Crystal Wash Product Review

Image Source:  CrystalWash.com

It's occasionally been both questionable and debatable as to whether I'm an adult.  I can be crass and juvenile and all sorts of things that are "unbecoming of an adult".  I jokingly used "explosive diarrhea" in conversation at work yesterday without batting an eye.  I wouldn't have thought anything of it had my boss not been a bit taken aback by it.  The same boss that I hid behind a wall to jump-scare earlier this week.  I have the body of an adult, but it's not often that I actually feel (or act, I'm told) like an adult.

But alas, I have arrived.

I am officially a full-fledged adult.

I have a 7-seat SUV that is littered with my children's crushed animal crackers, Pokemon cards, empty water bottles, and—for some unexplainable reason—dirty socks.  But this does not make me an adult.

I pay bill after bill after bill and am actually reasonably caught up on current events and torments, but this does not make me an adult.

What brought me into the realm of actually being an adult?  I realized it when I got excited about a laundry product.  And then I got to test that product, and now I'm sharing my thoughts and experiences about that product with you.

And let me get this out there to begin with, I sought this company out.  I found their product on a blog and was intrigued by it (to be honest, they hooked me with the promise of "save hundreds per year".)



Image Source:  CrystalWash.com
Cause seriously, I'm all about saving money.

So I went to the company's webpage, CrystalWash.com and I found that there was more to these than the promise of saved money.  These pods have been proven to be as effective as laundry detergent and sanitize as well as laundry detergent.  Plus they don't use chemicals, dyes, perfumes or any of that stuff, they use SCIENCE.  (Insert inner-geek squeak here).  They used minerals that have anti-biotic and antibacterial properties (borrowing their wording) to develop bioceramics that both disinfect and deep clean your laundry.

I continued to research this product and googled reviews from customers who had tried the product, but having two kids (one in diapers), a husband, and two pets (one requiring over-priced prescription food) I just wasn't sure about forking over $60 on the promise of saving so much more.  Perhaps I've been reviewing products too long, I've gotten used to trying things out and then telling others how much I love (or don't love) them.

So I decided that I wanted to product test these, too.  I shot the company a proposal via email and was pleased to get a positive response back from them.  The following week, I had the product in my hand and soon-after in my washer.



After a week and a half of testing and some pretty smelly loads of sweaty laundry, I couldn't be happier with the Crystal Wash Laundry Pods.  Honestly.  They're not a miracle product that suddenly eliminates any need for pre-treaters and there will be some items (as there typically are with traditional detergent) that you have to re-treat and wash again.  But these clean my laundry just as well as those expensive little Tide pods I've been using for the past two years.

Wanna see some proof?

Here you go!

Ehxibit One

Beckett's cute little Fire Truck romper got tossed to the side after a hasty and unexpected change of clothes as we were walking out the door.  The curdled milk that he had thrown up on it sat on the outfit for days.  It smelled delightful when I discovered it.  (read with extreme sarcasm)  Typically I would hit it with some Dreft pre-treater before tossing it in the wash, but this was in my very first load of laundry with the Crystal Wash pods and I wanted to see if it would come out both looking and smelling clean.

It's not easy to tell based on the pictures, but there is dried milk between the top two snaps, this came out without problem and the smell was 100% gone.

Before (left) and after (right)

Exhibit Two

Exhibit two is one of Jason's t-shirts.  He is forever getting grease spots, food stains, and sweat all over his clothes.  I'm told that all three are just a part of being a man.  But it makes doing laundry less fun (particularly when you pick up a shirt and can both feel and smell the sweat, but that's neither here nor there.)

This particular shirt had some food splatter on it that I suspected was barbecue sauce.  Again, I did not pre-treat the stain at all because I wanted to see how effective the devices were.  And again, I was pleased.  The stain almost completely came out (I really had to look to find it) and the smell of all that The Husband accomplished in this shirt was gone as well.

