The 5 best fabric protectors to safeguard everything from outdoor furniture to shoes

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Fabric protectors are saviors when it comes to accidental spills, stains, and even harmful UV rays.
  • We found options for a range of needs, including indoor and outdoor furniture, rugs, shoes, and more.

It’s easy to fumble your food or spill a drink and stain that pristine rug or couch. Similarly, walking through mud or in an unexpected downpour can ruin new shoes fast. But with fabric protectors, you don’t have to throw your hands up in defeat. Instead, be proactive and protect your belongings before accidents even occur.

In general, fabric protectors are meant to prevent spills from quickly absorbing into materials. Some heavy-duty fabric protectors can even shield your outdoor furniture, clothing, and gear from the elements, while others are specifically designed with shoes and tricky materials like suede and leather in mind.

Here are the best fabric protectors

Best fabric protector overall

Scotchguard Fabric Water Shield
This fabric protector even works on dry clean-only fabrics like silk and wool.

With the ability to save your furniture and clothing from water-based spills, Scotchguard Fabric Water Shield is a versatile option for indoor use.

What we like: Dries clear and odorless, repels water-based spills, can be used on many interior surfaces, can also be used on clothing and shoes 

This fabric protector from Scotchguard takes rank because it can be sprayed on a wide range of surfaces. You can use it on upholstery, curtains, pillows, backpacks, luggage, and even shirts, dresses, suits, outerwear, and canvas shoes. 

But you should note that this product is for indoor use only and isn’t heavy-duty enough to protect outdoor furniture. Just one 13.5-ounce can cover an average-sized couch, two chairs, or five jackets. And if you’re worried about how it applies, the fabric protector dries clear and odorless. All you have to do is spray from six inches away and let it dry. For the best results, be sure to reapply after each time you wash the fabric. 

Best fabric protector for outdoor furniture

Bayes High Performance Fabric Protectant Spray
This option comes in a recyclable, non-aerosol spray bottle.

 The Bayes High-Performance Fabric Protectant Spray can cover all of your outdoor furniture needs thanks to its UV defense and protection against both water- and oil-based spills.

What we like: Outdoor and indoor use, UV protection, water- and oil-based stain protection

When looking for a fabric protector suitable for your outdoor furniture, you should first and foremost check for UV defense. This protector’s formula utilizes a multi-action polymer that essentially functions as a sunscreen for your fabric. This layer of “fabric sunscreen” ensures your fabric doesn’t fade or change color as a result of inevitable sun exposure. Of course, it also protects against spills and repels both water and oil-based stains. Plus, it also works on indoor furniture if you want an option that can pull double duty.

The 24-ounce bottle works on about 120 to 150 square feet of fabric coverage. For application, spray on clean, dry fabric and let it dry for 24 to 48 hours, depending on the temperature.

Best fabric protector for carpets and rugs

TriNova Non Aerosol Stain Guard lead
You can also spritz this fabric protector inside of your car.

TriNova Stain Guard Premium Fabric Protection protects carpets and rugs for 35 to 40 days per application and makes wiping up spills a breeze. 

What we like: Dries clear and odorless, works on carpets and rugs, don’t have to reapply too often

Finding a high-quality fabric protector that also works on carpets and rugs can be a challenge, but this one from TriNova makes it easy. Drying clear and odorless, you can mist this water-based formula on carpets and rugs of all materials, as well as upholstery, curtains, and more. The only kind of carpet this product does not go well with is ones made of olefin, and you should not use this fabric protector on vinyl, plastic, rubber, or finished leather either.

Reviewers praise this product for enabling them to instantly and easily wipe away spills, dirt, and mud. Like most of its counterparts, you should clean and dry the fabric before use. Unlike others of its kind, you should also let the surface cure for 24 hours before applying the product. 

One important thing to note is that this is not a water-proofing product, but instead works to repel spills to make cleaning your fabrics easier. That means, if you spill a liquid on your furniture, you should still wipe the surface immediately. 

Best heavy-duty fabric protector

Scotchgard Heavy Duty Water Shield Lead Image
You can even apply this fabric protector to canvas tarps and boat covers.

If you spend a lot of time outside or in harsh weather conditions, the Scotchguard Heavy Duty Water Shield gives your clothes and outdoor gear a longer shelf life. 

What we like: Endures weather, works on outdoor materials, reapply seasonally 

Whether you’re heading out into the backwoods or you expect your patio furniture to face serious downpours, consider this heavy-duty fabric protector. You may be wondering how this heavy-duty fabric protector differs from one that’s meant for outdoor furniture. The distinction is that this heavy-duty one is formulated to keep your clothes and outdoor gear drier for longer. An improved formula builds an even more durable water barrier.

Spritz this on heavy outerwear, rain gear, umbrellas, patio furniture, outdoor gear, backpacks, luggage, canvas tarps, boat covers, and more. It also works on a wide range of materials, including polyester, nylon, polypropylene, cotton, leather, and suede. 

Drying clear and odorless, one can covers 60 square feet of light nylon or 20 square feet on heavier fabrics. For even more protection from the elements, you can apply a second coat. Just make sure to allow for the recommended two to six hours of drying time.

Best fabric protector for shoes

Cadillac Shield Water and Stain
You only have to wait 30 minutes for the product to dry.

The Cadillac Shield Water and Stain Protector Spray helps repel liquids and stains from shoes without accidentally darkening colors. 

What we like: Specifically great for shoes, can be applied to various surfaces, won’t darken colors, short drying period

There are several fabric protectors that are suitable for shoes, but this one from Cadillac guarantees it will waterproof your shoes. Although it does also work on other surfaces and materials, it’s best for protecting suede, nubuck, leather, nylon, polyester, canvas, and synthetic fabrics. You can spritz this on all colors without fear of accidentally darkening them, and it also protects seams and leather soles.

Aside from defending your shoes against rain, puddles, and other water damage, it also repels dirt, grass, oils. To get the most out of this fabric protector, you’ll want to apply it regularly on dry and clean fabrics. There’s only a 30-minute drying period, and then you repeat the process for a quick one-hour application process. Bear in mind that this fabric protector is not compatible with patent leather or vinyls. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 5 best stovetop cleaners of 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Whether you can barely boil water or are a gourmet cook, stovetops can get messy. When food drops and then burns onto surfaces, pots boil over, and hot grease flies everywhere, ignoring cleanup can leave sticky and stubborn residue.

That’s where stovetop cleaners come in. The best product for cleaning stovetops depends on the surface material: baked paint or porcelain enamel, ceramic (often called a glass cooktop), or stainless steel. There are even some differences in how you should safely clean a gas stove-top and an electric coil stove-top with drip pans, which we explain at the end of this guide.

After a lifetime of cooking in test labs and at home, I’ve cleaned every type of stovetop, tested dozens of cleaning products, and followed different care tips to find the best. And, because any type of cleaning that requires less elbow grease appeals to me, I’m always looking for the most effective, easiest to use, and greatest value in products.

Here are the best stovetop cleaners of 2021

The best stovetop cleaner for baked enamel

Zep cleaner

ZEP Heavy-Duty Citrus Degreaser will eradicate greasy film on both gas and electric baked enamel stovetops.

Pros: Easily removes grease, pleasant citrus odor, available in one-gallon size for easy bottle refills

Cons: Can damage granite countertops and painted wood surfaces, usually only available online or in home improvement stores

For decades, almost every home stovetop was constructed of baked porcelain enamel, a heavy-duty, heat-resistant material that is fused to the steel surface. Today, you can still purchase both gas and electric porcelain enamel stoves as well as matte-painted baked enamel finishes.

Both finishes are durable and easy to clean once you remove the greasy film that may coat cooking surfaces. With ZEP Heavy-Duty Citrus Degreaser, there’s no need for scouring with abrasive pads because its natural citrus solvents cut through grease. Simply spray it on, wait a few minutes, and then wipe away the sticky messes. Finish up with a clean cloth or sponge dipped in hot water for a final rinse.

I like to pour some ZEP into a separate spray bottle and dilute it 50/50 with water to use on small everyday messes. It’s effective and safe to use on stainless steel, aluminum, and other metal surfaces, too. Be sure not to use this cleaner on granite and painted wood surfaces as it can lead to damage.

For tough, burned-on food, spray on ZEP and allow it to work for at least five minutes. You can then use a rubber scraper to loosen the food and wipe it away.  If you have a free-standing or built-in stove, be sure to lift the stove-top or remove the drip pans to clean away any food that dripped inside. ZEP also offers gallon sizes for easy refills. 

The best stovetop cleaner for stainless steel

Amazon trinova stovetop cleaner

TriNova Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish not only eliminates kitchen grease and stuck-on food, it helps prevent them.

Pros: Removes grease and burned-on food easily, leaves stainless stove-tops streak-free, comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth, can be used on all stainless steel appliances

Cons: Not readily available in mass-market stores

Stainless steel stovetops have plenty of great qualities. They are extremely durable but can also show every water spot and smudge. They don’t hold up well under harsh scouring powders, steel wool, or abrasive sponges. Once the damage is done, there is no reversing the marred finish.

