One thing ticked off the wish list – Dyson DC41Mk2 Animal

Dyson DC41Mk2 Animal

A few weeks ago a huge lovely parcel arrived on my door step – it was a Dyson DC41Mk2 Animal. I have wanted one of these vacuum cleaners for years but there was always something else far more urgent that needed to be bought first…

Anyway, it was finally here!

My own, personal Dyson DC41Mk2 Animal.

I had huge plans for it. On the one hand I wanted to open it right now, the moment that the courier brought it to me, but then on the other hand I had a video idea which required me to stay put and keep my brand new Dyson, well “brand new”…

I really wanted to film me cleaning with my Dyson, and the money shot, after cleaning with my old vacuum and then see if there was any difference… I thought that this might be an interesting thing to do but the days were passing by, life was manic and I was nowhere closer to my video project being started… when I did actually have a moment either the weather was very bad which meant no natural light for actually shooting the video indoors or the weather was fine but there was no one around to actually help me, like all of us I am cursed with being born with only two hands… I didn’t even want to attempt vacuuming with 2 different machines and filming it at the same time… this would be quite insane, even for me…

So, the days were passing by and still no video…

The days kept passing by and every day I looked and my shiny new Dyson still in its box…

Then some more days passed by and then I finally broke!

Yesterday after yet another discussion with my trusty old Henry about his aging status and resulting lack of abilities to include actually cleaning effectively I broke! I ripped the box open and decided that enough is enough; I just had to try my new friend.

Within 5 minutes the Dyson DC41Mk2 Animal was put all together and I was off…

OMG what a difference!

OMG it was a pure pleasure!

The 1m x 1.5m rug by the front door, which normally would take me around 15 minutes to clean (usually with me on my knees), was totally clean and dog / cat hair free within 1 minute maybe 2 at most… not only was it fast, there was no need for getting down on my knees anymore and cleaning with a precision brush – Dyson just ate it all like a pro!

I am over the moon!

30 minutes and 9 containers full of hairs and dust later my house was totally clean! Yes, 9 bins… the amount of stuff he can suck up is just unreal… I really didn’t have an idea my house was SO dirty!

And you know what… I now have some totally new ideas for my video and I think that it will be much better than my original plan… so stay tuned as a full review of my new friend – Dyson DC41Mk2 Animal is coming to a blog near you soon 🙂

* Picture courtesy of Dyson.
I received a Dyson DC41Mk2 Animal vacuum cleaner for a review purpose.

Antibacterial Products: To use or not to use? The pros and cons.

What is an antibacterial product? It is simply a product with an added agent which interferes with bacteria; stopping its growth and reproduction. They are widely used in a selection of products design to disinfect surfaces and eliminate potentially harmful bacteria. In every store county wide you can find a selection of soaps, washing detergents, household cleaners and health and skincare products marked as “antibacterial”, but are they any good for us?

I did quite a bit of reading on the subject and the general consensus seems to be: TO USE. There are some studies done at the moment regarding any potential repercussions after long tern use but no conclusive results are in… it seems that we have not actually been using them for long enough to be able to determine if there are any downsides from long term usage.

So far the biggest controversy is caused by antibacterial soap. When some people say: “use it”, others are very strongly against it. Why? Apparently constant use of an antibacterial soap can cause:

  • dry skin, which makes it more susceptible to infections
  • bacteria resistance, which actually makes them harder to neutralise in the long run
  • reduction in personal care; people think that using an antibacterial soap makes them more resilient and they tend to forgo the hand washing process at key times when it would be advisable to complete

So what are the pros of antibacterial products? They kill bacteria! This is a good reason for me to use it and this is enough. I don’t actually need any more benefits for using it.

Lately we’ve been using an antibacterial spray from Zoflora. As you know I am huge Zoflora fan (you can read all about my house full of it here) but until a few weeks ago I actually didn’t know that they make a spray as well. I was thrilled to discover that the spray version actually existed. I love the original Zoflora for all its various uses and possibilities but I must admit the spray is much handier at times.

