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gripes about product packaging?!?

A few come to mind pretty much immediately... all connected to bottle of drain cleaner I had to get today.

Products that are HARD to open... like liquids in containers where you have to push down on lid and turn at the same time.

Labels that are VERY hard to read. First, the instructions are MINUTE... thought I was gonna need a magnifying glass!?! Second, the print was in color on a colored background. Just one click larger and WHITE lettering on a DARK background woulda made things much easier.

Realize this is a bit product specific (cleaning stuff), but all or some of these gripes can be applied to stuff all over the house. I totally understand the need for stuff to be in tamper/child-proof containers or be sealed so they won't ooze out if product is on its side.

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  1. Especially since the child being protected will probably have no problems doing so.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sr44

      LOL, my 12 year old usually says "give it to me, mom!"

    2. My biggest food pet peeve is bags of stuff. When I was a kid you could pull apart a bag of chips, pretzels, etc and it would cleanly split open across the top. These days many won't or they just tear down the seam when you try. While I rarely buy those single bags I do get them for post sport snacks for kids and they end up all over my car!

      That said we had a 6 year old over at the holiday and gave her a Barbie. It took 3 grown woman 20 minutes to get it out of the packaging! Even her hair was sewn into the cardboard backing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodieX2

        +1 to both these comments. Cereal bags (the kind inside boxes) are especially terrible! And the annoying thing about the doll hair being sewn into the packaging, or being held in place with a nearly invisible and tiny plastic tie, is that one wrong snip with the enormous shears you've had to bring out to hack through the plastic packaging and Barbie has a chic new asymmetrical haircut that will reduce the 6 year old to tears.

      2. I bought a new pair of kitchen shears about a week ago. I haven't used them yet because...they're in that bloody "clamshell" hard sealed plastic packaging. Every time I open one of those, I'm bracing myself for a trip to the ER for stitches. I get halfway through cutting it open, and the free edge starts waving around, scraping me. Who came up with this packaging? I hate that person!

        6 Replies
        1. re: khh1138

          You're right! I usually need serious kitchen shears to cut those "clamshells" open. Ya kinda have to cut all the way around item or risk "paper cut" that can be close to needing stitches!

          On CHristmas Day, niece's hubby hadda pull out a "utility" multi-tool to free toys from packaging. And not like items that are remotely fragile and might need to be secured against breaking.

          1. re: khh1138

            Ive heard that you can use a can opener to open those things, though I haven't tried it. They outline it here: http://www.wikihow.com/Open-Rigid-Pla...

            I usually just make my husband deal with those packages, as I become increasingly frustrated and usually hurt myself.

            1. re: CarmenR

              Neat. I am going to try the can opener method next time I am faced with a bleepin' clamshell packed item.

              1. re: MplsM ary

                I chop em open with the kitchen shears... (in this case it would be the last act of the old pair!)

            2. re: khh1138

              Amazon gives the option to order some of the products in 'frustration free' packaging. I love it.

              1. re: jw615

                That actually makes a lot of sense. One of the motivations for the clamshell packaging is to make it harder to steal products that are small but valuable - they're too big to quickly stick in a pocket, and they can't be removed from the packaging in the store (electronics in particular)

                But from Amazon, you've paid for it before you get it, so there's no need to protect it.

            3. The Applegate deli meats in sealed plastic sleeves require brute strength to open. I usually rip a hole in the sleeve rather than the sealed opening and have to repackage.

              1. I can't find fault with child-proof caps for dangerous products. It doesn't matter that a 12 year old can open them, small children can't and shouldn't.

                As for labels with small print, I do use a magnifying glass. Sure, it's a nuisance, but a minor one in the grand scheme of things.

                1. The cap on French's yellow mustard. It is literally a pain to open. I have tried all sorts of ways to get the damn thing open without hurting my fingers. I finally bought a mustard condiment bottle and have to transfer the mustard for use.

                  Look, I have a ton of mustards in jars and bottles, but for certain things I just want French's mustard. I tried alternatives, but my tastebuds are stubborn and want what they want.

                  1. Finn Crisp crackers. They don't reseal at all. Good thing they're already stale to begin with! ;-)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: UTgal

                      Add Wasa bread to that list too.
                      It's so difficult to peel that glued seam apart !!

                    2. I agree with your observations that everything is getting so hard to open and instructions are impossible to read with the naked eye. I now have magnifying glasses by my computer and on the dining room table. Hopefully, packaging is evolving into something better and we'll look back on this era like we look back @ old medical practices like bloodletting.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: zackly

                        As my mother did, I keep a pair of cheaters in every room. Target had extremely cheap plastic cheaters of varying strengths in the dollar bins. I tried on a few and brought them home along with cases - also for a dollar.

                        Long ago Mom and I watched the Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last." At the conclusion she quipped, "Always have a backup pair with you at all times!"

                      2. Trader Joe's frozen Linguine with Clams. That bag instantly splits open from top to bottom, diagonally, no matter how carefully I open it. Since we often don't eat the entire bag at once it is a serious pain in the tuchus to try to seal it up so that it can be put back in the freezer.

                        1. I guess packaging is an art. Some products have mastered it while others have fallen far behind. Some of the packaging designs seen are too good that they make us want to buy that product even if it holds no use to us. In the same way the quality of packaging also matter. Goldrich Printpak Inc provides some good quality packaging. Some of them will have already fallen apart by the time it reaches us, and some will be on the verge of falling apart. I think brands must be more conscious about the packaging as competition is very high these days.

                          1. Fructis shampoo lids are awful.

                            In Japan, say you get a corn dog ("American dog") at a convenience store. You'll get a small packet with two compartments, one for mustard, the other for ketchup. To open it you have to pinch them together. What if you don't want both?

                            How egalitarian.