Not only does TriNova remove food splatters, grease, and smudges easily with a non-abrasive, water-based product, it also coats the surface of stainless steel to help repel messes so it stays shiny longer. Simply give the bottle a good shake and spray on the cleaner. The solution is slightly thick so it adheres to the surface.

TriNova includes a large microfiber towel with each purchase. Fold it into quarters and use one side to wipe the cleaner in the direction of the grain. Finish by using a dry side of the towel for a final buff of the surface to increase the shine.  When your stove-top is gleaming, don’t forget the dishwasher, sink, and refrigerator!

The best stovetop cleaner for ceramic stovetops

Weiman cook top cleaner

Ceramic stovetops are prone to scratching, and the Weiman Cooktop Cleaner Max is the perfect liquid agent for streak- and scratch-free stovetops.

Pros: Removes the worst burned-on messes and grease effectively, will not scratch ceramic surfaces, comes with a scrubbing pad

Cons: Does not remove scratches caused by knives, pots and pans, not readily found in all mass-market stores

After years of cleaning enamel and stainless steel cooktops, I encountered a smooth ceramic stovetop. It looked sleek and conducted heat well, but removing the overflow from a boiling pot was difficult until I found Weiman Cooktop Cleaner Max.

The micro-bead technology in the formula provides just the right amount of abrasive power to remove burned-on food and grease without scratching the surface. After cleaning with the lemon-scented paste and enclosed pad (that conveniently stores in the lid of the container) and rinsing, there are no streaks or watermarks at all.

Though it doesn’t remove scratches caused by knives, pots, and pans, it’s the most effective ceramic stovetop cleaner we found.

The best stovetop cleaner for gas grates

Austin's ammonia

With Austin’s Clear Ammonia Multipurpose Cleaner, you won’t have to scrub grungy gas stovetop grates and burner heads.

Pros: One-step cleaning, cuts through heavy grease and burned-on buildup, works well to remove smudges

Cons: Powerful odor, potential skin irritant, cannot be used in combination with other cleaners

I think we have established that we all love any type of cleaning that requires very little effort. If you own a gas stovetop, Austin’s Clear Ammonia Multipurpose Cleaner is the one-step cleaner that removes grease for a sparkling result.

All you need is a sealable plastic bag or container and the cleaner. Simply place the grates and burner heads in the bag and pour in just enough ammonia to cover the pieces. Seal up the container and let them “soak” for about eight hours or overnight. Remove the pieces, sponge them off with a bit of soapy water, rinse well with hot water, and they are sparkling clean! Just dry them and reinstall.

As with any too-easy-to-believe hack, there are a couple of things you should note. Ammonia has a very potent odor and should be used in a well-ventilated space. Never mix ammonia with other cleaning products, especially chlorine bleach, which can cause deadly gases. You should use tongs or wear protective gloves when removing stovetop pieces from the soaking solution to prevent skin irritation, too. Luckily, ammonia can be safely disposed of down the drain.

Once you discover the cleaning potential of household ammonia, you’ll find plenty of uses in the kitchen, laundry room, and throughout the house.

The best stovetop cleaner for electric drip pans

Mr. Clean magic eraser

For leftover bits of burned-on food on stovetop drip pans, Mr. Clean Extra Durable Magic Erasers work like a charm.

Pros: Eraser can be cut for specific cleaning jobs, disposable, removes tough grime

Cons: May dull the finish of new, highly polished drip pans

A small rectangular miracle cleaning tool, also known as  Mr. Clean’s Extra Durable Magic Erasers, uses melamine-foam activated with water as micro-scrubbers to remove stuck-on grime from nearly every type of surface — including electric stovetop drip pans.

I grew up with an electric stove with burner coils and drip pans that took lots of abuse. It was my mother’s favorite chore assignment for me: “Make those drip pans shine!” I spent plenty of time at the sink with hot water, scrubbing powders, and steel wool trying to get rid of burned-on food. 

To make cleaning simple, my first suggestion is to use Austin’s Clear Ammonia Multipurpose Cleaner to give the drip pans a soak that will cut through the grease and food on pans. If any bits linger, Mr. Clean will easily remove them.

I usually cut the erasers into smaller pieces that can be used to scrub away residue and then tossed after they become too messy. Finish by simply rinsing with warm water to remove any foam particles that might remain. Though they may dull the finish of newer, highly-polished drip pans, they work like a charm for an essential clean.

How to clean stovetops

how to clean stovetops

For the simplest cleaning process, I swear by daily wipedowns and then a thorough cleaning after a big cooking session. Here are some basic steps for a thorough cleaning:

  • Step 1: Always start with a completely cool surface and with everything turned off.
  • Step 2: Remove as many components like knobs, electric coils, drip pans, gas grates, and burner caps as possible. For gas stove-tops, cover the gas fuel openings with plastic wrap or a coffee cup to prevent splashing any cleaning solution into the opening.
  • Step 3: Place the loose components with heavy grease and burned-on food, in cleaning solutions to soak. Wipe down knobs and lightly soiled components so they are ready to reinstall.
  • Step 4: Wipe down the entire surface with a damp cloth to remove crumbs and light soil. Tackle tough stains using the proper cleaning product and tools for the specific type of surface to prevent damage and to leave it streak-free.
  • Step 5: Reassemble the stove-top and pledge to clean it after every use to make the job easier next time.

Check out our other kitchen cleaning guides

cleaning
Read the original article on Business Insider

The 5 best floor cleaners of 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Even if most of your home has wall-to-wall carpeting, some floors require more than just vacuuming.
  • We rounded up the best floor cleaners specially designed for different floor types below.

Taking care of hard surface floors is a never-ending job. Sweeping or vacuuming will capture much of the loose dirt and hair, but eventually, stuck-on messes will need to be cleaned with a mop and a good cleaner.

I don’t have carpeting in my home except for area rugs, so I’ve learned to care for hardwood, ceramic tile, and stone floors on a weekly basis to keep them looking clean and fresh. I’ve also tested floor cleaners, vacuums, brooms, and mops for many years as a home economist, so looking for products that are most effective, easy to use, and of great value is second nature to me.

While some cleaners are interchangeable, what’s needed to clean the grout in ceramic tile floors isn’t the same as what’s used to keep hardwoods gleaming. That said, we provided five options best for cleaning wood, laminate, vinyl, ceramic, and stone floors so you’ll have a pristine clean.

Here are the best floor cleaners of 2021

The best for wood

Bona Hardwood floor cleaner

With Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray, you can protect your expensive wood floors and keep them shining for years to come.

Pros:  Simple-to-use spray bottle, no rinsing, leaves no streaks, dries quickly, large bottles available for refills, low VOCs

Cons: Cannot be used on floors that have been oiled or waxed with paste wax

The majority of wood floors in homes are sealed with polyurethane or polyacrylic urethane finish. Harsh cleaning chemicals can permanently dull this finish and leave streaks. So, when it’s time to clean spills and muddy footprints, the Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray is your best bet, as it’s specifically formulated for wood floors.

After sweeping away loose dirt, I do a quick spritz with this water-based formula and follow through with a clean mop, and my floors look fabulous. There’s no rinsing needed and it never leaves any streaks.

Bona is Greenguard Gold-Certified and produces low volatile organic compounds (VOC). The spray bottle can be refilled from the larger gallon size or you can use it to fill the built-in cleaner container of some mops.

The best for laminate

black diamond slide

To swiftly clean engineered wood, the Black Diamond Stoneworks Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner is an eco-friendly spray to sustain your floor.

Pros: Works for hardwood and laminate flooring, hypoallergenic, no rinsing required, safe to use around children and pets

Cons: None

Laminate floors don’t require as potent of cleaner and nearly as much maintenance compared to expensive hardwood. Sometimes, using a wood-only cleaner leaves laminate floors full of streaks and water spots. To combat this, the Black Diamond Stoneworks Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner is fit for your next deep clean.

Though it’s usable on wood, this hypoallergenic formula will tackle stains, dust, and oil on bamboo, cork, Pergo, Armstrong, and Mohawk floor types. No rinsing is required and it’s safe to use around children and pets — just spray and wipe.

The best for vinyl

Rejuvenate floor cleaner

Rejuvenate All Floors Cleaner will remove old wax buildup and stuck-on grime to restore the shine of your vinyl floor.

Pros: Cleans floors with no rinsing needed, restores shine, non-toxic and fragrance-free, the spray bottle is reusable, fresh lemon scent

Cons: Not readily available in all mass-market stores

Vinyl floors are built to take lots of abuse. That’s why they end up in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and mudrooms. Rejuvenate All Floors Cleaner is the best cleaner for removing messes and stains with a streak-free finish and no rinsing required.

It works well when sprayed on the floor and cleaned with a microfiber mop. Because the formula is pH-balanced to neutralize contaminants and contains ingredients that will remove old wax buildup and grime, it left the floor looking great. I didn’t have to rinse or repeat the mopping. The lemon-scented formula is also non-toxic, fragrance-free, and Greenguard Gold-Certified with low chemical emissions.

