This drain cover is perfect for catching hair and preventing clogs

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oxo shower drain cover with hair trapped in it
The OXO Good Grips Silicone Shower and Tub Drain Protector is designed for both flat and pop-up bathtub drains.

  • I kept clogging my shower drain with strands of my thick, curly hair.
  • The OXO shower drain cover is the hair catcher I needed.
  • The silicone cover stops hair from going down the drain but allows water to pass through.

Good Grips Silicone Shower and Tub Drain Protector (small)

I comb my thick, curly hair while showering, leaving plenty of loose strands behind. For a long time, I let my hair work its way down the drain.

Before you judge my reckless habits, know that I tried to do better. Over the years, I bought many shower drain covers: a cheap wire mesh one that collected soap scum and ultimately rusted, a flower-shaped hair catcher with suction cups that was impossible to clean, and a set of pretty pastel covers that developed a yellow hue in a matter of weeks.

Nearly all did a decent job of catching hair, but they also created a dam that left me standing in a couple inches of soapy water. It became my habit to kick the cover aside midshower. And with that, baby Chewbaccas were frequently born from the depths of my drain, snaked out by myself, my reluctant partner, or the plumber sent by my landlord when it got really bad (sorry, Murray).

My last resort was this OXO shower drain cover. I couldn’t imagine it would stay put because it lacked suction cups, but I gave it a try out of desperation. Over the last six months, this cover has done exactly what it’s supposed to do. My hair now lands in the wastebasket after every shower, and bathing my dog has gotten a whole lot easier with this drain cover, too.

The dome-shaped silicone cover can be placed over a flat or pop-up drain. A weighted metal disk on top holds it in place.

a side by side image of the silicone oxo drain cover with stainless steel top and underside showing holes
The cover is made of the same high-quality silicone and stainless steel you’ll find in many OXO products.

Water easily flows through the silicone holes even as hair collects around the edge of the cover.

a video of hair collecting around the shower hair catcher
The holes are generously sized, and because they cover much of the dome, water has many places to escape.

Unlike what you’ll find with some drain covers, strands of hair don’t work their way through the holes or get tangled up.

a video of a hand removing the cover and showing underside of cover which is free of hair
Once I shut off the water, it takes very little time for the tub to fully drain.

If you bathe your dog in the bathtub, this cover works just as well for catching fur.

a hand picking up a drain cover with dog fur on it to reveal clean underside
The smooth, flexible silicone material makes it easy to remove collected fur from the cover.

The bottom line

Most shower drain covers fail to do everything they should: catch hair, allow water to drain, and come clean with just a little wiping and rinsing. The Good Grips Silicone Shower and Tub Drain Protector does all those things and for only $10.

Good Grips Silicone Shower and Tub Drain Protector (button)

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Muji’s stores are hard to come by in the US – fortunately, you can shop the Japanese retailer’s home goods on Amazon

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The Muji Acacia bowls used to serve a large dinner
  • Muji is a Japanese retailer that sells affordable, quality household and lifestyle products.
  • In addition to its stores and website, you can now find its well-designed products on Amazon.
  • From skincare to dinnerware and stationery, many items cost less than $20.

In my fantasy, I’d live in a mid-century John Lautner home filled with high-end, minimalist furnishings, but my limited budget prevents this dream from becoming a reality. To satisfy it in some way, I frequently turn to Muji, a Japanese purveyor of affordable, modern home and lifestyle goods, to fill my home.

Muji is short for Mujirushi Ryohin, which translates to “no-brand quality goods,” and the ethos is evident in its products, from the packaging to the construction. Although seemingly basic – you won’t find any logos, wild colors, or funky shapes – these are no dollar-store finds: Muji’s products are beautifully designed, sleek, functional, very well made, and accessible. They are akin to Apple products, minus the high price tag.

You would be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Muji. Although it’s been around since 1980 and can be found globally, the retailer has a limited presence in the US, with a handful of stores and an abysmal online shop (although its e-commerce experience is improving).

But you can now find the company’s products on Amazon, ranging from stationery and beauty products to dishware and cookware – with most costing less than $30. Although you won’t find the full selection (Muji also sells furniture and food), here are some of the best affordable Muji products you can buy on Amazon right now.

Pure Essential Oil Lemongrass (medium)High Moisturizing Toning Water (medium)Polypropylene Bath Pail (medium)0.5mm Black Smooth Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen (medium)Aluminum Pole for Cleaning System (medium)Extra-Large Acacia Bowl (medium)Denim Shoulder Apron (medium)

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The 5 best cordless vacuum cleaners of 2021 – and Dyson didn’t make the cut

Five cordless vacuums that were tested to find the best cordless vacuum, standing on a wooden floor

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Cordless vacuums are convenient, but they shouldn’t sacrifice cleaning power or comfort.
  • The Shark Vertex DuoClean Cordless Vacuum picks up all kinds of particles on a variety of surfaces.
  • It reaches low and deep under furniture and has a cleaning path light. It’s also reasonably priced.

Compared to a clunky corded vacuum, a sleek cordless stick vacuum is a lot more convenient. Cordless vacuums tend to be lighter and more compact, and they don’t have a long cord to trail behind you or trip you up. While the downside is that they have a limited battery life, we still love cordless vacuums for making the dreaded task of cleaning a bit easier – maybe even enjoyable.

As with any other type of vacuum, the cleaning ability and suction power of a cordless vacuum are top considerations. The best cordless vac for most people should handle all kinds of small particles on a variety of surfaces, from smooth hardwood to thick carpet. Some cordless vacs are better suited to pick up pet hair or excel on hardwood floors, so it’s also important to think about where and when you’d use your vacuum the most, and shop accordingly.

Josh Mutlow, the Design Manager at Dyson, said, “The motor, cleaner head, cyclone, and filtration are the main key technologies that achieve the essential jobs of a vacuum cleaner.”

“Some [other] basic things to consider when you begin your search are the vacuum’s dimensions, weight, canister size, and how long the cordless vacuum can run between charges,” said Chris Doscher, a rep for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.

Learn more about the differences between corded and cordless vacuums, additional features to consider, and vacuum FAQs.

For our first major rewrite of this guide, we tested seven cordless vacuum models and landed on the top five. We’re planning to test many more down the line. Here’s how we tested the contenders on cleaning ability, ease of use, and battery life.

Here are the best cordless vacuum cleaners in 2021

The best cordless vacuum overall

image of a hand holding the shark vertex cordless vacuum, our pick for the best cordless vacuum overall in 2021

The Shark Vertex DuoClean Cordless Vacuum is a strong performer all around, picking up particles of most sizes on a variety of surfaces in a smooth and efficient fashion. We also love the light that illuminates your cleaning path and the flexible hose that lets you reach under low spaces better than any other cordless vac.

Pros: Versatile, strong suction, cleaning path light, great for under-furniture cleaning, comes with attachments 

Cons: Loud and high-pitched noise, thick grip that may be uncomfortable for small hands, weaker on high-pile carpet and rug  

This Shark vacuum isn’t perfect and we can’t guarantee it’ll pick up every size particle you throw its way, but it gets pretty close and has the best overall cleaning performance of all our contenders. 

On hardwood and tile, it picked up every last bit of flour, cat litter, ground coffee, and dog hair with no problem, and it was the best at sucking up whole Cheerios (most of the other vacuums just pushed these large crumbs around). On a high-pile rug, it had a little difficulty moving back and forth smoothly, so you should only get this vacuum if you have low-pile rugs and carpeting, or if you’re okay with buying a second vacuum for your carpet. 