Before (left) and after (right)

Exhibit Three

I never realized how hard it is to take a picture of a grease stain before.  In the left picture you can see a dark line across the lower left side of the pocket and if you look carefully, you can see a large grease stain over the mid-to-right lower side of the pocket.  In the after picture on the right, the dark line is still there (I have no luck with these car-related rub stains with regular detergent and pre-treater, either), but the large stain of olive oil is gone.  

Before (left) and after (right)

Exhibit Four

And finally, to make sure that each individual in the household is represented, below is one of Ty's smelly, filthy play shirts.  For those of you who have boys, you know that on active days they have this smell that mixes sweat and wet-dog and is sprinkled with an even less pleasing unidentified odor.

This shirt REEKED.  It was also covered in stains of food, dirt, grass, and who knows what else.  In it went into the laundry, and out it came.  Noticeably cleaner, but still needing some pre-treater and a second wash.  I should have taken a third picture to show it all clean and back on a hanger now but I forgot.  
Before (left) and after (right)

The Results

Again, I'll say that this isn't some miracle product that will magically eliminate every laundry headache that you've grown accustomed to battling for the last X number of years of your life.  Those will still be there, but Crystal Wash is every bit as good as regular laundry detergent and it truly is going to save me money.  

I was paying 31.7 cents per pod for the Tide+Febreeze Pods that I was previously using.  For 1,000 loads (the life-span of Crystal Wash), I would spend more than $300.  Compare that to the regular price of $59.99 (stay tuned, I have a discount for you!), and I'm saving more than $250.

Here's the math.


Added Perks

Not only has Crystal Wash eliminated the expense and the mess of laundry detergent for me, but it's also pleasantly reduced the smells in the washer for me.  You know the smells.  Maybe you leave that load of laundry in the washer a little longer than you intended...three days longer to be exact, or maybe it's just been a while since you've run the clean cycle on your machine and you forgot to leave the lid open when you moved the clothes to the dryer, your washer (and the clothes washed in it) start to get that smell.  The oily smell of a washer that needs to be cleaned or the stink of clothes that sat, wet, in your closed up machine for days.

I opened my washer last night expecting to be hit in the face with that smell from the clothes that I washed on Sunday.  (Don't pretend like you don't do this, too).  Instead, no smell smacked me in the face, it wasn't until I picked the clothes up and sniffed them that I could tell they definitely needed to be rewashed, but even then the odor was not nearly as strong as what it was.

And I believe this goes back to a theory that my dad shared with us a few years ago.  There are a lot of petroleum based products used in liquid detergent and liquid fabric softener, over time the oil in these products builds up in your machine and this build up develops that smell.  What if those same oils are building up in our clothes over time?  That is, after-all, why it's recommended that you use little to no detergent with fleece materials (fun fact for the day).  Using dry detergent cuts back on those smells (which is why I alternate to dry detergent periodically), but the bio-ceramics in Crystal Wash will help eliminate those smells, too.

Long story short, I like them.

They clean my clothes well and without chemicals, they save me money, they make my clothes smell clean (note:  clean is the absence of smell, not the presence of a "clean" fragrance), and I had nothing to lose in trying them.  And that's not just because I had the privilege of product testing them, it's because they have a 60-day money back guarantee.  

If you're even considering these a little bit, I recommend that you try them.  These not only make laundry easier on me, but they make it almost fool proof for The Husband and The Oldest Boy.  There's no worry about too much or too little detergent, there's no mess to clean up or empty box or bottle to throw away.  It's just two softball sized plastic pods that I put in the washer and leave there.  When I run a load I log into the handy little app (does your detergent have an app?) and I press the washing machine and it tracks for me how many more washes I have left until I need to "recharge" the bioceramics (by simply leaving them in the sun for a day) or replace them (after 1,000 washes).

It gets better

If you're interested in trying Crystal Wash, now is the perfect time!  The company has shared a link with me that will earn you 20% OFF your purchase, plus you still have the 60-day money back guarantee.  

But if you try them, please do me a favor and let me know so I can follow up with you and make sure that you like them.  I hope you're as pleased with them as I am.