The Rejuvenate Restorer fills in scratches, helps prevent sun-fading, and improves traction. I used Rejuvenate on a friend’s dingy, scratched vinyl floors and it improved the look so drastically she changed her mind about wanting to replace them.

The best for ceramic tile

Hoover grout floor cleaner

Ceramic tile floors are easy to clean except for all those grout lines, but the Hoover Renewal Tile & Grout Cleaning Formula works wonders.

Pros: Concentrated so you use less, biodegradable, effectively cleans tile and grout, septic-safe, can be used with electric floor cleaner or with a mop, performs well, lightly scented

Cons: Not readily available in mass-market stores

Taking care of ceramic tile floors should be a breeze because the tile is stain-resistant, doesn’t scratch easily, and lasts for decades. Howevergrout, if left unsealed, will absorb stains, attract dirt, and can be damaged by strong cleaners. Luckily, the Hoover Renewal Tile & Grout Cleaning Formula makes maintaining ceramic a breeze.

It’s highly concentrated, so read the directions to learn how much to mix with water. Be careful not to use too much of the product, or you’ll have to do some extra rinsing. The cleaner can be used in both an electric floor cleaner or with a good mop. The key to successfully getting the grout back to its natural color is using hot water with the cleaner to help cut through the grime.

I was thrilled with how easily it cleaned the floor and only a couple of tough spots needed a bit of extra scrubbing with a brush. The scent is clean and not overpowering, and it will have your tile and grout looking fabulous when used regularly. 

The best for stone

stonetech slide

If you have expensive slate, granite, or marble floors, the StoneTech All-Purpose Daily Cleaner for Stone & Tile will help make your investment last and look great. 

Pros: Gentle on stone floors but tough on dirt and grime, nontoxic, two light scents available, refillable container

Cons: Not readily available in mass-market stores

I once attended a party at a home with gleaming marble floors in the vast entrance. Because it’s my job, I just had to ask the homeowners how they kept the floor looking so grand. The answer was StoneTech All-Purpose Daily Cleaner for Stone & Tile.

While stone floors may seem indestructible, they’re pretty sensitive to products, stains, and spills that contain acids. Any spills that contain wine, citrus juice, or vinegar should be cleaned up immediately because they can etch even sealed stone floors. Harsh chemicals like chlorine bleach or ammonia can be quite destructive to such an expanse of flooring.

StoneTech helps the sealant last longer and maintains the natural beauty of the stone with its citrus or cucumber scent. You can purchase it ready to use or in a concentrated formula to add to water. The ready-to-use formula is available in a spray bottle as well as a gallon jug for refills. To clean your floors, simply spray a small area and clean with a microfiber mop. No rinsing or drying is necessary. The cleaner is non-toxic and biodegradable, too.

Tips for cleaning your floors

Cleaning your floors doesn’t have to be difficult if you have a good floor cleaner, the right type of mop, and the time in your week to regularly tend to such surfaces. 

Start by sweeping or vacuuming to remove loose soil and hair. If you don’t, you’ll just be swishing it around and often leaving it behind. Use a clean mop head or disposable pad to prevent soil from re-depositing, and remember to allow plenty of time for the floor to dry before tracking in more dirt.

Take a minute to read the instructions on the back of the floor cleaner bottle. Some products go directly on the floor, while some need to be mixed with water; some require rinsing, but some don’t. Following the directions can help you be more successful.

Check out our other cleaning guides

Man cleaning house mopping mop chores housework
Read the original article on Business Insider

The 6 best spring cleaning products for kitchen and laundry appliances in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Expecting fresh, clean clothes from a smelly washer, or sparkling plates from a dishwasher crusted with hard water minerals is a fool’s errand. All you’ll get is frustration and disappointment.

Luckily, there are easy-to-use products available that can restore appliances back to their prime. Many use natural ingredients and are not toxic to the environment or your lungs. Just a seasonal cleaning will usually remove build-up and flush away odors, allowing the appliances to do their jobs well. Of course, if your household has some big messes, you may need to clean the appliances more often.

Along with my own housekeeping, I’ve tested cleaning products for decades as a home economist for companies and publications. I’m always looking for the most effective, easiest to use, and the best value in products and these are the best ones for the job when it comes to cleaning appliances.

Here are the best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry appliances in 2021

The best overall

best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry 2021 lemishine

If you are looking for one product that can take care of odors and soil build-up in your dishwasher, garbage disposal, and washing machine, Lemi Shine Multi-Purpose Appliance Cleaner is your best bet.

Pros: Non-toxic, uses natural ingredients, fresh scent, pre-measured individual packets, simple to use, suitable for multiple appliances

Cons: Does not clean the outside of the appliances

Even with all of the water and detergents that pass through the dishwasher, garbage disposal, and washing machine, they can still accumulate a layer of residue that traps soil, odor-causing bacteria, and minerals from hard water. When all this gunk clings to the inside of the appliance, it cannot perform optimally and causes problems.

LemiShine has developed a formula, based on crystallized citric extracts, that works to cut through that residue. By adding an envelope of the powder to an appliance and running a cycle with hot water, you will quickly have cleaner dishes and laundry, and odor-free garbage disposal.

While LemiShine offers individual appliance cleaners, the Multi-Purpose is the best value because of the versatility and price. I keep some on hand for quick and thorough cleanings anytime I see or sniff a problem.

 

The best for dishwashers

best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry 2021 finish dishwasher

Easy to use and a top performer, Finish In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner can be used while you wash a load of dishes. No extra cycle needed.

Pros: Can be used in a dishwasher loaded with dirty dishes, no wrapper to remove, effectively removes grease deposits, limescale, and odors

Cons: Excellent choice for regular cleaning, but may not remove years of heavy build-up

Stop and think of what lurks on your dishes when you stick them into the dishwasher — grease, bacteria, and crusty food. A good detergent and the volume of hot water swirling in the dishwasher cut through all of that gunk, leaving the dishes clean. But where does the messy stuff go?

Most gets flushed away, but some clings to the sides, seals, and components of the dishwasher. Eventually, the build-up becomes too much and redeposits on your dishes. No one needs that.

That’s where Finish In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner comes in to cut through the limescale, grease, and fatty deposits that you can see, and also those in the hidden parts of the dishwasher. All that crud can clog pumps, drains, and pipes, which reduce the performance of your machine.

Every three months or so, I simply place one of the tablets in the bottom of the dishwasher tub when I’m ready to run a full wash cycle. There are no wrappers to remove or a need to empty the dishwasher of dirty dishes. Since Finish Quantum Max Powerball Tablets is rated as one of the best dishwasher detergents, using the Finish In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner was the next natural step.

The best for garbage disposals

best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry 2021 clr garbage disposal

The fun-to-watch foaming action of CLR Garbage Disposal Foaming Cleaner and Freshener leaves the disposal free of greasy residue and odors.

Pros: Non-toxic ingredients, simple to use, effectively removes odors and residue from disposal

Cons: Does not remove clogs or jams in the disposal

Maybe it’s because I always loved the vinegar and baking soda volcanoes at the science fair, but watching the foaming action of CLR Garbage Disposal Foaming Cleaner and Freshener makes me happy. Happy because I know that the foam is helping to dislodge bits of food and grease that is causing my garbage disposal to smell funky.
 
The individual, premeasured packet contains citric acid and sodium bicarbonate, along with other ingredients that help cut through the gunk and leave a fresh clean scent. It is so easy to use but you should follow the directions to allow the ingredients time to be effective. The cleaning time is around seven minutes, and there’s no need to scrub — just watch the science experiment happen.
 
I use CLR Garbage Disposal Foaming Cleaner and Freshener when I get a whiff of something foul. It should be noted that these packets will not remove a severe clog or jam in the disposal.

The best for washing machines

best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry 2021 washing machine lemishine

If your laundry isn’t smelling as fresh as you’d like, Lemi Shine Washing Machine Cleaner will remove funky odors from the washer that are transferring to your towels and clothes.

Pros: Effectively removes body soil, bacteria, and detergent residue from the washing machine drum, includes wipes for hard-to-reach areas like door seals and the outside of the appliance, non-toxic, and pleasant citrus scent

Cons: Not widely available in all mass-market stores

Today’s high-efficiency washing machines use around 14 gallons of water and hold larger loads, and we use more cold and warm water to protect synthetic fabrics. That leaves lots of opportunity for body soil, product residue, and bacteria to cling to the inside of the washer drum and rubber seals that protect it from leaking.

All that gunk can redeposit on your clothes, making them less than clean and fresh. That’s why you need to clean your washer and the best cleaner is Lemi Shine Washing Machine Cleaner.

Using non-toxic citric acids, the powder strips away the build-up, and you even get a handy wipe to use after each cleaning cycle to capture any residue on the seals and to wipe down the outside of the washer where drips and soil can accumulate. I also love the fresh scent. 

 

The best for ovens

best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry 2021 easy off oven cleaner

Spills happen but Easy-Off Professional Max Fume Free Oven Cleaner will take care of the worst messes without burning your lungs or making you scrub forever.

