Yesterday we had the chance to head to the beautiful Hearst building in New York City and check out the Good Housekeeping Reseach Institute.
You know those jobs that you always wonder if they really exist? Like the guy who can tell you which paper towel really soaks up the most water or the girl who knows which wrinkle cream is the best?
These are the (very smart people) with those jobs.
They work for the magazine “Good Housekeeping” and they determine if a product receives their stamp of approval. I had no idea this was such a hard thing to get. They have lots of tests and funny machines to determine if your bathing suit really will hold it’s color after 50 washes.
This machine was in their section that tests the beauty products. Each year they buy tons of human hair (all kinds too- color treated, sun damaged etc) and test things like shampoos and conditioner. That machine allows them to precisely control the water temperature and can access everything from salt water to pure water.
This machine allows them to take swatches of fabric and wash them over and over and over and over and over to see what happens. They can see if material shrinks or fades, if it frays or there is any other damage.
These towels used to be the same size. The one on the left was what it looked like when they started. The one on the right was after 25 washes. It shrunk 6 INCHES! (Turns out the towels are just shrinking- we aren’t gaining weight!)
This is where everybody wants to work- the test kitchen. They not only check to see if things taste good but they also confirm nutritional information to see that it is correct. Have you ever eaten Pirate’s Booty? When it first came out it was labeled as a nutritious kid friendly snack with 2.5 grams of fat per serving. Good Housekeeping independently tested it and discovered it had 8 grams of fat! They have since reworked the formula and met at a comfortable 5 grams.
Right now they are working on items for the Thanksgiving issue so I am sure turkeys and cranberry sauce will be soon!
This is the area that checks household items- all kinds of products! Currently they were testing skillets.
They also had a big room full of vacuum cleaners- with a machine that grinds dirt into the carpet just so they can see how much it sucks out.
All in all, it was a very interesting tour. I promise you I will never look at the Good Housekeeping seal again without some much due respect!