The 'schtick' on 'schticky'

August 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
We spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on infomercial products.

Two "As Seen on TV" products are currently trying to sell you on reusable lint rollers. Never knew you needed one? Consumer Reports puts them to the test - the $20 Schticky and the $10 Sticky Buddy.

First, a tester "schtickied up" messes around Consumer Reports' headquarters, then took on pet hair at home. The tester compared the infomercial products with a regular old lint roller. Turns out they all work. They pick up lint. They pick up cat hair. They pick up coins.

But an advantage with a conventional lint roller is a quick rip gets you to a clean sheet. The reusable Schticky and Sticky Buddy both need to be washed. The infomercial says "with a little water, the dirt comes right off." "Then just rinse it, dry it, and use it all over again." Well, Consumer Reports found that's not exactly the case.

You have to rub them, and you should use soap. It takes a bit longer than the commercials show you. And Consumer Reports found that you have to take off the end caps and drain them thoroughly, otherwise water gets trapped inside and can leak out later.

Consumer Reports says you might want to "shtick" with a lint roller for quicker cleanups, and for bigger jobs go for a vacuum. Consumer Reports' testers have a great upright vacuum to recommend at a great price. It's the $180 Hoover WindTunnel Max, model UH30600.


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