I have to admit that when I received an email asking me to review Plenty Super Strong my first thought was "what on earth is there to say about kitchen roll?" But this particular PR had written a lovely personalised email so I took the time to read it again properly and agreed to go ahead. I sent over my postal address and didn't think much more of it. When a delivery man knocked on the door a couple of days later and handed over a large heavy parcel I was a bit puzzled.
When I unwrapped it and found all this I was both delighted (after all there were Yorkshire tea bags AND chocolate in there) and still puzzled. I then found a letter from "Juan Sheet" of the Plenty TV adverts fame and things became a little clearer.
The special thing about Plenty Super Strong is that it is designed to give the cleaning power of a cloth in a paper towel. The "specially bonded structure" means that it doesn't fall to pieces when it becomes wet or when you try to scrub with it. To prove just how strong it is Juan wanted me to do one simple test with it – slip it through the handles of the shopping bag that they'd sent me (complete with all the shopping you see above) and try to lift it up. I was sceptical. After all a carton of apple juice and things like sugar, pasta sauce and washing up liquid aren't exactly light. But then seeing as Juan was asking I thought I ought to give it a go and I got Mr C to video the results. For completeness and as a control (ever the scientist!) I also tried it with a sheet of the supermarket own brand kitchen roll that we usually use.
I was truly amazed! The Plenty Super Strong does feel very different to other paper towels that I have used in the past as it has much more of a "quality" feel to it – thicker and more textured. In terms of using it for the sort of jobs that I usually use paper towels for I was really impressed. Firstly I often give LMC a piece of kitchen roll whilst she's eating her breakfast so that she can use it to mop up any milk that she spills from her cereal as she goes along. If she's having a particularly messy breakfast it will often be in shreds by the end, but the Plenty Super Strong was still complete and I could then also use it to wipe up the rest of her table once she'd finished. Normally I'd have to go and fetch another cloth to do this.
Master C is experimenting with having water in a sippy cup at mealtimes, but his lack of coordination and desire to just bang it against his high chair tray means that there's quite a bit of mopping up to do at the end of the meal. Again the Plenty Super Strong managed all this and still had the capacity to be used to wipe up some water that had spilled on to the floor too.
We often use a piece of paper towel when cleaning windows, but sometimes you're rubbing so hard (especially to remove sticky finger prints) that it disintergrates. Once again the Plenty Super Strong worked wonders. Fully intact, no annoying little bits stuck to the window and I had to use less than I would normally do.
There is no doubt that there is a hygine benefit in using new paper towels when cleaning up around small children compared to one cloth which will breed germs when left by the kitchen sink, but there is also an obvious environmental impact in doing so and I asked the PR that I dealt with about this. At present I put all used kitchen roll that has not had contact with any cleaning chemicals into my "green composting" which is the food, cardboard and garden waste that the local council here in St Albans take away to compost in a heated environment. Plenty Super Strong is biodegradable and and will compost in this way. They don't recommend it for home composting as the lower temperatures in a traditional garden compost heap would mean that it takes a while to break down. Again you must make sure that if you've used any chemical cleaning products on it you don't then put it in any compost bin.
I'm actually really really impressed at Plenty Super Strong and even more amazed at just how much I found to say in reviewing it! I had always previously just though that kitchen roll was kitchen roll and that there was no real difference between brands. As a result I always just bough the supermarket own brand and didn't think any more about it. They say seeing is believing and that couldn't be more true here. If the shopping bag strength test doesn't demonstrate that then I really don't know what will.
Disclaimer: I was sent a packet of Plenty Super Strong for the purposes of this review and also the bag of shopping that you see in the photograph to allow me to carry out the shopping bag strength test. Despite there being chocolate in the shopping bag I can promise you that this review was not swayed by it and everything I have written is 100% honest!