user guide is adequate and contains cooking instructions and the usual safety advice to be headed when using hot cooking appliances and electrical devices - i.e. being careful not to burn yourself and not to immerse in water when cleaning etc.
The Cookworks Sandwich Toaster has been used intermittently over many years and it continues to make tasty toasties for my family. It was very reasonable to buy, looks nice and is (fairly) easy to keep clean and store. The only negative I have found is the securing catch to close it has partially broken but this hasn't affected its use in any way. Therefore I thoroughly recommend this gadget and will give it the full 5 stars.
Thankyou for reading and I hope this has been of some use.
This review may be posted on other sites under the same name.
**I have the HM105 hand mixer which is the pre-decessor to the HM09, but have decided to post the review here as basically they are the same apart from the HM09 being a facelifted version**
I used to have a rather expensive, large and under-utilized food processor which stopped working around 3 years ago now. Having worked out what I 'actually' used this beast for, I decided not to replace with another food processor and instead purchased 2 separate (and very reasonably priced) small electric appliances from Tesco. One was the Tesco hand blender (which I have already reviewed) and the other was the Tesco HM105 hand mixer.
Unfortunately, this great little hand mixer appears to be no longer available from Tesco. However, it does seem to have been superseded by a slightly face-lifted version (the HM09) which seems to do the same tasks and still for under £10. At the time, I seem to remember paying around £10 for this little mixer and it was, and still is, very good value for money. The mixer has few parts - the main mixer body which has an attached power lead which is approximately 1 metre long with a pre attached plug, 2 beaters/whisk attachments and 2 dough hooks. The mixer itself is of white plastic construction and both sets of whisks/hooks are chromed metal.
**Mix it up**
The hand mixer's power is 175-200W and has a recommended use of 5 minutes on and 10 minutes off. I have to say I have never really paid much attention to this and haven't encountered any problems in using it at all. There are 5 different power settings which are clearly marked on the top of the mixer as numbers 1 to 5. You simply move the rotating speed selector switch to change the speed up or down according to your needs - move it to the right to increase the speed and to the left to decrease the speed. This switch can be a little temperamental and I often find I have moved up or down 2 or 3 settings in one go. This is difficult to avoid though given that the space between each setting is really very tiny. Near the top of the hand mixer and on either side of the main speed switch there are clearly marked Turbo switches. They appear to be 2 switches but they are in fact one which you push and hold if you want to give your mixing a boost. This is very useful as you can push on either side, therefore good for lefties or righties. According to the user guide, the use of the turbo increases the mixing speed by 25% when depressed. You simply stop pressing the switch when you want to return to your original speed setting.
Attaching and removing the whisks couldn't be simpler. To attach them you simply line them up with the slots in the bottom of the mixer body and push them in one at a time and rotate slightly to lock them in place. It does not matter which whisk goes in which hole, they are interchangeable. However, when using the dough hooks you do have to be mindful and insert them in the correct hole. This is still relatively easy as the underside of the mixer is marked to show you which goes where. The left hand hole (when looking from the underside of the mixer) has a picture of the corresponding hook which needs to be inserted. One of the hooks has a collar/washer as part of the stem and one does not. The hook with the washer must be inserted into the left hole. To remove the hooks/whisks, simply hold the mixer by the handle, press the release knob down and pull the whisk/hook out one at a time by holding the stem. The release knob is on the top of the mixer and directly in front of the speed selector switch. It is clearly marked with the word EJECT and it is also marked with the 1 to 5 speed numbers on the rear part of the switch.
**Can we mix it? . . . Yes, we can!**
I have used this mixer for a variety of different cooking tasks. I make pavlovas quite regularly and find that the whisks are ideal for beating the egg white mixture and more than capable of getting enough air into the mixture to make it rise well in the oven and make a lovely meringue. I also use the whisk attachments for whipping cream, making batters and mixing other sauces. My eldest daughter, who is 3, loves to get stuck in (literally!) in the kitchen and I now find myself baking cakes and making shortbread and other biscuits with her which I never used to do. This little hand mixer has been great for all these everyday baking tasks aswell, the culmination of which was us making a giant cupcake for Daddy's birthday! I have only used the dough hooks on a couple of occasions as I have yet to make my own bread (although I can see this coming as my youngest daughter potentially has Coeliacs Disease) and have used them predominantly for thicker baking mixes - i.e. shortbread.
As I stated previously I haven't adhered religiously to the recommended 5 minutes on/10 minutes off usage. But in all honesty you wouldn't realistically stand and mix something for 20 minutes straight without stopping to add other ingredients or move the mixture around with a spatula anyway. The motor can get a little hot after use, but never so hot that you have to be careful when handling the mixer. I have never had any problems with overheating and it cools down again if left for a few minutes.
When using the hand mixer I will normally start off with my ingredients in my large mixing bowl, attach the whisks/hooks, plug the mixer in and switch it on at the mains, put the whisks into the mixer and turn it on to the lowest setting first. As the ingredients begin to mix together I will then increase the speed and use the turbo if I feel necessary. When finished, I will simply rotate the selector back through the speed settings gradually until the mixer is off. I will then remove any excess mixture from the whisks/hooks with a plastic spatula, turn it off at the mains and remove the whisks/hooks.
**Cleaning and storage**
Obviously as the motor is electric, you cannot immerse the main mixer body in water, so I normally just give it a quick wipe over with a damp and slightly soapy cloth along with the power cord (which often gets splattered). The whisks and hooks can be washed normally. They are dishwasher safe, but as I normally have the mixing bowl, scales and other baking paraphernalia to wash up in the sink I wash them at the same time.
Storage is quick and easy - I wrap the cable around the main mixer body and store in a cupboard. I keep the whisks and hooks separately in a drawer along with other small cooking items as I feel they could get damaged if they were stored in the cupboard with the larger kitchen appliances.
