Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Method Bathroom Cleaner Review

Recently I had purchased a bleach-based all purpose cleaner, and while it was strong, the odor was very unpleasant enough that I did not want to use it anymore. So I decided to look for some alternative options. One that caught my eye was the Method Bathroom Cleaner, available at Amazon and Target. It is a natural cleaner without bleach so I decided to give it a try.

Upon trying it out, I found the scent to be quite good! It has a refreshing clean smell which I found to be much better than the bleach smell of some of the other cleaners. I have been using it mainly for cleaning the tub and toilet and occasionally the sink.

In terms of effectiveness, it seems to be just strong enough to get the job done. Whenever residue starts appearing around the toilet bowl, a few sprays of this cleaner and some brush action get it back to its original condition. So far the tub has remained pretty clean as well with a weekly cleaning using this spray and a sponge.

My only complaint would be that the design of the bottle is not the most ergonomic, meaning it does not really fit the hand very well, so it can sometimes take two hands to hold it in place and spray it.

I will probably purchase it again once this one runs out. Overall if you are looking for a natural bathroom cleaner with a fresh scent, I recommend trying out the Method Bathroom Cleaner.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

MPOW Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs Review

While my living environment is generally pretty quiet, sometimes there can be some unexpected loud noise. For example, someone might be doing construction, or playing loud music, or maybe the house or building is just making some weird noise.

As someone who tends to be sensitive to noise, situations like these can be bothersome especially if they are out of your control and go on for an extended period of time. I had tried ear plugs in the past but found they didn't really work too well and I didn't really like putting things in my ears.

So I did some research and found noise canceling ear muffs. They are like headphones but they just block out noise, don't play music. After comparing a bunch of different kinds, I decided to go with the MPOW Noise Reduction Safety Ear Muffs. They had many good reviews and were reasonably priced at about $16 so I decided to try them out.

Upon putting them on for the first time, I was surprised at how well they worked. For example I was next to the refrigerator at the time which was running and making the usual noise a refrigerator makes. With the ear muffs on, I could not hear it at all.

I went over to the tv and put it on at a normal volume to see how they would work against a medium volume. With the ear muffs on, I could not hear the sound from the tv, so I would say they work pretty well in this case.

A couple days later someone was doing some construction work upstairs and they were drilling into the floor which was very loud. I put on the ear muffs to see how they would handle it. This time, I could still hear the noise, but it was much quieter and less bothersome. So with very loud noises, you will still hear it, but they will be reduced quite a bit.

These have a noise reduction rating of 36dB which is about the highest I found. I also got a chance to test them out against low frequency bass such as what you may hear from a subwoofer and they did help reduce this kind of noise as well.

As for comfort, upon wearing them for a short period of time, they feel pretty comfortable and well cushioned. The cups have a deep depth inside so there is plenty of room for the ears. The length of the band is adjustable on each side so it will fit most people. While the size can be adjusted, I found you can't really adjust the tightness. They are not overly tight, but I would have liked the option to be able to make them less tight if desired.

Overall build constriction seems sturdy and good quality. They are also fairly light weight at 8.4oz. Visually they do stick out pretty far to the sides. I imagine they have to be pretty wide to get this level of noise reduction.

I have not tried them for long term wear yet, but from what I have tried so far, I think they are best for short term wear for example if you will be exposed to loud noise for a short period of time. These would be good for situations such as lawn mowing or a shooting range. They are also good for home use in case there is noise going on that you want to block out.

Overall I am pretty satisfied with the MPOW ear muffs and would recommend them to anyone who is looking for a good solution to help reduce or block out noise.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Why you should not use credit cards to pay for gas at the pump

The other day I got a text message asking me if I just made a large purchase using my credit card. I had not, so I was immediately concerned and suspicious. I ran to check my wallet thinking maybe I lost my credit card, but it was still there. I wasn't sure if the text was a scam or if it was actually from the credit card company, so I log into my account and sure enough there was a charge that I did not make.

Immediately, I call up the credit card company and let them know that someone is making fraudulent charges on my card. They reviewed the details with me and were able to cancel the card. They said they would send me out a new card and that I would not be responsible for the charge. That was a relief, but still I wanted to figure out how this happened.

Usually I am very careful with things like this so I found it odd that someone used my credit card considering it was still in my possession. The agent from the credit card company said it was swiped at a grocery store which means somehow someone got my credit card number and created a duplicate counterfeit card.

From doing research, it looks like this would have happened by something called skimming. This is when someone puts a card reading device on or in a place where credit cards are used such as at gas pumps, ATM's, car washes etc. Any place where cards are swiped in an unattended location have a possibility that someone my have put a skimmer there to steal people's credit card information.

I usually only use my card at grocery stores and gas pumps, so with process of elimination, I'm pretty sure this happened by a skimmer at one of the gas stations I went to recently. Unfortunately it is hard to know when it happened as it could have been skimmed a few days ago or a few weeks ago.

While consumers are usually not held responsible for fraudulent charges made on their card when reported right away, it still causes a big inconvenience for the person whose card was stolen. I had to contact the credit card company, put a fraud alert on my credit, file a report with the FTC, and file a report with the police. Not to mention, I am going to be without a credit card for about a week until the new one arrives.

So as far as I'm concerned, I will no longer be paying with credit card at gas pumps or any unattended credit card swiping machines. Until these things are updated to be more secure, it is not worth the risk of having your credit card information stolen.

You may think, “This won't happen to me because I am careful and I always check the gas pump to make sure it doesn't have a skimmer attached.” I was like this too, but it still happened. From doing more research, I learned these card readers can be installed inside the machines so there is no way to know from the outside if they are compromised.

I recommend avoiding paying for gas at the pump with credit card to help prevent this from happening to you. Try to pay with cash, or if you are going to pay by card, go inside to the attendant and pay. Yes, it may be a little more inconvenient, but not as inconvenient as getting your credit card information stolen.