27 Cleaning Products With Nightmarish Before-And-After Photos That'll Make You Leave Your Light On
Cut to you waking up in a cold sweat at 3 a.m. thinking about some toilet pics. You've been warned.
We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
1. A plant-based stain remover capable of erasing YEARS-old blood stains from a tenant's mattress, as this reviewer explains. I have questions. MANY questions. Oh and it works on clothes too.
Also check out our full review of Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover.
Promising review: "A tenant left some blood stains on this mattress and a heating pad about 20 years ago. They were totally dry when we found them. Not knowing what to do, we put the mattress aside for 20 years until we found this product. Tested on the pad first. I sprayed a whole bottle on the pad, left it in a bathtub all night. Then washed the pad in the tub. The pad looks new after it is dried, even cleaner than when it was new! Wow! Then the real challenge, the mattress. With experience from cleaning the pad, I decided to use the solution much more efficiently. Here is the improved process: 1) Spray a little solution on the stained area. Make sure the stained area is soaked, but not too deeply. 2) Cover the soaked area with a piece of paper towel. I found it absorbs the stain very well. 3) Spray a little more solution onto the paper towel. This is for keeping the stain moisturized. These enzymes do not work under dry environments. 4) Cover the stained area and the paper towel on it with a piece of plastic film, which is normally for preserving food. Again, I did this to keep the stained area wet. The second morning, I removed everything from the mattress, used more paper towels to absorb the mess. And then, I used a clean car washing towel and cold water to clean up the remaining mess. I washed the towel and cleaned up again. Repeated three to four times, the mattress became very clean! No blood stain remains! Never imagined it could remove 20-year-old bloodstains." —nusaco888
Get it from Amazon for $10.99+ (available in three sizes).
2. A jetted tub cleaner you simply run through in a bath cycle and just watch the filth EMERGE from the pipes. Then you simply wipe it away! It'll be equally horrifying and satisfying. Worth it.
You run your bath, add the cleaner, watch the gunk emerge, drain your bath, and then clean off the gunk!
Promising review: "It's disgusting to see what comes out of your jets when you use this product. I can't believe we bathed in this! I've run bleach and dish detergent through my jets before, and that combination never cleaned with this efficiency. I highly recommended this product." —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $16.99.
3. Water bottle-cleaning tablets to make sure everyone's go-to container actually gets cleaned and LOOKS it. No more actually-clean drink containers discarded because of their lackluster looks.
Promising review: "I wasn't sure if this was a gimmick or not. Turns out it works really well. I have four metal thermos-like containers that are used to keep tea warm every day. Over time, the tea stained the insides and was very difficult to remove. I added one of these tablets to the container, filled it with hot water, and let it sit for a few hours. When I came back to rinse it out, I was literally amazed at how clean it was. I think it looked cleaner than when they were new. I called my wife over to show her, and she was equally impressed. Awesome product!" —Robert A Moreno II
Get 12 tablets from Amazon for $6.88.
4. A pumice stone that'll scrub away hard water marks and you should most definitely label as "TOILET" so people don't use it on their feet(!!!!).
Promising review: "We rented a home and the toilets were disgusting. Someone suggested a pumice stone and let me tell you it was amazing!! The picture is after just five minutes with the stone. I tried bleach, every toilet bowl cleaner available, and countless hours of scrubbing to no avail...but this stone worked instantly! I will be buying several more!! The stone does dissolve when scrubbing so you need a couple. I was able to do almost two toilets completely that looked awful with one stone!!" —CristaCross
Get it from Amazon for $11.40.
5. And in case the situation is a bit more dire, a toilet wand cleaning system with removable heads so you'll stop regretting your decision to potty train your cats.
Includes a wand, storage caddy, and six disinfecting wand head refills.
Promising review: "So, we have a toilet that belongs to the cats. We don't use it, we don't look at it, we like to pretend it does not exist. Even with semi-regular flushing, cat waste is pretty nasty stuff and built up quickly in the bowl. One of these wands cleaned it up in a single session! Before and after pic attached." —Whitney
Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
6. A targeted cleaner that has a commercial-strength formula to cut through the mess to annihilate tough soap scum on shower doors, tub bottoms, sinks, whatever.