The user guide is concise but useful with handy photographs and is easy to read. The hand mixer was covered by a 12 month warranty (long expired) and has never broken down or given me any problems at all.
The Tesco HM105 hand mixer has proved very useful over the last few years and is still regularly used. It is a simple and effective little kitchen helper which enables me to make some yummy treats for my family and friends. The only minor niggle is the speed switch, but that is me being really picky. Therefore I will be giving the hand mixer 5 stars and I would recommend it highly to anyone who wants to mix up a storm (or maybe just some eggs!) in their kitchen.
Thanks for reading and I hope this has been of some use.
This review may be posted on other sites under the same name.
I love Clarins products and have a wide variety in my collection which has built up over the years. One of my favourite and most regularly used products is the Clarins Colour Quench Lipbalm.
I have a couple travel size tubes which I have acquired on promotional deals at Clarins counters and each contain 7ml of balm. The full size version contains 15ml of balm and sells for anywhere between £8 and £15 dependant on where it is purchased. There is a wide range of colours - Clarins' website show 8 different colours but I'm sure there are more given the different colours I have seen for sale. Both of mine are colour 03 Candy Pink which sounds a bit girly, but in actual fact it is very subtlely peach toned rather than really pink and has small glittering light reflective particles in it which gives it a lovely shiny appearance when on.
The balm comes in a little plastic squeezable tube with the Clarins logo and product name on the front in white lettering aswell as a silver coloured screw lid on the bottom. When the lid is removed it reveals a slanted applicator (part of the plastic tube) with a small hole in the middle - similar to many squeezy lip balms/glosses. To apply I simply squeeze the tube lightly until a small blob of product is on the applicator surface, then I apply it to my lips. It is very easy to use and to get a nice even coverage of balm onto my lips. It is so easy in fact that I often apply this without using a mirror.
The balm has a lovely cherry scent which isn't overpowering and it has a subtle fruity flavour to it aswell. It glides onto my lips and doesn't feel sticky or gummy like other lipbalms/glosses I have tried where I have felt like my mouth has been welded shut after applying them! According to the Clarins website, the balm contains extracts of Shea Butter, Wild Mango and Olive perhydrosqualene (which is a type of oil free wax) to soften and repair. I used to use alot of 'normal' lipbalms which would sit on the surface of my lips, get rubbed off quickly and need reapplying on a regular basis to keep my lips feeling soft (especially in hot or cold weather). Since using the Clarins Colour Quench Lipbalm, I haven't felt it necessary to use any other lipbalm. The balm gradually soaks in to my lips leaving them feeling moisturised and soft whilst the gloss still holds true on the surface of my lips, therefore negating the need to reapply all the time.
The Clarins Colour Quench Lipbalm is relatively expensive but I consider it good value for money as it does many jobs at the same time - lip balm, lip gloss and top coat for lipstick if you so choose. I give it 5 stars and a thorough recommendation.
Here comes another review prompted by my emptying my 'useful' drawer in the kitchen. I have made an attempt to clear out all the strange bits of plastic and other 'need to keep this as it belongs to . . . ' items, which of course go into the drawer never to see the light of day again. However, within this treasure trove of utter dross there was a large plastic bag containing user manuals and instructions for all sorts of gadgets and appliances we have/had over the years. So, today's pamphlet (I wouldn't go so far as to call it a manual) is all about the Kenwood SK950/960 series kettle.
Now, I'm not sure if I am the world's most careful owner of kitchen gadgets (which I very much doubt) but this lovely kettle is yet another of my trusty workhorses having lasted well over 7 years to date.
**Attractive old boiler**
As stated above, I bought this kettle a good few years ago now and I can't remember exactly how much I paid for it but it was somewhere in the £25-£30 region and I bought it from Argos. Unfortunately this particular model is no longer available. However Argos do have 2 traditional style stainless steel kettles very similar to this model (but no doubt better, as they are newer) currently in stock and both priced at £34.99 (catalogue numbers 423/5149 & 426/3867). On appearance they both look exactly the same to my untrained eye.
This particular Kenwood kettle has a lovely highly polished stainless steel exterior with a thick black plastic arching handle. Personally I love a traditional looking kettle (hence my purchase) and this one is very easy on the eye. The nice round cordless body sits well on the 360 degree power base and there is an illuminated switch on the very bottom of the kettle body itself which glows orange when depressed to indicate the kettle is working. I think the 360 degree base is excellent as it doesn't matter whether you are left or right handed or how accurate your aim is - you just have to plonk the kettle on and away you go. Another feature is the cord storage. The cord of this kettle really isn't very long at all - you do pretty much have to have it sited right by the plug socket - however if the cord is still too long for you (which I very much doubt), you can push any excess back into the powerbase.
The kettle does not have any level indicator on it, there is simply a metal tab with a max line on it, so if you have to know how much water you are putting in it, this kettle will not oblige. The element is concealed within the base of the kettle body and after many years of use the only indicator it is there is a slight discolouring of the metal on the bottom of the kettle when viewed from the inside. If you live in a hard water area I think a concealed element is a bonus as there are less 'gubbins' for the limescale to attach itself too.
** Safety features and filters**
There is a separate removable filter which is basically 2 small mesh panels housed in a plastic housing which clips under the kettle rim right in front of the spout. You simply remove the kettle lid push down as indicated on the arrow on the filter (which is handily also labeled as 'filter' on the top), wash/rinse it out and put it back in. It is a little fiddly but that is mainly due to the lid of the kettle only leaving a relatively small opening for access. Now I have to say I do live in Devon, which is a very soft water area and may be part of the reason for the Kenwood's longevity. This is also the reason why I have never had to de-scale the kettle and have only cleaned the removable filter a couple of times. The Kenwood kettle holds 1.8 litres from completely empty to the max fill line and it has a boil-dry protection safety feature. This means if you switch it on with too little water in it, the kettle will cut out automatically. It will also do this if you have just boiled the kettle and it is still too hot.
