41 cheap & easy ways to solve the gross problems around your house

There’s finally a good way to get between those computer keys.

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There’s plenty going on from one day to the next, and with all that you’re juggling, cleaning and keeping things tidy often falls through the cracks (or you just can't be bothered). The good news is that there are lots of clever gadgets and handy helpers to help you get it all done without much elbow grease necessary. To that end, here’s a list of cheap and easy ways to solve the gross problems around our house.

Many items on this list are actually genius-level gadgetry that does the heavy lifting to yank the gross-o-meter back to manageable levels. For example, a coffee maker descaler that not only cleans the inner workings of your coffee maker, but it also improves the flavor of your morning cup of joe? Or perhaps a cellphone sanitizer that rids your device of whatever’s living on it and an extendable tile cleaner so you don't have to stretch.

Keep scrolling to find more clever ideas that'll make your home shine in less time.


Problem: Having to spend an hour dusting each nook & cranny

Solution: This microfiber duster that covers tons of surface area in one pass

Trap dirt and dust without chemicals (and relatively little elbow grease) with this microfiber hand duster. This duster has a large cleaning head to cover more surface area with each swipe, and the heads are removable and machine washable.


Problem: Missing window sills & shower tracks that collect grime

Solution: This groove-cleaning tool that gets into tough-to-reach spots

This crevice-cleaning tool lets you clean windows, vents, shower door tracks, and other tight spaces with ease. Use the narrow brush to sweep up dirt and dust, or use the scraper on the other end to loosen encrusted debris.


Problem: Stove tops covered in food residue

Solution: These burner covers that keep messy stove tops at bay

Keep messy stove tops at bay with these stove burner covers. These burner covers are made with Teflon and are temperature-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Best of all, once they get messy, cleanup is as easy as pulling them up and tossing them into the dishwasher.


Problem: A dryer working slowly because it isn’t properly cleaned

Solution: This dryer vent cleaner that reaches into tight corners

Keep your dryer’s performance up to snuff with this dryer vent cleaner. This flexible, thick-bristled brush is long enough to reach into deep recesses to clean out accumulated lint and debris. What’s more, the brush is sold in a two-pack, and the design is so versatile you can use it elsewhere in the house too, like behind large appliances and under furniture.


Problem: A coffee machine that won’t brew properly & tastes off

Solution: This descaler that makes your coffee taste better

Improve the flavor of your coffee and extend the life of your coffee maker with this descaling solution that removes limescale and hard water deposits. Plus, it prevents your coffee maker's inner workings from corroding. One Amazon reviewer wrote: "Purchased this Descaler as our several years old Keurig Single cup coffee brewer no longer brewed a full cup of coffee. Water flow was very slow, and coffee cup only 1/2 filled. Following the simple directions on the bottle - and using just 1/2 a bottle of Descaler, the Keurig machine was restored to full performance. It also brewed a hotter cup of coffee!"


Problem: A stained ceramic sink that you don’t want to be too rough on

Solution: This pumice cleaning stone that gets rid of tough stains without damaging surfaces

For an alternative to chemical cleaners and stain removers, try this pumice cleaning stone. Made of 100% natural pumice, this stone effectively cleans ceramic fixtures and even barbecue grills, all without scratching or damaging the surface. Just be sure to wet it before you use it.


Problem: Wasting rolls of paper towels while cleaning

Solution: These microfiber cleaning cloths you can use over and over again

These microfiber cleaning cloths are lint-free, nonabrasive, and absorb more water than cotton counterparts. From drying delicate glasses to cleaning your car, these cloths are useful all around your house, and when you’re done, keeping them clean is as easy as tossing them in the washing machine.


Problem: Blind slats that take forever to clean

Solution: This blinds duster that gets the job done exponentially faster

With three blades that clean two slats at once, this window blind duster helps you get through that dreaded task faster. Each pack comes with five interchangeable microfiber cloths that can be washed and reused. This blind duster is highly rated on Amazon, and one witty reviewer wrote: “Worked great, [the] only thing that would improve the experience would be having someone come and do the job.”


Problem: Not being able to reach the top of your shower walls

Solution: This extendable bathroom scrubber with thousands of 5-star reviews

This extendable tub and tile scrubber is ideal for getting to those hard-to-reach areas in your bathroom like shower walls and doors. The pole extends from 26 inches to 42 inches with a quick twist, and the triangular antimicrobial head gets into tight corners with ease.