Promising review: "Sharing our nasty before picture so you can really see the difference! Our tub/shower has a grippy bottom and scum and dirt cakes on there so easily. The only way I've been able to get it off before was literally scraping it inch by inch, I've spent hours and all it ever got was somewhat clean - never enough for me to want to take a real bath in it. This stuff is expensive but with the good reviews I decided to try it, it works amazingly!! I sprayed it on (it came with a great spray nozzle and a lid) and left it for about 15–20 minutes. Then I took a brush with hard plastic bristles (I believe a soft brush would have even worked) and with less than 20 minutes of scrubbing the entire tub and walls it was cleaner than when we moved in. The grime and scum almost like melted off. It smells pleasant, it's not crazy strong smelling but in an enclosed space I still felt the need to wear a mask while cleaning." —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $19.88.
7. A rust-removing spray to work like a magic trick in neglected showers, minus the elbow grease. Spray it on a rusted surround, leave the room, and come back to diminished stains you can easily wipe away.
Promising review: "Seeing is believing. I posted before and after pictures of our bathtub. It was gross and orange rust stained. Not even Mr. Clean Magic Erasers touched the rust stains. But now it's shiny and looks brand new. I sprayed it on (yes, it's more of a liquid than a gel but it still works). I came back an hour later and wiped it off. No elbow grease needed. Majority of the rust was gone, only thing left was soap scum and that easily wiped away. I'll be buying this stuff again!" —NMP
Get it from Amazon for $12.97.
8. An affordable hand vac that'll make cleaning up discarded fluff from your furniture NBD. Seriously, walking around like an animal fur hedgehog out of laziness is no way to live.
Promising review: "Holy crap!! Are you skeptical when it comes to buying stuff online? ME TOO! That's why I figured all of these rave reviews were a crock of crap. I've seriously bought every kind of vacuum out there. But I have four cats and a Golden Retriever, so I was getting desperate! I believe the saying is… a picture is worth a thousand words. Check mine out! Of note, the 'before' picture was taken of my dog's bed AFTER it went through the washer and dryer. Look at all of that left behind hair!!! And the 'after' picture was taken after only THREE MINUTES spent vacuuming her bed. I. Am. SOLD! BTW, I've NEVER taken the time to review a product before, just FYI." —Luka Chan
Get it from Amazon for $36.99.
9. AND a scratchy lil' tool for FINALLY getting all the pet hair off your fabric surfaces both inside your house and car. You'll wonder how you lived without up until now.
10. A wheel cleaner that'll undo the grunge of the road.
Promising review: "It will take one look from your friends to say 'Did you buy some new wheels?' This stuff is absolutely amazing. For the full effect, dismount your wheel, spray the back. Go do something for 10 minutes. Wash with water, no scrubbing needed. Turn the rim face up, do it again. Do the rest of your rims, and don't forget the tire protectant when you reinstall them. This stuff will handle salt, road tar, off-road dirt and mud — you get it dirty, it comes clean. Where was this stuff when I was racing off-road?" —johnfcon
Get it from Amazon for $15.99.
11. An ~intense~ grout cleaner – it can bring blackened grout back from the disgusting brink because you shouldn't want to wear shoes in the bathroom.
Promising review: "I never thought I'd be able to clean my grout out again without hiring someone professional to do it! But this cleaner did the wonder!!! I used it with my steam cleaner and here's the before and after pictures! I did dry brush it before I used the steam cleaner and I saw all the dirt getting out! It really works! It was hard work though, if I ever get a bigger house I might just hire someone to do it." —Chen
Get it from Amazon for $14.98.
12. A drill brush cleaning kit you can attach to your drill/driver for an informercial-like cleaning sesh that'll have you seeking out all the dirty surfaces you've been ignoring. This'll handle all the elbow grease.
Includes three brushes that'll attached to a standard handheld drill.
Promising review: "I’m in love with this. I manage many apartment properties and finding people to do the cleaning has been tricky business, so I end up having to get in and clean these horrendous filth pods tenants lived in and left me to deal with when they move out. The ovens and stove tops are usually the worst, and I absolutely hate cleaning. I came across this drill attachment set, and let me tell you, it helped me tremendously! I still had to get in with a putty knife on some of them but it really cut down my elbow-grease time. If it wasn’t for this drill attachment, I think my arms would have just fallen off trying to clean it as good as I did! My only con would be that it doesn’t have any extension of any sort, so I really had my drill all up in that oven, but well worth it." —alicia haats
Get it from Amazon for $14.95+ (available in five color combos).