**More tea Vicar?**
So is it as good as it looks? Well, the short answer is yes! I am not going to be silly enough to give you a blow by blow account of filling the kettle, but will say that once it is full, it really is rather heavy. If you have any upper limb and/or joint problem you may well find this too heavy to carry and I would recommend using a plastic jug to fill the kettle and a kettle tipper for pouring once it has boiled. Whilst boiling, this isn't the quietest kettle and it has quite a loud throaty roar towards the end. I put this down to the kettle being of metal construction which would make it noisier than a plastic kettle and the concealed element which I have assumed would mean it would need to generate more heat to get through the metal on the base to heat the water (although this is all supposition on my part!). I haven't timed how long it takes to boil, but would say it probably takes 3-4 minutes and would be on par with other kettles. One point of note is that the exterior of the Kenwood does conduct the heat VERY well and you can very easily burn yourself on the kettle if you aren't careful. Therefore it really does need to be kept out of the way of fiddling hands (especially small ones) even more so than a plastic kettle which wouldn't get so hot. Hence, I always have mine at the very back of the worksurface a long way away from my children's reach.
**Bits & bobs**
When I purchased the Kenwood stainless steel kettle, it came with a 12 month manufacturer's warranty and the rather paltry user guide (an A4 sheet folded into 3) which does contain all the usual advice regarding not using the kettle on an incline or submerging it in liquid etc. There are other instructions for using the kettle and cleaning/maintenance as well as customer service details, telephone numbers and even a website address which I was slightly surprised at given the kettles advanced age!
With regards to cleaning, as I stated previously, I have never de-scaled the interior of the kettle and find it very easy to keep the exterior clean. I simply wipe it over with a damp cloth and immediately follow it up with a quick buff using a clean tea towel. This has been all the up-keep required to keep it looking as shiny and lovely as the day I bought it. There is no sign of rust on the metal or fading, splitting, buckling or cracking of any of the plastic components.
A definite 5 star rating from me for the Kenwood Stainless Steel Kettle and a thorough recommendation. A very reliable, good looking kettle which has the stamina of an ox and the roar of a lion!
In common with virtually every other household in the country we have a few staple kitchen gadgets which take up permanent residence on the worksurface. One of these is our trusty and faithful Cookworks 2 slice Chrome Toaster (model 420/9508). I purchased this toaster over 9 years ago now, when I bought my house and before I even met my husband - is it a sign of great reliability when you've had your toaster longer than your spouse?? Hmmmm . . . . I digress.
**The toaster itself**
Cookworks is an Argos brand and rather obviously, that is where I purchased my toaster from. There are currently around 19 Cookworks toasters available from Argos, the majority of which appear to be very good value for money. The model I have is a traditional looking 2 slice chrome toaster and although the exact model seems to be no longer available, the slightly 'face lifted' version is currently half price according to the Argos website at a very reasonable £7.49 (catalogue number 421/9385 as at 23/8/11). As I have had my toaster for a considerable length of time, I cannot recall exactly how it was packaged, but seem to remember the usual combination of cardboard box and polystyrene for protection. It has lovely mirror finish chrome side panels and a black plastic base, handles and knobs as well as a reasonable length of cable with pre-attached plug.
The bread slots are on the top surface and one of the handles on the side also doubles up as the loading handle/switch. All the control switches are on the same side of the toaster and lower down near the base. There is a dial for the browning control with an increasingly/decreasingly wide line to show the difference between minimum and maximum browning. Just to the side of the handle on the same side are two small press buttons. One is the cancel button to pop the toaster contents up in case of an emergency or cremating toast incident and the other is a handy defrost button - very useful if like me, you habitually forget to take the bread/crumpets out of the freezer to defrost in time for meal time! The crumb tray is integrated with the base and you simply slide it open to drop the crumbs out into the sink or dustbin. ! A nice safety feature - and one for when you aren't fully awake in the morning - is that you cannot push the bread down into the toaster unless it is plugged in and the mains are switched on at the plug. This is great as it saves those annoying times of wondering "what is happening with my toast?" only to discover it has been sat still in its fully bread state in the toaster all along because you forgot to switch it on at the plug socket!
**Is it up to the job?**
I think given that this toaster is fairly ancient by toaster standards is a pretty good indicator of how reliable and robust it is. It has moved house with me 3 times in 9 years, has been dropped, bashed and generally abused and it is still toasting on an almost daily basis (and I'll come to that in a minute). The non-loading handle has actually snapped off after my husband dropped the toaster, so we are now left with 2 rather sad looking lugs sticking out of the side of the toaster, but still it carries on undeterred. The variable width bread slots wil,l in my experience, take a wide variety of thicknesses. I have toasted thin, medium and thick sliced bread as well as crusts, crumpets, bagels, teacakes, hot cross buns and muffins without any difficulties. The only word of caution would be that when I have put particularly thick crusts in (the times when I have pretty much wedged them in) they probably, rather obviously, do have a tendancy to burn a bit. Not surprising when you think of the minimal gap there would be between the bread and the elements on either side.
When the toast pops up from the Cookworks Chrome Toaster is does so nice and sharply - not so sharply though that you are trying to catch it as it flies out - and the bread sits quite high in this toaster. I think this is good as personally I don't like having to go 'fishing' inside the toaster to retrieve my toast. The slots are also just big enough to take a slice of a standard ready sliced loaf 'lying down', another plus point for me as I also don't like it if you have to turn the bread during cooking or toast it twice to ensure you don't end up with 2 inches of bread left untoasted.