It has a thick grip and somewhat heavy dust bin, making it a bit uncomfortable to use for long cleaning sessions. However, several other features make up for the slight discomfort. There are distinct settings for hardwood and carpet located near the grip and they’re easy to slide between. There’s also a power boost trigger that you can hold down whenever you need some extra suction power. 

Rolling the cleaning head around hardwood and tile feels very smooth and soft, instead of clunky and abrasive. The cleaning head also has two useful features: a light that shows you exactly what you’re cleaning and highlights small particles you might’ve otherwise missed, and a green alert button that turns red when a blockage occurs, so you can address the problem right away. 

My favorite part of using the vacuum is how low and flat it can get. In other cordless vacuums, the stick can’t be moved or repositioned, meaning you still have to bend down to reach under furniture. The Shark has a great design where you click a button in the middle of the stick and it bends into a flexible hose “elbow,” allowing the entire bottom half of the stick to lay flat and get under beds, couches, chairs, and other tricky spots. Instead of bending my knees or waist, I could just drop my arm and continue cleaning with little disruption.

The best cordless vacuum on a budget

image of the hoover onepwr cordless vacuum our pick for the best budget value cordless vacuum in 2021 in front of a pile of coffee grounds

This affordable Hoover vacuum impressed us with its quiet but strong cleaning power. It feels light and easy to maneuver since the dust bin is located at the base of the vacuum, though this design also prevents you from cleaning under low spaces.

Pros: Quiet, cleans well on all surfaces, less tiring to use because dust bin is located at base of vacuum, large dust bin 

Cons: Doesn’t come with attachments, dust bin location means you can’t get under low spots, a little heavy 

You won’t compromise cleaning ability and price in this budget-friendly vacuum. Though it may not come with bells and whistles like a storage dock and extra attachments and batteries, it picks up most small and fine particles effectively on carpet, hardwood, and tile. Faced with Cheerios, its performance is disappointing and it merely pushes the cereal around, so you’ll be better off sweeping up with a broom. But for all other materials, the vacuum does an easy and thorough job. 

The vacuum is on the heavier side compared to others, but it doesn’t feel like it because the dust bin is located near the cleaner head, rather than the handle. This makes vacuuming feel more comfortable and less tiring. It’s also really quiet and smooth as it cleans, and you can barely tell it’s picking small particles up (rest assured, it is). 

The dust bin placement does have its drawbacks. It obstructs access to low spaces under furniture, so you’ll need to figure out another way to clean under your bed and couches. In addition, the power and various mode buttons are located on top of the dust bin, so you need to bend down any time you want to turn your vacuum on and off or change modes. 

Still, I loved this vacuum for its consistent and reliable cleaning ability, reasonable battery life (that’s actually longer than the Shark’s), and quiet motor. If you don’t want to spend more than $200 or you only need a basic vacuum, this vacuum will meet your needs and exceed your expectations. Along with our other Hoover pick in this guide, it’s part of Hoover’s ONEPWR collection, which was a 2020 Product of the Year winner

The best cordless vacuum for pet owners

image of the tineco vacuum our pick for the best cordless vacuum for pet hair in 2021 in front of clumps of dog hair on a rug

Owners of constantly shedding pets will benefit from the lightweight yet powerful Tineco Pure One X, which picks up fine pet hairs from floors with its standard cleaning head, but also comes with attachments to get hair off of furniture, car seats, and delicate decor.

Pros: Really light, quiet, regular cleaning head and attachments all work well with fine pet hairs 

Cons: Small dust bin, feels a little cheap, weaker on high-pile carpet and rug  

For the pet hair portion of the test, I spread clumps as well as individual hairs of my friend’s Pekingese dog over various surfaces. All the vacuums I tested actually did a thorough job of picking up these long, fine hairs, but the Tineco stood out for its super lightweight and useful attachments. 

As any pet owner knows, you spend a lot of time picking up after your constantly shedding pets, which is why we recommend a vacuum that’s comfortable to carry around and comes with specialized tools for those especially stubborn bits of hair.

The Tineco has the smallest cleaning head and dustbin of our best picks, so you might need to empty it out a few times if you’re cleaning a large house. However, the light weight and easy maneuverability more than make up for it. While you must press down the trigger every time to start the vacuum, there’s a locking mechanism you can use if you don’t want to hold a trigger the whole time. 

I knew exactly when I picked up dirt, hair, and other particles because there’s a ring that lights up red when the vacuum is sucking up something and turns blue once the cleaning path is clear again. This vacuum also has a cleaning head light to illuminate your path. It’s generally pretty quiet, but I noticed the wheels squeaked a little from time to time. 

The attachments also make cleaning pet hair from every surface other than your floor more manageable. The mini power brush is strong and goes deep into fabric upholstery and mattresses to pick up particles and hair you didn’t even know were there, while the dusting tool lets you pick up errant hair sitting on shelves and blinds. The crevice tool fits into the cracks and crevices of your car, so you can take your pet on car trips without dreading the clean up afterward. It was when I was wriggling around my car seats that I really appreciated the light and compact design of the Tineco. The combo of convenience and suction power made the process so much faster, easier, and more comfortable. 

This vacuum is technically a “smart” one — it pairs with an app to provide cleaning performance information and maintenance reports, but I personally didn’t find it useful and the vacuum itself is enough reason to justify the purchase.

The best cordless vacuum for hardwood floors

image of a hand holding the lg cordzero mop vacuum our pick for the best cordless vacuum for hardwood floors in 2021

The LG Cordzero A9 is a vacuum that can turn into a mop, letting you clean your hardwood floors gently but thoroughly with just one appliance. It shines when cleaning super tiny particles like flour.

Pros: Fairly light, adjustable stick, easy-to-use mop feature, comes with extra battery 

Cons: Struggles with large particles like Cheerios, disposal method could be more sanitary  

This LG cordless vacuum is a sleek and beautiful model that gives you an all-in-one cleaning solution. In addition to the vacuum itself, you get tons of extra accessories like a wall mount, extra battery, and the unique Power Mop nozzle. 

It was one of the best performers in our flour test and picked up every last bit of flour on hardwood and tile, even in the cracks. It also did really well on high-pile rug, sucking flour out of the tall, loose loops. The only challenge might be with large particles like Cheerios; you’ll have better luck picking those up with a manual sweep. 

For a truly thorough clean of your hardwood floors, the Power Mop nozzle is very useful. The process involves wetting and attaching the soft mop pads (the pack comes with four total), filling the water tank in the nozzle, and choosing the setting for more or less water. Then, when you start the vacuum, it starts to slowly spin the mop pads instead of activating suction. They’re gentle and won’t damage your floors. The attachment also has a built-in light so you can see what you’re mopping. 

The vacuum is on the lighter side of all those we tested, and it has a comfortable grip. There’s no trigger, just an on/off button. The stick and cleaning head pivot smoothly, and you can extend or shorten the stick depending on your height and how far you need to reach the vacuum. 

While I liked all the cleaning capabilities of the vacuum, the dust bin disposal design could be more sanitary. After clicking open the bottom of the bin, there’s a lever that you push down to release the bin’s contents. The problem is that the contents sometimes don’t come out quickly, and you have to shake the bin quite a bit or reach inside. Other times, they spill out immediately. Either way, it’s not a pleasant experience and we recommend wearing gloves when dealing with the dust bin after your cleaning session.

The best cordless vacuum for carpet

image of the hoover bagged cordless vacuum our pick for the best cordless vacuum for carpet in 2021

The Hoover HEPA+ vacuum has all the advantages of a trusty bagged vacuum cleaner: large cleaning head, large dust bag capacity, and powerful suction that easily takes on high-pile carpet and rug.

