Smiley360: ARM & HAMMER™ Super Washing Soda Detergent Booster #Review

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When it comes to doing my wash, I change products and have added more to my routine that I practically have “booster” products for everything from scents, to whitening and brighteners. Doing laundry is no longer just soap and softener in the house and while some may feel it’s over complicating a simple task, I see it as enhancers to make the task of doing laundry, come out right on the first try. I have used everything from borax, baking soda, and vinegar to try to get more out of my HE washer. I love the front loaders and that they save water, but saving water is nullified when I have to rewash items I am not happy and satisfied with how they cleaned. I also don’t like the idea of doing a task twice!  It sets my schedule back and makes me a little (just a little) moody.

In comes Arm & Hammer with their Super Washing Soda Detergent Booster, that helps give your clean a power boost! I was sent by Smiley360 a gift card to redeem for the product at Walmart, which is located right next to the Borax box. I picked up the box and used the product as directed. My first job was to see how well it worked, was using it on towels. I have white face towels and some I swear get stains from the hamper because I have zero recollection of what they got stained with in the first place. I noticed even lip glosses stained the towels and they would not come clean. If I bleach the cloth too long, the material will fray and come apart, so I do get rid of the stain but the towel along with it!

Retail Price Point: $3.97 at Walmart, but you can find the product on Amazon for $10.99 for two 55 ounce boxes.

Ingredients: Contains Sodium Carbonate

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Instructions (as listed on the Box): For regular wash: 1. Add 1/2 cup of Super Washing Soda along with either liquid or powder laundry detergent at the beginning of the wash cycle. 2. Add clothes and let washer fill completely. For tough stains: Fill container with warm water. Add 2 tablespoons of Super Washing Soda per gallon of water or 1/2 cup in the washer. Pre-soak for at least 30 minutes before washing. For best results pre-soak overnight and then add 1/2 cup of Super Washing Soda along with detergent in wash cycle. Traps and drains: To help keep traps and drains open, dissolve 1/2 cup per gallon of warm water. Run hot water down drain, add Super Washing Soda solution, then flush with hot water. Do not use for blocked drains.  You can also get more cleaning tips here

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Verdict:
My towel test with the ARM & HAMMER™ Super Washing Soda Detergent Booster was a success and the yellow-ish hue some had faded and most stains (80%) were released in the first wash. That is better than the 50/50 ratio I had going. I do not have issues with odor, unless a kitchen towel kicked it in the hamper too long but the wash when you use the booster is left smelling nice and clean. No perfumes, fragrances, dyes, and coloring to worry about with Arm & Hammer because the product contains none of that. Some fragrances not only irritate my allergies and asthma, but at times I have had hives/rashes if something contains strong scents, so this was a welcoming change for me. I give up nothing but the dirt on the clothes I wash and the price point makes it very affordable. I also use the booster to clean drains and it helps cut on the grease from foods to oils, waxes, and just anything you use that leaves a residue in your drain. The drain will flow better and also no odd smells to worry about. The ARM & HAMMER™ Super Washing Soda Detergent Booster also left my sink a nice shiny white and got rid of the soap scum build up that tends to collect around the drain! I am hoping more retailers in my area carry the booster because my Walmart is not close, so I’m looking at you Target 🙂

 

Connect with Arm & Hammer at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Arm & Hammer and Smiley360.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

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BetterBody Foods: PB Fit, Peanut Butter Powder and PB Chocolate Powder #Review Panettone Pound Cake #Tryazon

I have looked at powdered peanut butter but never actually purchased it. I sort of walked around it and wondered how it was when it reconstituted, how it baked when used in recipes, to even how it was when sprinkled over my morning breakfasts.  I even imagined mixing the powder with peanut butter, creating a grilled PB Nutty &J sandwich that would make everyone stand in lines to get their fix.  The BetterBody Foods PB fit is a brand that I saw was preferred mostly and touted as being the “must try” when it came to venturing into Peanut Butter powders.

Powdered Peanut Butter is not just one of those products that is made just so you can see if you can be done! It has it’s applications because I myself sometimes wish I could up the “peanut flavor” without having to add more nuts or even the butter itself. Formulations have doomed me when I cooked recipes or was experimenting and added too much peanut butter that created an unpleasant texture. From too much oil to even producing bake goods that baked up more like a crunchy paste than a bread or a cookie dough. Thankfully, our dog saves us when my PB creations have failed.

