Unitasker Wednesday: Clean Step shoe wrapping machine

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

I’m Canadian and have spent most of my life living in Canada. When you visit a Canadian’s home, you’ll be expected to remove your outer footwear at the door unless you are specifically told not to. This is not unique to Canada. Many cultures have a tradition of removing outside shoes at the door. Soles of shoes are a potential vector for pathogen transmission and removing them keeps the inside of your home cleaner.

It was very surprising to me, living in other countries, to find that people do not take off their shoes at the door. I guess this is why the Clean Step shoe wrapping machine was invented. It shrink-wraps the soles of your shoes in one-time use, non-biodegradable plastic to keep the floors clean while walking around your home or office.

Maybe in the parts of the world where the climate is mostly dry the shoe wrapping machine would work. I doubt the plastic would stick over a layer of ice and snow or mud and slush typical in many climates.

Maybe you’re thinking this would be useful in an area that required a high level of hygiene. Probably not. In the food and pharmaceutical industries, only super-clean indoor shoes are worn. When going into the production area, workers are required to walk through a shoe sanitation station that further cleans and reduces the germ load on the shoes.

In hospital and other medical settings, there are several types of automatic shoe cover dispensers that cover almost the entire shoe to prevent germ transfer. The Clean Step shoe wrapping machine only covers the sole.

Maybe you’re thinking this would be useful if you already had your boots on but forgot an item in another part of the home. Not really. We prefer to use babouche — felt indoor overshoes. They slip on and off easily over any size boot. They are re-usable and washable. They take up much less space than the shoe wrapping machine and do not require electricity to use. Even contractors that come to your home to repair something will often bring their own set of babouche to wear indoors.

Avoid the shoe wrapping unitasker and just take your shoes off.

Unitasker Wednesday: Stircle

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Single-use plastic items such as plastic coffee stir sticks damage our environment. But, if we choose to be eco-friendly, how will we stir our coffee? I bet most of you are thinking, “Hey, I could use this multi-purpose, reusable spoon I already own just sitting here in my kitchen.”

But wait! You have to wash and dry the spoon. It’s hard and time consuming. And what happens if you lose your spoon?

You need the Stircle — it stirs your coffee and it is round like a circle — STIR CLE!

The Stircle should stir 50,000 cups on about $0.10 of electricity. The video doesn’t show how the Stircle is powered. It may have to be built into a countertop with the electric cord underneath or it might be powered by rechargeable batteries. Either way the Stircle is made from plastic and electronics — neither of which is environmentally friendly.

Also, if you watch the video, you’ll notice that the Stircle only stirs disposable cups. Not one reusable drink container is shown. Even these light-weight biodegradable mugs would not fit on the Stircle because of their handle design.

In summary, the Stircle is a non-eco-friendly automatic stirring machine that only stirs drinks in non-eco-friendly cups claiming to “save the environment” from non-recyclable stir sticks. With a price tag of $345, I’ll skip this unitasker and purchase reusable teaspoons.

Thanks goes out to Jeri Dansky for bringing this unitasker to our attention!

Unitasker Wednesday: Ember temperature control travel mug

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Travel mugs are great. They keep your beverage (tea, coffee, hot chocolate) hot during cold winters. Sure, sometimes the beverage is too hot to drink right away and you have to wait for it to cool a bit but eventually it will be comfortable to drink. In really cold weather, it might cool off a little too quickly but if you purchase a good quality travel mug, your hot beverage will stay hot longer.

But if you’re willing to pay $150, consider the Ember Temperature Control Travel Mug. It will keep your drink at the perfect temperature all the time.

Let’s say you pour boiling water in your mug but your preferred drinking temperature is 137ºF (58ºC). Your Ember Travel Mug will cool your drink at a much faster rate than a normal travel mug and keep it at 137ºF (58ºC) until you finish drinking your drink. Just think, you can start drinking your coffee first thing in the morning and if you don’t finish it, it will still be exactly 137ºF when you return to it late in the afternoon!

You’ll have to ensure that you keep the mug in the charging dock. Yes, it is another item to keep plugged in and another battery and system of electronics that you’ll need to eventually figure out how to dispose of in an ecologically safe way, but hey — coffee at the perfect temperature all day long.

Unitasker Wednesday: TriceraTaco Taco Holder

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

We’ve written about taco holders on prior Wednesdays: the Taco Truck and the TacoProper. But I just came across the TriceraTaco taco holder, and couldn’t resist revisiting this subject.

There’s no doubt this is a unitasker, but it also made me grin. So if all of the following statements are true, maybe buying a unitasker wouldn’t be so horrible:

  • You make tacos often.
  • You don’t use the flat-bottomed taco shells that stand up fine on their own (and wouldn’t fit in this holder).
  • You have plenty of space to store this taco holder.
  • You (or your family members) would be delighted every time you used it.