If you have questions about this product, please feel free to ask me, I'd be happy to share my thoughts and experiences.




I received this product in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I was not given monetary compensation for this post or any other posts made in relation to the Crystal Wash company or product.  The results, opinions, and experiences are my own and are not influenced by the company or any other entity or individual.  

More than you realize

I've been seeing the same few ads on Facebook lately.  They're not interesting, they're not relevant, and they are getting kind of annoying after seeing them over and over again.

So today I just clicked "Hide Ad" to get rid of it and noticed that Facebook had a message where I could change my advertising settings.

Always one to give feedback, I clicked on the link and I was amazed to see how much Facebook had learned about me.  I'm Tech-Savy so I know that every app I connect to my Facebook Account teaches them a little bit more about me.  I also know how much my computer tells Facebook about me every time I access their website from my phone or computer.

So I was completely unsurprised to see myself in the following categories:

          Gmail Users (my logon is a gmail address, so that was a given)
          Primary OS Windows 10
          WiFi Connection
          All iOS Devices
          3G (US)
          Primary Browser: Chrome

I thought it was interesting, but—again—not surprising that I was in these groups:
          iPad Air 2
          iPhone 5S
          All Mobile Devices
          Smartphone Owners

And given that I had it listed on my profile, I wasn't surprised to see current and past employers and schools listed on this page, too.

The things that did surprise me, though, are the things that I never even considered that a company would keep tabs on or take time to get to know about me.

Lifestyle & Culture

          Christian
          (08-12 Years) Parents with Preteens
          (01-02 Years) Parents with Toddlers
          Away from hometown
          Away from family
          US Politics (Very Conservative)
          Likely to Engage in Politics (Conservative)
          Commuter
          Photo Uploaders
          Technology early adopters
          Millennials
          Family Based Households


News & Entertainment

          Grammar
          The Big Bang Theory
          Science Fiction Convention
          Fan Convention

People 

          Nathan Fillion (Well of course, has he ever made a bad show?)

Travel, Places & Events

Here Facebook has made note of the town that I live in, the county that I live in, and even the fact that I live in the county seat.

As both a millennial and someone who piddles and fiddles around with gadgets and technology, I'm not at all surprised that tabs are being kept on us.  Knowing that every little decision we make can be used in advertising and marketing doesn't at all surprise me, but seeing the categories that I've been lumped into just simply based on what I share, like and comment on...that kinda brings things home to me.

And it makes me think about my witness as a Christian, too.

I'm grateful and proud that some of my labels are "Christianity" and "Very Conservative" and "Family Based Households".  How humiliating would it be if my labels were associated with inappropriate websites or secret behaviors?  What if Facebook was telling advertisers things about me that I wouldn't even tell my closest friends?  How would I feel if I stood before everyone I knew and had that list scrolling behind me for everyone to read?  I didn't find anything embarassing on mine...but I also didn't have a Facebook page back before I was a mom.  My teen years weren't documented on social media.  A good portion of my mistakes (thankfully) haven't been immortalized through the internet.

What would our kids marketing tags say?  What will they say when they're our age?

Maybe now is a good time to stop thinking about what to say on Facebook and start thinking about what our Facebook says about us...

Product Review | Medical Grade Otoscopes

Recently I had a company who gave me the opportunity to test two of their medical grade otoscopes so that I could provide a review for Amazon.com, as well as for my followers. All two of you.

The company Gurin, gave me discounts on both of these products in exchange for my reviews.  However, these are my opinions based on my experience with these products.  They are not swayed, padded, or influenced in any way.

Part of what made me want to try out these otoscopes is the fact that our youngest, Beckett (who is almost a year old) has had more ear infections than he's had monthly birthdays (or whatever you call that day when I forget to put a sticker on his shirt and spend two hours trying to get the perfect picture to make my Facebook and Instagram friends think that I've successfully achieved Pinterest Mom status).