Pros: Fume-free formula, removes heavy, baked-on stains, safe for electric and gas ovens

Cons: Does not work quickly, requires at least 40 minutes to work effectively

I’m a pie baker who can’t seem to remember not to overload the pie plate with filling. Sure enough, the pie bubbles over onto the oven floor. Fortunately, I know that clean-up can be simple with Easy-Off Professional Max Fume Free Oven Cleaner. Until I found this product, I dreaded cleaning the oven because of the fumes. No more.

The key to using it is having a cold oven. Just spray on the cleaner and wait at least 40 minutes (longer is even better). The grease and spills will wipe away easily. It’s safe to use in electric and gas ovens and oven racks — even ovens that proclaim to be self-cleaning.

 

The best for ceramic and glass stovetops

best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry 2021 weiman stovetop

Smooth glass and ceramic cooktops are prone to scratching. Weiman Cooktop Cleaner Max can safely get rid of cooked-on spills and tackle the stains and leave your cooktop scratch-free.

Pros: Removes the worst burned-on messes and grease effectively, does not scratch glass and ceramic surfaces, comes with a scrubbing pad

Cons: Does not remove scratches, not readily found in all mass-market stores

After years of the standard enamel and stainless cooktops that could stand up to scrubbing from a steel wool pad, I ended up with a smooth ceramic cooktop. It looks sleek and conducts heat well, but removing the overflow from a boiling pot was a challenge until I found Weiman Cooktop Cleaner Max.

The micro-bead technology gives just the right amount of abrasive power to remove burned-on food and grease but doesn’t scratch the surface. After cleaning and rinsing, there are no streaks or watermarks left behind. The lemon-scented paste formula is applied with a cleaning pad that is included, which stores conveniently on the top of the container.

 

Check out our other guides to household cleaning products

shutterstock_736138987

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 6 best disposable gloves of 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Whether you’re caring for someone who’s sick or cleaning your home, disposable gloves add protection.
  • Nitrile gloves are especially great because they are stronger than latex, plastic, or vinyl.
  • We found the best disposable glove options for food prepping, industrial work, cleaning, and more.

Though we tend to lean more toward “reusable” than “disposable” these days, having disposable gloves on hand is a safe and recommended practice to follow. The CDC recommends wearing gloves for cleaning, caring for someone who’s sick, and for manufacturing, public service, and transportation industries and occupations. And if you do any industrial work where you may encounter potentially hazardous materials, wearing heavy-duty gloves is recommended by Environmental Health and Safety programs for safety.

Even just around the house, disposable gloves are great for everything from deep cleaning to handling food for backyard barbecues. We found options from standard nitrile gloves to heavy-duty options. Our picks are also all latex-free to avoid potential allergic reactions.

Here are the best disposable gloves of 2021

The best nitrile gloves

Best disposable gloves - Hand E Touch Disposable Nitrile Gloves
These gloves are strong but thin for easy movement.

The Hand E-Touch Disposable Nitrile Gloves are stronger than other materials, highly stretchable, and reliable for many uses.

What we like: Easy-to-grip tactile fingertips, rip-proof, elegant sky blue design

Box count: 100

Nitrile gloves are one of the best materials for disposable gloves because they protect against most chemicals and infectious agents. The Hand E-Touch Disposable Nitrile Gloves allow for precise control with textured tips and can be used for medical situations, cleaning, salon work, food prep, and more. These gloves are a top pick because they are thick enough to provide protection, yet lightweight and stretchy for comfortable wear. 

The best for food handling

Best disposable gloves - Kleen Chef Disposable Food Handling Long Cuff Poly Gloves
These gloves are breathable and easy to see through when handling food.

The Kleen Chef Disposable Food Handling Long Cuff Poly Gloves are compliant with FDA standards and are extra long for when you’re cleaning uncooked or unwashed foods.

What we like: Ambidextrous hand orientation, durable HDPE material, covers wrists, FDA compliant

Box count: 525

These clear gloves are simple, easy to slip on, and are constructed with high-density polyethylene. The fact that they feature a long cuff design to prevent water from seeping into your sleeves and are compliant with FDA standards make them especially fit for food handling.

Keep in mind that though Kleen Chef’s Disposable Food Handling Long Cuff Poly Gloves serve as a nice barrier to avoid cross-contamination, they aren’t a substitute for thorough handwashing before and after food preparation. 

The best for industrial use

Best disposable gloves - Gloveworks Heavy Duty Industrial Nitrile Gloves with Diamond Grip Box
These heavy-duty gloves are puncture- and chemical-resistant.

When working in factories, mechanic workshops, or elsewhere with exposure to hazardous chemicals, the Gloveworks Heavy-Duty Industrial Nitrile Gloves with Diamond Grip Box is essential to keep on hand.

What we love: All-around textured protection, chemical- and puncture-resistant, repel dirt and grime

Box count: 100

When working with high-intensity tools or toxic chemicals, protective gloves are vital to protect against exposure via skin contact. Gloveworks’ Heavy-Duty Industrial Nitrile Gloves with Diamond Grip Box is fit for industrial use because of their thick and textured protection that makes for a heavier duty glove that’s especially resistant to ripping.

These gloves also offer good elasticity and are puncture- and chemical-resistant. These high-grade nitrile gloves are especially good for automotive, janitorial, painting, and plumbing uses. 

The best for household cleaning

Best diposable gloves - Mr. Clean Nitrile Solvent Resistant Gloves
A beaded cuff ensures these gloves won’t slide down when cleaning.

When deep cleaning your home, Mr. Clean’s Nitrile Solvent-Resistant Gloves are specifically designed for hassle-free, protective scrubbing.

What we love: Beaded cuff, great for sensitive skin, solvent-resistant

Box count: 40

Mr. Clean is one of the most well-known faces in the cleaning aisle, but that’s not the only reason the brand’s nitrile solvent-resistant gloves are fit for ridding household messes and grime. True to the name, the gloves are well-designed to block residue from soaking onto your fingers or palms — a must for when you’re ready to tackle kitchen countertops, sink faucets, or wiping down furniture.

The gloves are also great for sensitive skin and come with a beaded cuff so they stay intact better while cleaning.

The best on a budget

Best disposable gloves - Medpride Medical Vinyl Examination Gloves

For basic, single-use gloves, the Medpride Medical Vinyl Examination Gloves are affordable but effective.

What we love: Thick PVC material, comes in various sizes, ambidextrous hand orientation

Box count: 100

For one-time-use gloves, you may not want to spend much. Medpride’s Medical Vinyl Examination Gloves are an affordable option that aren’t quite as thick as nitrile gloves but are still a step up from cheaply-made plastic gloves prone to tears. They come in small, medium, large, and extra-large size options to ensure a good fit.

These gloves are fit to be used by medical workers and home or hospice care workers, but they are also an affordable solution if you just want to keep some disposable gloves on hand around the house. 

The best in bulk

Best disposable gloves - Dre Health Powder Free Disposable Gloves
With 1,000 gloves per box, these gloves are a good value.

If you run a business and need a large supply of disposable gloves on hand at all times, the Dre Health Powder-Free Disposable Gloves are your best bet.

What we love: Highly stretchable, come in various sizes, huge number of gloves per box

Box count: 1,000 

Dre Health’s Powder-Free Disposable Gloves are made of a strong nitrile blend that offers good grip and ideal stretch. An especially good option for those who need to supply employees with gloves or who work in an industry where they need constant disposable gloves at the ready, this bulk option offers serious value.

These gloves can be used for everything from medical exams to gardening and the beaded cuffs prevent them from slipping. They also come in four sizes to ensure a good fit.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 5 best cleaning cloths we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Spills and smudges happen, and the right type of cleaning cloth makes a world of difference.
  • Zwipes is our top pick because its cloths are multipurpose and don’t leave streaks or lint behind.

If you wipe, polish, and dust often, a reusable, sustainable cleaning cloth is practical to have on hand. These cloths aren’t limited to countertops, either – you can use them to dust pantry items, polish metal, and even wipe smudges off laptop screens and car windows.

By selecting the right type of cloth for each task, you can also limit potential damage to the item you’re cleaning. Paper towels and some fabric towels can scratch finishes or leave lint that can damage electronics.

As a home economist who has years under my belt testing cleaning products for companies, I’m always looking for unique picks that are effective, easy to use, and of great value. . Below, I rounded up the best cleaning cloths I’ve found, plus tips on how to maximize their use.

Here are the best cleaning cloths of 2021

The best cleaning cloths overall

Zwipes cleaning cloth

Zwipes Microfiber Cloths are a plush, 110,000 fiber-count cleaner that can scrub stubborn stains or dust delicate decor pieces. 

Pros: Great at absorbing water and picking up dirt, can be used without chemicals or detergents, prevent lint and streaks, quick to dry, machine washable

Cons: Thinner and smaller than some other brands, can leave lint if not rinsed before using

If you haven’t added microfiber cleaning products to your arsenal, you’re missing out. These small fibers make a cleaning cloth more effective in absorbing water and attracting dirt molecules.