Do you use a lot of antibacterial products?

Do you think they are good or are they bad?

Are you afraid of any negative effects they might have on you and your family in the long run?

Review – Iron & Velvet – Luxury Cleaning Products

iron & velvet – Luxury Cleaning Products Logo

Have you ever heard about Iron & Velvet – Luxury Cleaning Products? No? Hmm, me neither, until a few months ago that is. I spotted Iron & Velvet on Twitter and as a junky for all things cleaning related and a lover of luxury I just had to try them out.

So who are Iron & Velvet and what is so special about their product?

As per their website description: Iron & Velvet was born from a desire to improve. With over 30 years’ experience in the manufacture and development of specialist cleaning solutions to be used in the metal finishing industry we noticed that we had a different expectation of what “clean” is. For us, “clean” is a surface which has no impurities on whatsoever, even down to a microscopic level.

Currently Iron & Velvet have 14 cleaning solutions for use in and around the home. They are all manufactured in the UK at their site in the West Midlands. They use only the best materials and are proud of the products they make.

Iron & Velvet split their products into two separate collections – there is an interior collection and an exterior collection.

I was lucky to be sent a few products from each collection, so we can “test ride” them. So what did I get and how did they perform?

Iron & Velvet collection

This is the selection of Iron & Velvet products I received.

Let me start with the delivery itself.

You know how it seems some companies really don’t care about deliveries… once they got your money that’s it… Iron & Velvet cares! They actually care a lot. Every single bottle came in its own separate plastic bag. Every bag was separately sealed.

iron & velvet

This was great. I am a sucker for details and small things like this make a huge difference to me. I have received on many occasion cleaning / liquid products by post and I must admit they do not always reach me in a perfect condition. And believe me there is nothing worse than opening the parcel full of excitement just to discover your order is actually damaged or worse, ruined.
I am confident in saying that in the case of Iron & Velvet the chances of this happening are really zero.

Now let’s talk about the packaging.

Iron & Velvet products come in see-through bottles of different shapes and sizes. I like it. Why? Simple because I can see how much product is left, without playing the guess when will I run out game. Some bottles have just a simple screw on top, some have a top and a spray and some have a spray only. The one with the spray only has however a very clever security mechanism, so you can lock it when not in use and thus avoid any accidental spraying.

iron & velvet bottles types

One other thing about the packaging – every bottle has clear directions for use, suitability and storage, safety warnings and content information, which includes % and some chemical names as well as clear details about the company, so basically everything you might want to find on the bottle is present.

Now it is time for the products themselves.

I must admit, I didn’t use the Barbeque Cleaner (simply because by the time I received the products our BBQs were already prepared for the season and didn’t need any cleaning) or the Decking Cleaner (no excuse here, I am just too lazy). I did however try all the rest.

iron & velvet Car ShampooCar shampoo is the one product making me laugh every time I look at it. It is red / violet in colour yet its fragrant is called Blue Lagoon 🙂 Ok, I know that one has nothing to do with the other but for some bizarre reason I would expect blue lagoon to be… guess what… blue! Car shampoo comes in a 750ml screw top bottle. Despite the lack of blue colour it does smell like the sea or a sea breeze or a sea front, I guess it depends where you go to the sea side. The smell is pleasant and not overpowering. The surprising bit for me however was how effective it is. Ok, I am not a car shampoo expert as you know from my earlier posts; our car is always a bit neglected, but if I didn’t read the label I would most likely put about half of the bottle into my bucket, when in fact you only need a 50ml of shampoo to 5l of water. And this amount is sufficient to clean your car, which means that one bottle will last you for 15 car washes or in my case a lifetime 😉 The shampoo works great and I can’t fault it in any way.

Moving on…

The interior collection has quite a few different products. They are split into three categories which are easily recognized by different colours. Kitchen collection is kind of green-ish, bathroom pink-ish and household specific products have a kind of yellow-brown colour of the liquid. I like colour coordination so for me it works perfectly. I would be much happier to display them outside of the cupboards, as they are products of a similar design and colour rather than a colourful mish-mash of products we all usually have, this would just drive me crazy all the time.

