She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

July 10, 2015

Today I'm sharing a few hits and misses in our house lately. I love reading about things that work for others and things that don't work. I get excited when I find something new that does what it says it will do.

OK, I almost wrote a whole post just about dish sponges, but I thought that may be going a tad too far with my love for these things. So I'm adding it here. Reel it in Sarah. 

We've been using these awesome smiley face Scrub Daddy sponges for years:  

best dish scrubbers

Mine were a pack of three and I have to admit, the cute smiling face kind of sold me. I'm a sucker. 

I've always used a combo of a sponge on a handle and the Ocelo sponges for washing dishes. I use the latter 90 percent of the time and I was so frustrated at how quickly they got smelly and gross. 

You can get rid of the stink by putting them in the microwave (or I would run them through the dishwasher) but even with doing that they would be back to stinky within a few days. So I saw these and thought I'd give them a try. 

They are pretty rough and stiff in their regular state. If you have tough messes you rinse them in cool water and they will keep that stiffness and you can really clean baked on food well. I love using it this way to clean our grill I use throughout the week to make bacon in the oven. 

It feels so rough but it doesn't scratch! And when you need it it softer to clean glasses or whatever, you rinse it in warm water and it magically loosens up. It's kind of fun, not gonna lie. The really fun part is that you can put silverware through the smiley mouth to clean it. I didn't make that up, they suggest it. I swear. ;) 

They do wear down eventually but they DON'T STINK. Ever! Here's a pic of one I used for a few months (left), one I just started using a couple weeks ago (middle) and a brand new one to show you the difference: 

best scrubbers for dishes

Poor green smiley face is looking a little frightening so he's going in the trash. 

The other great thing is you can scrub like crazy and no little bits of sponge come off. 

They now have a "Mommy" scrub version that has a soft side as well -- those are what we use now. 

Next up on the love category are these down-alternative pillow inserts from Target
down fill inserts Target

I'm a big fan of feather inserts for our pillows -- I just love the look and feel more than a harder insert. My absolute favorite place to get feather inserts is IKEA -- they are around $7 each there which is an incredible price, considering they are nearly $20 each at most higher end fabric stores (which is the only other place I can find them, other than online). 

But they still look nice and full -- I used one for the Fourth of July pillow I shared last week: 
blue and white pillows

The problem is I have only found them at one Target. I looked around my local store forever one day and couldn't find them anywhere. I've found them at the other one twice and loaded up last time. :) They are always on an end cap along with initial pillow covers that come in a few different colors. 

They are a great alternative to feather inserts if you are fan of those! It saves me the four hour round trip to IKEA to get them -- not that I would drive there just for those. Or meatballs. 

Finally, I am sharing a cleaning recipe that did not work well for me for many reasons. I'll be honest, I pretty much hated it. I have seen this DIY car upholstery cleaning solution floating around for years now and have always wanted to try it. The before and afters always look AMAZING. 

The recipe is one cup distilled vinegar, one cup club soda and half cup blue Dawn detergent: 

DIY car upholstery solution

I had such high hopes for this one! First of all, it says to mix them up and shake -- don't do that. The club soda will make it overflow and go absolutely everywhere. I know that about club soda but wasn't even thinking. If you do try this mix the other two, shake, then add the soda and stir or lightly swish it around. It says to spray it all over the upholstery, let it sit for five to ten minutes, then scrub with a brush and then wipe up with a wet towel. I did all of that. 

So first thing -- this recipe makes a ton. I didn't even begin to use all of it so you could easily half it. You could keep it to use later but the soda will lose it's fizz. 

At first it seemed like it was working but most of the stains came back after it dried. Some even came back worse than before. Now I have to tell you -- at least one of my seats had some decent stains from a spill. But the other ones were lighter clean up and in general it didn't really do much, or it made it worse by just moving it around. It did seem to brighten up the areas that weren't that bad to begin with, but I wanted it to work on the heavy duty stuff and it didn't. 

And for all that is good…my car stinks so bad. Ugh, I expected the vinegar smell, duh. But it is bad…even after leaving the windows open numerous times it still reeks after a week.

So I'll stick to the more powerful professional machines or the carpet cleaners with a handheld attachment -- those have worked much better for me. And no stink!

Have you tried any of these? Any suggestions for a DIY upholstery cleaner for the car? Have you tried this one and did it work for you? I'm willing to try about anything if it works but I wasn't a fan of this recipe. I know what works well for one doesn't always for others so give me your advice if you've tried it! Have a great weekend! 

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  1. I use the Scrub Daddy too and have found them at Home Depot. Thanks for the Dawn, vinegar, club soda fail. Definitely won't try that one.

  2. I use the Scrub Daddy too and have found them at Home Depot. Thanks for the Dawn, vinegar, club soda fail. Definitely won't try that one.

  3. I was curious about Scrub thanks for that review. I have had really good success with the blue Dawn and Vinegar Shower cleaner. Fiberglass is so hard to clean!! Any other bathroom tips?

  4. I love knowing what the Pinterst fails are! I've had an epic one with the pancakes in the muffin tin with bacon and sausage added. Don't do it. EVER!! I've pinned a recipe on Pinterest that uses liquid laundry detergent for car upholstery..I have stinky boys that I've picked up from sports and the car is starting to smell like a crusty gym sock. Thinking of trying it with the Tide sport I use. I'm glad I read your post about the vinegar smell not doing away...I was just about to try it on my living room carpet.