The Zwipes Microfiber Cloths are constructed with 110,000 microfibers per square inch and can be used without chemicals or detergents. With so many fibers (usually nylon and polyester), the dirt and bacteria are trapped in these cloth types until you use laundry detergent and water to flush them away. The cloths will leave mirrors, surfaces, and stainless steel streak-free, too.

What’s more, these cloths absorb eight times their weight in water and dry in half the time of the average brand, so you can clean multiple rooms in a snap. 

The best cleaning cloths for tough messes

Mr Clean Magic Eraser

If you’re giving your home a deep clean — and hopping from room to room — Mr. Clean’s Magic Erasers will conveniently loosen tough grime. 

Pros: Flexible for cleaning hard-to-reach areas, can be cut for smaller jobs, no additional chemicals needed, tackles tough grime

Cons: Can’t be used on highly polished surfaces or wood, too thin for some tasks

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Sheets use melamine-foam activated with water as micro-scrubbers to remove scuff marks and stuck-on grime from nearly every type of surface. And they aren’t a favorite just because of the advertised cleaner clad in all white — the disposable sheets are only 1/16-inch thick and super flexible so I can reach caked-on dirt in hard-to-reach places. 

I often cut the sheets in half for a small job and appreciate the full size for removing grease on stovetops, grime inside the microwave, and deeply-rooted water stains on sinks and faucets.

My favorite thing about the sheets is their functionality without the use of additional chemicals, which is difficult to find when tackling tough grime.  For tougher messes where a wipe won’t cut it, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser blocks should do the trick. I do recommend that the freshly cleaned area get a rinse with a damp microfiber cloth to remove any foam particles that might remain.

The best kitchen cleaning cloths

Libman Microfiber SPonge

Libman’s Microfiber Sponge Cloths are a sponge and microfiber cloth hybrid that easily absorb and leave surfaces streak-free.  

Pros: Naturally prevents bacteria, sponge and microfiber design, great for cleaning small items, highly absorbent, leaves surfaces streak-free

Cons: Cloths can be stiff until washed several times

If you love using a sponge in the kitchen, but are concerned about the number of coliform bacteria (Salmonella or E.coli) that can lurk in the pores, Libman Microfiber Sponge Cloths are a great option. Made from a  synthetic sponge quilted between a soft microfiber exterior, they’re ideal for washing dishes and cleaning kitchen counters alike.

I appreciate that each cloth is small enough to wash the inside of drinking glasses and coffee mugs, too. The sponge adds to the cloths’ absorbency while the microfiber produces streak-free surfaces whether using them wet or dry.

One tip for any type of microfiber cloth is to never use fabric softener or dryer sheets (I hang mine to air dry) when cleaning. The fabric softener will coat the microfibers and make them less absorbent. I find that each cloth stands up to about 25 or so washes until I’m ready to replace it.

The best cleaning cloths for electronics

Magic Fiber wipes

For crystal-clear smartphone screens and devices,  Magic Fiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths will prevent scratches paper and cotton towels can cause.

Pros: Prevents scratches, removes smudges, long-lasting, safe on delicate surfaces, lint-proof

Cons: Black cloths may leach dye when wet and should be hand washed separately from other fabrics

Our smartphones, eyeglasses, and other delicate items take much abuse. To remove smudges, the Magic Fiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloths are essential, as cotton and paper towels can leave lint and cause scratches.

The long-lasting and pocket square-like cloths are finely woven from microfiber and produce no lint, absorb oil, and can clean fingerprint-ridden screens. The microfiber attracts dust and holds onto it until the screen is spotless instead of dragging the particles across the surface.  When I use them, just a few wipes with the dry cloth are effective most of the time. If screens or lenses have lots of smudges, lightly dampening the cloth with plain water will help.

The metal polishing cleaning cloths

Sunshine polishing cloth

If you spend hours polishing silver or brass with messy creams and liquids, Sunshine Cleaning and Polishing Cloths will make your metals gleam.

Pros: Cleans metal without messy liquids and pastes, leaves jewelry, dinnerware, and decorative metal pieces polished and streak-free

Cons: Cannot be washed and reused

It was always my job to spend hours polishing silver dinnerware and serving pieces before every holiday gathering. My kids have avoided the torture because I found Sunshine Cleaning and Polishing Cloths.

These cloths are amazing, thanks to the polishing agent embedded in the soft microfiber fabric. As you polish sterling silver, gold, brass, or copper, the dark oxidation that dulls the finish is transferred to the Sunshine Cleaning Cloth. When the cloth has turned black, toss it away. 

Tips on how to best use cleaning cloths

When something needs to be cleaned, most of us just grab a cloth and dive in. But, there is a proper way to use any cleaning cloth to prevent redepositing soil on surfaces or cross-contamination between tasks.

No matter how great the cleaning cloth may be, once it’s full of soil, it won’t collect any more. If the cloth is saturated, you’re simply swiping dirt or germs all over the surface —not removing them.

When you begin working with any type of cleaning cloth, fold it in half, then fold in half again. This gives you eight clean sides to use. As you move from one area to the next, refold the cloth to a clean side for a fresh and soil-free cleaning cloth for each job.

To help prevent cross-contamination between bathrooms, kitchens, and living areas, use different colored cloths for each room. Once cleaning cloths are heavily soiled or beginning to fray, use them one last time for a really messy job — like cleaning a greasy outdoor grill or dirty car wheels — before tossing.

Check out our other guides to household cleaning products

cleaning
Read the original article on Business Insider

The 4 best trash cans we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • The best trash can for your kitchen depends largely on where you’ll store it.
  • Step cans are great for kitchens with extra space, while under-counter ones tuck cleanly away.
  • Simplehuman’s Rectangular Step Trash Can is easy to use, opens and closes smoothly, and traps odors.

Shopping for (or using) a trash can isn’t anyone’s favorite chore, but it’s an important task that comes before every household.

We spoke with organizational experts, cleaning professionals, and a bartender with decades of experience. They all agreed that a standalone unit with a tightly sealing lid and a trusty step mechanism is best for most people, and one with a sensor or push-button is best for those who want a more accessible option. However, under-counter units, slimline bins, and sensor-operated cans can all be good options depending on your space and accessibility needs.

We tried five different garbage cans to determine the best, and tested them for sturdiness and rigidity, ease of opening and general use, and when applicable, the effectiveness of a lid at both creating an even and reliable seal and containing smells (within reason).

Remember that keeping trash too long, whether it’s covered or not, will eventually start to attract and incubate any number of pests depending on where you live, and removing particularly noxious items from your house immediately, rather than letting them sit and rot in your kitchen trash bin overnight (or longer) is the best way to keep your kitchen clean.

Here are the best trash cans of 2021

The best overall

Best trash can 2021 Simplehuman rectangular step trash can

If you have the floor space, the Simplehuman Rectangular Step Trash Can, 45L is the sturdiest, tidiest, and best-sealing option we’ve found.

Pros: Heavy-duty stainless steel, neatly sealing lid, smooth operation

Cons: Heavy (if you have to move it), too large for many kitchens

If you’ve got the space and don’t mind the aesthetic of a trash can out in the open (pretty as this one may be, relatively speaking), the best trash bin for keeping your kitchen clean and sanitized is Simplehuman’s Rectangular Step Trash Can (or any of the brand’s step cans that suit your space).

Something we’ve found problematic with other step cans is that the step stops functioning after a time, or the connecting rod between the step and the lid dislodges. While that’s often fixable, it’s also reoccurring, so it’s something you’ll end up having to do regularly.

We haven’t had any such troubles with this bin, and moreover, it is quiet and smooth as can be. We opened and closed it rapidly and repeatedly as long as we could in order to see if we might dislodge anything or initiate an unpleasant noise, but after dozens of tries, it did not produce so much as a squeak.

We also knocked it over a few times to note whether or not anything dented, broke, or separated, but it passed that test, too, though the lid did not stay closed.

These bins come with branded liners (their fancy name for trash bags) that fit snugly, but they’re on the pricey side, so we also tried some budget options. The budget trash bags fit just fine, though it will take just a little coaxing to seal them around the rim and under the lid correctly. All in all, it’s a manageable unit and there are plenty of different configurations on offer by Simplehuman, so pick the one that fits your space best.

Best on a budget

Best budget trash can 2021 Rubbermaid

Affordable but highly sufficient, the Rubbermaid Step-On Wastebasket covers all your needs without breaking the bank.

Pros: Basic, but heavy-duty plastic built to last

Cons: Not as durable as stainless steel

If you want a simple, serviceable trash bin with no frills or flashy stainless steel, Rubbermaid’s plastic Step-On Wastebasket will do the trick. It probably won’t last as long as the more rigid, stainless steel options we recommend, but it’s considerably more affordable, every bit as functional, and much easier to move, should you need to do so.

The lid, which is also plastic and also considerably lighter than the other lids on trash cans we recommend, fits snugly enough, but it’s by no means pet- or pest-proof. It will, however, keep odors at bay much better than a lidless bin.

