We talk quite a bit about being responsible stewards of the environment over here at the CMS HQ. As such, we strive to reduce our footprint by not bringing things into our home that are cheap, single-use, or just useless items. So, I thought it would be helpful to review some of the products on Amazon which are great additions to your home. Things that are actually useful and aren’t cheaply made and going to fall apart after just a few uses.
Something I like to ask myself these days is: Is this product just being designed to solve a problem that I don’t really have, or, does it actually solve a real problem that I’m having? In this case, I can certainly attest to having a real problem. The hair on my head is constantly clogging up my bathtub drain and having to unclog the drain is a disgusting gut-wrenching experience. Not to mention that I have to stand in two inches of water all the time because the drain is rendered useless. Well, the TubShroom is guaranteed to catch every single hair every single time. It’s inexpensive, it’s small, and it’s really really easy to use. You just pop it in, remove it, take out the hair and it’s done. This saves you from having to clean out your drain on the regular, so IMO, it’s a worthwhile product to have.
This odd-shaped item is a bottle brush, with the added advantage that it’s got this funky gooseneck shape which makes it useful for cleaning any vessel which has an unusual shape—think vase, decanter, or humidifier. It’s bendable and has these little strips made out of foam, so they’re great for cleaning.
If you live in an area where composting is a thing, and I really hope that you do, then I would suggest investing in an indoor compost bin. Specifically, one that doesn’t make your kitchen stink, and doesn’t have bags that are always falling off the edge and creating a nasty mess. This was a problem that I faced for years—no matter how many times I tried to fit the bag over the edge it kept falling in, and then I had the (gross) job of trying to fish it out so I could put more food scraps into the bin. There’s also this moisture issue that you run into at the bottom of the compost bin—between the bag and bottom you get this sweat as the food begins to decompose. It smells, and it’s yucky. All of this to say, I have a solution. It’s called the Full Circle Fresh Air Odor-Free Kitchen Compost Bin. It’s sleek looking and actually quite functional. It has an easy to use bar which holds the bags in place, as well as little air vents at the bottom to keep that area moisture-free, This is a win-win situation.
Super Fine Steel Wool
Super fine steel wool is a cleaning professional’s secret tool. This stuff is so inexpensive and works like a charm. In fact, you don’t even need to use product or water when you’re using it and it can remove so many things—from soap scum, to hard water buildup, to rust. We have a whole video on the many uses for super fine steel wool and I’d love to know in the comments down below if you use super fine steel wool, and if you have any tips and tricks that you’ve come across over the years.
OXO Good Grips Hand Broom
Sometimes you can feel overwhelmed by the amount of crumbs, dust, and build-up that you find lurking around your house. You don’t necessarily want to get your vacuum out, but you still want to clean up these little messes. Well, here’s a product that I’ve been using for years—the OXO Good Grips Hand Broom. It’s quite convenient for cleaning upholstery, chairs, sofas, and of course small messes on the floor. You can also use this for sweeping baseboards or getting into any of those hard to reach areas, particularly in bathrooms, around corners or toilets where you might notice that there’s a lot of hair buildup. I’ve probably had one of these for 5 or 6 years now and it really does work and you’ll find that you get a lot of use out of it.
If you notice that your clothing gets pills, which are those tiny little balls that pop up, there’s a really quick solution for it that doesn’t involve using a razor. It’s simply a pumice stone. This one here is called Sweater Stone. All you do is you lie your garment out and you just sort of brush the problem areas. The uneven surface of the pumice grips those little pills and removes them safely without damaging your garments.
BladeBrush Knife and Cutlery Cleaner
A few years ago, I took some cooking classes and one of the things that the chef said to us was: The majority of knife cuts happen not while actually cutting, but while cleaning and putting knives away. Now, of course, this goes back to what I was saying earlier. You can solve a problem by buying a product but you also have to decide, is it worth buying that product or can I just find a hack for it? This is one of the situations where I say safety first. You guys know I’m a proud member of the Safety Police, and I think this BladeBrush from Joseph Joseph is a great investment.
I do love a good Castile soap and this is one that I have on repeat on Amazon. It’s Dr. Bronner’s castile soap. I prefer the unscented one (you can use essential oils to customize it and make it smell exactly how you would like it to), but there are others with lovely smells. We have an entire video on Castile soap that fills you in on exactly how we use it around the home.
On the topic of using essential oils to make things smell great—essential oils are something you can definitely be picking up on Amazon. It’s important to make sure that when you’re buying you get 100% pure essential oils. You want to make sure that you’re getting the best quality stuff so that you can actually get the therapeutic benefits of the oils. The brand that I’ve been using lately is Thursday Plantation. They have four scents: tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender. Essential oils are great not only to make you feel good but they also have a number of wonderful cleaning benefits—from antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial and much more. I have a great video on essential oils and cleaning which will give you all the details.
Kitchen Pot and Pan Dish Scraper
When you read a cleaning article or you see one of our cleaning videos and you hear me talk about cleaning something with a dull edge, this is what I’m talking about. It’s the Kohler Pot and Pan Dish Scraper. It has a lovely squeegee (silicone) edge which is great if you’re cleaning non-stick pans, or scraping food (or liquids) off your counter or cutting board. It’s super convenient and much better than using a paper towel, or a harsh abrasive. Then there’s a dull nylon edge which is perfect when you have baked-on schmutz in a frying pan or cookie sheet. There’s also a little hole in the top corner for easy hanging. This is a super convenient, easy to store tool, and it works really well.
Another great cleaning tool—I know, I’m biased—is a Maker’s Clean Microfiber Cloth. Our cloths are professional grade, ultra-premium, microfiber. They’re perfect for cleaning pretty much everything in your home—from dusting, polishing stainless steel, cleaning countertops, cupboards, and appliances, to safely cleaning glass, televisions and cell phones. We have a wide variety of cloths that come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, each with their own specific uses. Get yours today by visiting MakersClean.com.
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means we will receive a small commission if you click through and purchase something.