13. A holy grail soft cleanser to help you *easily* erase all those gray and rusty stains on household surfaces you came to term with years ago. They aren't paying rent, so give 'em the boot!
FYI, this is the pre-mixed version (which saves you a bit of time). But you can also try the original powder version. To understand just *how* versatile this product is, check out our review of Bar Keepers Friend and prepare to be amazed!
Promising review: "I’m now a permanent customer. I’ve used CLR, Clorox bowl cleaners, and others but this is my favorite. I used a small broom to clean my tubs and tile (as I usually do) even though instructions said to use a sponge; it dried my hands pretty bad (please use gloves). So I used the broom instead and it worked pretty well. I would recommend. I even tried it on my stove and it worked like a charm." —Itzel A.
Get two 13 oz. bottles from Amazon for $9.15.
14. A makeup brush cleanser because you and I both know you're not washing your beauty tools as frequently as you should. (Same.)
Promising review: "This cleanser is great! It fully removes all makeup from the brushes without leaving them feeling beat up (I'm not the most gentle when it comes to cleaning brushes). I use a thick foundation that soaks heavily into the bristles, but this removed it all. At first I thought it was a bit thin, but after using it, a little bit goes a long way. It has a nice lather, but very nicely and easily rinses out." —Kryssy
Get it from Amazon for $6.99.
15. A mold and mildew remover that'll work its magic on gross grout stains while you kick back and catch up on your stories.
I am literally describing my life. Yep, it even works on pesky pink grout stains! My mom turned me onto this stuff in college and I've used it since.
Promising review: "Nothing removes mold and mildew from my shower like Tilex. I'm not the best Suzy Homemaker, so my shower can get kinda gross looking. I used the Tilex and my shower was noticeably cleaner after just soaking in the spray for a few minutes. I then scrubbed a bit and even better! Now to get a smaller brush so that I can scrub the bottom better." —Mteren
Get a two-pack from Amazon for $7.56.
16. Grandma's Secret, an under-the-radar solution with serious stain-removing prowess — like, cleaning pen from a white leather couch. Chilling!
It can remove oil, grease, ink, grass, and blood stains for all my vampires out there. Psst, a few months ago I recommended this to a friend who fell in a puddle of motor oil on a sidewalk, then accidentally wiped it on her camel coat. It got the stains out!
Promising review: "I love this stuff! I stumbled upon it years ago at my local quilt shop of all places. It does exactly what it says it will do, it takes out any stain you throw at it. I was most impressed by how it takes out blood, I had an 'accident' in the middle of the night wearing light pink PJs. I had just gotten the PJs from a friend for my birthday and was devastated at the thought of them being ruined. Before washing them (and risking the stain setting), I dabbed a few drops of the spot removal on the spot, scrubbed the stain with an old toothbrush and left it sitting for about a half hour. I did that twice. To say it did a good job on the spot is an understatement; you couldn't even tell there was a spot to begin with! I call it the little magic in a bottle, it's a lifesaver! You must buy it, don't wait." —Stiixgirl
Get it from Amazon for $9.99.
17. Detail brushes that, when paired with some powerful cleaners, you can use to bring your grout BACK to its original state. You forget it was white, didn't you?!
18. Dishwasher-cleaning tablets to get rid of residue that ends up creating odor and buildup on your dishes — all while you're mentally somewhere else.
Promising review: "After using this product, I am happy to report that my $5 investment saved me over $500. I was ready to replace my dishwasher due to super cloudy glasses, residue, and dishes just not getting clean. Then, I became aware that the water softener was no longer doing its job so I had the rental company replace it. Dishwasher performance improved somewhat. I decided to do two more loads before deciding to purchase a new one. Then I saw a product test review for Affresh. I was ordering some stuff from Amazon anyway so I added that to my order. When it came, I tossed one of the tablets into the bottom of the full machine per the instructions and ran the regular cycle. I did not expect the results I got! The glassware that I thought was permanently etched and ruined came out like new. Same with cutlery. The difference is unbelievable. I will use this faithfully every month, as recommended. I can even put it on my subscribe and save order so I will get a new pack every six months. I am amazed!" —Sheila
Get them from Amazon for $5.99.