As for the rest of the design, it’s easy enough to clean, with no troubling nooks or crannies. The pedal is stainless steel, which is much sturdier than a lot of the other plastic bins we looked at, and it’s perfectly well-suited for 13-gallon garbage bags, so you won’t have any trouble finding specific ones fit for it.

Make no mistake about it that this is a plastic budget option and it will not last a lifetime, but if you’re careful enough with it, you’ll easily get your money’s worth.

Best under-counter

Best trash can 2021 Simplehuman Under Counter Pull Out Bin

Robust stainless steel racks and the thick plastic pail(s) mean the Simplehuman Under-Counter Pull-Out Bin can withstand years of use and abuse.

Pros: Strong, easy to install, trash remains out of reach of pets and children

Cons: No lid, requires installation 

Considering space, function, odor containment, and the fact that many of us have two types of recycling (requiring at least three bins in total), the Simplehuman Under-Counter Pull-Out Bin is the most practical setup there is. And, as pretty as some trash bins might be, they are still trash cans, and no one necessarily wants to stare at or navigate around them. An under-counter bin like those from Simplehuman answers all of those problems.

Of course, you do have to dedicate a cabinet to the system, and cabinets come at their own premium, but if you can make it work, it frees up floor space and keeps everything neatly out of sight.

You’ll also have to install a setup like this, but it’s easy (eight screws) and sturdy with commercial-grade ball bearings. I’ve personally been using these bins for years and never had a track or a screw come loose.

There are multiple configurations available for the under-counter setup from a 30-liter trash bin to a 35-liter trash-and-recycling split system, and in my household, we’ve dedicated a two-door cabinet to both systems, which have both served us without fail.

Best for tight spaces

Best trash can 2021 Simplehuman slim open trash can

The Simplehuman Slim Open Can is a great option for under a bar or in a gap between cabinets and walls or appliances.

Pros: Easy access, easy to change bags, fits in tight spaces

Cons: Lidless, heavy (when you have to move it)

If you have a narrower space for your trash bin but still want to fit a typical 13-gallon bag, the 10.7-inch-wide Simplehuman Slim is your best choice. It’s lidless, but because it might be living in a tight spot, you may want that easier accessibility.

The fact that this bin is on the narrow side does make it a little tricky to fit larger items into it without having them spill or hang out, and you might end up getting some splatter and or residue around the edges, but the brushed stainless steel rim is easy to remove and clean when it comes time.

And while again, yes, it’s lidless, it is both heavy and on the taller side, so you won’t have to worry as much about pets or small children finding their way into or tipping it over.

Our methodology

best garbage can 2021 methodology

We tested six bins side-by-side for a week, taking note of ease of use, cleaning, and odor (as much as we could stand it). We also consulted experts including Caitlin Rose of Fresh N Folded, based in Seattle, Washington, and Kaddy Feast, a longtime New York City bartender and the founder of Sorted, a professional home organization service.

While the best bins tended to be large, heavy, and lidded, not everyone has that kind of real estate to dedicate to a trash bin, so we talked through some of the more practical options available with both Rose and Feast, who helped us deduce the best possible categories for most households.

Here’s what we looked for in our top picks:

Ease of use: We used each bin as part of our daily routine for a week, noting how easy and intuitive the trash cans were to use and operate. 

Durability: We pushed over each bin and looked for dents, scratching, or damage. Where lids were applicable, we tested to see how smoothly they operated, and opened and closed them dozens of times to see if we could induce squeaking (or worse). In testing the pull-out bins, we were particularly rough in pulling them in and out in order to see if they might dislodge from their tracks, or if the screws holding them in place would give way, perhaps due to being undersized. 

Cleaning: After the testing period, we cleaned the inside and outside of each bin. The standalone step bins we tested were the hardest to clean because they had the most working mechanisms and therein the most nooks and crannies. Conversely, the bins without lids, including the pull-out (or under-counter) ones, were the easiest because they’re smooth surfaces with no mechanisms, like latches, lids, pedals, or truss rods to work around.

Odor: We also regularly sniffed around each bin during testing, though at the point of a week’s worth of garbage buildup, they all emitted some smell. The ones with lids lasted a couple of days longer before starting to let out the undesirable smells, and the tighter-sealing, heavier-duty stainless steel lid on our top pick, Simplehuman’s Rectangular Step Trash Can, did the best job. The pull-out trash cans were similar to the lidded ones, in that smells were contained within the cabinet.

What else we tested

Best trash cans What else we considered

What else we recommend and why:

Hefty Lockable Step-On Trash Can ($19.97): This trash can was the same price as our budget pick, but much flimsier and the pedal is plastic instead of metal. However, if you’re looking for an affordable trash bin with a lid for tight spaces, this would probably fit the bill.


What we don’t recommend and why:

iTouchless Deodorizer Automatic Sensor Trash Can ($70.54): We also tested the iTouchless Automatic Sensor Touchless trash can, and while the design is great in theory, we find it problematic in several ways. For one, you still have to wave your hand over it, and as one of our experts consultants, Kaddy Feast, noted, “If I’ve got dripping chicken juice on my hand, I’m gonna wave my hand and drip all over the trash can? Don’t think so. And then with some, you’ve got to move out of the way for it to open.”

We also found that the sensor didn’t always work, and that had us worrying that in time, it might not work at all. We’ll continue to try some longer-term testing and continue to keep an eye out for options we’ll recommend, but for now, we say stay away.

Rev-A-Shelf Pull-Out Trash Can ($64.99): We had also previously recommended this trash bin, but against the Simplehuman version we recommend above, it just wasn’t as smooth or as easy to use. Plus, the wire handle was thin and required more effort to reach for and grab.

What we’re testing next

We are currently looking out for touchless options, but also those with a push-button on top. Further, we’ll look to test door-hanging options as well, which are great for smaller households, or simply those that don’t produce as much trash or take out their trash more regularly.

FAQs

best trash cans 2021 FAQs

What is the best trash can for my kitchen?

The best trash can for your kitchen is the one that fits where you want it to fit. We recommend determining where you want to (or can) place your trash can and then looking for something that meets the dimensions and specifications of that space. Yes, one with a tight-sealing, heavy lid would be ideal, but if you don’t have the space, then your options are limited.


What’s the best way to keep pests out of my trash?

The best way to keep pests out of your trash is to purchase a bin with a sealing lid, but again, only if you have a place for it.

Better yet, take particularly odious items out as soon as possible, and don’t store them in your trash. Meat scraps, leftover food, empty food cans (especially pet food cans), and things of that sort should go into a smaller bag, be sealed as best as you can, and taken to your dumpster that night. The less you have in your trash to entice unwanted critters, the less likely it is they’ll choose your home to invade.

Check out our buying guides to the best cleaning supplies

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 6 best hair clog solutions of 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Hair clogs can be a nuisance and back up your sink or tub.
  • Plumbers can cost hundreds, but many liquid and snake solutions are cheap and effective.
  • We found liquid hair clog blasters, snakes, eco-friendly options, and more.

Whether you have long hair or short hair, pieces tend to get washed down the drain over time, which leads to pesky clogs and puddles of sitting water in your bath or sink.

The price of a plumber to fix your pipes can be hundreds of dollars in some cases, depending on how bad your clog is. For a cheap and quick fix, a snake or dissolving liquid will often do the trick. We found a number of solutions for hair clog solutions, including liquid hair clog blasters, eco-friendly options, hair clog stoppers, and snakes.

Here are the best hair clog solutions

The best liquid dissolver

Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver
In addition to hair, the product also works on grease, paper, and soap clogs.

The Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver has no odor and works on more than just hair clogs.

What we like: Breaks down hair and other blockages, works in as little as 30 minutes

After just about two hours, the Green Gobbler dissolver will eliminate blockages such as hair clogs. An easy and effective hair clog blaster, simply pour the product down your sink, wait at least 30 minutes, then flush water down the drain to see the results.

The Green Gobbler is good for a number of different types of pipes, too, including PVC, copper, iron, and steel. There’s also no guess work when it comes to how much liquid you need to pour down the drain, either. Each bottle comes with a cap that acts as a measuring cup.

The best cheap hair clog solution

Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner
This option works in as little as 15 minutes.

The Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner is a cheap and effective way to fight hair clogs and other build-ups in your drain.

What we like: Cheap, large bottle size

This option not only comes in cheaper than many other hair clog liquid solutions, but it also comes in a huge 80 oz bottle, making it an even better value.

All you need to do with this product is pour one-fifth of a bottle down your drain. After 15 to 30 minutes, you can run hot water down the drain and will start to see results. As an added bonus, if the product doesn’t work, Drano guarantees the product will be free.

Drano will also work on other pipe and drain blockages beyond just hair clogs. Breaking down to about $1.33 per pour, this solution is a steal compared to other options.

The best eco-friendly hair clog solution

Biokleen Bac-Out Drain Cleaner
Even the Biokleen bottle is recylable.

The Biokleen Bac-Out Drain Cleaner uses a non-toxic formula with no harmful phosphates or artificial ingredients.