With regards to the toasting abilities, I am generally happy with it, but it isn't exceptional. Whether it is because it is nearing toaster heaven I'm not sure, but it has taken recently to either over-browning or under-browning items on occasions. So breakfast has become a bit of a lottery some days. However, after 9 years I can forgive some mood swings and it has previously been reliable and the dial serves as a reliable indicator. It toasts the bread evenly and I haven't noticed the grilled look which some toasters have where you can clearly see exactly where the elements have worked their magic. No the Cookworks Chrome Toaster gives a nice even browning to your toast.
I rate the Cookworks 2 slice Chrome Toaster highly. It has lasted a very long time, costs relatively little to buy, looks nice and toasts well. Therefore I will be giving it 5 stars and a good recommendation - if you want a cheap(ish) toaster which does the job and looks nice on your worktop, you could do a lot worse than buy this toaster.
Many thanks for reading.
This review may appear on other sites under the same user name.
For many years I had a large Moulinex food processor with more attachments and bits & bobs than you could shake a stick at! It was a relatively expensive bit of kit (at around £100) and if I am perfectly honest, I only used a limited amount of it's features. About 3 years ago the motor burnt out and I went scouting for something to replace it with.
After working out what I actually used the food processor for, I ended up purchasing 2 new electric kitchen items for the combined princely sum of £25.00! I bought a Tesco HM105 Hand mixer (£10) and a Tesco HBS07 Hand Blender with attachments (£15). I have used the hand blender quite alot over the last 3 years and it is still going strong and works as well as the day I took it out of the box.
The blender kit contains a blender motor (the main body of the blender), wall bracket, blender wand, chopper (which consists of the bowl, lid and blade assembly), whisk and jug. It has a 300w motor and the net weight (according to the user guide) is 1.4kg. The various parts are all white and/or clear plastic construction with metal blades and whisk. The main part of the blender has a silver section near the power cable outlet and the buttons are black. As with most blenders you hold the button on continuously to activate it and the two buttons are marked with a 'I' and 'II' to indicate the 2 different speeds. All the attachments attach/detach by sloting them onto the main body of the blender and turning slightly clockwise/anti-clockwise to lock/unlock them.
I have predominantly used this blender for either pureeing food for my eldest daughter (not for my youngest as she has allergies and we have opted for Baby Led Weaning with her - so no mush!) or making soups. I use the tall jug and blender with wand for making baby food and it is very easy to do - I normally add enough ingredients until it fills no more than half the jug and just blend away! With soups I either use the blender direct into the saucepan - which is fine as I have stainless steel pans - or pour some into a large plastic jug and then blend.
I have only used the chopper a few times and it is also very easy - put the chooper components together and then attach it to the blender body. You also have to switch it off and detach the chopper from the blender body and remove the lid when adding ingredients. I would describe the whisk as adequate and is the only part of this set that is slightly dissapointing to me. It is fine for general whisking (like making batter or scrambled eggs for example) but I prefer to use my handmixer when making cakes and meringues as this doesn't really have enough oomph to it for me especially if it is something you want to get lots of air into.
I keep mine in a cupboard so can't really comment on the wall bracket except to say there are full instructions on how to use it in the user guide and it looks relatively easy to put it up.
Cleaning wise, there are also instructions in the user guide advising that you "wash the blender stem under running water, without the use of abrasive cleaner or detergents" and a warning to "not immerse the stem in water because over time the lubrication on the bearings will deteriorate". The main body of the blender should also (rather obviously) not be immersed in water and just wiped over with a damp cloth. The whisk, jug and chopper are all not dishwasher safe either, but easily come apart for cleaning with hot soapy water.
There are of course other safety instructions and advice regarding the sharpness of blades and not getting various body parts entangled in parts of the blender, using the blender in water and other what I consider to be rather common sense handling advice.
So in summary - my opinion of this little blender set is that it is excellent value for money. It is still going strong after 3 years and works really well. My only minor criticism is the whisk's power which really is only a niggle. Therefore I am more than happy to give the Tesco Hand Blender 5 stars and a thorough recommendation.
This review may appear on other sites under the same user name.
I used to have 2-3 plug-in air freshners around the house and after various warnings regarding people's houses burning down because of them (scaremongery no doubt!) and the constant high price of buying refills I decided to look for an alternative product to provide a continuous fragrance at home.
My mother-in-law is a big fan of shopping channels and she mentioned the Goodsphere Revitaliser. Now, this review ISN'T about the Goodsphere it's about a 'lookey-likey' Goodsphere from JML - but I did just want to mention the Goodsphere as (to my rather limited knowledge) the Goodsphere was pretty much where it all began, and for my money, it was by far the best in comparison to the JML Fresh Air Globe. Unfortunately, my Goodpshere broke after about 3 years faithful service and at that time, they were not in production, so I had to go in search of an alternative.
One day I was in a local department store and saw the JML Fresh Air Globe with £10 off (bringing the price to around £30) so I picked it up. This was around 3 years ago and despite my still hankering after it's predecessor, the Fresh Air globe is still going (but only just!). In the last 3 years, many other companies have got on this particular bandwagon and there are now a wide variety of Air Globes/Revitalisers/Humdifiers available and they range vastly in price from under £20 to well over £70.
When I bought my globe there were 2 versions available - 1 with a cream pearlescent lid (the one I have) and 1 with a silver lid. The globe set-up consisted of a plastic bowl, a lid with intergral fan/rotator, an LED plate to sit the globe on and a power lead and mains adaptor. I think it also came with a couple of trial essences (but I can't quite recall).