Most of the interior collection has a really nice and interesting smell – there is mango, coconut and lime, sandalwood, orange and ginger, ylang ylang and my personal favourite apple and mint.

iron & velvet Glass and Mirror Cleaner

The apple and mint fragrance belongs to the Glass and Mirror Cleaner. This product comes in 500ml spray with the top bottle. Sharing the house with a gloopy Newfoundland can only mean one thing – there is always something to clean and we like mirrors. We have a mirror in every room in the house (except for the front room at the moment) and they get dirty on a daily basis. There are some things which you can ignore when your house isn’t sparkly clean but a mirror for me isn’t one of them. I simply can’t stand looking into a mirror and sharing the view of myself with loads of dog slobber (and if you are wondering how come dog slobber gets onto a mirror… well, it gets everywhere including the ceiling, so hey ho…)
When it comes to cleaning mirrors and windows for years I used just one product and one brand only. Everything else that I have tried just wasn’t good enough, but Iron & Velvet actually is. Iron & Velvet Glass and Mirror Cleaner not only smells amazing but what’s most important is it cleans the mirror and glass with ease. For a normal family living in a normal living condition without a “slobber machine” which works 24/7 dirty mirrors might not be such a problem but for us it is… believe me. You, my lovely readers, might struggle with water stains or dry speckles after toothpaste… I have to deal with slobber. If Iron & Velvet Glass and Mirror Cleaner works for me, it will for sure work for you as well. And it is not just the fact that it cleans the mirror and leaves them sparkly… to some degree most products will do this… what gets me is the ease of the cleaning process. It is almost like spray and wipe, no scrubbing necessary… it is brilliant! Same with the glass; our conservatory doors have never looked better.

Hmmm I am not even half way there and my post is well over 1200 words long. Ok, I think I will stop now and if you want to discover more about Iron & Velvet you should place an order.

But before I go I just want to give a special recognition to Iron & Velvet Floor Cleaner. It is so efficient and works like magic. All pet owners know how hard it is to clean dried muddy paw prints… well for Iron & Velvet this isn’t a challenge at all! I hate mopping in general because I find it hideous and very tiring but with Iron & Velvet I hate this chore just a little bit less.

So from me Iron & Velvet gets big thumbs up.

Special note to Iron & Velvet: I really like your products guys and I think you are creating something special!

As for you my lovely readers:

What are your favourite cleaning products or brands?

Did you try Iron & Velvet yet?

iron & velvet products selection

Family Fever

* Products were provided free of charge for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.

Dyson helping you to battle allergens #NoHiddenDust

There are a lot of things in the world to get excited about; I had no idea that a vacuum cleaner could be one of them until I “met” Dyson Cinetic.

Dyson Cinetic

First of all it is a stunning looking machine; build on a ball technology it looks like no other vacuum cleaner. Its design reminds me of a high end sports car engine. It is something you really don’t want to hide in your under stair cupboard.

Secondly and this is the more important part it can help you battle the allergens from your home… you know all the nasty dust mites, pollen and mould… Did you ever imagine that a vacuum cleaner will help you with your allergies?

Dyson is the only vacuum cleaner manufactures which has a fully-equipped in house microbiology lab, which enables them to develop healthier and more hygienic appliances. This means that they are better equipped to deal with the nasties that lurk in our carpets and furniture.

Did you know that an average bed has up to 3 million dust mites? But they live not only in your bed mattress… they live in your carpet, pillows, soft furnishing and all the soft toys your child loves so much, oh and let’s not forget about all the makeup brushes and eyes shadow applicators… We can follow a few easy steps to reduce the dust mite population:

  • Vacuum your mattress regularly in order to pick up dry skin cells and dust mite faeces (Dyson’s vacuum cleaners are all approved by the Allergy Foundation so you know they will “eat” it up).
  • Replace your pillows at least once a year.
  • Do not make your bed straight after you get up; let it cool down a bit.
  • Wash all bedding on 60 degree cycle (or higher) as dust mites can’t survive extreme temperatures.
  • Freeze your child soft toys and your beloved makeup brushes. Again extreme temperatures will kill dust mites and freezing instead of washing will help you to preserve the original shape of the toy.