What we like: Includes plant and vegetable-based ingredients, no artificial ingredients 

This liquid hair clog solution is made to fight common back ups. Even if more than just hair is clogging your drain, this formula can help. 

Biokleen points to its liquid plant extracts, enzymes, and live cultures as contributing to an eco-friendly product. It also lacks artificial ingredients when it comes to color and fragrance and none of its products include ingredients such as ammonia, chlorine, or phosphates. Not to worry, it’s still an effective hair clog blaster that works quickly.

The best hair clog stopper

TubShroom Revolutionary Tub Drain Protector
This fits neatly down the drain for a discrete appearance.

The TubShroom helps catch hair before it even has a chance to go down your drain.

What we like: Simple design, stops clogs before they occur, can pull it out and easily wash it

Take a preemptive strike at hair clogs by preventing them before they even happen with this hair clog stopper.

The TubShroom makes for an easy fit for most standard drains, but be aware the drain needs to be 1.5 inches in diameter. If you want a hair clog solution for another size drain in your home, there’s also the SinkShroom, the ShowerShroom, and the StopShroom.

The TubShroom, much like the other Shroom models, is shaped like a mushroom but has holes in it that pick up and trap hair that would otherwise go down your drain. After you place the model in your drain, you can easily pull it out once it’s full with a napkin or paper towel.

The best hair clog snake

Vastar Drain Snake
The snake’s handle allows for easy storage under your sink or near your tub.

The Vastar Drain Snake Hair Drain Clog Remover Cleaning Tool comes in two sizes and has a smart, barbed design to efficiently pull out hair clumps.

What we like: Comes in a pack, can be resued, barbed design, multiple lengths

Vastar’s set of snakes have a barbed wire-like design, making it more efficient for capturing hair clogging your drain. All three of the snakes are plastic and lightweight, so they’re simple to move around once you place them down a drain.

If you don’t want to rely on liquid, you can shake, twist, then pull out this snake to take care of that clog. The snakes come in two lengths (19.6 inches and 23.6 inches) and if you suspect the clog is deeper in your sink, the company also sells a 25-inch pack. You can use these snakes multiple times, unlike liquid options.

The best hair clog snake and liquid solution combo

Drano Gel Drain Clog Remover Cleaner and Snake Plus Tool
This gel and snake combo works on soap scum and buildups, as well.

The Drano Gel Drain Clog Remover/Cleaner and Snake Plus Tool offers a two-in-one solution for hair clogs.

What we like: Two-in-one solution, good for tough clogs

Drano is known for its liquid solutions to clogs, whether they be in your bathroom or in your kitchen. But in case one flush of liquid doesn’t do the trick for your hair clog, this combo pack includes a 23-inch snake that can grab hair.

In order to use the pack correctly, you’ll use the snake first to pull out any large hair clump with the snake’s various hooks. After, pour the Drano down the sink or bath to eliminate any additional grime build ups.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 5 best carpet cleaners in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Carpet cleaners for home use allow you to remove stains and dirt without having to call in a professional.
  • Some cleaners can be used on multiple surfaces such as upholstery, tile floors, and even in your car.
  • Our top pick, is lightweight, easy to use, and fast-drying, making it ideal for home use.

Pets, kids, and just general wear and tear can leave your carpeting looking lackluster, but hiring professional carpet cleaners can get expensive and time-consuming. Instead of calling the pros, buying a carpet cleaner can be a sound investment, keeping your carpet (and in some cases, your upholstery) in good shape. In the best cases, a good carpet cleaner can even buy you extra years before you have to recarpet.

We’ve evaluated and selected the best carpet cleaners for their overall performance, versatility, durability, ease of use, and value. The products in this guide can tackle stains, ground-in dirt, and more, leaving your carpeting looking refreshed and revitalized. They’re easy to operate right in your home and available at a variety of price points. There are even a few options that are suitable if you’re tight on space or just need a carpet cleaner that’s quick and easy to use.

Here are the best carpet cleaners in 2021

The best overall

Bissel carpet cleaner

Suitable for both carpeting and upholstery, the Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro features an Express Clean Mode that can dry carpeting in as little as 30 minutes. 

Pros: Shorter drying-time option, dual brush rollers, removable roller cover, targeted spot pretreating, pet upholstery tool

Cons: Doesn’t include an actual heat function

The Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro is a versatile carpet cleaner that can tackle carpeting, upholstery, and area rugs while also meeting the challenge of cleaning stains in homes with pets. Weighing just 19 pounds, this cleaner is easy to wheel through your home, and its 1-gallon tank capacity allows for plenty of continuous cleaning. It also has an 11-inch wide cleaning path that allows you to cover a significant area in a single pass.

The Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro carpet cleaner has many features that make for easy use and impressive performance, and it’s designed to tackle stains with low physical exertion. It’s also designed for the challenges of cleaning up after pets. Its two-in-one handheld pet upholstery tool features both a dry and a wet mode to remove pet hair and odors. 

While you can use the Max Clean Mode for embedded dirt and stains, the Express Clean Mode provides a lighter, faster cleaning. According to Bissell, the Express Clean Mode can dry in as little as 30 minutes. This mode is ideal when you’re in a hurry or have to try to keep kids off of the carpet as it dries.

The handheld tool and the cleaner’s generously sized 8-foot hose can go where the body of this carpet cleaner can’t, allowing you to tackle upholstered furniture, tough-to-access spaces in your rooms, pet beds, vehicle upholstery, and more. 

When it comes to cleaning and maintaining the unit itself, the brush rollers feature a removable cover, allowing you to easily access the rollers for hair removal and maintenance.

The best for big jobs

Big Green carpet cleaner

The Bissell Big Green Machine Professional Carpet Cleaner with dual 1.75 gallon tanks offers serious stain-removing power to tackle big jobs.

Pros: Offers powerful cleaning, long-reach hose makes cleaning stairs easy, strong enough to remove deep stains, two generously sized tanks allow for longer cleaning between refills

Cons: A little bulky, heavy when filled with water

The Bissell Big Green Machine Professional Carpet Cleaner is a powerful carpet cleaner ideal for tackling cleaning jobs without having to rent a professional cleaner. This machine is equipped with an extra-large power brush, which scrubs and removes deeply embedded dirt and stains both as you push the unit forward and as you pull it backward, saving you time and maximizing efficiency.

With a cleaning path of 10.5 inches, it also allows you to quickly clean larger areas. When you pull the trigger on the handle, the cleaner sprays out a water-and-formula solution that the power brush scrubs into the carpet.

This Bissell Big Green Machine comes with a 25-foot cord and a 9-foot spot cleaning hose, allowing you to access tight spots like carpeted stairs. Its 6-inch-wide Tough Stain Tool allows you to spray and scrub stains in spots the main body unit can’t access, like upholstery, pet beds, and more.

The flow indicator allows you to monitor and recognize when it’s time to add water and detergent. This machine’s large capacity dual 1.75-gallon tanks allow you to clean an entire room before pausing to empty the dirty water tank and refill the clean water tank. Plus, the design of the cleaner, with an anti-tip wide base, helps to keep the machine stable.

While the Bissell Big Green Machine is powerful and similar to rental cleaners, it’s compact enough to be stored away in a closet. It’s one of the heavier carpet cleaners, though, weighing 41 pounds. 

The best on a budget

Hoover carpet cleaner

The Hoover PowerDash Pet Carpet Cleaner is lightweight and powerful, and while it’s full of features, it’s still offered at a highly affordable price.

Pros: Compact upright design saves space, lightweight, low profile foot allows you to clean underneath furniture and tight spaces

Cons: Smaller water reservoir requires frequent filling, some users found the cleaner doesn’t pick up enough water

If you’re living in an apartment or small house and only have occasional carpet cleaning needs, you don’t want a large, bulky carpet cleaner taking up valuable storage space. The Hoover PowerDash Pet Carpet Cleaner is compact, has an upright design, measuring 15.2 inches by 10.1 inches by 43.5 inches. It offers a 10-inch cleaning path and can hold up to half a gallon of clean water at a time, yet weighs only 12.5 pounds.

This cleaner is equipped with many valuable features that make it efficient and easy to use. One of its better features is the HeatForce, which applies hot air to the carpet that you’re cleaning to speed drying. It also has an antimicrobial SpinScrub Brush System, a patented system that is treated with antimicrobial materials. As the brushes rotate and clean dirt from the carpet, these antimicrobial materials help to keep odor and bacteria from developing in the brushes and in the carpet cleaner. 

The dual tank system is easy to fill, empty, and rinse and keeps the clean water separated from the dirty water for more effective cleaning. One of the most convenient designs is the low-profile foot, which allows you to fit this carpet cleaner underneath furniture to access stains almost anywhere.

The best steam cleaner

Dupray carpet cleaner

The Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner utilizes the pressure of steam to offer chemical-free sanitization that can be used on floors, grout, and so much more.