Image Source:  Amazon.com
The first otoscope that I received from Gurin was the SantaMedical Professional Otoscope with Hard Plastic Case.  Upon unboxing it, I was glad to see the replacement halogen bulb and additional reusable specula.  Before putting the batteries in the device I was worried about how 'professional' it would be as it felt extremely light.  After putting in the 2 C-cell batteries (not included), it felt like the otoscopes that I had handled before.

I used it to peer into the baby's ears and then into my 10 year old's ears and was pleased with how well you can see down the ear and into the canal even without using the magnification.  The case also makes it really convenient to store it in the closet or to toss it in the diaper bag.  One thing I would like to have seen (that other otoscopes in a similar price range came with) would be an image that shows the user what to look for.  Because I'm not a doctor I can only presume that my boys ears were healthy (albeit a bit dirty...)  A graphic similar to this would have been extremely helpful and beneficial for the Average Joe like me.

Source:  teething-teeth.com

As an Average Joe that's basing her opinion on the use of this device and not with comparison to any prior actual use of other devices, I give it a 4 stars out of 5.  I would have liked to have seen a bit more metal (or perhaps a more substantial type of metal) on the head of the otoscope as the plastic doesn't feel as durable.  For what I'm using it for, this shouldn't be an issue though.

Image Source:  Amazon.com
The second otoscope that I received was the Professional Fiber Optic Otoscope with Zippered Leather Case.  I liked the looks of this device better than I did the other one and I really liked that it came with several specula to use with it.  Immediately out of the box I liked the way that it felt in my hand, but for me it wasn't as easy to turn on and off as the SantaMedical otoscope above.  The black ring around the body of the device twists just like the other one did, but it didn't seem to "click" on or off as cleanly.

I noticed that this device didn't light up as brightly as the other otoscope.  Perhaps it was a difference in the specula that I was using (the SantaMedical device came with different size specula, this one seemed to only have multiple of one perhaps 'universal' size.).  This difference made me feel like I couldn't see as far into the baby's ears as I hoped to and as I was able to with the other device.  Because he's the one that I would be using this for the most, I preferred the other device to this one.

The leather case is more compact than the hard plastic case of the earlier instrument and has pockets on the inside for storing both the instrument and the container of specula.  For this otoscope as well, I think it would have been beneficial to have received an ear chart as above.  If I could give half-stars for this device, I think I would give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars simply because even with the magnification I couldn't see as far into the ear as I wanted to.  Overall, though, I feel it's a good instrument and is well made for the price-range so I would round up on this one and give it a 4 stars out of 5.


Want to learn more about testing and reviewing products?

These are my favorite sites to test from.  Check them out and let me know what you think!

Influenster
Tomoson
BuView
AMZ Review Trader

Product Review | Ivation GW18 Dash Cam

I was recently given the opportunity to do some more product testing!  A company called Ivation gave me the opportunity to test two of their dash cams!  Game on!  I'm what is described as a driver "with a sense of purpose", so a dash cam is right down my road (ba dum tiss).

Straight out of the box I liked the looks of the GW18 camera.  It's small and compact, which you want when you're mounting it on your windshield.  You can hide it behind your rear view mirror or you can position it so that it just peeks out from under the mirror.  Either way, it doesn't take up a lot of real estate.

The camera is easy to assemble and installation is relatively painless, depending on the vehicle.  Hiding wires is always a pain, but in some vehicles it's more-so.  If the wire were just slightly smaller it would have worked better for me around the windshield, but it seems to be an industry standard, most of my auto devices have the same size.

Right off of the bat I had troubles with the suction cup that secures the dash cam.  This seems to be a common problem with both this camera and the other one that I received as many reviews addressed the need for a larger suction cup.  If you can get yours to stick, never touch or move it again.  It might come loose and then you have to fight that fight all over again.  Believe me when I say it is NOT fighting the good fight!


