Monday, April 8, 2013

Home Collection 70"x72" Vinyl Shower Curtains (Dollar Tree)

You get what you pay for...
I was surprised to see that Dollar Tree carried these, as I would have thought the size alone would have required more than a dollar’s worth of materials, but I guess I was wrong!

This is one of the many things at “The Tree” where you get what you pay for, and that is not necessarily a bad thing (at least in this case).  For a dollar, do you really expect to get a rugged shower liner that can withstand pulling and tugging?  If so, you’re exactly the kind of person that should never shop there.  Obviously, these things are pretty fragile, and aren’t meant to put up with a lot of resistance or wear and tear.  As should be expected for the price, the rings are not enforced with metal, so it doesn’t take much to rip it, and any kind of tear is going to spread rapidly.  So if you have children, or are pretty hard on your shower curtains, I probably wouldn’t even waste the money on this.  But for households like mine (which is just made up of the wife and me), or especially if you’re just going to use it in a spare bathroom, or one that doesn’t see much traffic, then this should definitely be worth the cost.

I’ll admit we hung onto this thing way longer than we should have, as it was falling apart a long time ago, but I’d say we got a good four-to-six months of solid life out of it before it started to crap out.  That means a rate of about $2 per year, which doesn’t seem like a bad investment to me.  Sure, we could get a more expensive one that could be washed and kept for several years, but those generally cost at least $10, and there’s no guarantee they will last that long.

Overall: 6.5/10.  You get what you pay for, which in this case is a dollar vinyl shower curtain liner.  So it’s not going to be tear resistant, or made to withstand rugged abuse, so if you have a house full of children (or rowdy adults), then this will not be for you.  But for a smaller family, or especially a guest bathroom, this is a nice, cheap alternative that with proper care should get you a few months of solid use.  Recommended.  At a dollar, you might as well give it a shot to see if it’s right for your household.

Mister Plumber Drain Opener (Dollar Tree)

If you're not using this, you're paying too much.

I was skeptical using Mr. Plumber for the first time a while back to treat a tough clog.  But like everything else in Dollar Tree, I justified it with a simple, “Well if it sucks, it was only a dollar,” which come to think of it, should actually be their motto.  (I can only imagine the number of times per day people use that as a reasoning to try one of their products, but I digress.)  I mean, all the major brands cost upwards of three-to-four times as much, and those prices seem to keep steadily rising, so how was this going to compete?

Well let me tell you, this is one of those Dollar Tree staples; a product that works so well, you can just toss the national brands out the window, and never use them again.  It’s one of those excellent products that keeps Dollar Tree on the map, and helps give them the reputation of offering quality products.  To put it plainly, this stuff is phenomenal.  The only time it ever failed me?  Well guess what, so did the national brand.  Turns out the clog was so tight and fierce, that it required a human plumber.  Other than that one time, this stuff has bailed me out of everything.

Directions are the same as pretty much any drain opener:  Slowly pour in a half-bottle, wait at least fifteen minutes, then run hot water.  Voila, that’s it.  Repeat those simple directions if necessary.  But I can’t recall a time I’ve ever needed to use more than one bottle.  In fact, the times I’ve had to even use more than half are few and far between.  Nevertheless, this is one of those products I make sure to have on hand at just about any given time.  You can spend more for the “pipe snake”, or “drain monster”, or whatever gimmick the big companies dream up next, but honestly, I have not found that they work any better. 

I will say that I cannot find any indication that this stuff works in standing water situations, so you may need to look elsewhere if your drain is completely stopped.  But the good news?  Even if it doesn’t work, just like the national brands, your satisfaction is guaranteed, so you can get your whole dollar back, you penny-pinching fool.  So besides negating my great motto idea, it means you really don’t have a reason not to try it!  This stuff really works.  I’ll stake my nonexistent reputation on it!

Overall: 10/10.  The only drain opener you’ll ever need…unless it’s standing water, in which case the jury is still out.  But in all my years of using this product, I’ve never had to use more than one bottle, and that’s including situations where I’ve been ankle-deep in my own filthy water after a five-minute shower.  In fact, more often than not, all it takes is a half-bottle.  But best-of-all, besides the measly $1 price tag, is the fact that your satisfaction is still guaranteed, so if it doesn’t work, you can get your dollar back!  It’s a guarantee that most of Dollar Tree’s products should carry…