What ACTUALLY Works?

As with most things in my life this started as a crazy thought progression…

I was doing laundry using cold water which reminded me of the Tide Coldwater detergent. I think to myself “I should get that because I use cold water a lot”, that translated to "I wonder if it is really any different than regular detergent, they just said “cold water” to get someone to buy it. That thought led to “I wonder what products that are niche marketed like that ACTUALLY work and work well? I should ask the dopers!”

So I am.

What products out there do you use that actually work well for what they’re advertised? If nothing else this thread could be a cool way for some of us to get useful products that we never would have thought of buying.

Clinique’s Lash Power Long Wear mascara actually works. It’s the only mascara I’ve found in the 15 years I’ve been wearing makeup that doesn’t gather on my lower eyelids, even when it’s hot and humid outside and even when I’ve been crying. It’s awesome and I will never buy another kind of mascara again.

The Proactiv skin care line actually cleared up my skin within days. It was well-nigh miraculous.

Resolve rug cleaner (and their fabric cleaner, as well) did indeed get spilled wine and other hard-to-remove stains out of my carpet.

My mother tells everyone she knows that Activia yogurt does exactly what it’s advertised to do.

Just recently, I ordered two of these: Actiontec MegaPlug 85 Mbps Ethernet Adapter. Basically, they’re ethernet adapters that use your household circuitry instead of wires or a wireless network.

Within three minutes of opening the box, my computers were transferring files nine times faster than the best rate I could get over my wireless router, without having to run wires between the various rooms in my house.

I was dubious, but I’m a convert now.

I haven’t tried the Coldwater Tide, but regular liquid Tide works pretty darn well for me.

Most shampoos, cheap and expensive, work about the same, and for your dogs, too.

A wood fire will usually burn fiercely after the first small stuff is gone, if you have added the stub of a candle or two.

If you’d like a woman to say, “How did you know?”, there’s a good chance giving her roses will do the trick. Other side effects are not so reliably predicted.

If you’ve stripped a floor down to the bare tile, and it still has rust stains, all is not lost. Prepare a batch of instant mashed potatoes, spread them over the rust, and come back the next day. Either it will work, or you can laugh at me. Laughing is good.

That Oxy-Clean stuff? It’s really cocaine. (Billy Mays humor.)

Maybe for you guys with straight / short hair. My plug: the more-expensive stuff that claims to make your hair stronger and less frizzy? It works.

Just to show there’s always an exception, if I man gives me roses I think, “OK, nice, but obviously he doesn’t have a clue as to what I really like.”

Which, for the record, are bulb flowers – tulips, daffodils, glads, irises, etc. But not lilies, god they stink.

I’ll second the Resolve carpet cleaner. That stuff really works.
I’d like to know if that detergent marketed for dark clothes works. I have a lot of black and navy blue clothing. Is it worth buying or is it just hype?

I mention this only in regard to me, as others’ hair is different, but Nexxus moisturizing shampoo and conditioner (Therappe and Humectress) work for me. It doesn’t work the same as other products, it works better.

The Shark floor steam cleaner. Totally skeptical when hubby bought it off an infomercial. But it’s great! We use it on the bathroom floor and our hardwood floors. Easy!


I’ll second the Rain-X, Hyperelastic. Don’t know why I haven’t bought some of that in years. Really keeps the windshields clear.

Hmm … (thinks about stuff he uses every day) …

Zojirushi bread machines. We’ve had ours going on 9 years now. Never failed. Probably my oldest appliance.

Bosch tools. Just pay the extra money. They’re the best.

Mazda cars. They really go zoom-zoom, even the MPV (as far as minivans go). Driving has been a lot more fun since I switched. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance dog food. Cleared up our dogs’ skin conditions almost immediately, and stopped them from overeating. Could have saved money on steroids, and pounds on our old doggies’ frames.

Eating right and exercising. Never felt better.

Every bottle of Bourbon I’ve ever bought has fulfilled it’s intended purpose.

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. However, if you scrub too hard you’ll take the paint off of the wall.

Thirding Rain-X.

Shout Color Catcher sheets really work for me. They keep darks dark, whites white, and reds red.

Also Rain-X and Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

Walmart’s “Rust out” in the dollar section. I tried everything from CLR to steel wool to clean those rust stain, nothing worked. I bought it because “Well it’s only a buck.” Five minutes later the rust was gone.

Abbreva for cold sores (fever blisters) also works, but there is a catch to it. You MUST use it right at the start of an outbreak. As soon as you notice a tingly sensation or see one or two “buds” on your lip use it and it kills the virus (a type of herpes virus) dead in it’s tracks. (Or should I say it stops it).

If you wait for more than a day or got more than one or two of those “buds” you see with the blister it’s too late and you will have wasted your money.

Finally chocolate it does it all

From the Mary Tyler Moore Show:

Rhoda) That’s too bad Mary, have a piece of chocolate

Mary) Oh Rhoda, chocolate never solved anything

Rhoda) No, no COTTAGE CHEESE never solved anything, chocolate can do it all

not a product but a method:

When you have hearts of romaine, head of lettuce, etc., wrap it in paper towels before you store it in the crisper.
If you leave it in the plastic bag, it gets slimy, but the paper towel method seems to prevent that problem. You can make the greens stay fresh and crisp for quite a while.

The article I’d read in Consumer Reports said yes - most detergents have optical brighteners to “whiten whites” and the like, and it’s rough on your dark-colored clothing.

I do this, and yes, it really works.

Thanks. I’ll have to try it.

Rust-Oleum spray paint.

Dad gave me an old metal frame for an outdoor table which was nigh rusted away. I painted it with some Rust-Oleum three years ago and have left it outside in the whacky Ohio weather (hot hot heat and cold cold snow) all this time, and it still looks better than when it was new.

PB Blaster, usually found at Autozone. Its a “loosen the rusted bolt product”. In the old days you used WD40. This stuff is much better. Kinda expensive and toxic as hell though. Nothing works on every rusted thing, but this stuff does seem to help when things get desperate.

My ronco egg cuber. Makes nice cube shaped boiled eggs. No irritating round eggs rolling around on MY picnic plate.