Is your phone trying to kill you?

The other day I spotted this article during one of my many internet cruises: “How clean is your mobile phone?” After a hygiene expert swabbed and analysed 30 handsets, 7 mobiles were dirty and had warning levels or higher of environmental bacteria (TVC). While not immediately harmful, elevated TVC levels indicate poor hygiene, and can act as a breeding ground for far worse bacterial nasty’s.

One mobile had such high levels of potentially harmful bacteria that it could give its user a serious stomach upset. Bugs found on the dirtiest mobile included faecal Coliforms (often associated with faecal matter) and Enterobacteriaceae (which includes bugs such as Salmonella).

Then during another cruise around the internet I spotted this gem:

A poll of 2,000 people, conducted by Sony and O2 has revealed that three quarters of people use their mobile phone while sitting on the toilet.

Our phones are dirtier than a public toilet flush mechanism! If you are not careful your phone could potentially put you in hospital with a very nasty disease. That is enough to cause most right thinking individuals to sit up and pay attention, I know for sure it did me. I started to hold my phone with my finger tips and not press it to my face. Then life takes over and the worry passes into the background boiling mass of thoughts only to surface occasionally, usually with the statement “Did you know…”.

Until, in another wonderful display of synchronicity I was offered by Cyber Clean to try out their new touch screen cleaning kit called (surprise, surprise) a “Touch Screen Cleaner”!

1. Cyber Clean Touch Screen Cleaner

The idea of the cleaner is simple – you spray – you wipe – you enjoy a bug free clean screen.

The cleaner comes in a handy pen like looking form. There is a spray on the top and a cleaning felt along the long edge of it. The cleaning tool is finished by a stylus, just in case you fed up of using your fingers 😉 Touch Screen Cleaner contains:

  • 1 x stylus pen
  • 1 x tablet clip
  • 3 x refills

2. Cyber Clean Touch Screen Cleaner

It is available in black or white, to suit your device I guess. It can be used with any tablet or smartphone.

The antiseptic solution used to create the cleaning liquid helps to eliminate germs, making your phone not only clean to the eye but hopefully also much more hygienic.

3. Cyber Clean Touch Screen Cleaner

Touch Screen Cleaner has a RRP of just £10.95. I think this really is a good price to pay for peace of mind in regards to safety while using our phone or a tablet. Ok, for this amount of money you can probably buy almost 11 full size (500ml) bottles of cleaning solutions when hunting down some special offers in your local superstore or shopping at Poundland but be honest with yourself and answer this: How often do you clean your mobile / tablet? Touch Screen Cleaner is an extremely convenient product; it is small, it contains all you need to turn your dirty, full of germs touch screen into a clean, safe and yet again friendly gadget. I bet having it around would significantly increase the chances of you actually cleaning your touch screen devices more often.

4. Cyber Clean Touch Screen Cleaner

Did you ever wonder how clean your mobile really is?

Do you clean it on a regular basic or only in the event when the screen is so messy that you can hardly see anything?

As for me, I used to clean it when my screen wasn’t sparkly clean, most likely with cotton pads and a window cleaner or my alcoholic tonic water (ooops)… I must admit I like my new cleaning “toy” and once empty I will for sure get some more refills!

5. Cyber Clean Touch Screen Cleaner

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* I received one pack of Touch Screen Cleaner free of charge for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own .

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.

Review – OXO Good Grips Twist Top Bottle

OXO Good Grips Twist Top BottleWe all know that staying well hydrated is a big deal and something which we shouldn’t forget about especially as summer is fully upon us now. That said, despite the fact that I clearly posses this knowledge, I very often forget to drink. I feel thirsty I wonder downstairs planning to get a drink and then… I get distracted. Time passes by and I still didn’t get myself that drink of water… I feel a bit tired (as I didn’t really drink) so I get a coffee (bad choice) and so on and so on… Ever since the lovely people at OXO sent me a twist top bottle my drinking routine has become much better. Maybe because the bottle is quite big, so it can hold more water, maybe because it has a top so no dust, hair or fly’s can get into my drink or maybe because it has a straw, which makes it more fun… not sure what the reason really is and it doesn’t really matter, but the fact is that my OXO Good Grips Twist Top Bottle is in use every day, all day.

