As a mom, and more importantly, as me, I've noticed that the manufacturers of common products really have no idea what they're talking about or who they're even talking to.
Here are just a few of the hundreds of instructions that make me laugh:
1) Steam Cleaner: Repeat until water in dirty water bucket runs clear.
I'm sorry, what? After I secure that feel-good liter of black water, I am not going back for seconds. Does the carpetlook cleaner? Yes, it does. But I'm no dummy. I know that to get the water to run clear I'm looking at steam cleaning that one spot underneath Natalina's chair nonstop for the next three weeks. I'm good. I'll take my dirty water and run, thank you very much.
2) Not machine washable.
Are you cashmere?
Okay, you're off the hook. I won't put you in the wash. But if you live in my house, I'm betting you aren't cashmere. And, listen, rayon and acrylic, listen carefully. I have a secret that will blow your fibrous mind. You are machine washable. Just not dryable (but you know what, depending on which kind...some of you can even go in the dryer.) So, stop your high and mighty, hand-wash only mantra. It's not happening.
3) Ages ___+
Who came up with these? How many ages 3+ games are collecting dust in my closet while I wait for my kids to be patient enough to put their men on the right squares, and not wander off playing house with them? (Hello, Candyland). How many cheap, plastic marbles must I find under my fridge after my kids got tired of Hungry, Hungry Hippos. But the drum set, the Crayola marker activities, the read-and-learns...all ages 6+? Do the game raters even have children? Just wondering.
4) Mix with a cup/liter/gallon of water, and/or fill cup up to line.
Look, obviously the more soap/bleach/vinegar/ammonia you use the better. Obviously. So, no, I will not be stopping at the line, nor will I be diluting it as much as you're asking me to. I will dilute only enough so that my hands won't burn off when I use the solution, and I will fill to as high as I can so that the rinse gets the soap out. Whatever. I do what I want.
5) Do not use near bathtubs. When it's...a hair dryer. (Thanks, Liz!)
I get it, I do. If I fill my bathtub with water, plug the hair dryer in and dunk it in the tub with my bare hands, I'll get electrocuted. You've made the picture very scary. I'm still using the hair dryer near the bathtub. I'd advise being more specific. Like, don't fill your tub with water, plug in your hair dryer and dunk it in the tub water with your bare hands.
I know it's for children, and I wholly approve of those tags, but I do have to wonder, how many people were allowing their children to play with a hot, searing, electrical hair dryer while or right after taking a bath? Don't people put them away? I don't know. Seems like the poor hair drying companies have to go through a lot of trouble to save lives with common sense.