It's incredibly easy to set up - just plug the lead into the mains adaptor and the back of the LED plate and lid (it has a split lead with seperate jacks on the end), fill the bowl with water, switch it on and away you go! The bowl does have a maximum fill line so you don't end up with water sloshing everywhere once it gets started which is handy. You can also decide whether you want to add any essence to the water or not, it's entirely up to you. The LED plate has a small square recessed button on the front and you press this to select the LED's colour and light pattern/sequence you wish to see - you can have just a static colour of red, green or blue for example, or you can have it flashing (rather irritating and almost strobe like), changing colour by switching from one to the other or by a slow blending from one to the other (my personal preference). It does remind me of the different programmes you can choose for your twinkling fairy lights at Christmas to be honest!
The idea behind the Fresh Air Globe and other 'revitaliser' type spheres is that it sucks in the air from the room, 'washes' it in the bowl of water and blows it back out into the room having been cleaned, fragranced and humidified by the contents of the bowl. Now, I have heard a variety of claims around these type of gadets regarding, stoping snoring, aiding breathing and sleep problems and goodness knows what else. All I can tell you is that in my experience it fragrances the room adequately (nowhere near as good as the Goodshpere), does get rid of all manner of cooking smells (as I have mine in our kitchen) and it has helped with my eczema during the winter months when the central heating is on. There is also a very noticeable difference regarding how much the water level drops whether the heating is on or off indicating the humidifier aspect works well.
The general recommendation is that it can be used for up to 12 hours per day and the water should be changed daily. It is very economical to run, apparently using less electricity than a light bulb. It is also very quiet. My Goodsphere was quite noisy, but the Fresh Air Globe is very quiet. I think the difference in volume is related to the strength of the fan, as although this is quiet it doesn't pump out the fragrance nearly as much as the Goodshpere. I used to be able to smell the Goodsphere throughout most of the ground floor of our house and it was lovely to step through the front door and smell the fragrance. However, the JML Globe struggles to kick out enough odour to fill our kitchen let alone the rest of the downstairs. Another issue is cleaning the motor/fan/rotator - I cannot seperate the parts to clean them properly and it is now getting rather furred/sludged up with, I'm not entirely sure what! I assume the debris/gunk is a combination of what it sucks in from the air and residue from the essential oil fragrances.
My JML Fresh Air Globe is now coming towards the end of it's days - the fan/rotator is sticking sometimes, the bowl has a permanent tide mark in it no matter what I do to clean it and I know it won't be long before it grinds to a halt completely. Although this isn't a glowing review of the globe, to give it it's due, it has performed reasonably well and as a type of product I am actually a big fan. Therefore I will give the JML Fresh Air Globe 3 stars - it does the job for which it's intended adequately and I will purchase another revitaliser when it finally gives up the ghost, but it won't be another JML Fresh Air Globe.
I am a HUGE fan of Clarins products and have used a wide variety of items from Clarins over the years. I have very sensitive and quite frankly dodgy skin which is very easily irritated by moisturisers, make-up, washing products, deodorants and metals. So much so that I have to wear glasses with plastic arms and nose supports as I can't have the metal in contact with my skin.
I have used MANY different moisturisers and a few of my friends have done quite well out of my economising mistakes! No matter what I have tried, I always come back to Clarins Multi-Active Day Lotion as I know my skin will look and feel great when I use it. As mentioned, I do have sensitive skin, but it isn't particularly dry. Patchy or combination would probably the best description and this lotion suits it perfectly.
It comes in the characteristic Clarins red and white combo livery which is instantly recognisable. The tall slender tube holds 50ml and is dispensed via a small pump nozzle on the top. The lotion itself, is very light and not at all watery. I use 3 pumps worth (about the size of a 5p piece) and this is enough to cover my face and onto my neck. The lotion has a very subtle fragrance and feels quite cool when you put it on your skin. It is instantly absorbed and leaves no sticky film or layer of any sort on your skin. I have never had any hint of irritation with this and as an added bonus it does have an SPF rating of 15 which is reassuring and perfect for daily use. The small amount I use is enough to last all day and I never feel the need to apply more. A little really does go a long way and a tube will last me on average 3-4 months.
The only down side of the Clarins Multi-Active Day Lotion is it's rather hefty price tag. The last tube I purchased from my local department store cost £38 but I have carried out a little internet search and it would appear that you can buy it for around the £30 mark but also up to £45! So it's worth a look around.
Clarins also have a Multi-Active Day Cream for use if you need something thicker or more moisturising which would be better for someone with drier skin and/or for use in the winter months. There are also night lotion and creams available in the range, however I have to admit I never use a night cream/lotion.
This lotion is marketed as an early wrinkle correcting lotion and is predominantly aimed at women in their late twenties and early thirties. I think the main element of wrinkle correction with this is simply the level of natural ingredients and amount of hydration this provides to your skin. I am 38 now and still using this product upon the advice of the Clarins counter staff as other products with more 'active' anti-wrinkle ingredients are likely to irritate my skin.
Overall, this is without doubt the best moisturiser I have ever used and although I continue to try others (mainly to save money), I invariably end up back at the Clarins counter as you just can't compromise on somethings. I have no qualms in giving Clarins Multi-Active Day Lotion 5 stars and the biggest recommendation.
I have had sensitive teeth for a few years now and actually have thinning of my enamel along my gum line on a couple of my pre-molars. Because of this I have tried many different brands of sensitive toothpaste and Sensodyne total care Gentle Whitening toothpaste was my paste of choice for well over a year (you will find out later why it no longer is).
As with all toothpastes it comes in different sizes and configurations (tube, pump, 50ml, 100ml etc) but I always bought the 100ml tube. I would normally try and time my purchase to coincide with a special offer as this is what I would class as a premium toothpaste and is quiet expensive. My local Tesco is currently selling this for £4.00 per 100ml tube, but I know I purchased most times when it was on a BOGOF or other offer.
I also use a sonic toothbrush and am only mentioning it as I am unsure of how the type of brush you use, would impact on the effectiveness of the toothpaste.