However, it’s also worth remembering that what seems cute at first glance will sometimes wear thin in repeated uses. Would you still like the TriceraTaco on the 20th use?

Unitasker Wednesday: FoldiMate

Our first unitasker of 2018, brought to our attention by reader Sonja, touts itself as the first practical and affordable laundry folding robot. The FoldiMate folds shirts, pants, towels, and virtually anything that will fit inside of it.

You just hang a dry article of clothing on the clips, it is drawn into the machine and within a few minutes, your laundry is neatly folded, treated, and even de-wrinkled! Just watch the video of this machine at work — ZOOM clothes go in the top and BAM they are folded and stacked neatly at the bottom.

Now, here’s the reality check. I timed myself folding a load of laundry the other day. It took me two minutes and the majority of time was used to match socks, not to fold shirts, trousers, or towels. So, I wouldn’t save much time if I had to stand there and feed in each item one by one. Perhaps if I was running a hotel or fitness centre and had to launder dozens of towels every day, this machine might pay for itself. But, with the FoldiMate’s price tag of nearly $1000 USD, I’d have to run a business because I couldn’t justify that cost for my family when everyone who lives here can (and should) fold their own laundry.

The website says the FoldiMate is “closet-ready.” For reference, FoldiMate is almost as big as a dishwasher. If you have a walk-in closet (I don’t) with an electrical outlet (I don’t) then perhaps you’d consider it closet-ready (I don’t).

This is, indeed, a unitasker. It is large and expensive and it does only one thing, folds clothes — or does it?

Unitasker Wednesday: Eggstractor

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Cocktail parties, luncheons, and potluck suppers occur as we approach the holiday season and many of them involve food – specifically eggs. From fancy hors d’oeuvres deviled eggs to dainty egg-salad sandwiches (with the crusts cut off) to the big jar of pickled eggs at the local pub, lots of eggs are boiled and peeled during this time of year.

If you’ve got a lot of eggs to prepare for your parties, you might consider buying the Eggstractor Egg Peeler which claims to peel eggs ten times faster and easier. But you need to watch the video several times to understand how the Eggstractor works. You’ll also need some space in your cupboards because the Eggstractor will need to be stored somewhere when you’re not using it.

Instead of cluttering your cupboards with another unitasker, try these tips to prepare lovely peeled eggs for your next party.

First of all, follow these simple steps to make hard-boiled eggs and they will be easier to peel. This was the method my grandmother always used. I’ve been using it for years and have never had a problem.

  • Add 1 tablespoon (15mL) of white vinegar to about 4 cups (1L) of water
  • Wait for the water to boil then add the eggs. Boil gently for 14 minutes.
  • Chill the eggs in an ice bath immediately when they are done.
  • Peel the eggs as soon as they are cool.

To peel eggs, this video to shows three different ways to do it in under ten seconds; the tap and roll method, spoon method, and “abra cadabra” method. You can also use a cup and some water to peel and egg as shown in this video.

So, there you have it. Perfectly peeled hard boiled eggs with multi-tasking equipment you already own.

 

Thanks to reader Kimberly for bringing this unitasker to our attention.

Unitasker Wednesday: Grilled Cheese Sandwich Toaster

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

I love grilled cheese sandwiches. Sliced extra-old cheddar is my favourite type of sandwich cheese but sometimes I mix a variety of grated cheeses together to put on my sandwich.

You might think I would enjoy the Nostalgia TCS2 Grilled Cheese Sandwich Toaster. Simply butter the bread, insert the cheese between the slices and drop it into the toaster. It makes superb grilled cheese sandwiches grilled to your preference. It even has a defrost function in case you happen to be using frozen bread.

I already have an easy-to-clean ceramic frying pan that works perfectly well to cook grilled cheese sandwiches — even if I happen to be using frozen bread. The bonus part about my frying pan is that it is flat. My grated cheese would not fall to one end as it would in the toaster. I’m not convinced that this toaster would be as easy to clean as my frying pan either.

But, the one review that made me give up on this toaster completely, was that it did not fit sandwiches with more than one slice of American cheese. No sandwiches with thick slices of extra-old cheddar, no shredded Parmesan, no Brie… Never mind then. I’ll stick with my frying pan.

Thank you to professional organizer and fellow cheese lover Julie Bestry for pointing this unitasker out to us.

Unitasker Wednesday: Everyday Objects

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Flowers in a can. Simplistic and minimalistic — something that many of us here at Unclutterer appreciate.

