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    22 Useful Cleaning Gadgets Parents Absolutely Need To Know About

    Because kids will never stop making messes.

    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 β€” prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A bottle brush that has a hidden detail brush in the handle and that won't clutter up your bottle rack.


    It comes with a stand so it can sit and drip dry on its own, and has two types of bristles that can withstand both serious scrubbing and more gentle washing. And don't worry β€” you can put the nipple cleaner back on the brush when it's still wet, because the handle has little ventilation holes.

    Promising review: "After having other brushes break on me, I decided to try another brand. This brush actually does a much better job! It feels heavy and sturdy, and I absolutely love the stand it comes with. The bristles are the perfect size and offer such great flexibility when cleaning various bottles and pump parts. This brush cleans with ease since the bristles are so soft and flexible. From Dr. Brown, to Medela, to Lansinoh, to Comotomo, to Spectra, it is perfect with every bottle! Best of all, it cleans my pump parts so much better, making the cleaning process so much easier! Wish I found this brush sooner!!" β€”Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $6.99 (three colors).

    One of our editors who's also a mom recommends it!

    2. A portable stain lifter so you can save your carpet, rugs, furniture, and car upholstery from spilled drinks, splats of ketchup, and those dreaded mystery stains.

    It has a built-in heater to boost the water's stain-removing power, and you can easily fill it up at your sink. The attachments make it easier to clean different types of stains; besides the pictured handheld brush, it comes with a three-in-one stair tool that sprays, then scrubs, then suctions up stains even in the crevices and curves of your stairs.

    Promising review: "I have two young children and a cat, I'm not sure why I didn't think of getting something like this sooner. My son (10 months) came down with a stomach bug and since he is so young he vomited all over the chair and rug. This little device really cleaned everything and got it looking and smelling back go new. There was another spot on and different rug that and I had tried to clean by hand from a set in cat spit up stain and this also completely removed the stain. I am very pleased with this little device and as long as it keeps working for the coming years I will be happy!" β€”A

    Get it at Target for $109.99, or a similar product on Amazon for $129.99.

    3. Or a full-size upright carpet cleaning machine, whether you regularly contend with big stains and lots of dirt or just prefer an upright cleaner.

    This one comes with an upholstery cleaning tool, so you can tackle the stairs and furniture as well as carpet. Whether you have stains or just a buildup of general dirt and grime, your carpets, rugs, and sofa will thank you!

    Promising review: "As a parent with three kids close in age and lots of pets over the years, I’m no stranger to these types of cleaners. They're a must for messy toddlers and puppies. Of all the machines we’ve owned, nothing compares to this BEAST. It took out a stain I’ve been trying to get out for months in just three passes! The carpets look brand new! I was so blown away. Yes, the tank is smaller, but it’s worth the extra trips to empty the tank when it’s actually picking everything up. And my favorite thing is how easy it is to clean the machine. They have made it so simple to pop things in and out to rinse off. No more nasty carpet cleaner. If you’re on the fence, hop off and invest in this thing. Your sanity will thank you next time someone spills something." β€”Teri L. Hoben

    Get it on Amazon for $269.99. According to reviewers it comes with detergent samples (and you can buy bigger jugs of brand-name detergent for $17.99), but you can also add Folex ($12.99 to pump up its stain-removing power).

    4. A smart automatic vacuum because you deserve dirt-free floors but have enough things happening in your life that it's basically never going to happen without help from one of these little guys.

    You can tell it when to vacuum with the app or with Alexa. Or set it on a regular timer to, say, run every day at 10am, or whenever most people are out of the house. All you have to do is empty the dust bin a couple times a week.

    Promising review: "Seriously!!! This thing has been a life saver. We recently built a decent sized home, and keeping up with vacuuming and sweeping was almost impossible with two young kids, a cat, and a dog! My mom talked me into it. I was super skeptical of spending $330 on a machine that I may need to sweep up after frequently. But I haven't touched a vacuum in two weeks!!! Our great room / kitchen / dining / laundry is all hard surfaces (tile and hardwood) and this thing picks up nearly EVERYTHING that falls on the floor! It picks up MORE than sweeping. Every other day when we empty the bin, there is so much more than just the crumbs the kids drop. This thing goes under our couch. Ask yourself: how often do you vacuum under the couch? Well I do it every day!" β€”T. Smith

    Get it on Amazon for $297.49.

    5. A steam mop that de-stickies and basically completely sanitizes all your hard floors using *only* water β€” no other cleaning products (harsh or otherwise) required.