The tube has the usual small flip top lid and the paste itself is plain white and has a pleasant freshmint smell and taste. It foams well in the mouth and you really do not have to use lots to have the desired effect. I also found that it always kept my teeth feeling nice and clean for the full 12 hours and worked very well on managing the sensitivity of my teeth. Consquently I never had any problems with hot or cold whilst using this toothpaste.
With regards to the whitening effect - I wouldn't personally say that it made a significant difference. However, I don't smoke, drink coffee or copious amounts of red wine (though I am partial to the odd glass) and I also don't get tartar either - apparently whether you get tartar or not is largely reliant on the PH of your saliva.
So, over many months of use, I was very happy with using this toothpaste. O.K I wasn't sold on the whitening side of things, but from a sensitivity point of view it was excellent and my teeth always felt clean and fresh. Then I had a regular check up trip to my dentist . . . I saw a different dentist (very helpful lady dentist and very thorough) than usual and she asked me what kind of toothpaste I used. So of course I told her and she advised me that ANY whitening toothpaste was not for long term daily use as they contain small granules which wear away the enamel to have their whitening effect and they are therefore too harsh for continued twice daily use. So, I now still use a sensitive toothpaste but an enamel protect variety rather than a whitening one.
In summary, I did use this toothpaste for many months (well over a year in fact) and it did keep my teeth clean and fresh whilst stopping the sensitivity completely. However, as I never found it's whitening effect to be noticeable and following my dentist's advice I stopped using it. These points, coupled with it's expensive price tag, leave me a bit on the fence regarding recommending it and for these reasons I feel that I can only realistically give it 3 stars.
As I have said in previous reviews I am not much of housewife - well on the cleaning front anyway - and have a few staple items which I use for as many purposes as I can. One of these, is my trusty bottle of Flash with bleach.
Flash with bleach has been around for a good few years now and is readily available in most supermarkets and many high street shops. It comes in a white plastic trigger spray bottle and is currently on sale at my local Tesco for £1.99 for 500mls. I actually consider that to be a reasonable price, given it's effectiveness and the variety of uses it can be put to, however I had a little scout around to see if this could be bettered. Surprisingly I found 5 bottles for £4.77 on Amazon with free delivery which is excellent value, assuming you actually want and could use 5 bottles of it!
The trigger on the bottle has the usual safety twist nozzle where you can switch the spray off just in case it falls into the wrong hands. This is always reassuring even if you are vigilant with your storage (as I am with a 9 month old and 3 year old).
When I use the spray it comes out in a wide enough spray to cover, but doesn't go everywhere. It foams slightly and does run on tiles and other smooth surfaces, but it still cleans well. I normally use a non-scratch sponge scourer with the Flash spray when cleaning my bathrooms and find that the damp scourer/sponge is very effective when coupled with the spray to give it a bit of extra oomph for getting everything really clean. I then re-wet the sponge and use it to rinse off the spray and finish off with a last buff up with a handtowel. Otherwise when cleaning the bath and shower cubicle, I normally give it a through going over with the scourer sponge and then just rinse with the shower head. I have found that although it doesn't irritate my skin or cause any significant problems, it is drying and the skin on my hands is dry for many hours after using it for cleaning a full bathroom.
I have used this spray for other cleaning and one of it's other regular uses is in our food caddy bin. We live in an area where we have a small brown plastic bin for food waste and even though I always line it with a corn starch liner bag, invariably the bin always ends up being a bit sweaty, smelly and has the odd stray bit of food stuck to it. So when I change the liner I will spray this in first, leave it for 10 mins, rinse, dry and put in the new liner.
The only real problem with the Flash spray for me is it's smell - I think it smells very strongly of bleach and not of the 'fresh eucalyptus scent' as stated on the front. It is strong and I do find myself coughing often when I'm cleaning in a confined space (the shower in our en-suite) and I would definitely recommend keeping your windows open when using this product. Other than that, I can say from personal experience that it does contain enough bleach to take the colour out of fabrics, so be careful and don't wear your favourite red/blue/purple t-shirt whilst cleaning the loo with this.
I also like to use this as it doesn't effect how things stick after using it. Cream cleaners (Cif and the like) are the cleaner of choice for many in their bathroom and other areas, but they always leave a thin residue on the surface no matter how much you rinse and this effects adhension. As my 9 month old started off in a reclined bath seat and has now graduated to a sit up bath seat - both with suction cups on them - I choose to use a clear cleaner as I know the seat will stick well after cleaning. I am also an Occupational Therapist and regularly give patients the advice of avoiding cream cleaners when I issue bathaids for the same reason.
So in summary, Flash with Bleach is a staple of my cleaning cupboard. Although I predominantly use it on our bathrooms, it has other uses and I will continue to buy it in future. I like the reassurance of the bleach in it (although not the smell) and find that it cleans what I want to, when I want to. 4 stars from me and a thorough recommendation.
In the past, I have always paid out for premium dishwashing powder/tablets, (probably mistakenly) believing that it would protect my crockery and the expensive dishwasher in the process. However, after my parents experience of using Finish for years and ending up with large dishwasher repair bills and 'misty' glasses, I decided to end my false economy and try a different brand. As I rarely shop anywhere but Tesco, the obvious choice was Daisy Classic 5 in 1 dishwasher tablets.
The cardboard box contains 40 tablets and currently costs £2 - a vast difference to the comparable box of 42 tablets from Finish for £10.50! I know Finish products are regularly on offer (which was when I would normally buy them anyway) but in my experience they have never been as low in price as 5p per tablet.
