The $25 Tool That Easily Cleans This Hard-to-Reach Spot In Your Home

The $25 Tool That Easily Cleans This Hard-to-Reach Spot In Your Home

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Baseboards are one of those features that most homes have, yet they’re chronically overlooked when it comes to tidying up. In fact, when I consider my own family’s weekly cleaning routine, rarely do I remember the white wooden boards that run through every room of the house. And this is unfortunate because they’re the perfect place for dust to accumulate, especially thanks to their tiny ridges. But no matter how spotless your floors and furniture are, dirty baseboards will subtly disrupt a seemingly perfect appearance, so it’s a chore you don’t want to ignore.

For more content like this follow

There are so many great dust-busting gadgets for your floors, blinds and other surfaces; my own laundry area is fully stocked with Swiffer refills and microfiber cloths. But on Amazon, you can purchase an ingenious tool specifically designed to clean up those neglected moldings. The Baseboard Buddy has your back — in more ways than one!

To be more specific, this lightweight, mop-like product has a handle that expands up to four feet, meaning you no longer have to crouch down or stand on a stool to spruce up hard-to-reach baseboards. A while back, AT contributor Shifrah Combiths tried the Baseboard Buddy for herself, and her cleaning routine was changed for the better. “As I adjusted the angle of the Baseboard Buddy’s swivel head to my baseboards, it was the first time I felt like there was a tool that effectively reached into the several levels of grooves in my intricate baseboards,” Shifrah shared in her review. “The shape of the cleaning head combined with the length of the fibers makes it obvious that the Baseboard Buddy is carefully made for the duty it’s supposed to accomplish.” She also found that the product’s reusable cleaning pads are much more effective when wet.

In addition to being able to reach difficult areas (which is great for people with mobility issues), the Baseboard Buddy also has a 360-degree swivel head, so you can comfortably clean vertical moldings, as well. And if you want to use it for other surfaces, feel free! “It works wonderfully on all the woodwork, not just the baseboards,” one Amazon shopper wrote. “The long pole made it easy to clean at the top of tall windows.” (Shifrah similarly found the device most useful for cleaning the tops of doors and window moldings.)

Above all, you cannot overestimate the convenience of this tool. “With two dogs and two cats, there’s a lot of fur in my house, and some of it has taken up residence on the baseboards,” an Amazon reviewer reflected. “The baseboard buddy not only cleaned up the baseboards, it saved my knees. I won’t be crawling or duck-walking around the house cleaning the baseboards now.” After reading such glowing remarks, we can confidently say that if your home has baseboards (which I’m almost certain it does), this is one find you need to check out.

The Brand Behind Some of My Favorite Cleaning Solutions Has a Glass Cleaner That Made My Filthy Kitchen Windows Look New

The Brand Behind Some of My Favorite Cleaning Solutions Has a Glass Cleaner That Made My Filthy Kitchen Windows Look New

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Of all the household cleaners I own, the one I think about the least is my glass cleaner. I’ve never strayed from keeping a bottle of Windex stocked at all times to use for wiping windows and mirrors. However, when it comes to just about any other cleaning spray, I’m constantly testing new products. That’s exactly how I came across Therapy Clean, the brand behind the plant-based cleaning products we can’t stop raving about, including their wood cleaner, stainless steel polish, and all-purpose sprays that our readers now love, too. 

For more content like this follow

After testing their lineup of cleaners in my kitchen and being impressed with their performance and excellent scents, I was eager to try out the Window & Glass Cleaner to see if it would unseat my go-to bottle of Windex. The result? A streak-free kitchen window and oven door with an extremely refreshing aroma. And at just $5 a bottle, it’s hard to find a reason not to try it out!

As with the other Therapy Clean products, there are a few obvious factors I love about this glass cleaner. The first is (unsurprisingly!) the amazing smell. One of the biggest draws of this cleaning line is that they use essential oils in each of their products, so you’re left with a fresh scent in addition to a clean home. The main component of this cleaning formula is white vinegar, plus a mild plant-derived cleanser. The result is an ammonia-free glass cleaner that you’ll be happy to use over and over again.