Problem: Pet hair all over your sofa & carpet

Solution: These grooming gloves that trap stray pet hair before it gets everywhere

If your dog or cat shed everywhere, avoid that gross hair from taking over your furniture and floors with these grooming gloves. Complete with flexible and gentle yet effective nubs on the palms and hands, these gloves deshed, groom, and massage your pet. All you have to do is adjust the wrist strap and give them some good pets.


Problem: Grime that collects between your keyboard

Solution: This cleaning brush that's ideal for small gadgets

With an angled silicone wiper on one end and soft bristles on the other, this little helper is ideal for cleaning keyboards, remote controls, phones, and other small electronics. Plus, this cleaning brush features retractable bristles and a cap for the silicone end, so the brush doesn’t get dirty or damaged when not in use.


Problem: Spending too long cleaning windows

Solution: This two-in-one squeegee tool that makes cleaning windows less of a chore

This two-in-one scrubber and squeegee tool covers a lot of surface area in one pass so you can get done with cleaning the windows and start enjoying your crystal clear views. The machine-washable microfiber scrubbing sleeve deposits the cleaner, while the 18-inch rubber blade gives you that streak-free shine.


Problem: A microwave covered in food splatters

Solution: This microwave cleaner that loosens stuck-on food

This volcano-shaped microwave cleaner uses water and vinegar to loosen all that stuck-on food in a microwave so all you have to do is wipe it down (no scrubbing needed). Just fill the container and let the volcano run on high for 7 minutes. You can even add a few drops of lemon extract for a fresher-smelling microwave.


Problem: Price stickers that won’t come off

Solution: These multipurpose scrapers that are great for pesky labels

These pocket-size scrapers let you remove stubborn adhesive labels and baked-on, caked-on grime with minimal effort. Made of durable plastic, these scrapers are ideal for reaching into crevices and tight spaces to clean, too, and they’re safe for use on most surfaces.


Problem: Shoes that rattle around when they’re in the washer/dryer

Solution: These bags that make washing your shoes in the machine easier

When it’s time to wash your footwear, protect them with these shoe wash bags to cut down on wear and tear as well as the pesky banging. The open weave allows water and detergent to pass through easily, and the bag has a rust-proof zipper. What’s more, these bags can also keep your shoes separate while traveling or for washing delicates.


Problem: Hard-to-reach spots in your home that collect dust & grime

Solution: This power scrubber that's great for the nooks & crannies

With an oscillating head that rotates 8,000 times per minute, this power scrubber is an extra-powerful, fat electric toothbrush for the nooks and crannies in and around your home. This all-purpose oscillator comes with three styles of brush head and three pads of varying softness, so you can customize your clean with precision.


Problem: A tug drain that gets clogged with hair

Solution: This drain catcher that thousands of users swear by

The TubShroom sits inside your drain to catch loose hair and other debris before it causes a clog. This hair catcher fits any standard tub, it doesn’t impede water flow, and to clean it off, just remove and wipe clean. With more than 30,000 five-star ratings, the TubSchroom is a clear user favorite. One Amazon user wrote: “I was skeptical about this little rubber strainer, but I needed something to save my drains from the piles of hair that fall out of my head. I tried others, and they all failed miserably. This thing is amazing! It fit into my standard drain perfectly, and I don’t think a single hair slipped by it. [...] Clean up is super easy, too.”


Problem: A laptop that gets grimy

Solution: This laptop cleaner that swipes away dust & fingerprints

This laptop cleaner has soft bristles on one end to clean away dust and debris from the tiny crevices of your laptop (and other small appliances) and a microfiber pad on the other to wipe away fingerprints and smudges. When it’s time for storage, the brush is retractable, and a cover keeps the microfiber pad clean.


Problem: A tub that drains slowly due to build-up & hair

Solution: This drain protector the stops hair but not your water flow

Keep your tub drain clean and the water flowing freely with this tub drain protector. This drain catches larger debris, and stray hair from slipping through the sides. Cleaning this drain catcher is super easy too, just rinse it under water when things get dirty.


