Unitasker Wednesday: Luxe Makeup Brush Cleaner with USB Charging Station

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

There is a great article in Allure magazine that tells us we should clean our make-up brushes at least weekly. They also provide the following tips on how to clean your brushes:

Follow these seven steps for cleaner, good-as-new brushes and blenders.

  1. Wet the bristles with lukewarm water.
  2. Place a drop of makeup brush cleanser or [mild] soap into the palm of your hand.
  3. Gently massage the tips of the bristles in your palm.
  4. Rinse the bristles.
  5. Squeeze out the excess moisture with a clean towel.
  6. Reshape the brush head.
  7. Let the brush dry with its bristles hanging off the edge of a counter, thereby allowing it to dry in the correct shape. Never let your brushes dry on a towel — the bristles can become mildewed.

The experts at Allure also states that brushes should not be dried vertically. Because the bristles are glued to the handle, soap/detergent and water can cause the glue to breakdown and the bristles will start to fall off.

With brush cleaning so simple, I can’t imagine why anyone would need the Luxe Makeup Brush Cleaner with USB Charging Station. It is just a pile of clutter — the device, its charging base and cable, eight rubber collars to fit various brush sizes, and a special bowl to wash your brushes. It is a whole lot of non-recyclable material.

If you really want to spin your brushes to clean them, get a glass (that you already have), fill it with cleaning solution, and spin the brush handle between the palms of your hands while the bristles are submerged in the water. No extra plastic. No batteries to charge. No clutter at all.

Unitasker Wednesday: Battery powered latte art pen

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

Do you have FOMO (fear of missing out) because you can’t post photos of your coffee on #latteart on Instagram? Now you can join in with this easy-to-use battery powered latte art pen!

Don’t worry about this gadget being constructed of plastic and non-recyclable electronics because it dispenses natural, wholesome powder compatible with foods such as cocoa, cinnamon, and other spices.

Just open the pen and pour in your cinnamon or cocoa powder. You must pour very carefully because the battery compartment is exposed when you open the cover. Any powder spilled in the compartment may interfere with or corrode the connections.

When you push the little button, the pen vibrates and the powder is supposed to flow out the tip. Once you figure out how to clear the consistent clogging, you too will be able design amazing art on your coffee and post photos of your food to all your favourite social media sites.

Thank you to reader Olivia for bringing this unitasker to our attention — and for letting us know you saw the ad for it on (where else) Instagram.

Unitasker Wednesday: Chef vs. Gadget

A big thank you to reader Celeste who sent us this video where a chef competes against unitasker gadgets.

The video shows that a chef knife wins spectacularly over the unitaskery avocado cutter and corn cob peeler. There was a tie between the chef knife and herb cutter (only for the green onions). If you already have a knife, sharpen up your cutting skills and skip buying the herb cutter?

The rapid egg cooker and the microwave pasta cooker, both unitaskers, won against the chef. How did they do that? They saved time — and likely saved energy. The rapid egg cooker does not require an entire pot of water to be boiled on the stove. The pasta cooker uses the microwave to boil water which is much faster and more energy efficient than the stove top. Both the pasta cooker and rapid egg cooker might be useful for students living in dorms who only have access to a microwave and an electrical outlet.

Thanks again Celeste! It’s a great video.

 

Note: Our post links to a microwave pasta cooker with higher Amazon reviews than the one shown in the video.

Unitasker Wednesday: Silly scented products

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

During the holidays, people will be out enjoying parties a little more often. The police, (rightly so) will also be conducting more frequent roadside sobriety tests. Imagine that you have not had a drop of alcohol to drink. You are stopped at a roadside check and the officer asks you to roll down your window. Out wafts the smell of bourbon — from your car’s air freshener.

Yes, you too can have the smell of drunk driving without driving drunk. Just hang a few of these little bourbon scented trees around the inside of your car.

I might consider this for a bar or lounge area, but a car? No. Not really a good idea.

 

The Jimmy Dean sausage company holds a recipe exchange during the holiday season. Readers submit a recipe that uses Jimmy Dean sausages and they get to select one of the limited-edition keepsakes the company offers. This year, one of the keepsakes was sausage scented gift wrap.

I have a dog. Not one thing wrapped in sausage scented gift wrap would last more than 30 seconds. If any of the gift wrap was swallowed, it would be an expensive visit to the veterinarian.

For anyone who has pets, unscented and recyclable gift wrap would be the best option. You’ll have plenty of sausage scent when you cook sausages for breakfast Christmas morning.

Unitasker Wednesday: The impact of unitaskers

Almost every week we publish a post about a unitasker. Unitaskers generally serve only one function (uni-task) and whose function could easily be replaced by another item that you already have.

Some unitaskers are useful if they improve safety, or save time, effort, or money. Occasionally we have featured items that would have no benefit to most people but be very useful to someone with special needs (e.g., Staybowlizer, electric corkscrew). From time to time, we feature items that are beyond extravagant such as a $1500 silver coffee can.

We have also featured some gag gifts like the Turn & Churn (which is just an empty box) and the flying, screaming, sling-shot monkey. We tell our readers that we do not want them to buy these items, but to laugh at their ridiculousness.

