PowerStroke Electric Pressure Washer PS141912

"I use it to clean the grill"

It really only took one sentence to convince me.

"I use it to clean the grill."

I had been contemplating getting a pressure washer.  It seemed like a great tool for concrete cleanup outdoors. I don't know why it didn't occur to me that you can also use it on grills.  Now I know how apartment complexes get theirs so clean so quickly.  Before this, cleaning the grill was one of those giant mysteries I couldn't unravel.  

This pressure washer is really amazing.  I mean, really amazing.  Initial assembly was fairly easy.  Out of the box, just the wheels, two ends of a hose and the tool tray needed to be put together.  After it was assembled, I took out the used cast iron grill grates and blasted them.  In five minutes, they were far cleaner than if I had done them by hand for an hour.  Since I had already hooked up the pressure washer, I shot down the concrete deck.  (see image) Fifteen minutes later, it was done.

eo powerstroke 1900eo concreteeo pressurewasher 1900 yellowtip

 

My only complaint about this tool is that when it's not in use, it takes up space.  But really, that's part of the price of owning a pressure washer.  Other than that, it's a great time saver.  The Hawaii price was $169.99.  Here are the manufacturer specs.

Three Nozzles: Turbo Nozzle, 15°, Low Pressure Soap Nozzle

The one time I really needed to consult the extended manual for was connecting the quick release attachments.  The washer comes with three different types.  One is an oscillating high pressure nozzle, the other is a steady high pressure stream nozzle (yellow), and the last one (blue) is gentle enough to be used on screens. As it turns out, seating the nozzle mechanism was much easier than it first appeared.  All I had to do was pull down the outer ring of the wand (collar), insert the nozzle and release.

Soap Dispenser

The pressure washer also comes with a soap dispensing unit.  The instructions say to only use pressure washing detergent. Since I didn't know what that was, I had to do some research.  Based on its all-purpose nature and reasonable price, I selected Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner.  To test out the soap dispenser, I decided to wash my car.  Not surprisingly, the instruction manual doesn't specifically say you can wash your car with it.  However, a number of guides, like this one, explain how to do so.

What I found strange about this pressure washer, is that the soap dispenser can't be removed.  Basically, you have to guess how much you need, then use it up and rinse it out one more time with water.  For washing the car, I guessed I needed two cups of Simple Green.  The pressure washer dispenses it in a ratio of 20:1 automatically.  As it turned out, two cups of concentrate was just about right, although I could probably have done with 1 3/4 cup.

I found washing the car easy.  It took 10 minutes from applying the detergent with the blue nozzle to using the yellow nozzle at about 5 feet away from the car to rinse it all off.  Then I wiped it down with a soft cloth and scraped away any debris that made it through the first round.  Easy-peasy.

Good for Households

All in all, I would recommend this product.  I now know that pressure washers come in even stronger varieties.  However, for household use, this is strong enough for me.  It's comparatively compact; I doubt it weighs 140 pounds, as stated on the product website.  Either that, or I'm much stronger than I thought.  I picked it up off the warehouse floor, wheeled it to my car, loaded it, and took it home all by myself.  The box fit in the back seat of my midsized sedan.

I'm fairly certain that the novelty of cleaning concrete and grills will wear off quickly.  However, I know this machine will continue to get good use  If you have room to store it, it's worth the space it occupies.

kimcheeinbowl chives

 

From time to time, I receive a surplus of chives from friends and neighbors.  I also, from time to time, crave chive kim chee. It's the ultimate in local smelly fermented food.  Once you've had some, you'll be hooked.  Just make sure everyone else tries it too so that no one can complain about the aroma.  In any case, it's too much work to make kim chee from scratch, so I just buy a huge tub of won bok kim chee from Costco, eat a little to make room for the chives, blanch the chives, then let it sit for at least a day.  Voila!  Chive kim chee.

 

Read more: Costco Cooking: Easy Chive Kim Chee

The product tagline really should read:eo sunreaders costco package

Sunreaders: Sun protection with reading glasses

 

I probably shouldn't have taken that "shortcut" through the mystery product aisles at Costco.  You know those aisles, the ones that change regularly and where seasonal products are kept.  I stopped to look at reading glasses; we never seem to have enough when playing board games.  I picked up the card containing two pairs of Sunreaders.  "Hmm," I wondered to myself.  "These might be good outside.  Maybe they'd even cut the glare when reading my phone in the sun."