The BetterBody Foods PB fit is also a different product all together than what comes out of a jar and no butter knife required. You can easily add flavor and not sacrifice texture. You also have health benefits that come in to play that I had overlooked. The BetterBody Foods company powder offers:

  • A Gluten Free Peanut Butter Powder
  • Lower in Fats, which depending on the variety you buy that can be from 75% to 85% lower
  • 1/3 less calories per serving compared to standard peanut butter
  • Good source of protein and also fiber
  • The Peanut Butter powder is also natural with no artificial ingredients, dyes, or preservatives.
  • Simply Peanuts, Salt and Sugar made from non-GMO ingredients

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Okay, this Peanut Butter is a different nut all together in my book. It’s a cleaner and a more intense tasting peanut, so I opted to make a recipe and using the PB Fit powder because of the lower fat content but not lowered peanut tasting! With the holidays approaching, almond cakes and pound cakes are some of my favorite baked goods. They just go with anything from the seasonal fruits and berries, to just plain with a dollop of whipped cream or a warm sauce. I figured since I was being adventurous, why not make an Panettone Pound Cake and use a combination of products that are nut based.

Let’s Begin….

  • 7 ounces of Almond Paste (grated)
  • 2 sticks of Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cups of White Sugar
  • 4 Eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 drop of Lemon
  • 2 drops of Almond Extract
  • 1 tablespoon of Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 4 tablespoons of PB Fit Powder (you can use plain or even the chocolate variety.  You can also divide the batch to make a marble cake by using both varieties)
  • 1 cup of Cake Flour
  • 1 cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup of Hazelnut Flour (ground hazelnuts)
  • Zest of one Orange (any variety you desire)
  • 1/2 cup of Milk (room temperature)
  • Optional 1/2 a cup to a cup of nuts like Pistachios to even mini chocolate chips.  You can even add candied fruits, dry fruits (imagine figs) and crystallized ginger in lower amounts.  You can also add slivered almonds on top when 1/4 baked through, and then make sure to cover (with foil) to avoid burning when they have toasted.

Set oven to warm at 325 degrees

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I start by grating 7 ounces of Almond Paste and added it to the butter and white sugar. Blend until creamy.  Add eggs to the butter mixture and blend again until smooth and combined.

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In a separate bowl, add zest of the orange to your dry ingredients (flours, Salt, PB Fit Powder, and Baking Soda) whisk, and set aside.

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Add extracts.  You then grab your dry ingredients bowl and in shifts add some of the dry ingredients and then some of the milk until all ingredients are combined.  Do not over mix, as this produces a dry cake.  You can then fold in the optional ingredients if desired.

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I use a large pound cake pan, but you can even use a cake pan and make two layers with the cake batter.  No rules here because I can imagine making a custard/pudding that would be divine with this cake.  You bake the cake for 60 minutes and if it starts to brown too much on top, cover with foil.  At the 1 hour mark, raise the temperature to 350 degrees and bake until done.  Cool for 5 minutes and then flip the cake on to a wire rack to cool an additional 1 to 2 hours before slicing.

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This cake is like a Panettone in flavor but with a heavier texture to resemble a pound cake, which has a crumb that can withstand more than the airiness you get from a Panettone batter.  You bake it slow to allow the flavors to build, the butter to brown, and to yield a moist pound cake.  Enjoy!

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Verdict:

So, it’s a product with the name PB fit and I made cake (I know)!  Well, I’m a girl that thinks even fit focused products can create magic with what is seen as naughty.  They talk about clean eating, well I think that applies to baking too.  Alienating a product because it carries the word “fit” would just be silly and the BetterBody food company is about making products better for the consumer, and I always say when you use top quality ingredients, you can never go wrong and this cake proves it!  It’s a little of naughty and nice to go with the holiday season.  The holidays are about experiencing flavors from pumpkin to dark chocolates, and peanut butter is no longer seen as just the “poor man’s nut”.  Many companies make exceptional peanut butters that are even considered gourmet creations.  BetterBody Foods, allows the consumer to take a known product that is just not like any peanut butter I ever tasted.  There is that cleaner taste that is more intense and closer to the nut’s true flavor because of the simple process they use that equates to just less processing in the first place!  I can make the powder into a butter by adding water, so don’t think your sandwiches are in jeopardy.  I can’t wait to make a peanut butter cookie because this is the product I have been waiting for!  On Halloween, I added the PB Fit Chocolate powder to crispy rice (cereal) treats and they were different and gone before the evening was over.  It was one of those moments where I was about to add peanut butter and thought I already add mini chocolate chips to the top of the treats when they are cooling, so why not add the powder to the marshmallow and butter mix.  It took just 4 tablespoons to create a flavor that made my treats vanish, and any cook and baker loves that!