I want to share with you the OXO Good Grips Twist Top Bottle description from the website, so you can have a bit better understanding what I am talking about.

OVERVIEW

Simplify sipping with the OXO Good Grips 24 oz Twist Top Bottle. The large opening makes filling, cleaning and adding ice easy. The 24 oz Twist Top Bottle features a soft, non-slip carrying loop that is angled downwards for a natural, comfortable hold and is perfect for attaching to backpacks. Convenient measurement markings help track how much you’re drinking and can be used as a reference when adding supplements. The Bottle fits in most car and exercise machine cup holders and the soft, flexible straw is easy to drink from while on the move. The twist-open lid keeps the straw covered and clean, and prevents spills when not in use.

OXO Good Grips Twist Top Bottle in blue

FEATURES & BENEFITS

  • Twist-open lid keeps straw clean and prevents spills when not in use
  • Soft, non-slip carrying loop
  • Large opening for filling, cleaning and adding ice
  • Convenient measurement markings
  • Dishwasher safe
  • 24-oz capacity
  • BPA free

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Dimensions: 3″ x 3″ x 8.75″
  • Weight: 6.7 oz (empty)

Now it will be easier for me to explain what I like about the bottle.

First the bottle is blue, it might be a silly reason for some but I like the colour blue and I like things to be colour coordinated so this works out for me perfectly.

OXO Good Grips Twist Top Bottle..

Secondly the twist top makes it secure – leak and spill proof – all you have to do it to twist the top in order to bend the straw and pinch it closed.

Third it has a wide opening, which makes it so much easier to fill with ice or thick drinks like milk shakes or fruit smoothies full of bits.

And last but not least it has a fantastic non slip handle for caring it around. The handle is fairly small which is great as it doesn’t make the bottle too bulky.

OXO Good Grips Twist Top Bottle.

Oh and I almost forgot… you can easily pull it to pieces so keeping it clean is not a problem.

Is there something I do not like about it?

Actually yes, there is one thing which I would love to see fixed or corrected. OXO Good Grips Twist Top Bottle has some lovely measuring marks – they are both in ml and oz but they only go up to 500ml / 16oz and bottle itself can hold up to 710ml / 24oz. It might not be a big problem but sometimes it is good to know exactly how much fluid we consume, so an enlarged scale of markings would come in very handy.

In UK this bottle is sold in blue only and it has a RRP of £10.

I think OXO Good Grips Twist Top Bottle represents great value for money. It is well made, the design is simple yet very practical and it is BPA free, so you really don’t have to worry about drinking the contents if left in a car in a heat wave.

So if you are on the market for a new water bottle I would highly recommend OXO Good Grips Twist Top Bottle.

OXO Good Grips Twist Top Bottle gets my approval and I am linking it into Tried and Tested.

OXO Good Grips Twist Top Bottle...

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* Product was provided by OXO free of charge for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own .

MyPure Choice – Madara Purifying Foam and Cleansing Milk

As most of you know I have dry, sensitive skin, which means that I can’t just put anything on my face… ok, I guess technically I could but it wouldn’t do me any good, that’s for sure.

MyPure

MyPure is an online store selling purely natural and organic skin care. Perfect for me! I was over the moon when I received an offer to work with them. Every month I get a budget of £30 to spend on my chosen product / products.

Madara from MyPureIt took me a while to select my first order as there are so many lovely brands and products I want to try. I started my selection from choosing the brand.

I picked Madara.