As far as set up and installation of the actual device itself, this one was pretty easy.  Secure the device, insert the card, and off you go!  The device plugs in to your car's cigarette lighter port.  It would have been nice if the charger head had one or two USB hubs on it since it's occupying an often used part of the vehicle.  Instead of USB outlets, there's a large square blue light that shines at you continually.  And at night, depending on your vehicle, the blue light reflects onto your windshield and shows up in every single video the dash cam captures.  It's nothing a piece of electrical tape won't cover, but it's a bit annoying for those of us who are perfectionists.

All in all, this device gets a ⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating (out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️).  The issues with the suction cup affects the use and operation of the device.  The device shouldn't have passed testing with this issue and there certainly shouldn't have been multiple models made with the same problem.

If this issue were fixed the camera would be a solid 4 out of 5 stars.  It's not perfect, but it is good.


*i received this product at a discounted price in exchange for a fair and honest review.*

Product Review | Kids Knit Beanie & Scarf Set

I've had quite a few opportunities to test some fantastic products over the past few years.  Some are incredible.  Some are complete duds.  And some are great products that are awesome on their own, but just didn't work for me.  This product is not a complete dud.  However, it just didn't quite work for us.  Not yet at least.

This product was the very cute Kids Knit Beanie & Scarf Set.

I applied for the privilege to product test this set as it was marketed as a unisex Children's set.  Had I paid better attention, I would have seen that all three of the colors shown and sold had this applique on it. There's nothing really wrong with the applique, but at Beckett's age it's not always easy to tell if a baby is a boy or a girl.  No one likes complimenting someone on their precious baby girl and then being told it's actually a boy.  (I know, I did this to a couple in church a few months ago.  The beautiful child's daddy was NOT impressed with my snafu.  But this is what happens when you dress your child in non-gender specific clothes.)

So when I got this set and saw the applique, I decided that for everyone's sake, it had to go.  But man, they really put that thing on there!  Which is good because that means that no teething tot is going to be able to chew or pull it off and choke on it.  There's VERY little chance of that happening with that set.  It was SECURE.

So after a lot of effort, I finally got the design off and started chasing Beckett around the house trying to get pictures of him in it.  For weeks I did this.  And for weeks I got the same response.


If he could talk, he would be saying "GET THIS THING OFF OF ME!"

So here are my thoughts on this set.

It's cute.  Really cute.  And it's really well made.  Quality, to me, is not an issue with this set.

I had no clue what style of a hat I was getting based on the pictures, though.  I'm not a trendsetter with the floppy knit hats so I have absolutely no idea how to put this hat on my kid, as you can tell by the pictures.  Fortunately, my kid is cute in everything.  (I'm a mom, my job is to gush.)

This scarf is really a bit big for a kiddo Beckett's size.  And he was really not interested in wearing the hat either (even though he tolerates other hats reasonably well).

I think that in time this set will work better for us.  And by then maybe I'll know better how to style it (fortunately for me, I have a sister who is a little more "with the times", I bet she can help me out).  When Beckett's toddling around in his first (or second) snow, this will be a great set to have.

Rating this set, I give it a four out of five stars—docking it one star mostly because (to me) it's not a unisex set and because the pictures don't clearly show the customer the style of the hat that they're buying.


*I received this product at a free or reduced price in exchange for a honest review.*

Product Review | AleHorn Tankard

I recently had the opportunity to test a truly one-of-a-kind product when I received a unique Tankard Drinking Horn courtesy for AleHorn.

This horn is such a neat and interesting piece and it looks incredible when you see it in person. It's formed of 100% natural horn.


Since this was right down his alley, I let The Husband test this product out. He loved it from the get-go. I'm pretty sure that he was transported in time each time he held it in his hand. The quality of the horn lends itself to making you feel it's from another time and another place.

I especially love the touch of the brand name on the bottom of the cup. This would have been an awesome and unique gift idea for The Husband for Christmas.  If you want to check out this product, click over to their website and you can learn more about this one-of-a-kind, beautiful product.

*I received this product for free to test and provide my fair, honest, and unbiased opinion.*

Merry Christmas from us Crazy Cats!


Starting off the Christmas Season with some merry wishes from those crazy cats: Jason, Ashley, Ty & Beckett.