TODAY

TODAY   |  March 29, 2013

Infomercial gadgets: Do they really do that?

We all see those home cleaning products advertised on TV infomercials and wonder if they really work. ShopSmart magazine decided to put them to the test, and editor-in-chief Lisa Freeman reveals which are worth the money and which are duds.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> all right. we're back now with today's consumer, and this morning something you've done. been home watching tv at night, seen an infomercial, got one of those products to help you clean your hope. impulse buying, you get it, but does it work? well, the people at "shop smart" magazine wanted to know so they bought a bunch of products and tested them out. their editor-in-chief, lisa lee freeman is here with the results.

>> good to see you, matt.

>> the commercials make these things so easy to use. did you find that was true in real life ?

>> the infomercials are great to watch and make everything look very tempting but rarely do the products work as easily as they work. they are not magic.

>> they have to come with instructions. for example, we'll start with a vacuum and savannah can't even figure out how to turn it on. is that true?

>> i know how to turn it on.

>> i do know how to turn it on but what i can't do is make it go back.

>> power, get this to release.

>> this is one of our top rated vacuums.

>> this gets two thumbs up. this is the shark rotator liftaway, and it not only beat the $600 dyson which it was pitted against in the ad, it beat most vacuum cleaners we tested.

>> crush them into dust .

>> it's one of our top-rated vacuums.

>> is it durable? will this stand the test of time?

>> it's called the liftaway because you can lift it up and use it on stairs because it's like a portable.

>> it works great if you have a bad back and canned bend over like this one here for savannah.

>> this is not a good example.

>> you like it. we know this one works.

>> thanks, savannah. that was great. the first time savannah has ever vacuumed. that is not true. that is not true.

>> now we've got dust in our house, a couple of products. one you don't like and one you do like.

>> this is the delux high reach cleaning kit, and basically the concept seems good, but the only delux part of this delux cleaning kit is the price.

>> how much is it?

>> $37 plus shipping and handling, and the problem with it is you can bend, it concept is great, reach high spots but the mop head breaks off. we eve bought several models and it just broke.

>> i just want to mention that the people said the maker of this said delux high reach cleaning kit had this to say in response. every holder products has manufactured the hi-reach cleaning kit since 2005 and stands behind all of our products. each unit includes product instructions and, when followed, the unit should function as it was intended. we will gladly furnish a new unit for your consumer reporter to test should you wish. you liked this one.

>> al, this is your job. take the pink one.

>> this is the fuzzy wuzzy . you've got it easy here because this is one of the best products we've tested.

>> what's going on in this house?

>> it got the thumbs up. a smooth side, you know, for furniture and tv screens, glides right over it. fuzzy side for little corners with nooks and crannies.

>> al, what do you think?

>> i like it. it's got the right price.

>> right price.

>> let's move on to trying to clean the grout in your bathroom or your kitchen, one thumbs up, one thumbs down.

>> yes. this got the thumbs down, $10 muss shipping and handling, but it's basically like whiteout. put it on your grout to get rid of the mildew and it just covers it up. the mildew comes back in a couple of weeks.

>> let me tell you in, response, the company behind this grout bully says with products that require application, unfortunately, user error can come into play even with a product as easy to use as grout bully. grout bully has given home own ears solution that works quickly to solve their problems at a cost they can afford. it's an unfortunate review from the magazine, and we rely more on our user reviews of the product.

>> well, we follow instructions.

>> last up, you liked this one.

>> the grout meter is actually great.

>> what do you do?

>> your job to use it. it's like a big eraser.

>> a big eraser.

>> and you erase the crowd.

>> it's hard labor .

>> it's coming out.

>> the mildew basically disappears, but it's more like a slow fade. takes a while to get it out there.

>> but you like it?

>> it works so we give it the thumbs up.

>> we like the name of it, the schticky. it gets cat hair and everything. just clean it upoff. you put it under water and pretty