Problem: Beard trimmings that get all over your sink

Solution: This beard bib that keeps things from getting hairy

When you trim your beard at home, tiny hairs tend to stick everywhere. Keep the mess to a minimum with this beard bib that is waterproof and machine washable. The Velcro closure is adjustable, and two suction cups adhere to the mirror to catch hair trimmings. When you’re done, just detach the suction cups and empty hair clippings into the trash. One Amazon reviewer shared: “It doesn’t feel cheaply made. It is comparable to a haircutting cape. It does the job, and the suction cups have a strong hold.”


Problem: An unprotected mattress vulnerable to stains & pet accidents

Solution: A best-selling mattress protector that keeps your bed safe from spills & pests

This mattress protector has over 193,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, so you know it works well. It’s 100% waterproof, so it protects your bed from bodily fluids and nighttime sips of water or wine. Despite also protecting from pests and allergens, this mattress protector still manages to be breathable and noise-free.


Problem: Pet hair that gets all over your furniture

Solution: This handy gadget that grabs pet fur, hair, & lint

Tired of finding pet hair all over your furniture? Just give your upholstery a few swipes with this roller. There are no sticky adhesive sheets or batteries required — and it's even completely reusable. Unlike regular lint rollers, this one collects all that gathered hair into a handy dust bin for easy disposal.


Problem: That dark area between your stove and counter that never gets cleaned

Solution: These stove gap covers that prevent crumbs from falling into the abyss

Stop crumbs and small debris from falling into the abyss between your stove and counters with these stove gap covers. Made from food-grade silicone, these gap covers can be cut to size, and if they get sticky or dirty, you can either wipe them clean or toss them in the dishwasher.


Problem: A small mess that doesn’t require a big broom

Solution: This mini dustpan set for quick jobs

This mini dustpan set lets you tackle small messes with ease. The brush locks into the pan, and it can be hung or stored upright. One Amazon reviewer shared: "It's not clear how we kept our counters clean before having this. It's sort of hilarious in that it makes you feel like a waiter in a fancy restaurant, but we use it to quickly clean off the crumbs and coffee grounds before wiping down the counters with something wet. The quality rubber in the pan and the curve of the real wood handle really give this a high-quality, right-tool-for-the-job feel."


Problem: Constantly having to pour dish soap on your sponge

Solution: This soap dispensing brush that makes washing dishes easier

Load up this soap-dispensing dish brush with your favorite dish soap and tackle that sink full of dishes with ease. The durable nylon bristles are tough on messes but won’t scratch your dishes. The ergonomically designed handle keeps things comfy, and the scrub head is removable and replaceable. Get two in an order.


Problem: A bathroom that smells funky

Solution: This essential oil spray to keep your bathroom smelling fresh

Made with a blend of refreshing essential oils including eucalyptus and lavender, use this toilet spray before you go to create a barrier on the surface of toilet water that traps unpleasant odors. You get 8 ounces in each bottle, so each order will last a while.


Problem: Soap scum or crayon stains that are stuck on surfaces

Solution: These eraser sponges that are a total steal

Get 20 of these melamine eraser sponges for barely more than $10 and use them in the kitchen, bathroom, on doors, and floors, and more. They work on everything from grease to soap scum to crayon, and with thousands of five-star reviews, it looks like users are loving them. “These are definitely thicker than the average magic eraser and work just as well,” one Amazon reviewer commented.


Problem: Dust & debris that’s caught in tight areas

Solution: This cleaning gel that lifts away dust, dirt & crumbs

This cleaning gel is ideal for detailing your car or picking up dust and crumbs from places like keyboards, vents, and more. To use this gel, simply squish it into any surface and lift away dirt, dust, and grime. It won’t leave behind a sticky residue or damage surfaces. Plus, you can use it over and over.


Problem: Bottles you can’t reach the bottom of while cleaning

Solution: These bottle brushes that get into hard-to-reach spots

This two-pack of handy bottle brushes help you clean glasses, bottles, and travel mugs with ease. The soft nylon bristles are flexible enough to fit into narrow openings, and the long, grippable handle won’t slip from your hand in sudsy water. Inside the handle, you’ll find an even smaller, narrower brush, ideal for cleaning lids and other small components.


Problem: A washing machine that’s dirtier than you realized

Solution: This washing machine cleaner so your laundry is fresher

Sometimes your washing machine needs a little more than a surface clean. These washing machine cleaning tablets tackle dirt, grime, and odor in the tub’s inner parts and the drainage system for a more thorough clean (read: fresher clothes). Plus, it couldn't be easier to use. Just toss it in your washer and run it on a hot cycle.