Pros: Powerful, can cover a lot of area, bagged design is more sanitary

Cons: Heavy, can’t reach under low spaces

The Hoover HEPA+ bears the most resemblance to a traditional corded vacuum. The only difference is the cord-free convenience. It’s an all-around powerful performer and cleaned everything from finely ground coffee to grainy cat litter almost perfectly, every single time. And whereas I could tell some of the vacuums struggled on high-pile rug, the Hoover HEPA+ rolled over the rug smoothly and got deep between the rug fibers. 

The large cleaner head and bag make the vacuum heavy and unable to clean under low spaces. Plus, it’s loud. But since the bag is so big, it’ll take a long time before you have to replace it, and you can just throw it away directly without interacting with all the dust and other bits. Hoover also throws in an extra bag for you. 

The vacuum’s power switch and two mode buttons (carpet and hardwood) are located at the large and ergonomic handle. The vacuum will also stop running if you bring it back to the upright standing position. Like a few of our other top picks, the cleaning head has a built-in light to show your cleaning path. 

Unfortunately, this vacuum doesn’t come with attachments, so you’ll need to supplement it with a handheld vacuum for your other needs. As a main vacuum for a large house with lots of ground to cover, it’s a reliable choice.

What else we tested

image of hand holding the dyson v11 outsize torque a cordless vacuum we do not recommend in 2021

What else we recommend and why

Dyson V11 Torque Drive ($359.99, currently out of stock): This Dyson model is powerful, reasonably priced, and has a long battery life (around 60 minutes on Eco mode). As a newer Dyson vac, it has a special LCD screen that lets you know exactly how much battery you have left on each mode (Eco, Normal, Boost). Because you must hold down a trigger to start the vacuum, it can be tiring on your hands. 

Dyson V11 Animal ($599.99): Based on testing from my colleague James, the V11 Animal is another great choice for picking up pet hair. It costs a lot more than the Tineco, it’s less comfortable to hold, and the battery life is short, but it does do a thorough job at sucking up all kinds of pet hair on a variety of surfaces. 

What we don’t recommend and why 

Dyson V11 Outsize ($799.99): For most households, this large and heavy vacuum is probably overkill. Though it has a great battery life (around 72 minutes on Eco mode), it’s uncomfortable to hold and use for that long. In our testing, the cleaning ability and suction power did not outperform the other contenders. It was also difficult to move back and forth on a high-pile rug.

Our testing methodology

various materials like cat litter flour cheerios cereal and ground coffee scattered on the ground to test the best cordless vacuums 2021

1. Vacuuming ability: I tested each of the vacuums against five materials (flour, ground coffee, cat litter, whole Cheerios, and dog hair) on three different surfaces (carpet/rug, hardwood, and tile). I scattered half a cup of each material on each surface — resulting in 15 tests for each vacuum — and rated each vacuum on its ability to suck up the material powerfully, cleanly, and thoroughly. If the vacuum came with attachments, I also tested the attachments on appropriate surfaces (e.g. crevice tool on furniture cushions and car seats) and rated their effectiveness. 

An example of one of the test results:

Cat litter test Carpet Hardwood Tile
Shark Anti-Allergen Cordless Vacuum 3/5: Powerful and thorough, but could only push forward. Got stuck when I tried to move backwards 5/5; Sucked up all particles completely and quickly, cat litter did not fall back out of cleaning head 5/5; Sucked up all particles completely and quickly, cat litter did not fall back out of cleaning head

2. Battery life: I used each vacuum until its battery died and compared the actual battery life to the advertised battery life. 

3. Comfort and ease of use: I noted the ergonomics of each vacuum: how tiring it is to hold, how easy it is to maneuver, and the effort required to activate the power button. I also noted whether it could fit under low spaces and any additional helpful features like a headlight to illuminate your cleaning path. 

4. Disposal method: I evaluated the cleanliness and ease of emptying the dustbin after a cleaning session. How is the bin opened? Do I have to reach inside and touch dirt and dust that didn’t empty out completely? 

5. Storage: I noted how the vacuum breaks down into multiple parts and whether it comes with a wall mount or docking station. 

6. Warranty and customer service: I registered each vacuum, noted warranty terms, and spoke to customer service reps to evaluate the ease of registration and quality of service.

What we’re testing next

image of dog and hand holding the roborock h6 a cordless vacuum we'll be testing next in 2021

Eufy HomeVac S11 Go: We love Eufy’s robot vacuums and we’re interested in seeing how its cordless vacs compare. It has a lightweight body, powerful suction, and 40-minute run time, and it’s reasonably priced for everything you get (a wall mount and attachments are also included). 

Roborock H6: This vacuum is efficient, quiet, and easily maneuverable, though some reviewers say it doesn’t do well on tile so we’re looking to test that directly. It has a five-stage HEPA filter purification system and a 90-minute advertised battery life.

What to consider when buying a cordless vacuum

image of three cordless vacuum dust bins side by side while testing the best cordless vacuums in 2021
The dust bin is often located at the top of a cordless vacuum, a design that lets your vac reach under low spaces but can also become tiring to hold. To power your vacuum, you may need to hold down a trigger or simply press an on/off button.

Cordless vacuum vs corded vacuum: how do they compare?

  Cordless vacuum Corded vacuum
Power source Rechargeable battery Electrical outlet
Weight Lighter; 3-8 pounds on average Heavier; 8-15 pounds on average
Size More slim and compact; width of 10 inches on average Larger; width of 14 inches on average
Noise Usually more quiet Louder
Price Usually more expensive; $200-$300 on average More affordable; $75-$150 on average

Features to look for in a cordless vacuum 

Weight/distribution of weight: A cordless vacuum will feel heavier or lighter, and less comfortable or more comfortable, depending on where the bulk of the weight is. To allow for better flexibility and access, brands often place the dust bin near the top and handle of the vacuum. This can make it tiring to use a cordless vacuum over a long period of time. If the bin is placed at the bottom, near the cleaning head, the weight will be less of a burden, but that placement may get in the way of your cleaning. 

Size: Keep the size of your living space in mind as you shop for a cordless vac. If you live by yourself in a studio, for example, you can look for vacs with smaller cleaning heads and dust bins. Also pay attention to the length of the vacuum and whether it will be comfortable for your height. Some vacuums have adjustable sticks. 

Battery: Read product info carefully to see whether the advertised battery life refers to that of one battery or multiple batteries. Generally, we’ve found that advertised battery life is longer than actual battery life. Follow manufacturer directions on how to care for and dispose of batteries. 

Docking/storage: Cordless vacuums are typically composed of two to three parts that you put together yourself (not including separate attachments). This design also makes it easy to store your vacuum in a compact space. Some vacuums may come with a wall dock or mount, so you can hang your vacuum on the wall. 

Inclusion of other cleaning tools: Consider whether you might need additional attachments, such as a crevice tool or dusting brush. These may come with your vacuum, or can be available for separate purchase. 

Warranty: Look for a one year warranty (at minimum) on both parts and labor of your entire vacuum. Beyond that, the manufacturer may offer additional warranties on specific parts like the motor. Once you receive your vacuum, register it online to speed up the warranty process later. 

If you’re comfortable shopping for a vacuum in the store, “there’s no substitute for trying it out and seeing for yourself how it operates. Ask the retailer if you can turn on the vacuum and try it out before you make a choice,” said Doscher. 

