The Deal Behind The Seal
If a product has the Good Housekeeping seal of approval, you're probably sold on the fact that it's a reliable product that gives you the most bang for your buck. Chances are you look for it without even knowing it! You're not alone. Eighty-one percent of consumers say they would be more likely to buy a product with the Good Housekeeping seal of approval than one without. But what exactly is the deal behind the seal? Rachael sends Kristan Cunningham to the magazine's famous research institute, normally not open to the public, for a rare glimpse at their rigorous testing procedures and standards.
Kristan's first stop; Health, Beauty and Departmental Services, where they test products like skin lotions and waterproof makeup. To test the best of several skin lotions, they apply three different brands on three different areas of Kristan's arm and take several moisture readings over time.
Her next stop is the climatology chamber where they test coats, gloves and winter boots. Good thing she's bundled up in a down coat! Good Housekeeping has found that down is one of the best products for keeping warm.
Even though Kristan hates being in the kitchen, she agrees to help test hand mixers in the institute's Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab. She and lab technician Sharon Franke do side-by-side comparisons of a top-of-the-line model and a less expensive one. Sharon believes the more expensive, heavy-duty mixer she used whipped up the better batter, even though "it's actually a combination of the user and the mixer that makes this cake better," she jokes.
Everyday wear and tear is nothing compared to the stretching, pulling and pushing done to the lingerie tested at the institute. Their standards are high because "if the elastic goes on you when you're walking down the street, you are not a happy person," explains the institute's Kathleen Huddy.
Kristan learns about new paint rollers made from teflon that are washable with water so they can be reused with different colors. They cost about the same as regular, premium paint rollers and help the environment by eliminating waste.
Good Housekeeping tests not only products, but recipes as well. "Every recipe is tested with margarine and butter. Every recipe is tested with different brands of, say, canned tomatoes. They all have different consistencies," explains Debby Goldsmith. "We test recipes with different skillets, ovens, gas and electric." They test each recipe at least three times, which is the minimum. "What they're doing is figuring every factor, different temperatures, different everything, so the recipe that ends up making the magazine," says Kristan.
The folks in their test kitchen even manage to get reluctant cook Kristan in on the testing process by helping to make Lemon Oregano Chicken.
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