My opinions and insights about the products and services I've used may save you time and trouble before you make your next purchase or help you find that book, hotel or gadget that you've been hoping to find.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Book Review: The Unfeathered Bird

This book is what I call a bad weather birding book. It is a great read when the weather makes it hard to get out in the field to go birding. Written and illustrated by a former London Natural History Museum curator (and taxidermist), The Unfeathered Bird by Katrina van Grouw is full of information about the ways in which bird behavior is influenced by the structure of their bodies. It shows what is going on underneath the feathers in rich details with more than 380 illustrations drawn from actual bird specimens.

Read my complete review and see a slideshow of some sample images at this link.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Method Smarty Dish Plus Dishwasher Detergent

Before finding Method Smarty Dish Plus, I'd used Cascade Complete in my dishwasher for years. It was the only one that had done an adequate job of getting them clean. Even with Cascade, however, I've been getting a light brown staining on some of the glassware and white porcelain that can only be removed by intense hand scrubbing. I tried OXI detergents and boosters to no avail. Until now.

Method Smarty Dish Plus naturally derived dishwasher detergent tabs actually prevented the stains from occurring in the dishwasher. Glassware was pristine and spotless and the white dishes were as bright white as new-fallen snow.

I will be using Method Smarty Dish Plus from now on. It comes in tablet form, just put one into the detergent dispenser in the dishwasher.

The reason that I tried Method Smarty Dish Plus in the first place, is that I recently became employed by a company that makes one of the key ingredients and I saw the results in our labs when we compared detergents with our additive compared to those without. Lab results are one thing, but it also worked much, much better in my own dishwasher at home.

Since the removal of phosphates from detergents, I have been underwhelmed by their performance until now. While I'm more than willing to forgo the extra performance phosphates provided in exchange for eliminating the environmental harm they did, finding a new detergent that finally restores that performance without harming the environment has certainly brightened my day and brightened my dishes.

Method Smarty Dish Plus prides itself on being a "naturally derived dishwasher detergent" made from non-toxic, mineral and renewable plant-based ingredients. It is bleach-free and phosphate free, but still manages to be the best dish washing detergent that I have found.

Highly recommended.

*Disclaimer: I'm not employed or paid by Method to write this blog. I do work on the manufacturing end of a company that provides one ingredient to Method Smarty Dish Plus (and other companies for various uses), but am not being compensated in any manner by them for this blog post. I use the product, I believe in the product, and that is the sole reason that I have chosen to review it here.