Review: Buster.

First, the name. I love the name, I adore it.

Buster. Simple, with a lovely understated cadence.

It’s what my youngest son angrily says when he wants to emphasise a point, adorably.

‘Clean your room’

‘I don’t want to clean my room’

‘Clean your room’

‘I’m not going to clean my room. I’m going on the trampoline, buster’

The way he says ‘Buster’, cracks me up so, browsing Tescos on Friday – and it’s true we know how to live – this immediately caught my eye, and the deep and profound love I have for my children over-writes the other image which pops into my head when I hear buster:

ultra plug hole

Slightly retro packaging, like it was designed by a seconded engine oil package designer in 1999, although interestingly the version they have in tescos must be a later iteration than the version that amazon sells, as the tick in the amazon version has been replaced by the more modern > symbol, the fonts have been muted, the ‘bathroom’ has been demoted and, adorably, pipes come out of the ‘u’ in the buster. What a shame that no one makes the same fuss that they do for apple when it updates iOS or the iPhone that they do for Challs International when it updates the Buster packaging.

Over all, though, it still looks like a retro sci fi futuristic design, enhanced even more by the wheel like looking plug and the oily looking swirly water going, controversially, around it.

While browsing, after looking at the three trinities, the name, the claim and the price, my first thought was ‘water goes down the plug hole not around it.

what is wrong with this picture?

Anyway, this is the sink upon which ‘Buster’ was used:

Now, I am sorry about that image. I should have warned you. It’s appalling, isn’t it? The thing is, this is not even what I have to put up with. This is the rest of my family’s definition of clean.

I’ll just let that sink in a minute.

Unbelievable isn’t it. What undescribed horrors we have go to through, what banal tribulations we all have to face, they snag and nag us as we try to float through our existance.

So, obviously, I cleaned the sink. Then I poured ‘Buster’ down it, not because it was blocked per say (I have a plunger which I LOVE for that job), but because the water was sluggish in its motions. (‘But why? Mr Bleach, why?’ I hear you helpfully ask. Well, because my family think the plug is a portal to the nether. Had a nice meal? Great! Now just shove any rubbish from the plates into the sink, run the tap a bit and bing bang boom, instant cleanliness.




An anthropologist could, if they wished, trace my families recent dietary routine through the strata of food left in my sink. A dinner time team.

(I do accept such a wish as unlikely, I do.)

“And now, oh look, in the strata beneath the watery onion, we make a predictable find. Sweetcorn.”

Sweetcorn. The permafrost of my house. Sweetcorn haunts my household like Hamlet’s dad. The plugs, the dishwasher arm, let’s just leave it there.

So my sink was blocked. And how. First, I cleaned the horror around the sink:

Then onto the sink itself.

The instructions said to pour the whole bottle down the sink, which I am always very dubious about. Does my sink really need the whole bottle or do they just want me to use it all up so I have to buy some more? I poured half down.

I waited longer than they said and turned the taps on. Buster worked well in an understaded, fusless way, and my sink was the second cleanest in Manchester again.

Once I was done, I saw this label:

I was greatly impressed by the capitalisation of the nouns, but less so about the fun competitions. Isn’t that half arsed? Does that not hint to you at some Byzantine power struggle in the Managerial halls of the mysterious Challs International? Some upstart ‘new media cross channel fertilisation’ guy desperate to be put in charge of the twitter account, to promote a community coming up against the old stoicness of those who for centuries have been concerned only with the practicalities of sludge removal? What interesting times.

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