The best time to buy a cordless vacuum

Cordless vacuums tend to be more expensive than corded ones. The good news is that most brands discount their cordless vacuums around Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday/Cyber Weekend. We typically see discounts of $50 to $200 off Dyson, Hoover, and Shark cordless vacuums. If you’re able to wait, your patience will pay off in big savings.

Cordless vacuum FAQs

image of hand holding a dirty filter from a cordless vacuum in 2021
Here’s your sign to check and clean your vacuum filter.

Are cordless vacuums worth it?

In a word, yes. Cordless vacuums offer flexibility and ease of use that you just can’t get from a corded vacuum. Modern cordless vacuums can be every bit as powerful as corded models, and allow you to effortlessly move from room to room without worrying about cords or outlets. They’re also usually slimmer and quieter than corded models.

How often should you clean and change your vacuum filter? 

The guidance varies model by model and there are different kinds of filters (cartridge, disk, foam, cloth), so you should check your product manual. Generally, you should wash and dry it when you notice a smell or if you observe a decline in vacuum performance. Some vacuums will also alert you when you need to change the filter. A clean filter is important for effective cleaning; a dirty filter restricts airflow and decreases suction power. 

Which cordless vacuums are allergy- or asthma-friendly? 

Look for cordless vacuums with HEPA filters, which are recommended for allergy and asthma sufferers. Without a HEPA filter, these small particles are likely to be released back into the air after being sucked up. All the vacuums we recommend are equipped with HEPA filters. 

What does a HEPA filter do? 

A true HEPA filter traps and removes at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, dirt, mold, bacteria, and other airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns. According to the EPA, 0.3 microns is the most penetrating particle size, so this specification refers to the worst case. If the particle is larger or smaller than 0.3 microns, it will be trapped with even higher efficiency. 

Why is my vacuum’s battery life decreasing?

If your vacuum’s rechargeable battery is made from nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) or nickel-metal-hydride (Ni-MH), then it can experience “memory effect.” Memory effect happens if you charge the battery when there’s still some power left. Your battery starts holding less charge over time because it “remembers” how full it was the last time you charged it and won’t charge past that point the next time. Even though the original power of the battery is the same, the maximum battery voltage has decreased. To prevent memory effect, you should drain your nickel-based battery completely before charging it. Lithium-ion batteries do not experience this effect. 

What’s the difference between amps, watts, and volts? Which one matters most for cordless vacuums? 

Amps, watts, and volts are related to each other. Amperage is the electrical current (or volume of electrons), wattage is the rate of power flow (or how much power the motor is using), and voltage is speed at which electrons pass a specific point within a closed circuit (or the amount of power needed to support an electrical current). Watts = volts x amps. 

A high wattage means the vacuum will use a lot of energy, and thus more battery. Since the type of motor can also affect vacuum power, high wattage doesn’t automatically equate to a powerful vacuum. Instead, you should focus on suction. “The motor is at the heart of driving the performance of a vacuum cleaner. The motor takes electrical power from the power source and converts it into mechanical power, or suction. So, the more powerful your motor is, the more air you’re able to pull through the machine,” said Mutlow.  

We’ve decided to leave quantitative specs like wattage and voltage out of our reviews because they’re not useful as standalone numbers. Instead, we focused on suction and evaluated that based on how well the vacuums sucked up different kinds of particles.

Glossary

image of cordless vacuum attachments and brushroll side by side in 2021

HEPA: Stands for high efficiency particulate air. A HEPA filter traps and removes at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, dirt, mold, bacteria, and other airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns and can be found in air purifiers and vacuums. 

Whole machine filtration: The entire machine is sealed to prevent unfiltered particles from escaping. All air passes through the filter before it is expelled. 

Dustbin: Where all the dust, dirt, and hair are stored as you vacuum. The dustbin should be emptied out into the trash after you’re done cleaning. 

Brush roll: A cylinder with bristles located in the cleaning head that rotates and helps release dirt from carpets and rugs. The bristles of a brush roll may leave scratches on hardwood and tile, so you should turn off the brush roll if possible. Replace your brush roll when the bristles wear out (like on your toothbrush). 

Crevice tool: A long, flat attachment with an angled tip. It’s good for getting into tight corners including baseboards and stairs and between couch cushions. 

Dust brush tool: A small attachment with soft bristles. It’s good for blinds, windowsills, and delicate objects. 

Upholstery tool: A wide, flat attachment that allows for strong suction. It’s good for furniture with fabric upholstery like mattresses, chairs, and couches. 

Lithium ion battery: A type of rechargeable battery that uses lithium ions and can store high amounts of energy and deliver higher voltage than nickel-based batteries. It doesn’t display memory effect, but it is less stable than nickel-based batteries and has a tendency to overheat. 

Nickel battery: A type of rechargeable battery that comes in either nickel-cadmium (Ni-Ca) or nickel-metal-hydride (Ni-MH) form. It can store high amounts of energy, is more difficult to damage than Li-ion batteries, and suffers from memory effect.

Check out our other guides to great vacuum cleaners

image of irobot roomba 690 robot vacuum on a hardwood floor

For cleaning the rest of your floors, check out these guides

Man cleaning house mopping mop chores housework
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I’m a 53-year-old ‘clean ambassador’ for Delta. I spend my day making sure the airport follows proper COVID-19 protocols – here’s what my job is like.

headshot of Jenero Burke in a yellow jacket
Jenero Burke.

  • Jenero Burke, a clean ambassador for Delta Air Lines in Atlanta, Georgia, started out in customer service.
  • His job is to check and update health and wellness standards in and around the airport.
  • Here’s what his day looks like, as told to freelancer Perri Ormont Blumberg.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Jenero Burke, a 53-year-old clean ambassador from Atlanta, Georgia, about his career. It has been edited for length and clarity.

I joined Delta in 2008 and have held a variety of positions, including customer-service agent and ticket and gate agent – and then prior to my current position, which I started in January, I was a safety auditor for one year.

As a clean ambassador for Delta, I’m part of a dedicated team within Delta’s Global Cleanliness organization, a division that launched in 2020 during the pandemic to oversee Delta’s promise to its customers and employees to commit to – and innovate on – health and wellness throughout the travel journey.

Clean ambassadors tend to have a background in airport or hospitality operations or vendor relations

There are about 17 of us, and we serve as cleanliness champions among Delta airport teams to ensure a consistently safe and sanitized experience across Delta’s facilities and aircraft.

We oversee a strict quality-assurance program, developed with input from Delta’s partners at Mayo Clinic, Emory University, and Reckitt, the makers of Lysol. This includes a regular audit of Delta’s cleaning processes and procedures with technology and tools such as ATP, adenosine triphosphate-testing devices that are used to swab surfaces in hospitals and restaurants and evaluate the effectiveness of cleaning processes by measuring actively growing microorganisms.

I start my day with a commute via train to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to arrive in time for my noon shift

While on the train, I check my email to determine what my day will look like. Depending on the day, I might oversee a cabin audit in Concourse A, conduct randomized cleanliness tests before planes depart, or do a lap around the airport to make sure everything is looking clean.

In addition to my on-the-ground work, I facilitate new-hire training for cabin-cleaning agents and oversee inventory at warehouses to make sure cleaning materials are fully stocked and warehouses are practicing safety measures, in addition to my administrative work.

It’s not unusual for my pedometer to exceed 10,000 steps

I’m constantly moving around the airport to conduct ATP tests, ensure the curb and concourse are looking clean, and examine the lobby and kiosks to confirm high-touch surfaces are being wiped down regularly.

After my shift, I carry some cleaning protocols used at work home with me, making sure to wipe down the seat and armrests on the train and avoid high-touch surfaces where I can.

