Okay, so it’s robot vacuum day on Shelterrific! The table-top robot butler got us thinking about the Roomba. Even though they’ve made a splash (or vroom, if you will) on the domestic landscape, I donâ€™t actually know of anyone who uses one. iRobot not only has the Roomba to vacuum your floors but they also make a Scooba to wash them, a Dirt Dog to sweep your garage, a Verro to clean your pool, and a Looj to clean your gutters. Do you have your own household cleaning robot? How well does it work? And, more importantly, how long before they become sentient and try to take over the world from their human masters? — Katie D.
When I was little, I dreamed about when I would grow up. I’d picture myself in my twenties in a high-rise floating apartment with bright pink Jem hair and a robot assistant. I don’t live in a high rise and I’m still a brunette, but I’m one step closer to the personal robot assistant of my dreams with the mini robo vacuum from Fred Flare, $20. This adorable guy is happy to be your crumb valet and whisk away all those wayward toast morsels every morning. — Katie D.
Here’s a new one for us. Luke writes:
“I have tried everything but nothing worked. How do you remove those hard water stains inside your toilet?”
We’re not exactly sure what constitutes “everything,’ but a little online sleuthing did lead us to some forums and articles on removing those stains. Here’s a video that recommends draining the water from the toilet, then pouring in two two-liter bottles of cola and letting it sit for four hours to break down the stain, though a couple commenters say it didn’t work for them. There are also a lot of other videos that pop up at that link. Several sources, like this how-to guide at Reader’s Digest, suggest using The Works. Commenters at this Thrifty Fun forum suggest everything from spraying the bowl with Listerine to using an S.O.S. soap pad.
I confess this isn’t a problem I’ve had to deal with myself, so I don’t have personal experience to share. Readers, any tips for Luke? — Mary T.
I try to take little steps each day toward living a greener life. Original Spaghetti Scrub by Goodbye Detergent! is going to be my next step. The eco-friendly scrubber consists of natural abrasives made from corn cobs and peach pits that reduce the need for harsh detergents. Plus, they dry quickly and completely so thereâ€™s never a stinky or moldy sponge in your sink. Pick up a package of two for $8.95 at Crate and Barrel. — Erica P.
Typical situation: I walked into Anthropologie yesterday and saw something for the “love” list. This week’s obsession? Felted soap. Handmade in the USA by Fiat Luxe, these adorable little soaps double as sudsy (and anti-fungal!) washcloths that can be reused when the original scented soap has magically disappeared. Made with no synthetic, chemical, nor animal ingredients, they may be the perfect thing for that weary post-holiday shopper: you! You can find Fiat Luxe Felted Soap for $14 at Anthropologie, Beautyhabit, or Amazon.com. Or if you prefer to let your wallet sleep in, see simple soap felting DIY instructions here and here. — Sarah C.