I bought the set of two tinted glasses: one with a classic gray tint, the other with amber.  I gave the gray pair to my husband and kept the amber, a tint I'm partial to.  As it would turn out, I bought them on the eve of Tropical Storm Darby.  It would be another two days before I could properly say I'd tested them out in the sun.

These particular "readers" got terrible reviews on the Costco site.  The real issue, to me, isn't that they're a terrible product.  Rather, their primary purpose isn't magnification.  Fact is, they make terrific sunglasses with the small bonus of a magnifier. At $16.99 for two pairs of sunglasses with 100% UVA/UVB protection and anti-reflective coating, they're a good deal.  Problem is, if you bought them for reading, they're not what you were looking for. 

eo sunreaders lensThe magnifier on these glasses is a small section of each lens, roughly the size of a nickel.  It's so discreet that with the tint I didn't know it was bifocal-style until I unwrapped it.  Personally, I can't see through the magnifier unless I adjust the glasses manually.  My husband -- whose head is slightly bigger than mine -- says he can see through it by looking down.  Clearly, if you were hoping for readers, by now you're already disappointed.

However, as sunglasses go, I like them.  I took them on a drive around the Windward side and the tint is just right: not too dark and not too light.  Because the reader portion is so small, I hardly noticed it as I drove.  Just a FYI: Most sunglasses don't fit my head.  This one was no exception.  However, the product comes with nosepads, a must for me.  Once I attached a Croakie, it was as good a fit as I'll ever get. 

The quality is good: solid and sturdy.  These are a product of DesignOptics, a Foster Grant division.  My take on them: buy them if you need sunglasses and have an occasional need for far-sighted reading in the sun.  Don't buy them if what you really need is reading glasses.


downy unstopables costco

 

We tried it two months ago and liked it enough to buy it again.  Granted, our family found it strange that we were using Downy's In-Wash Scent Booster to boost our specifically-designated "no perfumes" laundry detergent.  Truth is, aside from the fact that sometimes the kids clothes require a little extra TLC -- when are they getting air conditioning in our public schools, anyway -- we've found uses other than the suggested one.

The suggested method is: "Shake a little or a lot into the cap.  Toss into the washer at the beginning of the wash. . .Downy Unstopables go directly into the washer to give a fresh scent boost." 

Here are two additional uses that merit mention:

  1. A couple of pea-sized pellets in the disposal for a fresher smelling kitchen sink
  2. A tablespoon or so of pellets mixed with two cups of hot water for a homemade version of air freshener or neutralizer.

Throwing a few pearls into the disposal is fairly self-explanatory.  Personally, I like to partially melt them in a full sink before turning on the disposal and sending them down the plumbing.  They do sud up just a tad, so I'm hoping they're also cleaning the inside of the pipes.

Turning your Unstopables into an air neutralizer is really cost-effective.  Procter and Gamble is also the maker of the leading odor neutralizer, so it's no surprise that the product is similar.  It's just a lot cheaper to buy Unstopables, melt them and put them in a spray bottle.  I find that Unstopables' odor neutralizing effect is better than ready-made products.  It doesn't smell like much, but when you're done spraying, the offending scents are gone.

I'm quite sure there are additional uses for this product.  For those into sachets or potpourri, I bet these would go well with them.  They're also quite pretty.  The fresh scent version is a lovely aqua color, and I believe the Hawaii Kai Costco also carries the pink "Shimmer" version.  If you're concerned with color, there are a total of six fragrance/color combinations available, but not all of them are available at Costco.

Because they are so attractive, a word of caution here.  Please be sure to keep them out of reach of children and pets.  There have been too many reported incidents where children mistook laundry products for candy.

Until August 31, 2016. Downy Unstopables are $3 off at Costco.

Living here in Hawaii, aren't you envious to find that onions keep for months on end in a Midwest cellar?  Here's are three ideas on how you can preserve your round onions in our humid paradise without waste.

 

Preserving Bulk OnionGrilled Onion

1.  Simply wrap each one in newspaper and store it in your refrigerator.  It's as good as a cellar.  The onion won't sprout and keeps for at least 3 months or more.  Trust me, this one works.

2.  Onions don't do well in the freezer as the water content causes it to become soft and mushy.  However, if you grill them beforehand, you can freeze them in portion-sized clumps and they're very convenient for burgers, vegetables or whatever you would normally use grilled onions for.

3.  Make a duxelles out of them and freeze.  In addition to preserving your onion, it preserves your mushroom too.  It's great for stews, shoyu chicken and anywhere you need a flavorful broth.