Therapy Clean takes an aromatherapy approach when coming up with scents, which means that each product has a unique blend that you’ve probably never come across in your surface cleaners before! This glass cleaner smells of mint leaf and fir balsam, with notes of orange, spearmint, geranium, and peppermint. The inviting blend of mint, citrus, and floral scents will actually make you look forward to cleaning your windows. I love spraying it on the window I have in my kitchen so I’m left with a refreshing scent that makes the entire room feel cleaner.

Of course, the most important aspect is how well this glass cleaner performs. Because of its vinegar-based cleanser, it wipes up stubborn spots easily. This is especially useful in my kitchen because I have a small space so just about everything seems to get covered in grime quickly — especially the window. I’ve found that this spray also holds up on its streak-free claim, as I use it on mirrors in my bathroom and bedroom, too, and never need to re-spray to get rid of streaks.

Overall, I’ve been pleased with this affordable plant-based glass cleaner. Clearly, I just can’t get enough of Therapy Clean as almost my entire cleaning shelf has been replaced with their products! I’m such a fan of their simple ingredients, amazing scents, and affordable price points. Now, with this glass cleaner, I can tackle my entire kitchen with no problem — and no harsh odors!

Buy: Therapy Clean Window & Glass Cleaner, $4.95; Therapy Clean Window & Glass Cleaner, 3-Pack, $13.39

Erin Cavoto

Commerce Writer

Erin writes about all things shopping-related for The Kitchn, including highlighting small cookware brands, testing cool products, or scoping out need-to-know sales. She’s also a regular at the Trader Joe’s cheese section and has a never-ending supply of tea at home.

This $13 Amazon Find Will Keep Your Sink Sparkling Clean

This $13 Amazon Find Will Keep Your Sink Sparkling Clean

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

When it comes to ranking chores, nothing comes in lower than having to clean up after your clean-up methods. Washing my mop after washing my floor? No thank you. Rinsing the vacuum filter after tackling my carpets? I’ll pass. Cleaning my sink after scrubbing my dishes? Nope!

For more content like this follow

That last one adds a special dusting of salt to the wound, particularly because I have a sink area that always gets soaking wet when I do dishes. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the arc of my faucet head, but that’s a complaint for another day. All you need to know? Twenty minutes of dishes leave my countertops looking like a small lap pool and I’m constantly forced to spend another portion of my precious child-free evening hours sopping it all up so I’m not left with mold, mildew, and water stains.

Perhaps the above gripe is why I was so excited when the Ternal Sinkmat came onto my radar. Genius in its simplicity, this must-have invention buttons easily around your faucet head to make quick work of soaking up excess water, either from a dripping faucet or an overly enthusiastic dish washer (hello, it’s me!). The secret to its functionality lies in the super absorbent design, which combines a sponge-like core with a mesh back and a microfiber-cloth coated exterior to quickly wick up any excess moisture around your faucet head and sink basin. Once you’re done washing dishes, the mat can easily be wrung out and hung to dry (if necessary) or tossed in the laundry occasionally to be kept fresh.

While designed with a single-hole faucet in mind, the Ternal Sinkmat comes in a variety of lengths (ranging from 9 inches to 24 inches), so you can definitely make it work if you have a bridge faucet or other style. The mat comes in two hues — a rich black and steely gray — both of which coordinate nicely with most sink setups. The snap closure allows you to attach the mat to your faucet in either direction, giving you a super snug fit in front or a bit of an overhang over your sink basin to keep things extra dry.

Reviewers love the Ternal Sinkmat’s simple yet effective design, praising the piece for solving one of the biggest dishwashing pain points out there. “These work perfectly!,” says one happy customer. “I’ve looked for a long time for a way to keep water spots from getting on my stainless steel sink by the faucet. I was always wiping that area to keep it looking nice. These work perfectly. I am very happy with them and would recommend them to all my friends.” Another reviewer also sang its praises: “I purchased the Ternal Sinkmat because my husband and I had just bought a new home and wanted to keep the granite countertops clean. This was, without a doubt, the best kitchen purchase! The product is handy, easy to clean, and most importantly, functional. It’s large enough to fit dish soap, lotion, hand soap, and our sponge holder without making our sink space look cluttered.”