I know about every shortcut in the airport, including outdoor paths to reach planes and concourses, which allows me to get places more quickly than maneuvering within the airport.

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Roborock’s top-of-the-line robot vacuum has powerful suction, cameras, and a mop – and right now it’s on sale

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Roborock S6 locked into hub

Table of Contents: Masthead StickyS6 MaxV Robot Vacuum (small)

Roborock may not be a household name yet, but the company makes some of the best robot vacuums in our buying guide. Since launching its first unit in 2016, Roborock has focused exclusively on robot vacuums but has added mopping capabilities and even home security features.

Related Article Module: The 6 best robot vacuums we tested in 2021

The Roborock S6 MaxV is an update of the S6, the top pick in our guide. The improvements include stereo cameras that help it avoid common obstacles and provide HD surveillance footage, up to three hours of battery life, stronger 2,500 Pa suction, and multi-floor mapping.

I tested the S6 MaxV for several months, and while I still prefer the S6, there are many reasons why others might want to choose the S6 MaxV instead.

Specs

The robot vac is larger than most I’ve tested at 13.75 inches in diameter and 3.75 inches high. That’s only a factor if the clearance between your furniture and the floor is less than four inches. In this situation, you can measure the clearance to ensure the vac will fit under furniture.

The main brush is 6.5 inches long and maintains direct contact with the surface it’s cleaning. A side brush at the front-right of the unit feeds debris to the main brush.

The 2,500 Pa suction is impressive, but this number should be taken with a grain of salt since there isn’t a standardized way to measure suction in the robot vacuum industry. Still, during testing, the suction appears to translate to better cleaning – and extra noise. (More on that in a bit.)

The S6 MaxV comes with an additional HEPA filter, 458-milliliter dust bin, 297-milliliter water tank, mop attachment, mop cloth, and pad that attaches to the charging dock to protect your floors from prolonged exposure to moisture.

Setup process

Setting up the S6 MaxV was a fast, seamless job that took about 10 minutes. First, I removed the packaging, plugged in the charging dock, and set the vacuum on the dock to charge. Even if you don’t charge it before your first cleaning session, the vacuum comes with 50% battery power so you can use it right away.

I spent the next five minutes installing and connecting the Roborock app. I created a schedule for the robot to run daily, which proved a little confusing since it’s unintuitively located in the “Timer” section of the menu.

Review of the Roborock S6 MaxV

I recently tested 16 robot vacuums for our guide, and the S6 MaxV consistently performed well in the battery of tests I put each model through.

During testing, I poured a tablespoon each of kitty litter, coffee grounds, and flour, plus some pet hair on separate 18-inch-square sections of carpeting and hardwood flooring. Next, I ran the robot vac on its highest suction setting for two cleaning cycles, compared the before and after photos, and assessed how much the unit picked up.

The Roborock S6 MaxV Test
I tested the Roborock S6 MaxV by seeing how much flour, coffee grinds, kitty litter, and pet hair it can pick up on hardwood floor and carpet.

The S6 MaxV picked up almost everything. On the carpeting, only about 5% of the flour was left after the cleaning cycles, and there were traces of coffee grounds and kitty litter. On the hardwood, about 5% of the flour and kitty litter were left behind, but the coffee grounds were gone. On both surfaces, there was no pet hair to be found after running the vac.

The S6 MaxV also did a good job of cleaning in corners. I sprinkled a teaspoon of flour in carpeted and hardwood corners to see how close the unit could get. On the carpeted corner, the S6 MaxV got within an inch and picked up 70% of the flour, which is excellent. The hardwood performance wasn’t as impressive, but it was still good – the vac came within 1.5 inches of the corner and picked up about 50% of the flour.

The Roborock S6 MaxV Corner Test
Before and after of how effective the S6 MaxV was in hardwood and carpeted corners.

One of the cool things about the S6 MaxV is that it features two HD cameras to help navigate around obstacles and offer remote viewing – as in, home surveillance. You can guide the vac using the joystick-like controller in the Roborock app. It worked smoothly and provided a clear picture. However, I didn’t find the feature particularly useful useful since I rarely leave the house. Still, it might be a useful feature in the future if you’re away and want to check on your pets or make sure doors and windows are closed.

I usually don’t find the mopping function of many robot vacuums to be useful. It’s a pain to fill the water tank, set it up, and remember to remove the mop attachment again. The hassle seems especially futile since most models aren’t able to scrub your floors for a deeper clean.

However, the tank on the S6 MaxV is larger than most, so I can go longer between refills. Like other robot mops, the S6 MaxV can also detect and avoid carpeting, and I can also set no-mop zones and adjust the water flow based on the room being cleaned. It’s a good option for regular, light cleaning, but I still occasionally needed to perform deep cleans.

Cons to consider

I have a 1-inch threshold between my living room and kitchen, and it’s the nemesis of the S6 MaxV. On some days, it can handle it without an issue. On others, I will get a notification from the app that it’s stuck on the lip. Most vacuums I’ve tested bump into the threshold and avoid the kitchen altogether. The S6 MaxV can at least clean the kitchen sometimes, but I’ve decided to make the threshold a no-go zone because I don’t like having to save the vac when it gets stuck. You may want to do the same if you have a threshold of similar thickness between rooms in your home.

In my testing of robot vacuums, I’ve noticed the strongest ones are also the loudest, and this was the case with the S6 MaxV. On the quiet mode (which you can set in the app), my sound meter registered 63 decibels, which is louder than a normal conversation. On high suction, it was a bit louder at 67 decibels or almost as loud as a busy highway from 50 feet away. This won’t hurt your ears, but it may make it hard to watch TV or have a conversation in the same room as the vac. However, vacuums can resuspend dust into the air while cleaning, so if you have a sensitive nose, you shouldn’t be in the same room when it’s running anyway.

Roborock S6 MaxV plugged into wall

Should you buy it?

Since even budget robot vacs are still considered a luxury item and don’t tend to perform as well as your standard upright vac, I’d say at around $750, the S6 MaxV is mainly for people with expendable income or for techies who need to have the most high-tech gadgets available. This is the top-of-the-line model from one of the most respected names in the robot vacuum industry, but it does come at a high investment.

Though I appreciate the smart mopping options – no-mop zones and scheduling specific rooms – a robot pushing a damp cloth across your floor may only be minimally useful depending on your household. And while the cameras and surveillance features are a nice touch, I didn’t find them all that helpful beyond a fun novelty. However, if you’re looking to boost your home surveillance when you’re away and are in the market for a robot vacuum, then the S6 MaxV may be worth the cost.

You’ll typically find excellent deals on robot vacuums especially during Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other big sales events.

What are your alternatives?

I tested more than 25 models to determine the best robot vacuums in our buying guide. If you’re interested in Roborock, pay particular attention to the Roborock S6, which is our top pick and usually costs about $100 less than the S6 MaxV when it’s not on sale. It’s the predecessor to the S6 MaxV, so you lose the HD camera surveillance but it’s quieter and doesn’t get stuck as easily.

The bottom line

Despite these minor considerations, I was impressed with how well the Roborock S6 MaxV performed in our tests on hardwood floors and carpet and found the vac functioned as advertised.

