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JA Foxton (UK)

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Philips Sonicare HX8111/02 AirFloss Rechargeable Power Flosser
Philips Sonicare HX8111/02 AirFloss Rechargeable Power Flosser
Offered by BestBuyUk
Price: £80.45

3.0 out of 5 stars Food for thought, 2 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Over the years, I've had various people (including dentists) on my case about the need to floss. I've made half-hearted attempts to comply, but never really got established in a regular routine. The Sonicare AirFloss changed all that.

Although I generally use it before brushing my teeth, I have experimented with using it afterwards. It is very revealing to see just how much food debris one spits out - even after a thorough brushing with an electric toothbrush.

Indeed, I was so impressed with the AirFloss that I ended up buying two more as presents: one for my mother, and one for the in-laws. And this is where I need to start adding a note of caution. As I recall, only one of these made it to the year mark. Fortunately the product carries a two year warranty. So, the current state of play is that all three have been replaced under warranty but now seem to be functioning happily. I wonder if there were quality control issues at some point? And whether these have now been resolved? (I note there is now a new version of this product.)

I've settled on three stars for this product because it is a five star product when it's working but has had reliability issues. Would I buy this product again? Yes, I would. If necessary, I would rely upon the two year guarantee, and view the product as one to be replaced on a two yearly cycle.

Professional Carpet Shampoo 5 Litres - Suitable for all Machines
Professional Carpet Shampoo 5 Litres - Suitable for all Machines
Offered by Crown Supplies
Price: £12.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No damp dog, 9 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Prior to using this shampoo, I had been using Vax Ultra. On the whole, I was quite satisfied with the Vax product but thought I'd try this one too - based upon the positive reviews.

The first room which got the Crown Supplies treatment hadn't previously been shampooed. My first impressions were mixed. On the plus side, it cleaned well and didn't leave the residual 'damp dog' smell which I noticed with the Vax product. Although it isn't heavily scented, the room was left smelling fresh and clean. On the negative side, there was a slight stickiness about the carpet until it had fully dried and been vacuumed. At this stage my thoughts were that it would be a matter of personal choice: whether the non-sticky finish of the Vax Ultra was worth the extra expense.

A further test involved side-by-side use of the two products on a previously uncleaned bedroom carpet. Both products were diluted at 40ml to 1 litre of water. It was not easy to see a difference in the final results but, if pushed, I would say that the Crown Supplies produced slightly better results.

At this point I also re-cleaned other carpets which had been done with Vax Ultra a few months previously. This forced me to reconsider my thoughts about this product because, this time, I didn't notice any stickiness after use. Furthermore, the extracted water was filthy, and this suggested that the Crown Supplies product had removed dirt which the Vax Ultra simply hadn't shifted.

If you opt for this product I can't promise that you will notice a huge difference from Vax Ultra. On the other hand, my experience suggests it is just as good (if not a little better) and there is no doubt that it is substantially cheaper. Incidentally, I paid £16.99 and, at the time of submitting this review, the cost is £9.99 delivered.

(Vax Ultra = £7.40 per litre
Crown Supplies = £3.40 per litre)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 26, 2015 9:59 PM BST

Vikan Convertible, Soft Top Fabric Car Hood Cleaning Brush
Vikan Convertible, Soft Top Fabric Car Hood Cleaning Brush
Price: £7.49

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nail brush on steroids?, 9 Oct. 2014
In my opinion, Vikan produce some of the best brushes available for cleaning your car. Furthermore, they are generally reasonably priced. Having checked two alternative sources of this brush, in both cases it was priced at just under £4 - which seems fair for a well-made brush.

If you look on the Vikan website, you will notice that this brush is described as a nail brush. As a nail brush it would be fairly generously proportioned (12cm x 4cm). If you keep the size of a nail brush in mind, this will give you some idea about the brush you will be getting in exchange for your cash.