Beyond just preventing a lot of spillage around your sink, the Ternal Sinkmat is actually a worthy investment in the soundness of your kitchen. Excess water can be super damaging to your cabinets, particularly if the waterproof seal around your faucet or basin has seen better days. The resulting mold and mildew (not to mention wet wood) can compromise the integrity of your cabinetry, forcing you toward fixes that wouldn’t be necessary until decades down the road with proper care. Your countertop material is also a consideration, as many finishes (like marble, stainless steel, and more) can experience permanent stains due to excess water. Personally, I intend on snagging a Sinkmat ASAP for all these reasons and more — after all, if there’s one thing I can get behind, it’s spending less time cleaning up after my clean-up efforts.

The Best Editor-Tested Handheld Vacuums You Can Buy Right Now

The Best Editor-Tested Handheld Vacuums You Can Buy Right Now

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Vacuums are a staple in any home, but if you haven’t considered a handheld vacuum yet or are in the market for a great one, allow us to introduce you to the best ones we put to the test. These portable vacuums are perfect for smaller messes or just more precise deep cleaning in hard-to-reach areas like tight corners and between sofa cushions. Have a pet? Handheld vacuums are heroes when it comes to targeting hair, dander, and dust bunnies. But even if your home is pet-free, the benefits of adding a handheld vacuum to your cleaning arsenal are many. They’re easier to grab for quicker clean-up, come in cordless options, and portable for tidying up cars, closets, and other tricky spaces that even full-sized vacuum attachments can’t reach. We’ve rounded up our top editor-tested handheld vacuums so you can up your cleaning game, stat.

The Best Handheld Vacuums

What to Consider When Buying a Handheld Vacuum

In short, there’s a lot. But we’ve narrowed it all down to two functions: suction power and whether or not the handheld vacuum is cordless. Keep in mind your preferred use experience, where you’ll mostly be using it (if you can’t narrow this down, go for cordless), and what you tend to need to clean up. Dusty messes benefit from an interior filter, preferably washable, while larger debris will need higher suction power. Read on for more information on how to pick the best handheld vacuum for your needs.

Suction power is one of the most important factors to pay attention to when it comes to the efficacy of mini or handheld vacuums. Size shouldn’t matter if the vacuum’s suction power is strong enough. There are a couple of units of measure that you may see when it comes to a vacuum’s suction power:

Cordless: The most popular type of vacuum today, cordless models are some of the most effortless vacuums to use and tote around thanks to their portability. They have exceptional ease of use and tend to be designed with convenience in mind. But like any other cordless electronic, their power and functionality can dwindle unexpectedly if the vacuum’s battery is low.

Corded: The predictable nature of corded vacuums makes them one of the most reliable types on the market. Because the suction isn’t dependent on how much power they’re able to hold after a charge, they’re often some of the highest performers when it comes to vacuums. That said, corded models usually have limited mobility and require unplugging and replugging in order to thoroughly vacuum larger spaces.

What We Look for In a Handheld Vacuum

We tested a variety of handheld and mini vacuums against different types and levels of small messes, judging them on the following criteria:

The Best Handheld Vacuums

“The Bissell AeroSlim is a sleek handheld vacuum that really doesn’t look like a vacuum at first glance,” says assistant shopping editor Britt, who tested it. “Its storage stand keeps both the hand vac and its brush and crevice tool contained, so there aren’t a lot of spare parts to deal with.” Small-space friendly and easy on the eyes, the AeroSlim is our choice as the best overall handheld vacuum. “The filter and USB charging cord are even small enough to fit inconspicuously into a drawer,” Britt continues. “I love the convenience of handheld vacuums, so I’ve come into contact with plenty. The AeroSlim is the first one that I haven’t felt compelled to keep hidden away with the other vacuums behind the door of my laundry room. Instead, it sits proudly on top of a bookshelf!” At under $50, the sleek AeroSlim and its multi-purpose accessories are suitable for tight storage spaces as well different aesthetics when displayed. It’s got all the expected (and helpful!) bells and whistles, like being cordless, having a washable filter, and coming with a USB charging cord, so it can be used anywhere for up to 12 minutes. The Bissell AeroSlim’s got it all and does it all.