  5. The chemical properties of the soap and vinegar cancel each other out when mix, so when you mix these two you're basically wasting your time

  6. I had some CRAZY bad water stains on my car upholstery from kids spilling stuff. I took a gamble and decided to use shout laundry stain remover. Worked like a DREAM. Truly. I just sprayed it on and then rubbed the spots with a damp cloth and looks BRAND NEW. I had a weird red stain from some juice and it even got that out! And is smells delicious, so no problem with the smell! I'm gonna be honest and say I MAY have sprayed the rest of my seats with it just because it smelled so good :)

  7. You should try Windex on your upholstery stains. Sounds weird, but I just cleaned my car and it did AMAZING things!!

  8. I love Spot Shot for carpet and upholstery stains. You can get it at Walmart. It's worked on lots of stains for me.

  9. Hi Sarah, I also tried the vinegar cleaners and the smell made me totally gag! I tried to mask with lots of different types of essential oils and nothing worked. I went back to the traditional cleaners. I do recommend the Dawn-Hydrogen Peroxide stain remover. I use 1 tbsp. Dawn to 1 cup of HP. You can expand as you see fit but also ... stir gently do not shake. It's a mess ... a clean mess but a mess. My husband is a mechanic and his tshirts are so greasy even under his uniform shirt. Couple sprays and call it done!

  10. I love vinegar to clean with that's if you can get past the smell. One thing I have tried and use quite a bit is something called Awesome and I get it at the dollar store. It's cheap and works good on anything even blood. I keep it in the kitchen and in the laundry room...good stuff!

  11. I have read your blog for years but have never posted anything. However, today I have a trick for picking up feather pillows on the cheap. The nearest Ikea store is also 2 hours from me with a lot of VERY BAD traffic between my house and the store.

    Every time I go to HomeGoods, TJMaxx, etc I go to the clearance section to look for marked down pillows. I check for any feather pillows and if they are a good price (below $7), I purchase the pillows. Who cares what the pillow cover looks like???!!! I am purchasing the pillow only for the feather insert. I have purchased all my feather pillows at HomeGoods (some of them below $5!) and will NEVER purchase another non-feather throw pillow again!

  12. Car upholstery - and almost all of the rest of life - is best cleaned with a product I have been buying forever, called quick n brite. It started as one of those "As seen on tv" things maybe around 30 years ago? It's great! I prefer the pink tubs of solid, but some people prefer the concentrated sprays. I give it to everyone. My grandmother got motor oil out of the interior of the car with it! It doesn't leave nasty residue, either. Plus, it was way before its' time being nontoxic and environmentally friendly.

    I love the smile sponges! I have been using them for a couple of years now. They go in every care package I send out. I bought 16 of them on Amazon once and passed them out so people would try them. They change the way you do business in the kitchen!

    I don't know if anyone else has told you this, but your blog is giving me MAJOR trouble. As I type the comments I'm super lagged and it keeps jumping back up and taking me to see the video repeatedly. I know this isn't normal for your blog, it's really annoying. No other websites are giving me any trouble, just seems to be this page - always reverting to the part with the video.

  13. I saw Scrub Daddy first when it was on Shark Tank. I'll have to give it a try. You're right, their cuteness is a plus!

  14. I saw a recipe on Pinterest for a carpet cleaner that worked AMAZING on pet stains. Well...I was in a bind trying to figure out what I was going to do with my dingy looking wing chairs (that my dog loves to sit in daily to look out the front widow.) I had ordered some pretty cute slip covers because I was hosting my niece's bridal shower, and who doesn't use a party as an excuse to completely redo their home...right?! Welll...the slip covers were backrdered and I needed to fix them fast! After using the rubber glove trick to remove all the pet hair, I sprayed each chair generously with the home made carpet cleaner and used a clean rag to scrub. I let them air dry and hoped for the best. I was in for a HUGE surprise because once dry they looked brand new! The recipe and website are...

    - 2 oz Hydrogen Peroxide (3% - brown bottle from drug store)
    - 1 oz Dawn Dish Soap (blue original formula)

    - See more at:

  15. They sold those sponges on QVC for a couple of years and I always enjoyed the presentation with all of the ideas for using them. They are really excellent sponges!
    Brady, above, talked about using Shout on their car upholstery/ carpets. I agree. It works wonderfully. And the smell is quite nice!!

  16. I agree with the earlier comment-- look for cheap pillows to use as inserts. You do have to consider the darkness of the pillow vs. the darkness of the pillowcase- you may be able to see through some cases. I like cleaning with vinegar. I used to hate the smell but now it makes me think "clean".

    My Bright Blue House

  17. I love my Scrub Buddy! I wear them out pretty quickly. Their scrubbing ability is amazing! Thanks for the info about the feather alternative pillow inserts at Target. I have to admit I have never even looked for them there. I sell pilllows and pillow covers that I make so this is great info!

  18. I second the Dawn dish soap with hydrogen peroxide! It is my go to stain treater. I have used it on clothes, carpet and tile! I would test it out on a small area if you are using it on a dark item first. My 7 year old spills everything and it has saved many of her clothes!

  19. I can tell you the Pinterest recipe for cleaning microfiber furniture, upholstery, etc. works better than ANYTHING I've ever seen before. It's the one that calls for a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Saturate stain, blot and rub with light colored rag, stop and use another rag when that one gets dirty. Once stain is removed, let the spot dry. Then come back with a brush and brush the stiffness out of the microfiber. It seriously is a 'miracle cleaner.' Maybe that will make up for the stinky Dawn/vinegar experience!

    1. I'd love to try this! What else do you use with the rubbing alcohol?


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