I bought this brush to use on a friend's leather seats and, to be truthful, I think the bristles are a bit too harsh for that. It will probably find some other use in due course. I could imagine this brush being very useful for cleaning a fabric hood, for example.

Go into this purchase with your eyes open because, otherwise, you may feel a bit ripped off if you've paid top dollar for a glorified nail brush.

Vikan Car Interior Stiff Head Fabric / Carpet Brush
Vikan Car Interior Stiff Head Fabric / Carpet Brush
Offered by Cleaning and environmental solutions
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect compromise, 9 Oct. 2014
I've been using the Meguiar's upholstery brush for the last couple of years. I've been reasonably satisfied with it but, increasingly, have become frustrated with it being too large to get under seats, for example. The Vikan brush is a recent acquisition but, so far, it is proving very impressive.

Whereas the Meguiar's upholstery brush opts for two different types of bristle, the Vikan brush seems to get the stiffness of the bristle just right. I certainly feel confident about using it on fabric car seats.

It could be argued that carpets would stand more vigorous brushing, but the Vikan brush has sufficient stiffness to make some impact. Where it really scores is with its ability to get into awkward places. With its long handle you can reach under the seats and discover those coins and boiled sweets that you'd long forgotten about! I've also found it more practical when brushing around headrests than the Meguiar's brush.

There is also a variant of this brush with soft bristles and another which is entirely green, so do be a little careful before ordering. The brush I am describing has a black body and handle, and bristles which are red and green. It is described as a stiff, interior brush and the part number is 450 052.

MOTHERS 155900 Carpet and Upholstery Brush
MOTHERS 155900 Carpet and Upholstery Brush
Offered by AP Motor Store
Price: £8.35

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Style over substance, 9 Oct. 2014
Shortly after taking delivery of this brush, I was browsing in the supermarket and saw a car upholstery brush. If I remember correctly it was £2 full price but was currently on offer at £1. The bristles on the supermarket brush looked remarkably similar to those on the Mother's brush. They are also rather reminiscent of the bristles you find on brushes for scrubbing tyres. Now I wouldn't have trusted bristles which were this harsh for anything other than carpets in the car, so why would I be prepared to use the Mothers brush on any delicate fabrics?

Admittedly, the supermarket brush did not have the shiny red body with inlaid black rubber grips. On the other hand, these would not be the parts coming into contact with fabric or carpet. The Mothers brush also came with dire warnings about not using it dry. This would seem to further undermine its usefulness.

I have used this brush when cleaning floor mats which have been sprayed with all-purpose cleaner. However, I can't imagine using a brush this harsh on car seats with fabric upholstery. On its second outing, it was used to scrub the carpet in the foot wells and I was rather dismayed to notice it was already shedding bristles.

To summarise: the brush is more attractively presented than some, but is far too expensive, and of limited use due to its harsh bristles. You would be better looking at either the Meguiar's upholstery brush or, better still, the one produced by Vikan.

Vikan Car Interior Stiff Head Fabric / Carpet Brush

Cyber Clean Home & Office 75g Foil Zip Bag High Tech Cleaner
Cyber Clean Home & Office 75g Foil Zip Bag High Tech Cleaner
Offered by Innox Trading
Price: £4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Done and dusted, 9 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a useful product and one which I would buy again. However, if your expectations aren't realistic, you may be heading for disappointment.

The instructions conclude by stating: 'Cyber Clean is not a solvent and should not be used to remove stains, it only removes the loose stuff'. My experience matches this. It will remove dust, crumbs, and loose material but, if you have ingrained dirt, grease, or marks left by liquids, the cleaning will be minimal at best.

Having said this, it worked well in a variety of situations. It did a particularly good job on the rubber body of a Patriot memory stick. This is a dust magnet - and not particularly easy to clean by other means. It was also about the only method I've found for cleaning the plastic speaker grilles on the answering machine and a wind-up radio.