Who It’s Best For: Those who want a compact yet powerful handheld vacuum; those who don’t want to spend too much; those who want something with a trustworthy name (like Bissell).

Yes, the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is a full-sized cordless vacuum, but it converts into one of the highest-powered, longest-lasting handheld vacuums on the market. It’s both our best investment handheld vacuum pick as well as our choice among highly versatile vacuum cleaners. It includes all the necessary features: a spacious canister base, multiple crevice tools, and 60 minutes of fade-free run time. Contributing shopping editor and tester Ivy says, “I LOVE THIS VACUUM!! I finally splurged and bought it during a sale two years ago and it’s one of the best home purchases I’ve ever made. It’s a total investment, but really is as amazing as it claims to be. It is absolutely unreal to see what the vacuum’s technology can help suck up, and how easy it is to reach those hard-to-clean areas. I love using the different heads that came with it for narrow crevices. It’s also so easy to empty the bin — total game changer to have a bag-free vacuum.” The extremely powerful V10’s attachments can pick up just about any mess, including those tiny, dusty corners or scattered spills of large debris. Because of its slender frame, we recommend emptying the canister after every couple of uses to avoid clogging. Take care of your V10 and it’ll be an investment that will take care of you, paying you back in a super tidy home that’s easily achieved for years (and years) to come.

Who It’s Best For: Those who are ready to pay more for a handheld that’s got it all; those who want longer run times; those with allergies who need maximum filtration.

Good to Know: The dock included with the V10 can be screwed into a wall at the height of your choice, making it easily accessible and rechargeable either as the full-sized vacuum, the handheld, or just the base.

Handheld vacuums come in all shapes these days. Some seem earnestly ergonomically beneficial, but most are just the same ol’ machine in a new suit. Same goes for price — many models are $50 or under and some ring in at over $200. Once we cleared the clutter, as it were, we found that the O.G. Dustbuster from Black + Decker is the handheld vacuum we go back to time and time again. It’s a recent Best List winner as well as the subject of one of our writers’ love letters from 2017, and we haven’t stopped raving about it since. Unfussy, straightforward, and reliable, it’s a dream for quick clean-ups and daily household maintenance — particularly if you have a pet or are chasing after a messy little one. It has a rotating nozzle and can be taken apart easily for filter cleaning, which we recommend doing regularly to maintain its efficacy. Replacing handheld vacuums is one of our biggest pet peeves — it’s expensive, wasteful, and annoying that they typically live such short lives. Somehow, our Dustbusters persevere, outlasting many others we’ve tested over the years.

Who It’s Best For: Those who need something compact in addition to their upright vacuum that has high power and suction; those with pets or households with frequent small messes.

Good to Know: We also tested the newer version that’s a bit more expensive but is high-powered with a pivoting feature that makes it even easier to use.

“Chic, cordless, and compact,” tester and SEO editor Sarah says, “the HomeVac H11 is the stuff of dreams,” especially for those who have ritualized their cleaning routines and view vacuuming as an act of self-care. “For the most part, hand vacuums can be rather large and unsightly,” says Sarah, “but this one puts a stylish spin on the popular cleaning tool with a sleek design that’s roughly the size of an average wine bottle.” Lightweight, sleek, and not hard to look at, the eufy by Anker HomeVac H11 welcomes us all to the modern world of vacuums, the way they should be. “Don’t let the size (or price!) fool you,” Sarah continues, “this vacuum packs a punch. With a powerful 5,500 Pa suction power, a washable high-efficiency filter, and an included multi-use crevice tool to reach every nook and cranny, this handheld vacuum might just become the star of your cleaning kit. The best part? It packs all of this power into a device that weighs just 1.2 pounds!” When we said lightweight, we meant it.

