Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nifty invention saves time, energy and water

Consumer energy providers estimate that the typical American household does nearly 400 loads of laundry per year, using about 40 gallons of water per full load.

I guess my family is above average then.

Because with the kids, a snow dog, fat cat, work, play, school and Michigan weather all playing a role, I am pretty sure I’m doing way more loads that that. 

So you can imagine how delighted I was to learn about Mister Steamy, a nifty little invention designed to make laundry less of a chore. 

“The idea for Mister Steamy stemmed from co-inventor Will Howe’s mom’s homemade method of throwing a wet towel to help refresh dryer loads,” said co-inventor Ric Payne. “After commiserating over how much time it takes to iron clothes and wishing for an easy way to refresh clothes in the dryer, we knew there had to be a better way to solve both of these problems. Thus, Mister Steamy was born.”

I do not do a lot of ironing since most of the garments are permanent press, nylon, jeans or a combination of cotton/spandex. However, there are plenty of times when I will see a shirt or a pair of pants tossed into the laundry because after being worn once, it has become too wrinkled to wear.

This is where I have come to appreciate Mister Steamy. You just add water to the green grapefruit-sized ball and toss it into the dryer, along with the wrinkled garments and within a short time you’ve got wrinkle-free clothes. You just have to remember to pull the clothes out. Also neat about the dryer ball is the ability to add a shot of fabric softener to refresh clothes that don’t need to go through a full cycle of wash. I tried the Mister Steamy Fresh Shot formula and it was nice, but I found my regular fabric softener to be just as effective in refreshing certain garments. 

I will continue to use Mister Steamy dryer ball, as long as Mrs. Cat is not around. The banging of the hard plastic ball inside the drum of the dryer really freaked her out. 

It retails for about $15 and is sold at Wal-Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Toys ‘R’ Us, CVS and Walgreens.

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