Pros: Outstanding performance on carpeting and hardwood, mop capabilities, HD camera for remote video surveillance, useful app, cleans deep into corners

Cons: Loud, larger-than-average dimensions, constantly got stuck on a 1-inch threshold during testing, video surveillance isn’t as useful if you’re home often

S6 MaxV Robot Vacuum (button)

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Your guide to back-to-school essentials, from the best backpacks and tech accessories to COVID-19 safety supplies

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

The best school supplies for students K-12 in 2020
  • We rounded up the best back-to-school essentials for remote and in-person learning in 2021.
  • Whether your child needs a backpack, laptop, or notebook, we’ve researched and tested the best ones.
  • Below are our favorite classroom and virtual learning supplies, tech, and safety essentials.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Back-to-school season is stressful at the best of times. Between making sure your student has the right number of notebooks, folders, and every textbook on their list, the sheer amount of essentials to stock up on can be overwhelming.

With remote and in-person classes factoring into the 2021/2022 school year, there are even more essentials to consider to help students stay organized and focused during the school day and beyond. These include products like face masks, hand sanitizer, virtual learning supplies, and even online tutoring services.

Here at Insider Reviews, we’ve made it our mission to research and test the gear your kids will need for a successful school year, whether they’re attending elementary school or junior or senior high. From backpacks and lunch boxes to laptops and printers, we’ve put together this list of dozens of reviews and buying guides to bring you a comprehensive school supply list.

We’ve also included a selection of health and safety supplies so kids can stay safe if they’re returning to the classroom amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more about our favorite back-to-school essentials for all grades:

The best back-to-school deals

Back-to-school shopping can be an expensive undertaking, but we’re tracking discounts on kids clothing, basic school supplies, laptops, tablets, and more. You can save money at stores like Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Staples, Target, Apple, and Best Buy.

Here are the best back-to-school sales and deals:

The best classroom essentials

Elementary school teacher

For students headed back to the classroom or learning at home, they’ll need many of the usual school supplies, including pens, pencils, notebooks, folders, and planners. Backpacks, lunch boxes, and water bottles will be on many school supply lists too.  

Here are the classroom essentials we recommend:

Superbreak Backpack (medium)Advance 3 Subject Notebook (medium)Pencils (medium)Lunch Box (medium)
The best tech essentials for school

HP Chromebook 11

More and more schools are integrating laptops into their daily learning, and it’s even more important to have the right tech when students are attending school virtually. Whether you need a webcam to add to your preexisting setup, or you want to invest in a new laptop that your child can use for years to come, we have great tech guides geared specifically toward students’ needs.

Read more about the best tech for students:

Chromebook 4+ (medium)2020 iPad 10.2-inch (8th Gen) (medium)Idea Pad Flex 5 (medium)
The best remote learning essentials

fire 7 kids

Transitioning to virtual learning was a bit of a shock at first, but as a new school year starts, we recognize how to make the most of it for kids and parents alike. We’ve compiled several resources and tools to help your kids thrive in a homeschooling environment.

Here are the best remote learning essentials:

Malm Desk (medium)Wave Headphones (medium)Tutors (medium)C920 HD Pro Webcam (medium)
Our recommendations for health and safety supplies for in-person learning

crayola school mask

Keeping kids healthy and safe is front of mind as students return to the classroom. To help protect kids and their teachers, we’ve rounded up face masks for kids and hand sanitizer, as well as products parents and teachers can use at home and in the classroom. And be sure to read up on CDC Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools.

Read our guides to the best health and cleaning supplies:

Protective Mask (5 Pack) (medium)Kids Face Mask 2-Pack – Kali the Kitty & Bori the Bear Mask (medium)Advanced Hand Sanitizer Soothing Gel (8 oz) (medium)

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Kris Jenner’s line of cleaning products just landed a major placement at Bed Bath & Beyond

Kris Jenner poses in front of a display of her cleaning line Safely at Bed Bath & Beyond
  • In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Kris Jenner launched her cleaning collection Safely in March 2021.
  • As of August 2, you can shop Safely in stores and online at Bed Bath & Beyond.
  • The collection includes household cleaners, laundry detergent, hand sanitizer, and more.
  • All Safely products are free of stabilizers, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, dyes, and animal byproducts.

America’s favorite momager, Kris Jenner, is bringing her cleaning line Safely to Bed Bath & Beyond store shelves. You can now shop the cleaning collection (which includes laundry detergents, household cleaners, hand sanitizers, soaps, and more) online and in 750 stores nationwide. In addition to Bed Bath & Beyond, the collection can be found at buybuy Baby and Harmon stores.

In March 2021, Jenner launched Safely with Good American co-founder Emma Grede in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Chrissy Teigen was previously part of Safely’s campaign, but stepped back after tweets emerged of her bullying then 16-year old Courtney Stodden.

All Safely products are manufactured in the US and free of stabilizers, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, dyes, and animal byproducts. The products available at Bed Bath & Beyond range in price from just $5.99 to $13.99 and are available in two scents: Rise (lightly floral) and Spring (a bit muskier).

The Insider Reviews team is in the process of testing Safely products, and will be reporting back with a full review in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, here’s a glimpse at Safely’s collection available at Bed Bath & Beyond:

32 oz. Everyday Laundry Detergent in Spring (small)16 oz. Hand Sanitizer in Rise (small)28 oz. Universal All-Purpose Cleaner in Rise (small)16 oz. Hand Soap in Rise (small)28 oz. Glass Cleaner in Rise (small)

Shop all Safely products at Bed Bath & Beyond.

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The 5 best dusters we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • No matter how clean you keep your home, it’s going to generate unwanted dust.
  • A great duster removes dust quickly and easily, and it can get to those hard-to-reach places.
  • Our top pick by OXO will remove dust from your home and help you breathe easier.

While I would like to say that the dust and cobwebs in my home are early Halloween decorations, that line doesn’t work most of the year. Dust just seems to accumulate at an extraordinary rate. That’s not surprising when you consider how dust originates.

The dust that settles in your home each is a combination of pollen, pet dander, dead skin cells, dust mites, insect droppings, soil, food crumbs, and particulates in the air, among other things. The more people and pets in your home and the more often the doors and windows open, the more dust you’re going to have.

Even if you claim to love the patina of dust-covered surfaces, there are plenty of good reasons to remove the dust. When we breathe in dust particles, depending on the type of particulate, our respiratory tracts respond. Some particles are fairly benign and cause mild allergic reactions like sneezing and a runny nose. Other particles can trigger asthma.

Even with diligent cleaning, there will still be dust, so it’s a good idea to buy a duster. We’ve done the research and testing to find the best dusters.

Here are the best dusters in 2021

Our testing methodology

Our picks are based on my more than 40 years of experience with laundry and cleaning products, as well as my own testing. In addition to dusters, I’ve also tested and written guides to the best mops, floor cleaners, cleaning cloths, stovetop cleaners, stainless steel cleaners, and more.

The best duster overall

oxo duster

The OXO Good Grips Microfiber Extendable Duster traps dust easily, extends and adjusts to reach high surfaces, and can be washed for years of reuse.

Pros: Microfiber duster head traps and holds dust, machine-washable head, aluminum extender handle reaches from 27 to 54 inches, replacement heads available

Cons: Duster head will shed fibers unless washed first

As a woman who is both short in stature and always watching expenditures, the OXO Good Grips Microfiber Extendable Duster is my duster of choice. My favorite thing is that after dusting, I can remove the head and toss it in the washer so I can start each dusting session with a clean duster. The washable head means no additional expense and no excuses to put off cleaning because I’m out of disposable duster heads.

With a sturdy but lightweight and comfortable handle, the duster can stretch from 27 to 54 inches. The duster head rotates 270 degrees and can be locked into place at multiple angles. Since the duster head has microfibers on each side to capture dust, you can simply switch the angle and continue dusting when one side is heavily soiled.