Who It’s Best For: Those who hate the look of traditional vacuums and cleaning tools; those who want something extra small but extra powerful.

Good to Know: The HomeVac H11 also includes an lOzone purification system within its filter, purifying the air as it cleans dirt, dust, and even large debris.

What if what you’re looking for isn’t as big as even the smallest handheld on our list but is still strong enough to keep your workspace dust free? The FineInno Mini Crumb Vacuum is ideal for keeping on your desk, in your desk drawer, on your kitchen counter, or near your dining table — wherever you find yourself needing to spot-clean a dry spill without the use of paper towels, chemicals, or wipes. Its tiny body carries battery power that allows it to last up to 10 minutes, the average time for some of the largest handheld vacuums we’ve tested. The best part? It’s designed to fit neatly in the palm of your hand so you can comfortably and effortlessly glide it over surfaces — even your laptop — and allow the device to vacuum everything up. “It’s powerful for its size and was even strong enough to pick up the tiny instruction manual it came with,” says Britt. When it’s ready to be cleaned, simply empty the canister from the bottom of the vacuum. It runs on two AA batteries that slide into the compartment just beneath the vacuum’s twist top. Easy to use, clean, and recharge, the FineInno Mini Vacuum could be your new cleaning BFF.

Who It’s Best For: Those who don’t want to break out their full-sized vacuum for tiny messes; those who want to keep a vacuum in their car or at their desk.

Good to Know: Make sure to purchase your batteries separately and prevent burnout by following the maximum recommended time of use: 10 minutes per cleaning session.

The $9 Gadget That’ll Improve Dryer Performance and Keep Clothes Lint-Free

The $9 Gadget That’ll Improve Dryer Performance and Keep Clothes Lint-Free

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

You’ve probably been there — your dryer completes a cycle, and as you begin pulling the warm garments out, you find that they’re covered in irksome white fluff. To your horror, you realize you didn’t clean out the dryer vent after running that faux fur blanket. Or, maybe you’re just now discovering that your appliance even has a vent that requires cleaning. Don’t be embarrassed; at AT, we revel in the opportunity to share our favorite laundry hacks. From the best stain removers to editor-approved sheet detanglers and portable washing machines, we’re here to help turn one of the most tedious chores into a headache-free function.

With regards to lint buildup, yes, you should be cleaning your dryer vent gap semi-regularly and the outside tubing at least once a year to prevent clogging. Personally, I like to wipe my dryer’s vent every two-to-three cycles, as I’m perpetually wary of damaging the machine or having to subsequently lint-roll my dark clothes for ages. I was never sure exactly how to go about doing so, opting for a wet paper towel and awkwardly brushing the buildup off of the vent filter and into the trash can. But with the Holikme dryer vent cleaning kit from Amazon, this task now has a more streamlined system.

This two-piece kit is really just comprised of two wire brushes that are conveniently bristled and flexible enough to reach that difficult crevice at the front of your dryer. With more than 13,500 five-star reviews from buyers, it’s evident that the set guarantees a quick and straightforward solution. “This is perfect for the price… and you get 2 of them!” one reviewer shared. “The minute it arrived, I tried it and loved it! It got all the lint way down past the screen and scooped it out!” Each brush is 29 inches long and features a 4-inch wooden handle for easy maneuvering.

Not only will the kit help keep freshly washed and dried clothes as clean as possible, but it’ll also improve dryer performance, as not cleaning the vent and exhaust pipe can cause longer cycles, which can in turn increase utility bills. One reviewer can attest to this. “… Recently the dryer hadn’t been drying as well as it should have,” she shared. “I got so much lint out of the dryer where the lint trap goes that I was APPALLED!” Removing lint buildup can also help prevent fires, making this tool potentially life-saving. (No hyperbole here!)

Adding to this product’s many pluses, buyers lauded the kit for being surprisingly sturdy, the brushes’ wooden handles thick enough to withstand even the most severe bending. So it appears that for less than $10, you can be the proud owner of a tool that simultaneously keeps your fits looking fresh and prevents home disasters. Fire safety has never sounded so appealing!