Pros: Chemical-free cleaning, steamer operates on just tap water, heats up in seven minutes, works on multiple surfaces, backed by a two-year warranty, up to 50 minutes of cleaning time

Cons: No suction or vacuum function, steam can be dangerous so careful handling is needed, need to continuously hold down a button to operate steam function

The Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner brings the power of steam cleaning to your home at an affordable price. In just seven minutes, this unit heats steam to 275 degrees, allowing you to quickly get cleaning. This low-moisture steam works on all surfaces, including floors, furniture, mattresses, ceramic and tiles, grout, and even car interiors. It’s more than just a carpet cleaner, and its versatile design makes it suitable for use throughout many areas in your home. 

This steam cleaner cleans, disinfects, sanitizes, degreases, and deodorizes without using chemicals, relying instead on the cleaning power of pressurized steam. Steam cleaning can loosen dirt and kill threatening substances like dust mites, bacteria, mold, and allergens. Additionally, the hot steam dries quickly. Because this cleaner uses just water, you also don’t have to worry about buying (or running out) of cleaning products. 

You can operate the Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner with just tap water and it offers up to 50 minutes of continuous cleaning time. This 18-piece kit includes everything you need to do a full-house cleaning, including a rectangular floor tool, three microfiber pads, a window tool, two extension tubes, one lance, one microfiber cloth, one triangular tool, one triangular tool microfiber bonnet, five nylon brushes, one brass brush, and one AddFresh Fragrance Disc.

The unit weighs just 9 pounds and is on wheels, so you can roll it through the house. It also features a 16-foot power cord and a 6.5-foot steam hose, allowing you easier access to hard-to-reach spaces.

The best portable carpet cleaner

Bissell pet cleaner

Weighing under 5 pounds, the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Portable Cordless Carpet Cleaner is compact, versatile, and easily portable.

Pros: Cordless and lightweight design; ideal for removing pet stains; built-in scrub brush; versatile enough to use on carpets, upholstery, and auto interiors

Cons: Requires recharging, doesn’t include any power scrubbing features, limited capacity means it’s best for small jobs

Rather than lugging out a heavy carpet cleaner, the Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Portable Cordless Carpet Cleaner gives you cleaning power that’s easily portable. Weighing only 4.6 pounds, this little cleaner can go just about anywhere, meaning it can clean stains on carpeted stairs, upholstery, area rugs, and vehicle interiors. It’s cordless and battery-powered, further adding to its agility, and makes cleaning stains an easy, fast process.  

This carpet cleaner may be small, but it still does a great job of cleaning up stains. Just spray the cleaning solution, use the built-in scrubber, and then suction the cleaner and stain out of the carpet. You can store the cleaning solution right in the machine, so it’s always ready to go. The fully charged battery offers up to 15 minutes of use, and recharging takes about four hours. 

This Bissell Pet Stain Eraser Cordless Carpet Cleaner is a go-to in my house. I can tuck it away in a closet until I need it. I particularly like that I can fit it underneath furniture like tables, making it easy to clean up small messes on my rugs without having to move any furniture.

Check out our other great cleaning guides

best cordless vacuums 2021 lg cordzero hardwood floor
Read the original article on Business Insider

The 4 best stainless steel cleaners for appliances and kitchenware in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Stainless steel home appliances are durable, but are susceptible to fingerprints, streaks, and smudges.
  • A good stainless steel cleaner is gentle on appliances and doesn’t leave spots behind.
  • We’ve selected the best stainless steel cleaners including wipes, aerosols, natural cleaners, and more.

Stainless steel is extremely durable and resistant to water damage and rust. But it can also show every fingerprint, smudge, and water spot that is not properly wiped away. If you use the wrong type of cleaner, there is no way to restore the finish.

Ammonia, chlorine bleach, and oven cleaner are all particularly damaging, as are scouring powders and steel wool. And if you live in an area with extremely hard water, the minerals will leave spots. In other words, despite its hardiness, stainless steel requires a high level of upkeep.  

For tougher stains, I need to call in backup. Luckily, I’ve tested enough stainless steel cleaning products to determine which ones get the job done. 

Here are the best stainless steel cleaners in 2021

The best cleaning wipes for stainless steel

Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaning Wipes

Perfect for tight spaces and quick cleanups, Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaning Wipes quickly make fingerprints vanish.

Pros: Wipes conform to tight spaces, useful for quick clean-ups, disposable, removes fingerprints and smudges

Cons: Darkens some types of metal like aluminum, wipes will dry out quickly if the canister is not properly closed

Any surface is easy to clean if you do it frequently, and this rule applies to stainless steel. In between deep cleaning, Weiman Stainless Steel Cleaning Wipes are perfect for quick, everyday cleanups like cooking splatters and fingerprints on refrigerator doors.

The wipes are offered in a convenient, resealable pop-top canister to keep them from drying out — similar to other household cleaning wipes you may already have. To use, simply wipe in the direction of the metal’s grain and then buff with a soft, dry cloth to prevent streaks. Smudges, water spots, and stains will be gone.

I also love to use these wipes to remove greasy smears and splatters on my outdoor grill. And nothing will fit into the tight spot where handles join a stainless-steel panel like Weiman Wipes. When I attempt to clean those spots with some liquid cleaners, the cleaner runs down the panel before I can get my cloth in there to clean.

The best aerosol cleaner for stainless steel

CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner

With just one spray, CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner will leave stainless steel clean and streak-free — no buffing needed.

Pros: One-step cleaning, works well to remove smudges

Cons: Petroleum-based product, should never be used near a gas flame or hot appliance

Almost every stainless steel cleaner recommends using the product to clean away smudges and stains and then coming back with a soft, dry cloth to buff away any streaks the cleaner has left behind. With CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner, the second step is eliminated — no buffing is needed.

My microwave is mounted at eye-level which means the top of the appliance is above my head. Cleaning anything above my head is not a favorite chore so I like a one-step process. Just a good shake of the can, a quick spray with the cleaner, and one pass with a microfiber cloth leaves the finish shiny and streak-free.

While the product is scented, it is very light and dissipates quickly. The steel can is also recyclable.

The best natural cleaner for stainless steel

Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish

Developed with plant-based ingredients, Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish is safe to use around children and pets.

Pros: Plant-based formula, safe to use around children and pets, leaves appliances clean and streak-free

Cons: Most expensive stainless steel cleaner per use, not readily available in mass-market stores

With a gentle herbal scent and plant-based ingredients, Therapy Stainless Steel Cleaner & Polish is an excellent choice if someone in your home has chemical sensitivities. The company makes one of the few stainless-steel cleaners that actually list every ingredient on the label: filtered water, coconut oil, sorbitan monooleate (emulsifier), lavender vanilla essential oil blend, acrylates copolymer (emulsifier), and methylisothiazolinone (preservative).

The starter kit includes a 16-ounce spray bottle of the cleaner and a 14-by-14-inch microfiber cloth. Simply spray on the solution and, working with the grain of the metal, wipe away grime and smudges. Finish by buffing with a dry area of the microfiber cloth. After cleaning, a bit of the coconut oil remains on the surface to protect the shine and repel fingerprints.

Therapy is formulated to use on refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, sinks, outdoor grills, and microwaves. It should be noted that Therapy is slightly more expensive than the other cleaners on this list. 

The best homemade solution for stainless steel

Heinz Cleaning Vinegar and Oilve Oil

Using household ingredients like Heinz Cleaning Vinegar and Pompeian Pure Olive Oil can leave stainless steel appliances streak-free.

Pros: Cleans stainless steel using natural ingredients, inexpensive to use, can be used to clean many other surfaces around the house

Cons: Vinegar aroma

Is there anything that vinegar can’t clean? If you don’t mind the scent of vinegar and have a little leftover oil in the kitchen, your stainless-steel appliances will gleam after using this simple mixture.

I’m recommending Heinz Cleaning Vinegar because it is slightly more acidic than regular white distilled vinegar, which makes it more effective in removing grease and food splatters. I keep it in a labeled spray bottle to make cleaning easier. Just spritz the vinegar onto the surface of the stainless steel and wipe the appliance down using a microfiber cloth (following the grain of the metal, of course). You will be amazed at how clean it looks.

Then, to help protect the finish from holding onto every single fingerprint (and nose-print from the dog), use just a teeny bit of Pompeian Pure Olive Oil on a soft cloth for a final coating. You can actually use any type of oil you have on hand; mineral oil, vegetable oil, even WD-40. The key to success is using as little oil as possible (and, again, buffing it in with a microfiber cloth). 

Tips for keeping stainless steel appliances clean

Wipe appliances down regularly between deeper cleanings

Since equipping my kitchen with stainless steel appliances, I have been testing various cleaning products and techniques. One tip I swear by is wiping down the appliances daily with just a dry microfiber cloth; often, this allows me to skip other cleaning products altogether.

Wipe with the grain

Like wood, stainless steel has a grain so always wipe with it, not against it.

Always use a microfiber cloth 

Using a microfiber cloth instead of paper towels is also another helpful tip as these cloths reduce streaks and pick up small food particles and dust. Simply spray the cleaner directly on the appliances surface and wipe for an easy streak free shine. 

See more great cleaning buying guides

Cleaning Floor
Read the original article on Business Insider