This article by George Monbiot nicely explains the economic and environmental impact of unitasker and gag gifts. It is entitled The Gift of Death, but Death to Unitaskers would also be an appropriate title.

This holiday season, we may be tempted to purchase a unitasker or “gag gift” for someone that seems to have everything already. It might trigger a belly laugh when it is opened and perhaps a few minutes of enjoyment during the next few days. But in the long run, the item will just gather dust in the recipient’s home until it ends up in a thrift shop (maybe) and finally the landfill. Please dear readers, reconsider your gift of clutter. The best present is your presence.

Unitasker Wednesday: Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Sandwich Maker

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

When I was in college, I had the opportunity to work with a professor who was doing ice cream research and as a student project, we got to use an industrial ice cream sandwich maker similar to the one in this video. What I learned from working on this machine is that the wafer parts of the sandwich are hard so they do not break as they feed through the machine. The ice cream is cold but soft so that it can be easily pumped through the machine and fill the sandwiches. Once the sandwiches are wrapped, they go into a freezer at -30ºC (about -22ºF). The freezer is this cold to keep the texture of the ice cream smooth by preventing the formation of large ice crystals.

After learning all of this information, I cannot understand why someone would go through the trouble of making ice cream sandwiches at home. However, the Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Sandwich Maker will allow you to do just that — go through an awful lot of trouble to make sub-par ice cream sandwiches.

I thought perhaps this piece of clutter might be useful if you were allergic to dairy products or needed to make gluten-free ice cream sandwiches but one look in the freezer compartments at my local grocery store and I found dairy-free, gluten-free, nut and peanut free ice cream sandwich options in several different flavours. So you do not actually need the Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Sandwich Maker to help you cope with allergies.

The Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Sandwich Maker is supposed to be easy to use but it is still a lot of work. First of all, you have to bake your own wafers in the silicone top and bottom of the mould and wait until they cool. Next, soften ice cream until it is spreadable and fill the tray you have placed on one set of wafers. Then, very carefully put the lid containing the other set of wafers on the top. Finally, freeze the contraption for at least an hour. (I hope your home freezer is at -30ºC). When you take them out of the freezer, gently remove the sandwiches from the mould. Congratulations. You now have messy ice cream sandwiches.

Unless you enjoy making work for yourself, bypass this clutter maker.

Unitasker Wednesday: Gläce Ice

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 bet if Unclutterer readers need an ice cube, they reach into their freezer or maybe they have ice cube makers built into their refrigerators. I imagine that if they are throwing a party, they run out to the nearest convenience store and buy a 10-pound bag of ice cubes for about two dollars. (For those that are interested, a 10-pound bag of ice contains about 160 cubes so that works out to about one penny per cube).

But what if you want to enjoy a shot of high-quality Scotch — on the rocks? Would you use ice cubes that only cost a penny?

Of course not! You would purchase Gläce Ice.

Made from purified water, these meticulously crafted, individually carved ice cubes and spheres do not contain minerals, additives, or pollutants that may taint the flavour of high-quality drinks. It is just pure, unadulterated water that will dilute your top shelf spirits.

These marvellously sculpted pieces of ice can be shipped right to your door by the case load. Packed in dry ice, you can get 50 Gläce Ice cubes or spheres (or a combination), for a mere $325 USD. That’s only $6.50 per piece! And, they come in a re-sealable vacuum pouch with a one-way air valve to protect the Gläce Ice from absorbing odours from your freezer.

I suppose you could make your own ice cubes and spheres. You would need a countertop distilling machine to make your own distilled water (less than $100) as well as silicone ice cube trays that will make round and cube shaped pieces of ice (and a host of other frozen treats) for about $15.

balls of steel in whiskyBut that is a lot of clutter that sits in your kitchen making ice cubes year after year. Instead, you can unclutter by joining the Tudor Luxury Ice Club and have Gläce Ice shipped to your door on a regular basis all for the low cost of $1100 USD per year.

For those of you who do NOT like your single malts diluted with water of any type, the website Cool Material evaluated whisky stones to see which ones cooled Scotch the best without changing the flavour. The winner was Balls of Steel. Minimalist styling, effective drink cooling, all for about $30 USD — and a portion of all sales is donated to testicular cancer cure research.

Thanks to Editor-at-Large Erin Doland for tweeting about Gläce Ice and suggesting that we just donate to our local food banks instead.

Unitasker Wednesday: Stuffed meatballs maker

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

If kindergarten students can make spheres with playdough, adults should have no trouble forming a ball out of ground meat with their hands. This is why I do not understand why anyone would be interested in the stuffed meatballs maker.

At just over 10-inches by 10-inches and one inch high, this flippy-floppy item is supposed to improve the way you make stuffed meatballs. First you fill both sides of the meatball maker with meat. (I assume we use a spoon because one of the “great features” of the stuffed meatballs maker is that you do not use your hands.) Then, you make indentations in one side of the meatballs with the hinged cavity maker and fill it with cheese or sauce. Finally, you fold over the top side of the device to seal the meatballs. Again, I assume that the meatballs just roll right out of the meatball maker into a pan for baking.