Microfiber is made from polyamide (nylon) and polyester and creates an electrostatic fabric that attracts dust. The dust is then trapped in the many, tiny fibers until you use laundry detergent and water to flush them away. Because of the way microfiber is manufactured, you may see lint or loose fibers at first on the duster. Just rinse the head under cold water and give it a good shake before drying. The lint will be gone.

To keep your duster in top shape, avoid bleach that can damage fibers and fabric softeners and dryer sheets that coat the fibers and lower their ability to trap dust. I find that air-drying the head works best. If you’re concerned about washing microfibers, some laundry bags can help keep microplastic out of the wastewater.

The best disposable duster

swiffer

With a 360-degree duster surface that has more fibers and an extendable handle, the Swiffer Heavy Duty Dusters with Extender Handle is a hard-working, disposable duster.

Pros: Disposable, lightweight, fits into tight spots to trap dust, extendable handle reaches three feet, dusting head locks into place

Cons: Replacement dusters can become expensive and aren’t eco-friendly

When I want to use a disposable duster, I turn to Swiffer. I’ve tried every brand on the market and the Swiffer Heavy Duty Dusters with Extender Handle is the very best one I’ve found.

Because there are more electrostatic fibers on the duster head, I find the Swiffer Heavy Duty Duster picks up twice as much dust as other brands. The sturdy plastic extender handle expands from about 15 to 36 inches plus the 8-inch duster head. The head can be locked into four different angles to clean hard-to-reach surfaces.

This starter kit comes with one handle and 12 dusters. The disposable dusters are easy to find online and in many stores; however, a heavy-duty duster refill costs around $1 each. It’s not the most environmentally friendly solution.

I like Swiffer for dusting “knick-knacks” on mantels and shelves. The duster is flexible enough that I don’t have to move each small item every time I want to capture the dust. I also use it in my car to reach those tight spaces in the corners between the windshield and dashboard and all the little nooks and crannies of air vents.

The best lambswool duster

Norpro duster

The Norpro Pure Lambswool Duster acts as a natural magnet for dust, comes from a renewable source, and will last for years.

Pros: Natural fibers, a renewable material source, picks up dust easily, reusable, lasts for many years

Cons: Handle is not extendable

If you prefer a natural fiber duster, then lambswool is an excellent choice. Many synthetic fibers were developed to mimic the characteristics of wool. The qualities of wool fibers and the lanolin they contain make them a natural magnet for dust.

Wool has an inner cortex that is elastic and resilient to damage, meaning the fiber can be bent more than 20,000 times without breaking. The cortex is covered with a cuticle layer that is composed of hundreds of microscopic overlapping scales. The scales create tiny pockets that trap and hold dust particles. Finally, the scales are covered by a thin, protective film called the epicuticle that makes the fibers resistant to abrasion on even the most delicate surfaces.

If you decide on a wool duster, look no further than the Norpro Pure Lambswool Duster. I was introduced to the Norpro line while in college and still have the duster I purchased then. The dusters are available in 12-, 24-, and 48-inch lengths. The head is around 12 inches long and seven inches wide when fluffed. The handle is wooden, with a leather loop for hanging.

When you have finished a dusting session, simply step outside and spin the handle between your hands to release the dust. (Consider wearing a dust mask to avoid breathing in the dust particles.) If the head becomes excessively soiled, it can be hand washed with cool water and a gentle detergent. Give the head a good spin to fluff the fibers and then allow the duster to air dry.

If you are ready to lessen your dependence on plastics and choose a natural fiber, Norpro Lambswool is an excellent choice.

The best duster for tight spaces

OXO under appliance duster

One glance under your kitchen and laundry room appliances and you’ll know why you need the OXO Good Grips Under Appliance Microfiber Duster.

Pros: Slim profile and flexible handle fit under appliances and in tight spaces, the duster head is removable for washing, reusable

Cons: Duster head can shed if not washed before the first use

After an embarrassing moment when the refrigerator had to be moved to retrieve some dropped jewelry, I discovered the OXO Good Grips Under Appliance Microfiber Duster. It is the perfect dusting tool. I simply can’t move some appliances and furniture during weekly cleaning, but a few swipes with the OXO Under Appliance Duster and I can feel satisfied that my house is cleaner.

You may say, “who cares” about the hidden dust. Unfortunately, it can be a breeding ground for insects and can even hinder the proper operation of an appliance. Dust and lint under a refrigerator can clog the circulating fan and cause it to overheat and fail. With a clothes dryer, excessive lint can cause a fire, especially with gas dryers. It’s not all a vanity thing.

The OXO Under Appliance Duster has a microfiber head that is removable for easy cleaning in the washer. The duster head flexes so it can conform to tight spaces and the 33.5-inch length will reach the back of most deep appliances, cabinets, and furniture. The duster head can be removed and washed for reuse.

The best duster for window blinds

window blind duster

If you want to remove dust from window blinds and shutters more quickly, the Hiware Window Blind Cleaner Duster is for you.

Pros: Cleans window blinds, indoor shutters, and air vents thoroughly, comes with five duster heads, washable, reusable, can be used with a cleaning solution if needed

Cons: Microfiber can shed if not rinsed before first use

I have white wooden blinds on every window in my home. They are great for privacy and to shut out the heat of the sun but they do attract dust. I’ve tried other types of dusters to get rid of the dust that clings to both sides of each slat but just when I thought I had all the dust removed, I’d see it clinging to a slat I missed. Then I found Hiware Window Blind Cleaner Duster.

This ingenious little contraption has a sturdy three-pronged plastic handle and microfiber “gloves” that slip over the prongs. I can dust the top and bottoms of blinds at the same time. To get the best results, give the flexible handle a little squeeze to get good contact with the slat surfaces.

Since there are five microfiber cloths included, when one gets soiled I can just slip on a fresh one and keep dusting. At the end of the job, all the cloths go in the washer.

FAQs

How do you reduce dust in your home?

In addition to looking for the most effective, easiest to use, and the best value in dusters, there are also other steps you can take to lower the amount of dust in your home.

  • Declutter: The less stuff you have in your home to accumulate dust, the less dust there will be.
  • Clean from the top down: When you’re ready to clean, start at the top of the room and do the floors last, so you can capture all of the dust that settles there. No need to dust twice.
  • Wash bedding weekly: We spend hours and hours in a bed and within a week bedding accumulates a great deal of human and pet dander, dust mites, and dead skin. Washing is a simple way to get rid of the problem.
  • Remove your shoes at the door: Around 60% of dust particles come from outside, and removing shoes reduces the amount of dust in a home.
  • Lower the humidity: Keeping interior humidity levels around 40% will reduce the number of moisture-loving dust mites.
  • Change your air filters: Fresh filters in your HVAC system will trap more dust and keep your system running more efficiently.
  • Bathe and groom pets: A clean animal sheds less dander and hair.
  • Vacuum regularly: Keep floors clean with a good vacuum that has a HEPA filter to trap the smallest dust particles.

Are reusable dusters or disposable dusters better for removing dust?

The choice of whether to use a reusable duster, such as the OXO Good Grips Microfiber Extendable Duster, or a disposable duster, such as the Swiffer Heavy Duty Duster, mostly breaks down to cost and personal preference. Reusable dusters offer a significantly cheaper alternative to dusting while disposable dusters must be replaced after each use. Both options work very similarly when it comes to removing dust, as they both are made of special fibers that grip dust easily and efficiently.

If you’re planning on buying a reusable microfiber duster, consider also purchasing a microplastic-capturing bag for when you wash it.

Check out our other great cleaning guides

window cleaner
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How to clean your iPad’s screen without damaging it

Someone cleaning an iPad
Cleaning your iPad’s screen won’t take long.