I found that the 75g sachet was a good amount to work with. It launched me into a cleaning frenzy and, by the time I'd finished, the following had had the Cyber Clean treatment: computer keyboards and mouse, calculator, remote controls, answering machine, mobile phones, alarm clocks, hi-fi, GPS units, camera, binoculars, memory sticks, radios, smoke detector, phones, torches, and car key. While I was on a roll, I even ventured into the kitchen where it saw further action on the washing machine controls, microwave, food processor, and kettle. I even looked idly at the crumbs on the toaster before thinking better of it.

Ironically, considering it is its most prominent application, the product was most disappointing on a conventional keyboard. The keys on my keyboard are too deep and too close together to allow very much penetration of the product. There is no chance that any debris below the keys is going to be removed. Cyber Clean worked better on the keyboards of laptops with their shallower keys.

Maybe not surprisingly, the colour of my Cyber Clean is looking a little less vibrant than it was yesterday when I took delivery. There is very little chance that mine will dry out before it needs to be replaced - but this is also how I would use it in future: as an occasional, one-off to dust in awkward places around switches, buttons, grilles, and the like. If I get any further use out of it, that will be a bonus.

I also bought the automotive version. It has occurred to me that this would be a good product to have as 'in-car entertainment' for anyone who finds themselves routinely offering a taxi service which may entail waiting in the car. A productive few minutes could be spent playing with this product and dusting in some of those awkward areas around indicator stalks or removing crumbs from around the handbrake.

Having paid just over £2, a little judicious searching has established that I could have got two sachets for a little less money. Still, it has been a relatively painless way of experimenting with this product and I've enjoyed using it. If you keep in mind its limitations, I would recommend it.

Comma INC750 750ml Interior Cleaner
Comma INC750 750ml Interior Cleaner

5.0 out of 5 stars Comma - one of the best interior cleaners - Period, 9 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an excellent product for cleaning car upholstery. As I applied the product, I had my doubts that it would do much. But, with a little elbow grease, I would have to concede that the overall improvement in appearance was dramatic. Much better, in fact, than with the foaming, aerosol products which I've previously used.

It is very easy to use: after vacuuming thoroughly, lightly spray the surface with this product, leave to penetrate for a few seconds, and then wipe over with a (just to say) damp microfibre cloth. Comma recommend a dry cloth but I think a slightly damp cloth more effective. A soft toothbrush can prove useful on more stubborn stains. I also had a bucket of warm water on hand for rinsing out the microfibre cloth.

Because there is a minimal amount of liquid involved, the fabric dried out very quickly. I was sitting on the seat an hour or two later and didn't notice any dampness.

Having cleaned two cars with this product (front and back seats - including the backs of the front seats / fabric on the door cards / and some limited use in the foot wells), I still have 200ml remaining. As a rough guide, I'd suggest that a bottle will be sufficient for treating the interior in 2-3 cars.

Now for the bad news: Comma have some issues with the packaging of this product. The first bottle arrived intact but the shroud on the spray head simply dropped off in use. It continued to function, though.

Having just taken delivery of another bottle, this one was leaking quite badly. I would estimate that one third of the bottle had gone. Like the first bottle, it came carefully packaged within a 'sealed' plastic bag. However, the seal was not sufficient to prevent fluid seeping out and soaking the cardboard wrapping.

Don't let this put you off. This is a very good product and I would highly recommend it.

UV Ultra Violet Blacklight 9 LED Flashlight Torch Light
UV Ultra Violet Blacklight 9 LED Flashlight Torch Light
Offered by accmart
Price: £1.64

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably the most disturbing way of spending three pounds, 9 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this torch to find out whether any parts of the house hadn't been sprayed by our two cats. After using it, it would appear that burning the house down will be the simplest way to restore cleanliness.

At just under three pounds, I don't think anyone could quibble. I found it easiest to use in the evening with the lights off. Even then, it was easiest if the torch is held a foot or two away from any walls or carpet. However, at the price, I didn't find this any great hardship and I suspect that only a more serious user of a UV torch could justify spending a lot of money on a more powerful torch.