21. A hard-water booster for your dishwasher that'll finally get your Pyrex bowls that you thought were donezo looking normal again. You and I both know those bowls are the best, despite your home's hard water.
Promising review: "We have ridiculously hard water. The Culligan guy who tested it was surprised it doesn’t come out of the faucet as a solid. My dishes, especially my Pyrex bowls and casserole dishes were almost white from the build-up. Nothing ever seemed clean. I tried this, and it’s an absolute miracle. My dishes are clean again. See the comparison in the picture — bowl on the left is 'clean', it was washed without the Finish booster. The bowl on the right was washed with. I’m totally not kidding, it completely does what it says!" —CB
Get it from Amazon for $5.97.
22. A millipede-like hair remover with more than 4k hooks and loops to ensnare all that hair down there and save ya' a drain replacement or costly visit from the plumber.
Promising review: "This is the best product ever for getting rid of hair clogs in sink and tub drains! I have two teenage girls with long curly hair and despite them gathering hair that they find in the tub after showering, it still clogs from time to time. All I have to do is put down the drain millipede and it pulls out the hair and removes the black gunk on the side of the drain. It's absolutely disgusting and smells horrible BUT gets the job done without chemicals and a plumber. A must have for every tub/shower drain!!" —D. Darr
Get it from Amazon for $8.99.
And check out more ways to avoid having to call the plumber.
23. A headlight restoration kit that includes a UV-blocking clear coat to make your transformation last so much longer.
Promising review: "I probably bought the product without reading much into it. The important thing to know is that you need to buy sandpaper separately. I wet sanded with 400, then 1000, then 2500 and skipped the compound/polish step to achieve the results you see in the images." —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (sandpaper sold separately).
24. A pack of stain-removing, nontoxic cleaning cups that'll clean out your Keurig's innards...and perhaps haunt your dreams when you see what the water looked like before.
Promising review: "Okay, so these cleaner pods are awesome! I didn't know how gross our Keurig was until today. The big mason jar on the left is when I actually ran the cleaner through plus one rinse cycle. The middle one is another rinse cycle and the last one, on the right, is the last one I did. So yes, I would suggest running two or three rinse cycles instead of the recommended one. But it's still an awesome product for the price! I have a Keurig 2.0 and I had no issues." —Mads0421
Get a pack of six from Amazon for $9.95.
25. A bottle of non-toxic Folex Carpet Spot Remover can make all sorts of horrific stains disappear quickly. *And* there's no rinsing or vacuuming involved.
To use, apply to the stain, gently agitate with your fingers, and blot with an absorbent cloth. This is non-toxic and should be non-irritating on the skin!
Promising review: "I had terrible rust and oil stains all over the seats of my car when I bought it. I tried other cleaners to get it out, but they actually made the stains darker. I took it to the dealership to see if they could get it out and they flat out told me no, so I gave up and lived with it for almost five years. I tried this after it was recommended by a friend. I sprayed it on and literally watched the stain run right off my seat. It was amazing! I thought I was going to have to pay hundreds of dollars to replace the seats in my car because nothing else would work. This stuff really is awesome!" —Brittany
Get it from Amazon for $11.57.
26. A jar of the The Pink Stuff — a cleaning paste made to handle all kinds of sticky, stuck-on situations like this nasty-looking kitchen faucet.
27. A incredibly powerful grout cleaner to erase years of nasty build-up that you've just come to live with over the years.
Promising review: "We moved into our house a year ago and I’ve been on a quest to clean the grout next to the stove ever since then. I’ve tried everything — store products, DIY solutions, Pinterest recommendations, you name it. As a last resort I got this and holy cow! I left it on for three minutes as a spot test at first and I could already see a huge difference. I then did two more rounds letting it sit for five minutes each. The scent's not bad, it was fine if I had the window open, it was just being down close to it that got me. Seriously, stop looking and buy this." —Britney Phillips
Get it from Amazon for $19.95.
Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.