Their cosmetics are entirely natural and ecologically sound. As for the choice of the product, I went for a make-up remover, two of them exactly:

  • Madara Purifying Foam
  • Madara Cleansing Milk

Both of these products are natural, certified organic products, not tested on animals and suitable for vegetarians as well as vegans.

Madara Purifying Foam
Madara Purifying Foam

Madara Purifying Foam according to the website description: Rich and soft foam with Northern Yarrow extract deeply and gently purifies the skin. Removes make-up. Regulates oily zones while soothing dry areas. Skin feels refreshed and soft. Suitable for use around the eyes.

Ingredients: Aqua Sodium Cocamphoacetate Rosa Damascena (Rosa) Flower Water, Alcohol Glycerin, Lactic Acid Surcose Cocoate Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Camomile) Flower Extract, Aroma

Packaging: 150ml bottle fitted with pump and a cap. Bottle has all the relevant information present: ingredients list, description and directions for use, manufacturer details and use by date (which is not coded).

Madara Purifying Foam in action
Madara Purifying Foam in action

Texture: it is foam, not sure what else I can tell you. It is quite “loose” when touched, it disappears / absorbs very quickly. It requires only gentle spreading to get it to work; this must be the reason why it is suitable for delicate eye areas.

Fragrant: there is something there, so it is not fragrant free but it is very, very gentle. Whatever it is, it is pleasant and hardly noticeable (at first I actually thought that it was totally fragrant free, but it is not)

Price: £15

After use thoughts: As a make-up remover it works perfectly and it is very gentle. Skin is left clean and feeling fresh but it is lacking a good moisturising effect for me.

Madara Cleansing Milk
Madara Cleansing Milk

Madara Cleansing Milk according to the website description: Creamy and soothing milk with Northern Oat and Linden Flower cleanses gently and effectively. Removes makeup. Helps maintain the skin’s moisture barrier. Skin feels soft, supple and comfortably clean, never dry. Suitable for use around the eyes. Great for dry skin types.

Ingredients: Aqua Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Alcohol Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate Tilia Cordata (Linden) Flower Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Plantago Major (Plantain) Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Tocopherol Ascorbyl Palmitate Sodium Phytate Potassium Hydroxide Aroma, Citronellol, Geraniol

Packaging: 200ml bottle fitted with pump. Bottle has all the relevant information present: ingredients list, description and directions for use, manufacturer details and use by date (which is not coded).

Madara Cleansing Milk in action
Madara Cleansing Milk in action

Texture: milky and creamy with texture similar to most face moisturisers; very easy to apply and spread around.

Fragrant: gentle and very pleasant. It is based on linden flower so maybe this is it. The fragrant doesn’t stay with you for long, it is gone within few minutes.

Price: £15

After use thoughts: leaves your skin smooth and soft and well moisturised, which was a very nice surprise due to the inclusion of content number three, which is alcohol. It removes make-up with such ease, even the waterproof stuff. Skin is left soft and moist with a visible healthy glow.

My Madara order from MyPure

Both these product perform just as stated and do their job well. Madara Purifying Foam for me works best as a cleanser plus it is perfect as an eye make-up remover due to its texture. There is very little “scrubbing” motion needed, it penetrates your skin under just a gentle touch.

Madara Cleansing Milk gives you a bit extra, it leaves your skin moist and for someone with a balanced skin type, I would even suggest it could work as a moisturiser, so you could treat it as 2 in 1 product 🙂

When picking these products I was thinking that they will do the same job, but actually they do vary in their main tasks a little. After my first go I was thinking that I would not find a use for the purifying foam due to my overwhelming preference for the cleansing milk, but as the days were passing by I found myself reaching for it more and more often in order to do just the eye areas. It really makes a difference. There is no irritation, no redness; it is perfect for this task.

I am very pleased with my first MyPure choices. I would recommend both products I chose and I would be happy to purchase them again.

Did you have any experience with MyPure or Madara?

Family Fever

*Products featured in this post were provided for free by MyPure for review purpose.

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.