The box is easily opened by a rip top tab kind of arrangement on the top surface and inside are individually wrapped green and yellow tablets all in their little plastic wrappers. There are some fairly standard safety instructions and an ingredients list on the box, along with directions for use. This includes advice to use a dishwashing powder rather than the tablets on cycles of less than 50 degrees centrigrade which is something I wasn't previously aware of.
So, once I've liberated the little tablet from it's packet, it has a pleasant soapy smell and subtle lemon fragrance. It fits well into the usual powder container and doesn't crumble when you handle it. To my mind, it's actually firmer and denser than the Finish tablets I used to use. The tablet fits easily into the palm of your hand and is almost entirely green with a thin yellow section at the bottom (or top, depending on which way up you hold it!).
At this point, I do have to say that I rarely put heavily soiled crockery and pans into the dishwasher without rinsing them first and will often handwash our large pots, pans and roasting tins in the sink. But I do regularly use both the standard and soiled programmes on my dishwasher with it totally full of all the usual mixed crockery, cutlery and glasses etc. So far, I have not noticed any difference to the cleanliness and 'squeekyness' of the dishes when the programme is finished - I like to rub my thumb over the outside of a glass to check it's 'squeekyness'. I have used these tablets now for a good couple of months and I had previously used Finish for many years. I am very impressed with how well they measure up by comparison and cannot find any fault with them at all for our everyday dishwashing. There are 4 of us in our house (although 2 are only little) and I normally put the dishwasher on every other day so I have got through enough of them in the last weeks to form a decent opinion.
Just a point of note: I also always have a dishwasher freshner hanging from the top rack as I have found that regardless of which powder I use, the dirty dishes will always whiff a bit after a day or so.
So in summary, I am very happy with the price and performance of my Daisy 5 in 1 Dishwasher Tablets and have no hesitation in giving them 5 stars, a big thumbs up and recommendation to anyone wanting to save more than a few pennies on their premuim brand tablets.
I have to admit that I am no danger of developing an obsessive compulsive disorder regarding the cleaning of our house. This may make me sound a bit 'slummy mummy' rather than 'yummy mummy' but quite honestly I'd rather be doing something nice with my children than having windowsills you could eat your dinner off - after all, we have a perfectly good dining table for that!
So, this review is written from the standpoint of what I would consider to be an 'averagely clean' householder - yes, I hoover, clean bathrooms, kitchens etc but not to the point of sterilisation.
I have used Fairy Power Spray on an intermittent basis for a good few years now and overall I am satisfied with it. It is currently widely available from most major supermarkets and other retailers. Tesco currently have it stocked at a price of £3.06 and it would seem from a quick check this morning, that it generally ranges in price between £3-£5. As you can see from the picture, it is a trigger spray and the bottle is green plastic holding 375ml of product.
I mainly use this to clean the cast iron racks and top parts of the burners from my range cooker - something I did yesterday in fact. I have also occassionally used this on roasting tins when the food is really baked on - however, I do find that generally, a good 10 minute soak in HOT soapy water does the trick.
When I use this spray, I turn the safety nozzle to on and away we go! The spray itself is quite viscous and soon takes on a 'jelly type' appearance on contact. This is good in one way, as it stops the product just sliding off but, it also means you get a narrow spray when it comes out, so you can only cover a small area with each pump on the spray handle. It has a slight 'chemical' smell but it's not over powering and personally I wouldn't worry unduly about ventilation. I would describe it's fragrance as a super concentrated washing up liquid (which is probably in essesence what it is!) and not entirely unpleasant.
So once I had sprayed all my various cast iron and aluminium 'bits' from the oven, I left it to work for approximately 20 mins. When I came back, some of the dried on/burnt on food had turned white and all the racks etc were still covered in their jelly like goo. That does illustrate the power sprays staying power as they were propped up in the sink, so weren't laid flat on a surface. Next, I grabbed my non-stick scourer sponge and gave all the pieces a good firm rub and rinse under warm water for a few minutes, wiped them with a tea towel and reassembled the hob.
Now, I wouldn't say that the Fairy Power Spray removed absolutely everything, but it did a good job and probably removed 95%. I may well have got everything off if I had carried on to apply it for a second time (which it does state on the bottle that "very tough soils may need two treatments").
As I said earlier, I have not used this on the internal parts of my oven - I'm afraid I am far too lazy to clean the inside and have a very lovely man who comes and does this for me :-) - or anything stainless steel. However, on the cast iron, aluminium and other metal items I have used this on it has always done the job to my satisfaction (but not necessarily others!).
In summary, I will continue to buy and use this product as it does the job for me but I can only really give it 3 stars as it sometimes doesn't remove absolutely everything, it is quite expensive and you could probably achieve as good a result with some washing up liquid, hot water and a bit of elbow grease . . . that's if you aren't as lazy as me!
Many thanks for reading.
Not being a dyed in the wool 'Mrs Mop' type, I do try to purchase multi-purpose cleaning products, so I don't have my under-the-sink cupboard bulging with items which are hardly ever used. I like to be able to get my hands on something that works, quickly and not spend an age with my head banging the waste pipe whilst I search for my cleaning Holy Grail! And that is where the Tesco non-scratch fingergrip sponge pan scourers come in . . .
These scourers are currently on sale at Tesco for 82p for a pack of 6. Not the cheapest sponge scourer - Tesco 5 pack of value scourers are currently 14p - but I think good value for the long lasting non scratch version. They come in a thin plastic wrapper which normally tears when you open the packet, so ends up in the bin. The scourers are loosely attached to one another by perforation on the scourer surface, so when you want a new one you just give it a little tug to seperate it from it's neighbour.