Problem: A smelly refrigerator that’s hard to deodorize

Solution: This refrigerator deodorizer that works better than baking soda

Rid your fridge of unwanted odors in hours with these refrigerator deodorizers. These deodorizers are compact, nontoxic, and they last six months longer than baking soda. "We had a old garage fridge and it worked great. It also helped with our auto ice maker so the ice does not absorb the fridge smells, nice clean fresh ice!" one fan wrote.


Problem: A cleaner that’s too rough on sensitive screens

Solution: This screen cleaner that's alcohol & ammonia free

Keep the screens on all your devices clean without damage with this screen cleaning kit that includes two bottles of screen cleaner, wipes, and two microfiber cleaning cloths. This formula is alcohol-free and ammonia-free, so it’s safe for LCD, LED, AMOLED, Retina displays, and more.


Problem: A deodorizer that gets rid of smells — not just covers them up

Solution: These bamboo charcoal natural deodorizers that can be used almost anywhere

For a safe, nontoxic way to rid spaces of unpleasant odors, try these bamboo charcoal air purifying bags that absorb and actually get rid of odors, not just cover them up. Sold in a pack of five, there’s plenty to go around, and they’re small enough to fit in gym bags, closets, cars, and hampers.


Problem: Trash bins that are starting to smell bad

Solution: This stainless steel compost bin that traps foul odors

Give your garden and the Earth a boost by using this stainless steel compost bin to collect kitchen scraps. Equipped with charcoal to trap foul odors, this compost bin can sit in your kitchen without the worry of flies and pests. Plus, it's even elegant enough to sit on your counter.


Problem: Germs that you’re missing while cleaning

Solution: This portable sanitizing wand that works on all kinds of objects & surfaces

Get germs under control with this sanitizing wand. It uses UV light to clean and disinfect, and the lightweight, portable wand design makes it easy to wave over every kind of object and surface, from car seats to kitchen islands.


Problem: A grill brush that loses its bristles

Solution: This fancy grill scraper that cleans without bristles

Designed with 13 grooves (to clean a wide variety of grills), this bristle-free grill scraper removes burned on bits in minutes without the worry of losing bristles in your food. It's made from solid brass, and you can safely use it on porcelain as well as Teflon-coated grills.


Problem: Pest problems in your home

Solution: This ultrasonic pest repeller that drives pest away

This ultrasonic pest repeller keeps cockroaches, mice, spiders, mosquitos, and more from making a home in your home and can cover an area of approximately 1,200 square feet. There are three modes to choose from, two of which are inaudible to humans and one that is slightly audible for particularly stubborn visitors.


Problem: Straining your arms trying to scrub the carpet

Solution: This carpet & tile cleaner with 4 settings

With an adjustable telescoping pole, this cleaning brush lets you clean spills, pets stains, and spots without getting on your knees and scrubbing. Four brush settings (two for carpet and two for tile) allows you to clean almost any mess no matter where it happens.


Problem: Trying to wrangle a mop & heavy water bucket

Solution: This microfiber mop with a wringer & cult following

Mopping the floors is never fun, but at least with this easy-wring microfiber swing mop, you can quickly get the task done. A foot pedal activates the built-in wringer, and a splash guard ensures that you’re not adding to the mess. What’s more, the triangular design of the mop head gets you into tough corners with ease. This mop is so well designed, it has earned well over 24,000 five-star ratings on Amazon.


Problem: It’s nearly impossible to clean a ceiling fan

Solution: An extendable duster that reaches high-up places

Cleaning a ceiling fan is no easy feat, but this extendable duster makes the chore pretty easy. It extends from 27 to 47 inches and features a fluffy microfiber head that traps dust and dirt like a pro. Just as good, the cutout in the middle means you can tackle both sides of a ceiling blade at once. Use this to dust the tops of bookshelves, too.


Problem: Spending longer than necessary cleaning your home

Solution: This cordless scrubber with 3 brush heads for tough stains

With three interchangeable brush heads, this handy cordless electric scrubber tackles dirt and grime anywhere around your home with ease. With 350 rotations per minute, you’ll get things done quickly and with minimal elbow grease. You get roughly one hour of cleaning time per charge, and the brushes are safe to use on stovetops, bathtubs, sinks, and more.