The torch did become quite warm in use. This suggests that the batteries will be drained relatively quickly. Since I was using rechargeable batteries, this isn't a great concern to me - but it might be worth keeping in mind, particularly because batteries aren't supplied.

Nebo Redline SE 5615 250 Lumen LED Torch
Nebo Redline SE 5615 250 Lumen LED Torch
Offered by SHOPPE IN UK
Price: £32.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let there be (more) light, 18 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This torch was purchased to replace a couple of ageing Maglites. There is no comparison between this LED torch and my earlier Maglites with conventional bulbs: the latter seem feeble in comparison.

The on/off switch is located at the base of the torch. A quick press of this button toggles between the torch being at 100% brightness and being off. Furthermore, this button glows red when battery capacity drops below 20%. By twisting the bezel, the focus can be smoothly adjusted between being a highly focussed spotlight and a more diffuse floodlight.

The other modes are accessed by keeping the button held whilst it is being switched on. Now the light will come on at 50% brightness, a further quick press and it will drop to 10% brightness, another press and it enters SOS mode, and yet another press and a strobe results. The next button press will switch the torch off and, provided it is left off for 10 seconds, it will be reset at 100% brightness.

Personally, I think it might have been better to have more direct access to the 50% brightness mode - without then having to toggle through the other settings to switch off - as I can see this being quite adequate in many situations. On the other hand, this mode is likely to be useful (to conserve battery life) when the torch is being used over longer periods - so it might not be that much of an inconvenience in reality.

The dimensions of this torch, given in the product description, do not appear to be correct. The length is given as 21.6cm but the actual torch has a length of between 11cm and 11.8cm depending on how the focus is set.

The torch came with three AAA batteries but I have now ordered some good quality, rechargeable batteries (Sanyo Eneloop) to replace them.

The design of the torch is a bit fussier (Designed to look like a boy toy?) than I would have liked but it feels solid and durable. It strikes me as a small and powerful torch, and, at just under £20, a good option for those reluctant to splash out two or three times as much.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2014 5:33 PM GMT

AVG Internet Security 2013 and TuneUp Utilities 2013 - 4 User 1 year License(PC)
AVG Internet Security 2013 and TuneUp Utilities 2013 - 4 User 1 year License(PC)
Offered by filmrollen
Price: £29.30

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reliable cover for four, 18 Jan. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although ESET Smart Security remains my first choice for my desktop PC, the chance to try the offering from AVG on my two laptops was very welcome. The inclusion of the latest version of TuneUp Utilitities was an added bonus.

My first observation is that, apart from the inclusion of TuneUp Utilities, the fact that this software will cover four computers is (maybe), in this day and age, more realistic than cover for just three computers. Furthermore, there is also access to a free app which will provide protection for Android phone users. The latter is not something which will be of use to me, but may be relevant to others.

One peculiarity with AVG is that you have to go to their website to register. This involves entering a 30 digit code which is provided with the software. You then receive another 30 digit code by e-mail which allows you to activate your software.

Once the software was activated, installation proved to be trouble free on both computers: one of which is running Vista and the other Windows 7. Some 60Mb of data are downloaded and then installed. You then see the AVG home screen which promptly announces that your files need updating! Rectifying this results in another 60Mb of data being downloaded and installed. Surely this could have been streamlined into one operation?

Another screen welcomes you to the software and there is a video which promises to help you 'get the most from your new AVG product'. I made the mistake of watching it and found it to be of little help: rather, it just seemed to be a promotional video.

These are minor gripes. If the software proves reliable, and it is still early days, then this is reasonably cost effective way of protecting four computers. Personally, the inclusion of TuneUp Utilities was a bonus. If you do not require this, then a 4 user, 2 year license might be more the more sensible option.

AVG Internet Security 2013: 4 User - 2 year License (PC)

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