14 Household Items That Aren’t as Useful as Manufacturers Want Us to Believe

year ago

Supermarket shelves are full of various household goods that promise to remove stains, get rid of bacteria, and many other seemingly useful things. But in reality, not all of them are as useful as we tend to think. We put together a list of household items that are actually not that effective.

Paper towels

In 1931, Arthur Scott introduced the first paper towels for the kitchen to the world. Now you can find them in almost every household. They are usually bought along with toilet paper and paper napkins, so a logical question comes to mind: What do we really need them for?

First, they are hardly different from any other paper products for the home. Paper napkins, for example, are no less effective than towels if you need to quickly wipe off excess oil from a pan. Second, we tend to use cloth kitchen towels too. They are usually cheaper than their paper counterparts, but you can dry your hands with them just as well.

Feather dusters

Feather dusters come in various sizes and can be made from different materials, from polypropylene to ostrich feathers. And they all work in the same way — the feathers attract dust due to static electricity. However, some dust still remains on surfaces or falls to the floor, so you have to use additional cleaning tools to remove it. Therefore, it’s much more efficient to use a cloth instead of a feather duster.

Vacuum bags

Vacuum bags are a very popular solution for storing large things. However, they are not always as efficient as advertised.

First, you can’t store really big things in them, like down comforters or puffy jackets. Second, clothes that are stored inside a plastic bag for a long time may lose their shape and acquire an unpleasant odor. Third, Ziplock fasteners in some bags are quite weak, and they let air through, so the bags gain their volume back. Therefore, sometimes it’s worth considering other storage methods, like clothing baskets or fabric boxes with fasteners.

Vacuum keyboard cleaners

A USB vacuum cleaner is a safe alternative to a conventional vacuum cleaner for ridding your keyboard of dirt. If you give this device to someone as a gift, the person will surely appreciate your creativity, but they are unlikely to use it often. First, we don’t clean our keyboards every day, and second, there are more affordable alternatives, like a simple air blower or regular wipes.

Air fresheners

Air fresheners tend to mask odors but don’t eliminate their cause. Moreover, they can be harmful. They contain toxic substances that can cause breathing problems.

If there is a bad smell in your house, it’s worth checking your garbage bin or fridge for spoiled food leftovers, or even the pipes. Only after removing the cause of the bad smell does it make sense to use any aromatic substances to freshen the air. But using chemical air fresheners is not the only option you have. For example, you can use natural products, like essential oils or coffee grounds.

Antibacterial wipes

Despite their name, antibacterial wipes can actually spread bacteria around. In addition, they are not that effective at cleaning surfaces, leave soapy stains and make everything sticky. And after using them, you often want to wash your hands with water.

A good alternative to wipes can be paper napkins or handkerchiefs moistened with water. And if you need an antibacterial effect, use a liquid antiseptic instead.

USB fans

Contrary to rumors, USB fans can’t damage your computer when used properly. However, some users have noticed that they are not as effective as we think — some of them are too small and can break after 3–4 days of use. On hot days, it’s much safer to use a more powerful fan or try other methods of cooling, like drinking cold water.

Oven cleaners

In order to clean the oven properly, we often use caustic chemicals, but they can be really harmful to your health. During cleaning, we may feel irritation in the throat, nose, or eyes. And if you don’t remove the remains of these chemicals from the oven walls properly, these substances will begin to evaporate as soon as you turn on the oven, poisoning the air and even food.

In addition, these chemicals can also damage the oven itself. For example, they can destroy the enamel on some parts, which will lead to corrosion and breakage. To avoid unnecessary risks, you can use this homemade natural cleaner: mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide and dishwashing detergent and use the resulting mixture to clean the oven. But be careful because the abrasive texture of the cleaner can damage the surface.

Electronic wipes

This is another type of wipe that costs more than they’re worth. You can easily replace them with a soft dust cloth dipped in water or a mild alcohol solution.

Eye masks

We often use eye masks for better sleep. However, this item can cause health problems, like vision issues. And if the mask is too tight, you may have blurry vision after waking up.

Laundry pods

Laundry pods are a concentrated detergent. According to manufacturers, pods are more effective and convenient to use than other forms of detergent.

However, people who’ve tried pods mention that they have a lot of disadvantages. For example, they can stick to the washing machine door or cause stains on some pieces of clothing. Sometimes, this can happen because we don’t use the pods correctly. But are you ready to put your favorite clothes at risk just to try a new innovative detergent?

Lint rollers

It seems that a lint roller is an essential household item, especially if you have pets at home. But a roll of sticky paper tends to run out pretty quickly and requires frequent replacements, which is rather costly. Internet users recommend using duct tape or a lint brush instead. And the brush can be used for a few years without any additional expenses.

Laundry balls

Winter is over, which means it’s time to wash and store our winter coats and jackets. In some online stores, you can find laundry balls, and some people mistakenly try to use them to wash their puffy jackets. However, in reality, they are designed to clean delicate fabrics. Moreover, some users have noticed that these balls can be totally useless: they tend to get tangled inside clothing items and don’t fulfill their function.

Butter knives

We bet many of us have butter knives in the kitchen that we inherited from our parents or grandparents. However, you probably won’t remember when the last time you used them was. And it’s quite logical, as it’s much simpler to cut butter with a regular knife, fork, or spoon.


Get notifications

Related Reads