  • To clean your iPad’s screen, wipe it in circular motions with a clean microfiber cloth.
  • If a dirty spot won’t come out, you can lightly dampen the cloth with water or 70% isopropyl alcohol.
  • The iPad has an oleophobic screen, making it easy to wipe away oily smudges.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

If you’ve owned your iPad for more than a week, you’ve noticed that it doesn’t look nearly as good as when it first came out of the plastic. Fingerprint smudges, dust specks, grease streaks – it’s hard to keep a device clean.

Luckily, iPads are easy to clean. Here’s a full guide on the Do’ and Don’ts of cleaning your iPad.

How to clean your iPad’s screen properly

ipad screen clean
A microfiber cloth should work just fine for cleaning off dust, grease, and fingerprints.

  • If necessary, lightly dampen the cloth with water or 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. If you do this, make sure to only wipe the hard and non-porous surfaces (the casing and display). This should also help if something is stuck on your iPad’s screen, like a piece of dirt. Just make sure to dampen the cloth itself – don’t pour or spray water directly onto the iPad.

If you’ve used a wet cloth, you can polish the screen afterwards with a dry microfiber cloth.

Maya Kachroo-Levine contributed to a previous version of this article.

How to clean your TV screen safely and keep the picture crystal clearHow to clean your AirPods and their case to improve audio quality and kill germsHow to properly clean your keyboard without damaging it, whether it’s wired, wireless, or built into a laptopHow to clean the USB-C port on your phone or laptop without damaging the device

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10 cleaning supplies that are eligible for free delivery with Walmart+

This story was created by the Insider Reviews Team in collaboration with Walmart+. We earn money from our partners. Learn more.

Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum

  • Walmart+ offers free next-day and two-day shipping to its subscribers.
  • It’s time for spring cleaning! To help you tackle this daunting project we’ve gathered together a list of some of the best cleaning supplies available on Walmart+.
  • All of the below cleaning supplies are eligible for free shipping with Walmart+, no minimum required.

Monthly Subscription (small)

Allergy season is here, so it’s time to buckle down and clean up! If you need some help getting started Walmart has plenty of useful, and affordable cleaning supplies that can help make the job a little easier. We’ve gathered a list of some of our best cleaning supplies, from robot vacuums to hand soap, that we think can help you along.

On top of that, Walmart+ subscribers can receive free next-day shipping on hundreds of potential household supplies – instead of lugging a new vacuum across the parking lot or down the street, get it delivered right to your door the next day. Below, we’ve listed some must-have cleaning supplies that can help make spring cleaning a little easier.

Here are 10 cleaning supplies eligible for free shipping with Walmart+

A lightweight cordless vacuum

Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum

Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum, $329

Thanks to its versatility, strong suction, and innovative shape the Shark Vertex DuoClean is our highest ranked vacuum that we tested in 2021. We found its overall performance to be the strongest – the Shark Vertex was able to pick up every bit of flour, cat litter, ground coffee, and dog hair from hardwood and tile with ease. Plus, it features a unique flexible ‘elbow’ that allows for the entire bottom half of the vac umm to get under beds, couches, chairs, and all those other tricky spots you normally can’t reach.

A magic eraser

mr clean magic eraser

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Extra Durable Cleaning Pads with Durafoam, $11.99

The magic eraser built itself a following due to its ease of use, affordability, and how surprisingly versatile it is. Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser is essentially melamine foam — which has cleaning and abrasive properties that don’t require harsh chemicals to clean surfaces, but despite that, manages to remove a wide array of stubborn stains without damaging the surface you’re cleaning. We’re such big fans that we’ve even covered the Magic Eraser in more depth.

A natural hand soap

Mrs. Meyer's soap 3

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap Bottle, $3.88

Clean off with Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap, a 98% natural liquid soap. It comes in a variety of elegant, refreshing scents and will leave your clean-smelling skin hydrated and nourished. Mrs. Meyer’s liquid hand soaps lather up quickly, and the scents left behind are mild but pleasant, making it our top choice for the best overall hand soap of 2021

A disposable toilet cleaning system

toilet wand

Clorox ToiletWand Disposable Toilet Cleaning System, $7.93

The last thing anyone wants to do is clean a toilet, but the Clorox ToiletWand can make this unsavory task just a little easier. The wand comes with disposable sponges that are preloaded with Clorox cleaner, eliminating the need to buy a separate toilet bowl cleaner. The cleaning pad itself gets into areas that a conventional toilet brush can’t, and once you’re done cleaning it comes off with one click so you never need to touch anything beyond the stick itself. The convenience and smart design placed the Clorox ToiletWand on our guide for the best cleaning products.

A bleach-free disinfecting wipe

clorox wipes

Clorox Disinfecting Bleach Free Cleaning Wipes, $2.68

There is nothing more convenient for cleaning surfaces than Clorox disinfectant wipes: they’re thicker and more durable than a paper towel, and they kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. Ranked as one of our best disinfectant cleaners, they’re easy to grab on the go, affordable and safe on any nonporous surface making them a must-have for the home, car, or office. 

A mop and bucket cleaning system

o cedar mop

O-Cedar EasyWring Spin Mop & Bucket System, $29.98

Microfiber mops like the O-Ceder are equally effective on hardwood floors and tiles and can be used when you need to dust or wet clean. We consider this well-designed system to be one of the best cleaning products for any room. It allows for hands-free wringing with an in-bucket spinner that spins your mop while keeping any excess liquid contained. Even the mop-head’s unique triangle shape and 360-degree rotation is designed to get into nooks more traditional mops might not be able to. 

A robot vacuum

Roborock S6 Pure Robot Vacuum and Mop

Roborock S6 Pure Robot Vacuum and Mop, $409.99

Although it’ll never replace traditional vacuuming, a robot vacuum can pick up a lot of the slack, making the time you spend vacuuming the old-fashioned way more infrequent. After testing more than 20 robot vacuums, we concluded that the Roborock S6 was the cream of the crop. It sports the best suction we’ve seen, cleaning coffee grounds, cat litter, flour, and cat hair off of both hard wood and carpet. On top of that, it’s compatible with Alexa and includes a mopping function — if you want to read more about the Roborock S6 we’ve got you covered

A mold and mildew remover

Clorox mold and mildew remover

Clorox Plus Tilex Mold and Mildew Remover, $3.83

When it’s time for the heavy-duty bathroom clean-up, Clorox Plus Tilex Mold and Mildew Remover is up to the challenge. Our top choice for best mold and mildew remover, this bleach-based cleaner has surfactants to cut through soap scum, a refillable spray bottle, and kills 99.9% of common bacteria like staph and strep.

A handheld cordless vacuum

Graduation Gift ionvac Cordless Vacuum - Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner with USB Charging

Gift the ionvac Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner with USB Charging, $19.86

Make chores a little easier for yourself with this lightweight handheld vacuum to get in those small, inconvenient locations. This vacuum comes with two extensions for the different types of surfaces that may need cleaning, and a rechargeable battery that allows you to charge it from any USB power source (USB cord included).

A mop and bucket set

Libman Spin Mop and Bucket

Libman Spin Mop & Bucket, $29.98

This all-in-one mopping system was ranked as our best overall mop for 2021, due to its ease of assembly, versatility, and the mop heads being not only replicable but machine washable. The Libman combines a deep-cleaning microfiber mop and a mop bucket with a stainless-steel spin chamber to give you everything you need for mopping. This microfiber mop head works as both a dry-duster and a classic hard-floor mop when wet, which saves time when cleaning, and space whens storing.

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