Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Scrub Buddies Quick Eraser Sponges (Dollar Tree)

Pretty darn close in performance to the national brand, for a fraction of the price.
One day long ago, my wife picked up the name brand “magic eraser” product at a local store, and was amazed at how quickly and easily it cleaned up even difficult stains.  I was a little skeptical at first, that something without so much as soap could do even a decent job cleaning up, say, ink off of a tile floor, but watching her wipe off some kind of stain on our kitchen counter-top without even breaking a sweat made me a believer.

The only thing preventing it from becoming a constant staple in our household was the price.  No, $3.50 for four pads certainly isn’t going to break the bank, but considering we tend to go through them fairly quickly, as these things can clean just about anything almost anywhere in the house, the cost could certainly add up.

So a few months back, we stumbled on Scrub Buddies Quick Eraser Sponges at our local Dollar Tree.  What piqued my interest in this product is that two come in a pack, instead of one, so you are only paying $.50 per sponge, which add up to some fairly decent savings over the long haul.  Of course, such savings are nothing if they don’t work well, but I have to say that these do a great job of cleaning up spills and stains, like the aforementioned ink on tile.  After one of our ballpoint pens broke in our kitchen, leaving ink all over the floor, I was frantically thinking about what could clean it up.  My wife calmly suggested one of these, and sure enough, it took it up like a charm.  I had to scrub a little bit harder than usual, but if that’s the only trade-off to saving 40 cents a pad, then that’s one I’m willing to live with.

The only main difference I could see is that these are flat sponges, and aren’t textured like the name brands.  Seeing as how I’ve never used the national brand, I can’t say if it makes much of a difference, or not.  I will say my wife thinks the name brand works a little better, but considering she has me pick some of these up every time I go to Dollar Tree, there must not be that much of a difference between the two.  So if you’re on a tight budget and looking at ways to shave off a few bucks (and in this day and age, who isn’t?), I highly recommend giving these a try.  Chances are, you won’t be disappointed.

Overall: 9/10.  My wife claims the national brand erasers work slightly better, but each pad also costs at least 40 cents more.  In my experience, Scrub Buddies Quick Eraser Sponges have handled every task that I’ve thrown at them, from color stains on our kitchen counter-top, to ball-point ink stains on tile after one of our pens exploded on the floor, which is no small task considering these are only 50 cents a pad (two come in a package for a dollar).  These have become one of our household staples, and this is a product that I highly recommend.

Good and Clean Disinfecting Wipes (Dollar Tree) & Freshine Disinfecting Lemon Wipes (Aldi)

Aldi wipes.
We might as well have a two-fer here, because you really can’t review one without referencing the other…in other words, I’m pretty convinced it’s the same product.  My wife and I recently started making candles, as a way to cut back on the cost of always having to purchase them.  As you can probably imagine, this can be messy business, as stirring spoons and thermometers have to be cleaned after every use, wax can get all over, and fragrance oils and colorants can spill.

Water and soap only tend to make things worse, at least when it comes to the wax, so I started using Freshine Lemon-Scented Wipes from Aldi to clean up the messes.  They work really well, every bit as well as the Clorox wipes, which let’s be honest here, are completely overpriced.  Sure, it might take a little scrubbing, but within a few seconds, all my utensils are like new and ready to make another candle!

During a trip to Dollar Tree, we stumbled on Good & Clean Lemon-Scented Wipes and also decided to give them a try, just to see how they would compare.  Without wasting time on a build-up, I’ll say they also did a good job, one that was pretty much exactly like Freshine’s version.  If I were a betting man (and I am only on occasion), I would say that Clorox probably has a hand in making both of the knock-offs, as they perform and smell very similarly to both each other, as well as the national brand product.  The price points are also crazy similar, with Freshine’s version retailing for $3 (for 75 wipes), while Dollar Tree has 24 for $1.  So while technically you get 3 free wipes at Aldi when comparing the two, Dollar Tree is still perfect for households that don’t use them all that often. 

This is one of those items where two discounters come together to prove the only way that you can go wrong, is by buying the national brand.

Overall: 10/10.  With both performing exactly like (and probably being created by) the national brand, Freshine’s Lemon-Scented Wipes (from Aldi) and Dollar Tree’s Good and Clean Lemon-Scented Wipes are perfect for disinfecting and cleaning countertops, stove tops, hardwood floors, and many other hard surfaces for a fraction of the cost.  Both off-brands also feature very similar pricing (with Freshine holding a miniscule edge by offering an extra wipe per dollar), so you really can’t go wrong either way.  Definitely a must-have for any household!

Dollar Tree's wipes.  Note this container is much bigger than the dollar version, which only have 24.