Connect with BetterBody Foods and get your PB Fit fix at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from PB Fit and Tryazon.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Ardenne Farm: Giveaway for Chocolate Cookie Gluten Free Baking Mix

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***GIVEAWAY ALERT***

Ardenne Farm’s is offering one of my wonderful readers one free Chocolate Cookie baking mix, just like the one I received. To enter, all you need to do is:

  • Follow the company on Facebook
  • Via Twitter and
  • And, leave me a comment on this posting (the review for the product).
    Almost as simple as baking these cookies!

I will announce the winner in March 7th, so you have a little over a week to enter. Good luck!  Ardenne Farm’s will be sending out the product to the winner.

Final Product as baked at home

Final Product as baked at home

I used a simple Vanilla Bean and then press and enjoy!

I used a simple Vanilla Bean and then press and enjoy!

Ardenne Farm: All Natural Chocolate Cookie Baking Mix Review #ArdenneFarm

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Even though I love to cook and bake, there are days I want to break down and just be able to drop contents in a bowl, stir, bake and eat! My biggest guilt comes from when I grab a box and start reading or glance at the list of ingredients. The stuff has so many chemicals that they might as well include a mad scientist inside to make the stuff for me. Most of my boxed mixes expire and when I throw them out, I make a mental note to never buy________ again. I think it’s my way of telling myself I know better.

My family and I are thankfully not gluten intolerant but I am always open in trying a product that is gluten free to add a change to our routine diet. I must admit that most gluten free products I have tried, well they are like imitators but of the worse kind. Think about an Elvis impersonator and then look at the real Elvis (in his good days) and maybe the outfit looks sort of the same but definitely not the wearer. When I saw Ardenne Farm was kindly offering an all natural baking mix and it said the magic word “chocolate”, I figured I would give it a try.

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The Chocolate Cookie Mix is Vegan friendly and like I mentioned Gluten Free, but the list is short when it comes to ingredients. I know what everything listed is and that is not something I see at the common market when it comes to baking aisle.

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Ingredient List: Cane Sugar, Gluten Free Flour Blend (White Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Flour), Brown Sugar, Cocoa, Baking Soda, Non GMO Aluminum Free Baking Powder (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate), Salt, Xanthan Gum, Natural Vanilla.

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The directions are also simple and it’s not like some mixes where I need to bring so much to the cookie party that I end up realizing, I just bought a box of flour with a pretty picture on the front that is only possible if I add $5 more of ingredients to make it happen. You just need one stick of unsalted butter and three tablespoons of water. That is it and everything else is included.

Ardenne Farms’ has simple instructions to follow and the only factor that differs from my everyday made from scratch mixes, is the 5 minute setting time after you take the baked product out of the oven. I usually only do 1 to 2 minutes, but this is a rich chocolate product that needs to set and I’m thinking because it’s lacking the gluten glue 🙂 Other than that, no eggs to crack and you just open one bag, mix and bake.

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Appearance:

The box yields 20 cookies and I am use to cookies being so small that when mixes state this, I know I will be lucky to get 10 cookies, but you see the cookie spreads out more than other cookies, so do stick to a tablespoon per cookie drop, versus the 2 tablespoon-ish I did. I am making ice cream sandwiches, so I needed a larger size. I now call it ice cream sandwiches for two, so even my oopsie has a fix!

Retail Price Point: $4.79 on-line via Ardenne Farm’s website for a 16 ounce box

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Taste Test:

My Husband has been negative about gluten free baked products because they are all impostors (he says). He told me it’s like craving a pizza but you eat a bagel bite and of course still crave pizza. It never fills the craving, so he of course was not too positive about me even baking this. He kept saying, “just make real cookies”. I ignored him and went on baking. I did notice the mix has no chips of chocolate but when I opened the bag, you quickly are taken over by a sweet and cocoa rich cloud. I say a cloud because I was hunting for chocolate chips and forgot you let things settle before cutting open. The smell is very pleasant. I mixed as directed, baked, and waited 5 minutes for the cookie to set. I tasted it and thinking is this just something we will be throwing out and I was truly surprised at how good the cookie tasted. It’s a simple chocolate cookie but the dark rich chocolate flavor is there and so is the softness. You can see it’s flat but it has that desired slight crisp texture on the outside, but it’s very gooey on the inside. I gave him half and he groaned and took a bite. He stated it’s not bad and took a second bite of the cookie (the thing has maybe 1/4 bite left) and then said, “for gluten free stuff….this is not bad but I call it more like pizzelles are cookies but this is softer”. In this house, it’s a win because he would just stop eating it and walk away from the treat. He finished the 1/4 bite and walked off while I finished the ice cream cookie sandwiches. I loved the taste and it’s sweeter than I make my own dark chocolate cookies, but it really is one of the better gluten free products out there. I would pick-up this product and especially for making ice cream sandwiches and not caring if it had gluten or not. The batter lends itself beautifully for this application and I don’t feel bad baking from an Ardenne Farm box, because the ingredients are “family friendly” and I know the cookies will be eaten. 🙂

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***GIVEAWAY ALERT***

Ardenne Farm is offering one of my wonderful readers a free Chocolate Cookie mix, just like the one I received above.  I will be posting the giveaway within a few hours and all you need to enter is follow the company on Facebook, Twitter and leave me a comment on this posting.  Almost as simple as baking these cookies! 

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Connect with Ardenne Farm and they have cookies, cakes, and all the sweet stuff your heart desires at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Ardenne Farm.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

The Spice Lab: Fourth of July Blueberry & Pomegranate Sugar Lab Cookies #Baking #Recipe

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I wanted a cookie that could be used in several applications. This cookie has a muffin texture when you add the baking soda, which is great for drop style cookies to even making Cake Pops or fritters with. Omit the Baking Soda and you will get a crisper cookie texture, that can be eaten as-is or enjoyed with ice cream. I have even enjoyed the muffin style version with ice cream because it plays well as a blueberry and pomegranate shortcake. 🙂

Let’s Begin….

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter (4 tablespoons)
  • 4 ounces of Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 cup of dried unsweetened Blueberries
  • 1/4 of warm water to soak blueberries in. Juice (i.e. Blueberry, Pomegranate or even a Tart Cherry) may also be used if not too sweet.
  • 1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of Sour Cream
  • 50 grams of Powdered Sugar
  • 50 grams of Rice Flour
  • 50 grams of All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 drops of Lemon Extract
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda (use for a muffin/shortbread texture)
  • Pomegranate Sugar from the Spice Lab/Sugar Lab

 

Soak the blueberries in the 1/4 cup of warm water and add 1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup to the soak.

You then start by creaming the butter, cream cheese, sour cream, powdered sugar and the soaked berries with water and all. You want a nice smooth texture.

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You want to break the berries apart a bit so they release their flavor and color through out the dough.

Then add the flours and the lemon extract. Add the Baking soda if you desire a more cake like product.

1 to 2 hours for a stiff dough you can work with.

1 to 2 hours for a stiff dough you can work with.

 

Take dough out and allow for it to cool and stiffen up in the fridge. I always locate mine at the back of the fridge and it takes between 1 to 2 hours. You can also make it the evening before and allow it to cool overnight.

Once the dough has cooled and absorbed all the dry ingredients well, we have options!  

Start by heating your oven to 350 degrees.  My cookies depending on size took 12 to 15 minutes to bake.  They will feel soft and moist, but don’t be fooled because they will stiffen up nicely (careful over baking) after just 1 minute of resting on the pan.  Then remove and allow to cool.

  • You can cut the cookie outs by using shapes

I used stars of different shapes and sizes to go with a 4th of July look.

 

  • Drop Cookies

You can make drop cookies by making balls, rolling in sugar and just placing them on parchment paper and a baking sheet.  I stud each cookie with a defrosted blueberry for that little extra touch!

  • Cake Pops using a fried method for a crispy outside……sort of like a fritter!

You can make cake pops by frying the dough in Peanut oil.  I used a toothpick and then made a ball.  I put the dough in the freezer to set for 15 minutes and then took the pops out.  Gave them a final shaping and in they went into the oil.  Takes less than a minute at the size I created to cook and fry up.  Roll in the Pom sugar and you are set!

 

  • Last but not least, you can make Vintage Flags 

The options are endless and the flavor from the Pomegranate Sugar by the Sugar Lab is wonderful.  Not super sugar and you taste the fruit versus just sugar crystals.  They gave my baked goods a beautiful look but also taste wonderful.  Get creative this 4th of July! Enjoy!