As I stated in the beginning, I don't have a dazzling array of cloths, buffs, sponges, pads etc. My cleaning cupboard staples are these scourers, Tesco value multi-purpose cloths and a few micro-fibre cloths which I find cover pretty much everything I need to rub, dust, scrub and buff on a daily basis. Yes, I do use these scourers for the obvious job of washing up, however I also have one in each toilet/bathroom at home and use them to clean the bath, shower, toilets and wash hand basins. They are also put to use on a regular basis for cleaning my stainless steel range cooker hob and door, scrubbing my eldest daughters, wellies and crocs when they get particularly grubby, as well as many other 'scrubby' type activities around the house. That is a definite advantage of the non scratch surface - you can use it on a wide variety of surfaces without having to worry about damaging them.
The grooves in the sides of the sponge do help to stop the sponge flying out of your hand when using it and the sponge itself is quite firm and dense which helps it last for a decent length of time. I regularly use these scourers with bleach based cleaners which are notorious for degrading/eating through sponges etc and they stand up to the onslaught very well.
As with all non-scratch scourers, they aren't as good as the good old fashioned green scourers as getting to grips with burnt on food but I have rarely had a problem removing my cooking debris from pots and pans with these. They also don't fall apart and become full of holes like alot of green scourers. When they are nearing the end of their useful life, I find the scouring surface will normally 'bobble-up' and flatten rather than fall to pieces. I have yet to have a sponge desintegrate which shows how well made they are.
In summary, I think these scourers are great and I would thoroughly recommend them. They are very effective, easy to use, multi-purpose & long lasting. Although there are simliar products which are cheaper, I still feel these represent excellent value for money for the above reasons. My Tesco non scratch sponge pan scourers will retain their place in my under-the-sink cupboard and continue to be used for a long time yet - 5 stars from me.
Many thanks for reading.
My youngest daughter has eczema - and by that I don't mean the 'behind the knees and in the elbow folds' kind of eczema, I mean, the 'all over her body and face, red raw and very sore' kind of eczema. It started as soon as she was 12 weeks old. This was followed by 10 horrendous weeks of seeing it worsen to the point where 70% of her body and face were covered, she was screaming constantly and we were averaging 2-4 hours sleep per night. I will not go into all the details of what we have been through to even try to manage her condition, but suffice it to say, we looked at EVERYTHING which had the slightest possibility of helping/damaging her skin and washing powder was fairly near the top of the list.
I have mild eczema and sensitive skin myself so have always avoided biological washing powders, using only Fairy for many years without any problems. We also never use fabric softeners.
So in desperation for anything to help my baby, I scoured the internet and read LOTS of information from the National Eczema Society and other resources. This is where I discovered Surcare non-bio washing powder.
I purchased a box from my local Tesco, but it is fairly widely available from most large supermarkets. It costs £2.28 for a small, 10 wash box but is currently available at Sainsburys on a 2 for £2.50 offer, so well worth stocking up. I have had some difficulty getting it in the recent past and often empty the shelf if there are only a few boxes left. The box is different from the one shown in the picture - it is a mostly blue box with bubbles on it and blades of grass at the bottom of the box. Surcare is written in dark blue in the centre of the front face and the other information on the front states 'outstanding results at 30 degrees centigrade' and 'free from perfumes and dyes'. There are also endorsements on the packet from 'talk eczema' and 'dermatologically tested and approved'. It has a side tab type opening and you shake the powder out to dispense it. It is a white granular powder and looks pretty much like any other washing powder. The biggest difference is that it has no smell.
I have used this powder now for approximately 4 months and I now use it for all our family laundry. I use it in exactly the same way as I would any other powder, bung it in the drawer of the washing machine and hey presto. I think it washes as effectively as Fairy on 30, 40 and 60 degree wash programmes and I don't feel our washing is remotely cardboardy and stiff - quite the opposite. Everything comes out clean, soft and ready to wear. The biggest criticism I have, is that it's not available in larger boxes. A small 10 wash box can't be the most economical way to market this product and it is certainly a faff to store all the small boxes in my cleaning cupboard! However, apart from the box size and intermittent availability issues, I really cannot find any other faults with this washing powder.
In summary - from my experiences, I would thoroughly recommend Surcare non-bio washing powder to any one with eczema and/or sensitive skin. It cleans as well as leading brands, leaves your clothes soft and is suitable for family use. The box size is a bit annoying and you probably won't find it everywhere. The only other people who probably wouldn't want to buy it, are those who like their laundry to smell of 'apple blossom and white sapphire' or other exotic fragrances - this probably isn't for you. I give it 5 out of 5 as my baby's skin is much better, she is much happier and we all have clean clothes - smiles all round in this house :-)
As you may be able to tell from some of my other reviews, I am a bit of a dyed in the wool Tesco girl. I'm not a huge fan of aerosol air fresheners as I generally find their fragrances unnecessarily cloying, sickly and overpowering. However, the Tesco 2 in 1 Cotton Fresh air freshener is different.
It comes in a 300ml can which is blue with a soft focus picture of what appears to be grass on the front of it (not entirely sure about the 'cotton' connection there?!). It is a lid-less aerosol, so you press the nozzel on the top to dispense the spray which is quite a thick mist. You do not need alot of spray to generate a room full of perfume and eliminate whatever odour is lingering. It is currently available from Tesco for 59p per can.
As usual you do have to be careful when spraying near furniture or fabrics not to cause any staining/damage and as the mist is quite thick, it does produce quite a 'cloud' which can fall quite heavily on all around it.
I think the fragrance is much better than the usual floral, sweet & sickly mixture common to most air fresheners. I would describe it as quite a light and fresh fragrance which has an 'outdoor' element to it (a bit difficult to pinpoint & describe really). It lingers long enough to eliminate whatever nasty niffs you want to banish (predominantly husband related in my case!) and then it's gone - job done.
In summary - this is a nice fresh fragranced spray with a good value price tag. If you want to eliminate any unwelcome odours without making your house smell like great auntie Nelly's bathroom, this may be the air freshener for you. 4 stars from me.