This would be great if it actually worked. Reading the reviews tells me that I have made erroneous assumptions. The stuffed meatballs maker does not fully seal the meatballs closed, nor do the meatballs simply slide out of the device. They have to be pried out of the meatball maker and then sealed by hand. In addition, you have to wash the meatball maker as well as the spoon and your hands.

Save yourself some time and money and just use your clean hands to make stuffed meatballs and thoroughly wash your hands afterwards. I know there are some readers who do not like handling raw meat so wearing disposable gloves will keep your hands clean. Disposable gloves have many more uses than a meatball maker too.

Unitasker Wednesday: Capabunga Artisan Bread Saver

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

Artisan is a term used to describe food produced by non-industrialized methods, often handed down through generations but now in danger of being lost (also known as home cooking). An artisan baker is a craftsperson who is trained to the highest ability to mix, ferment, shape and bake a hand-crafted loaf of bread (also known as my grandmother).

Interesting though these definitions are, most people buy their artisan bread at a bakery where bread making can be automated to some extent. There are variable speed, electric mixers and blenders, and proofers and ovens with accurate timers and fine temperature controls — a long way from how my grandmother made bread using a bowl, a spoon, her hands, a clean linen cloth (which at other times acted as a tea-towel), and a wood stove.

I guess if some people buy their bread at artisan bakeries they would also purchase the Capabunga Artisan Bread Saver to ensure that their bread stays fresh as long as possible. To keep a loaf of crusty bread fresh, you have to cover the cut portion to keep the moisture inside the loaf while allowing the crust to stay exposed to keep it, well, crusty. My grandmother told me that. She also told me that waxed paper or foil wrap and an elastic band (all of which you probably already own) would work really well.

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

Unitasker Wednesday: Pie markers

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

Canadian Thanksgiving is fast approaching and with the smell of pumpkin spice lattes wafting out of every coffee shop, our attention turns to pumpkin pie. (This is my favourite, super easy recipe.) With only four adults in our family, it is pretty easy to cut the pie into equal pieces. If you have to serve pie to five or seven people, it gets a little tricky to cut pieces into equal sizes.

That’s why you need a collection of Pie Markers! Pie markers score pies (and cakes) in equal proportions for serving your guests perfect slices. Made of durable food grade aluminum, these pie markers will make sure that you will not waste time trying to equally slice your pies with a knife which will be inaccurate and time-consuming.

Buy an entire set of pie markers so you can cut pies into 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12 slices. Just remember that the diameter of each is almost nine inches so the entire set will create lots of clutter in your cupboards.

If you would like to avoid the clutter, this video shows you a trick for using a simple piece of paper (which you likely already have) to find the centre of a pie. In the video they score a line across the centre of the pie but if you want to cut the pie into an odd number of pieces, do not score across the centre, just make a little X to mark a line out from the centre and use a protractor (clean it thoroughly first) to mark the angles around the pie according to this chart.

Unless you are running a bakery, restaurant, or catering business and need to mark many pies and cakes every day, use a piece of paper and protractor. They will take up a lot less space in your kitchen cupboards.

Unitasker Wednesday: Personalized peanut butter spoon

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

Wouldn’t it be great to have your own personalized peanut butter spoon when you eat peanut butter right out of the jar? No longer will you have to use a regular, everyday spoon for such an exalted task!

This custom-made spoon is hand stamped one letter at a time and made with non-toxic ink. (We would certainly hope the ink is non-toxic!). The vendor suggests that if you choose to use your spoon you should wash it the dishwasher to avoid abrasive hand scrubbing to prevent the ink from wearing off.

I’m not sure why you would buy a spoon if you do not plan on using it. Maybe at $25 (plus $10 shipping) you would want to keep it pristine, as a decorative item mounted on the wall with a souvenir spoon collection — but then again, with Comic Sans typeface, maybe not.

Thank you to professional organizer, Hazel Thornton for bringing this unitasker to our attention.

Unitasker Wednesday: Snap-on bedding labels

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

Today’s unitasker is Snap-on bedding labels. These simple to attach, snap-on labels that tell you the size of bed sheets. For about $16 USD, you get four labels. I’m assuming one for each of the flat sheet, fitted sheet and both pillow cases.

You do not need spend $16 USD on this item if:

  • You buy different colours of sheet sets for different sizes of beds in your home and put a colour-code chart in your linen closet to remind people which colour of sheets are which size.
  • You only have one size of bed. All of the sheets would be the same size regardless of colour.
  • You use the same colour of sheets for all the beds but launder the sets of sheets on different days and store the sheets for the bed in the room in which the bed is located so they don’t get mixed up in the linen closet.
  • You use the same colour of sheets for all the beds but you own a Sharpie permanent marker and decide to write a small letter in the corner of each sheet/pillowcase indicating what size it is.

If you do not do any of the above, and have not read our article on how to best store your sheets, feel free to purchase the Snap-on bedding labels.

We’d like to thank reader Ann J. for alerting us to this unitasker!