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Get your Sugar and Spices Fix at:

  • The Spice Lab on-line– http://shop.thespicelab.com/index.php/peppers-spices/sugars/gourmet-sugar.html
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/TheSpiceLabInc
  • Twitter– https://twitter.com/TheSpiceLab

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I received the above product free of charge from The Spice Lab.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Smiley: Arm & Hammer Sensitive Whitening Toothpaste with Orajel

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I was fortunate enough to be a part of Smiley’s Arm & Hammer Sensitive toothpaste campaign, and let me tell you, it comes at the very best time or year. Who doesn’t like ice cream, icy fruit smoothies, popsicles (don’t judge me), and all manner of frozen treats that are part and parcel staples of summer? But then there’s that one spot, that one tooth, that makes enjoying them nearly impossible. I’m here to tell you that thanks to Arm & Hammer teaming with Orajel, kiss that sensitive tooth (or teeth) goodbye this summer. Oh, and lets not forget that Arm & Hammer has also included baking soda, gentle whitening and all the anti-cavity goodness to make good oral health anything but an afterthought,

 I tried this product for two weeks. But not before confirming that “owie” spot at my molar that has a filling. You know the one, the one that reminds me I had one too many sour gummy worms that one Halloween. The one that makes me dread my frozen pineapple spears, my blended berries-and-ice smoothies, my dark chocolate-covered frozen nanners. Yup. Still ouchie. But right about the two week mark, I decided it was time. Sure enough, I was able to indulge.  Happily.  Fully.  Now, I just have to worry about brain freeze!
Let’s not forget that this is Arm & Hammer, teaming with Orajel, who has taken the hassle out of putting some baking soda into your toothpaste. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve added a little from time to time to bump up the clean, but this is a much better way to get it in there. Tartar reduction, anti-cavity power, and a pleasant, minty flavor that left your mouth feeling clean, and then there’s the reassurance that you’re protected with Orajel. This is a truly all-in-one product that does it all.  I’m a fan, and I think you will be too.
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What are some of the Benefits:

  • Relief from painful tooth & nerve sensitivity
  • Low abrasion formula
  • Effective stain removal
  • Deep cleaning
  • Breath freshening
  • Fluoride cavity protection

ARM & HAMMER™ Sensitive Toothpaste by the makers of Orajel™ oral relief pain medication is available in three varieties:

  • ARM & HAMMER™ Sensitive Whitening
  • ARM & HAMMER™ Sensitive Freshening
  • ARM & HAMMER™ Sensitive Multi-Protection

For more information visit: http://www.armandhammer.com/oral-care-sem-sensitivity.aspx

Get your free sample of ARM & HAMMER(TM) #SensitiveToothpaste http://www.smiley360.com/ct_356.php  #freesample

I received this product free of charge from Smiley.  I am not obligated in providing a positive/favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product, which may differ from yours.

Swaggable: Eco-Me Dog Dry Shampoo

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I received a sample of the Eco-Me Dog Dry Shampoo in Grapefruit Sage. First item I liked is the simple ingredients list. You have Baking Soda, Corn Starch and Essential oils…the end!

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Directions are fairly simple: You sprinkle onto fur, brush or rub in thoroughly. You then wipe excess away with a dry towel. Repeat as needed and can also be used to refresh dog bedding.

Results:

This is like an air freshener and odor eliminator spray but for Dogs! I liked how it gave her a fresh scent and she did not mind the application. Being that this pretty much is an enhanced baking soda, I already have used it in the past for refreshing her bedding and sleeping quarters. It has been chilly and our dog had been cold and in a jacket, so she tends to get a little on the funky side. She smells like a corn chip! This made her corn chip-less and that is a major plus in my book. The product does absorb some oils and dirt when you get a look at the towel you use to wipe off. Our dog likes to play with the vacuum hose and I also used it to get some of the powder off, even though it was not needed.  I figure I was cleaning so let’s make a game of it!

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I would love this product for in-between baths. I know if I had received this product sooner, it would have yielded a better result because so far it left me 75% satisfied with the clean and 150% satisfied with the scent. To corn chip-less smelling dogs!  You can purchase this product and their other lines at the Eco-Me website!

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I received the above product from Swaggable and I am not obligated to provide a positive or negative review, just my honest opinion.  My opinion is based on my experience with the product and may differ from yours

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