Another allergen which is very common is pollen. This is the one which is making me cry like a baby sometimes… sometimes my morning walk with the dogs suddenly becomes a nightmare: red puffy eyes, tears everywhere and all I can do is sneeze… and then sneeze some more… You would think that the pollen problem is restricted to the outside, but it is not. We bring it indoors on our clothing and shoes or it simply gets in once you open the window. Again there are some tips we can follow in order to minimize pollen impact on our everyday life:

  • Keep your lawn short; it will prevent any grass from flowering, which means reducing pollen count.
  • Try not to dry your clothes outside when the pollen count is high especially in the morning and early evening.
  • Airing the house is very important but again let’s try to avoid high pollen times.

Last but not least there is the problem of pets. Did you know that is it actually the dog or cat saliva which makes you sneeze rather than the fur itself? This explains a few things… normally I have no problems with pets as you would expect from someone who owns four of them but every now and then after a cuddling session especially with Bunk I get a huge rash on my hands. I had already noticed that this is happening after he licks me but I never put these two things together… the rash goes away within 30 minutes or so, but it is very itchy and it doesn’t look good at all. Just like with the nasties above, when it comes to pet allergies there are certain things that we can do to help reduce any occurrences:

  • Groom your pet regularly. You can try a vacuum grooming tool to make this job easier.
  • Wash any dog bedding on 60 degree cycle.
  • Vacuum your house as often as possible, to remove all the loose hair containing pet saliva.

These three allergens as stated above are causing a lot of problems, but as much as we would like to we are not able to get rid of them… we can only reduce them. Mould is the one which we can and should try to eliminate completely. Mould can lead to watery and itchy eyes and runny noses, this is one kind type of mould, but some of them can be toxic and are really harmful so we should get rid of mould as soon as we spot any… or even better do not allow any mould to grow in our house in the first place. Keeping your house clean and dry will help you battle mould.

So now that you know what is lurking in your house, how do you feel about it? My reaction was:

Dyson #NoHiddenDust

Scary stuff isn’t it?

Anyway, Dyson can help you fight all of these.

I do not own one but I would love to. I had a chance to see it in action and experience its full power.

We tested how Dyson and other vacuum cleaner will perform when picking up some baking powder from a high gloss shiny surface… have a look at the final effect…

Dyson Baking Powder Test

Dyson ate it all, leaving a clean surface behind whilst the competitor vacuum smudged the baking powder all over the floor… I can assume a similar effect whilst dealing with dust mites for example.

I have a short video I took while we were testing the Dyson Cinetic abilities over and over again… it is a bit wobbly at times but it shows you clearly that there is no safe place for the dust (or baking powder in this case) to hide.

If you are in need of a new vacuum you might want to consider the Dyson Cinetic. Its technology is like no other and I am sure it will serve you well… after all Dyson made 2000 prototypes whilst creating this stunning machine.

It is not cheap but you will get 5 years parts and labour guarantee and no need for bags, no loss of suction and no filter fuss! I am adding one to my Wish List. With all the pets in the house I could really do with a vacuum cleaner which doesn’t get blocked by dog hairs every 2 minutes.

Do you have any experience with a Dyson vacuum?

Did you know that they can help to battle allergens?

* Pictures in this post were taken by A. Sherratt and they all belong to Dyson Ltd.
The wobbly video is my own 🙂
I was invited by Dyson to attend bloggers event in London.
I was not paid to write this post but I received a goodie bag.