You too can get this contemporary look for your home with items from the Everyday Objects collection from Tiffany & Co. For a mere $1500, this sterling silver coffee can (coffee not included) can display the daisies you hand-picked while you were skipping through an open field in joyful bliss. You could spend about $30 to buy a coffee can (coffee included) and some silver spray paint but it won’t be exactly the same.

If the coffee can doesn’t interest you, placing a sterling silver crazy straw into a bone china paper cup would add a touch of elegance and whimsy to your kitchen for only $345. You just wouldn’t get that same feeling from the $22 you pay for the stainless steel straws (that you can actually use), stuck into robin’s egg blue paper cups.

So, if you’re looking for the ultimate gift to give someone who already has a lot of everyday objects, check out Tiffany & Co. Everyday Objects collection which transforms utilitarian items into handcrafted works of art while simultaneously draining your wallet.

 

Thanks to Unclutterer’s Editor-at-Large, Erin Doland for this wonderful unitasker suggestion.

Unitasker Wednesday: 60 second salad

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Facebook knows me well. Often its ads are kitchen-related and the other day it suggested that I might want to buy a 60 second salad cutter. When I saw the video for this kitchen tool, my first thought that it would make an ideal item for a Unitasker Wednesday post. When a knife all you need to make salad, why would you want another bulky item filling up your cupboards?

Then I got thinking as well about mobility issues. For anyone with wrist problems or perhaps the use of only one hand, the 60 second salad tool would be a fantastic solution.

Although I have no mobility issues, I’ve been making a lot of salads recently. While cutting up the veggies is a simple task with the knife, it’s not the fastest process. When making a lunchtime salad, often at six o’clock in the morning, the last thing I want to do is spend a great deal of time cutting up the various components of the dish, the 60 seconds in the name of the tool is the real attention-getter here and it may just end up on my Christmas wish list.

What are your thoughts? Do any of you have the 60 second salad and swear by it? Or are you chuckling at the idea of buying this classic Unitasker item?

Unitasker Wednesday: Brussels Sprout Prep Tool

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

For those of you who, like me, enjoy Brussels sprouts, the Chef’n Twist’n Sprout Brussels Sprout Prep Tool offers a quick and easy way to prepare them. It claims to quickly remove the stem and core of the sprout and loosen the leaves for broiling and roasting. You simply pierce the stem with the tip of the tool and rotate the sprout to trim the core.

I’m not sure the Chef’n Twist’n Sprout Brussels Sprout Prep Tool is any better than a knife. At least when a knife gets dull, you can sharpen it. When the Sprout Prep Tool gets dull, I guess you just throw it out. What a waste!

Also, this tool seems to be made for larger sprouts. Our family prefers the smaller, less bitter varieties of sprouts (also called “button sprouts”) so I doubt this gadget would work without me also shaving a layer of skin off my fingers. Left-handed people may find this difficult to use because you can only turn the sprout one way to trim it. Fortunately for us lefties, knives can be used with either hand.

You can try it if you want but I’ll keep my kitchen drawers clutter-free thanks.

Thanks reader Leah for bringing this unitasker to our attention.

Unitasker Wednesday: Nostalgia Bacon Express Crispy Bacon Grill

It seems we’re always looking for better ways to prepare bacon — more uniform cooking and less mess to clean up. The Nostalgia BCN6BK Bacon Express Crispy Bacon Grill touts itself as the best way to cook your favourite breakfast meat.

This electrically powered, 5.5-pound monstrosity sits on your counter-top and cooks up to six, strips of bacon (store-bought thickness only) in minutes. Because it cooks the bacon vertically, the grease drains away and the slide-out drip tray catches bacon grease.

Not only is this a unitasker because it cooks only bacon, it cooks only store-bought thickness bacon.

I think we’d be better off using the multi-purpose frying pan to cook bacon. Some frying pans are large enough to cook more than six pieces of bacon at a time. We can cook bacon of any thickness, shape, or size with a frying pan and we only have one thing to clean (the pan) instead of all the parts from the Bacon Express.

Unitasker Wednesday: THAT! Serrated Warming Butter Knife

A few years ago, we discussed the battery powered, self-heating Toastie Knife. (Un)Fortunately, the Toastie Knife is no longer available. However, there is a new product on the market, THAT! Serrated Warming Butter Knife and it does not need batteries! It is made using heat conducting technology that utilizes your body heat to carve and spread cold butter. It also has a serrated edge designed to curl and soften cold butter easily.

I can’t understand how this product conducts heat differently from any other stainless-steel knife. And conduct heat from my hands? My hands are always cold! If my hands are warm enough to heat a knife, then the room would be hot enough to melt the butter anyway!

No, I’ll save my $16, use one of the knives I already own and heat the butter by putting it in the microwave for a few seconds or leaving it at room temperature for a few minutes.

Thanks goes to reader Kimberly for bringing this unitasker to our attention.