Those infomercial products always look cool, but the promises can be pretty sensational.
"Good Morning America" technology contributor Becky Worley tried out four of the gadgets in her home and reported back with her grades for each of them.
$19.95 plus shipping and handling
The claims: Quickly and easily prepare all your favorite potato dishes with Tater Mitts, an effortless way to peel potatoes safely without sharp knives or blades.
Becky says: If you are a professional potato salad maker, then you should own a pair of Tater Mitts. Otherwise they are a buzz kill. First you have to boil the potatoes, then run them under cold water. When you rub the gloves on the potatoes, they do take the peels off fast, but keep in mind you have to go back and remove any eyes or blemishes from your potatoes after you peel them. The cool part is that the Tater Mitts make you feel like you're a superhero ... with gigantic hands.
My biggest complaint is that it's really hard to clean the potato peels out of the Tater Mitts. The gloves have little abrasive granules on the palms to rub the skins off, and the parboiled skins get stuck in between the granules, so you really need to brush and scrub the gloves to get them clean.
Becky's grade: C-
$99 (3 payments of $33 plus shipping and handling)
The claims: Called the world's ultimate cleaning solution -- lightweight and easily maneuverable. Requires almost no effort by harnessing the power of steam to get floor surfaces super clean and sanitized.
Becky says: I used this mop on my tile bathroom floor to see if it would help with a mysterious smell that has existed there since we bought the house. I think the smell is in the tile grout and no amount of Clorox, disinfectant or scrubbing has budged the odor.
I spent a good 25 minutes steaming this problem bathroom floor and, hallelujah, the smell was gone. It came back about a month later, but then I just steamed again to get rid of it.
I used the mop on my wall-to-wall cream carpe. Between babies and dogs, I have some stains that were resistant to carpet cleaner sprays and elbow grease. The H2O mop did an amazing job on the stains, but it worked better on deep spots than it did on overall dinginess in high-traffic areas.
The bummer with this mop is that it uses a terry-cloth pad that you cinch onto the mop head. It gets very wet during the steaming process, and it pushes water and dirt around. You have to wash and wring out the pad a few times if you are cleaning a large area of floor. After you are done cleaning, throw the terry-cloth cover in the wash, or future cleaning forays will result in a wet dog smell that is not pleasant.
Becky's grade: B+
$19.99 plus shipping and handling
The claims: PediPaws is the revolutionary nail trimmer for your dog or cat. It's the newest and fastest way to keep your pet's nails trim, rounded and smooth with no mess and no pain. The secret is PediPaws' precision emery filing wheel that gently removes thin layers of nail to leave your pet's paws soft to the touch and your home safe from scratches. The unique protective cap catches filings so there's no mess.
Becky says: Like many people, I hate clipping my dog's nails. Your pet is squirming, and it's awkward to restrain him and make sure you're not hurting him by cutting the nail below the quick.