Review – Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No. 1 – for all your leathers

chamberlain’s leather milkToday leather can be found everywhere – we have leather clothes and shoes, we sit on leather sofas and chairs, we have leather upholstery in our cars and let’s not forget about our handbags or briefcases…

Over time when untreated, leather will lose its natural oils and moisture. We can prevent it by using a specialist cleaning product and conditioners, just like Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No. 1.
Leather products, most of the time, come with a high price tag so it is important to look after them in order to enjoy their beauty for years to come.

When I heard that Chamberlain’s are looking for bloggers to put their conditioner to test I couldn’t resist. I had two main things in mind – our sofa and Marks bike leathers – which I really wanted to test it on. As it ended up I was prohibited from touching Marks leathers… apparently clean and shiny bike gear is a big NO, NO! He doesn’t want to look like someone who just left a show room so the bike leathers were out…

I was left with our beloved sofa as a test subject…

Our Sofa

When we bought it we didn’t have dogs… or cats for that matter so we didn’t really consider how hard or easy it would be to keep clean. For a normal family environment it is not that hard, you wipe it clean every now and then and it will usually, barring accidents, stay clean till next time… all you have to worry about is dust settling on top of it. For us it is a bit different… We have Bunk… he gloops everywhere, he goes for a drink and then has the overwhelming need for a major head shake in the middle of our front room just next to the sofa… so you see… our sofa gets abused a lot, therefore it requires a special care plan.

I was wondering, if I treat it with Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No. 1, will it help to reduce the settling of new gloop… It does, but most of all it gives some much needed moisture back into our leather sofa. As we clean it much more than you would usually expect too, it is drying out much faster… Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No. 1 brings back the moisture level for us and gives it that soft, luxurious feel once again.

Chamberlain’s Leather Milk

Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No. 1 is a water based leather conditioner. It comes in an 8Fl.oz / 237 ml bottle, which has a very interesting shape. It is tall but slim, which makes it very easy to handle and pour from. You will also receive a pad, which is 13 cm in diameter round sponge, with a towel like feel, external finish.

It is important to remember that Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No. 1 is NOT a cleaner. If your leather is dirty, you will have to clean it before applying any conditioner.

As our sofa gets a clean on a regular basis all I used was a damp cloth and then a dry cloth, to remove any new “surprises” left on it by Bunk.

My full cleaning / conditioning kit
My full cleaning / conditioning kit

So how did the process work for me?

Easy, to be honest… all I did was…

  • Inspect the sofa and find all dirty spots
  • Clean it with dump cloth
  • Dry it
  • Apply conditioner
  • Buff the spot
  • Admire the final effect

Easy 6 steps

Supplying Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No. 1 with an application pad is a nice touch. The pad is the perfect size and it is easy to use… yes it gets dirty but you can wash it within seconds. All you need to do is pour some running water over it and all the dirt will go away, than squeeze the remaining water out and dry… once dry you are ready to go again.

application pad

Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No. 1 comes in a black bottle so you cannot really see how much of it is left, but after doing the whole sofa, I didn’t notice a big difference in the weight of the bottle, so I believe it to be very efficient.

Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No. 1 is 100% natural and contains no harsh chemicals. And it smells amazing. Can you imagine 100s of crushed almonds in your room – this is what it smells like! Really lovely and natural but gentle, it is not overwhelming or too powerful.

For this moment in the UK, Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No. 1 can be purchased only via the Amazon website and is priced at £16.95. Seems a lot but when you consider how much your leather items are worth, the number is not so scary anymore.

If you are wondering about other product from this brand, the whole leather selection includes:

  1. Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No.1 – water based leather conditioner – leather care liniment
  2. Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No.2 – straight cleaner
  3. Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No.3 – water protectant
  4. Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No.4 – water based leather conditioner for the car
  5. Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No.5 – water based leather conditioner for furniture treatment

So does the Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No. 1 work?

Yes, it does. It helps to restore your leathers to their full glory. It is easy to use and it smells great 😉

I would highly recommend it.

Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No.1 for all your leathers
Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No.1 for all your leathers
Family Fever
* I received a one bottle of Chamberlain’s Leather Milk No.1 for free for review purpose. All opinions about the products are honest and my own.