    It does come with some optional ~freshening discs~, so your home smells even better than it would if you just steam-cleaned. Also included: two machine-washable mop heads (one for light duty and one for heavier scrubbing), a carpet glider, and a scrubber that flips down to tackle the worst messes. It works wonders on grout!

    Promising review: "I typically use a spin mop for my laminate floors but it always left my floors with swirls and streaks. I ordered the steam mop hoping but not expecting much. I was very surprised, this steam mop works great. I have four dogs and three kids and the dirt that comes up on the cloth is pretty gross. The steam and the ability to wash and replace the clothes really helps keep my floors clean, no crazy swirls or streaks. Super easy to use and store. I always fill it with filtered water since I have hard water in my area." β€”ivymeister

    Get it on Amazon for $78.26.

    6. A refillable phone and screen cleaner sponge β€” it will quickly wipe off those sticky, gross fingerprints your kids keep leaving all. over. your. stuff.

    The Grommet

    It's a two-sided gadget: first you roll the little sponge along to deposit the smallest amount of cleaning solution. Then you uncap the other end to squeegee everything off.

    Promising review: "This handy phone cleaner is so convenient I can use anytime, anywhere and most importantly it works and it’s refillable! I’ll be cleaning my phone so much more since the flu season is around the corner." β€”Janice

    Get it on The Grommet or Amazon for $14.95.

    7. And an UV phone sanitizer because some germs may still lurk on the surface even when the screen looks completely clean, and we all know how colds can come home from school then spread to the entire family.

    Phone Soap /

    Promising review: "I work in a large dental clinic. Since we don't have a radio in the operatories, I use my phone for music. Before, I wiped my phone down every time with Cavicide wipes...not the best for your phone. Enter PhoneSoap! I'm able to sanitize my phone without destroying it! We've even tested and swabbed the phone for cultures before and after...this sucker works! Hands down, great investment." β€”James

    Get it on Amazon for $59.95 (six colors available).

    A couple of years ago we tested a bunch of our phones for germs, and the person with the cleanest phone used a similar device every night. Although if you really want to help your immune system, you prob also should follow these tips to avoid getting sick.

    8. A battery-powered sweeper that will pick up all sorts of dry spills and messes faster than you can say "broom and dust pan."


    The only effort on your part: grabbing it from the closet, and rolling it over whatever Cheerios, crumbs, or other miscellaneous stuff your kiddo's left all over the floor. Then simply empty the bin. (It'll also pick up lots of hair, although you'll have to detangle it from the brushes every once in a while. Oh, and it's apparently excellent for picking up scattered cat litter!)

    Promising Reviews: "This picks up almost everything. The rollers come right out so you don't have to tip it upside down to clean it. The best part is the drop out tray that empties over the trash container with just one button push. Plus the power pack plugs into the wall. You just pop out the battery, pop it right into the vac (high on the handle), and right back into the recharger with just one hand. No having to find a spot to plug it in. It runs my whole home rug, tile, and linoleum on just one charge and I have a 1,600 sq. ft. home. Once a month I have to pull out the big guns to vac. But not for the other twenty times because it does the job so well. I love it!" β€”Florida Deb

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99.

    9. Or if you prefer a broom, a touch-less stationary vacuum so you never have to pull out a dustpan again β€” and that might be a better choice if you sweep up a lot of hair or pet hair, because the hair won't tangle in any bristles.

    It automatically turns on when you sweep stuff up to it (tho it also has a manual mode), uses a high-efficiency filter, and all you have to do is empty the canister every once in a while.

    Promising reviews: "In love!!!!! My boyfriend and his son aren't the best at cleaning up and even when they do there were always piles of hair and dirt left around the house. Not any more!!!! Fits discretely in the corner and is easy to move from room to room. No line of dirt left behind from the dust pan anymore. I have two dogs and a very active eight-year-old so the small convenience of not having to dump a dustpan every five minutes into the garbage is a huge win for me!" β€”Amazon Customer

    Get it on Amazon for $128.

    10. A self-cleaning toilet kit β€” you can install it in almost any regular tank toilet, then cross at least one thing off your to-do list basically forever.

    All you have to do beyond setting it up is replace the cartridges every once in a while.

    Promising review: "In our heavily-used family bathroom, this unit lasted an amazing 3–4 months before it ran out of the cartridge, and the results started to become evident. The whole time it not only kept the water/scent clean, it kept the buildup in the waterline completely gone! I did not have to scrub the toilet once or apply any additional cleaner to it at all. Gone are the days of weekly scrubbing the nasty toilet! This is truly a great product." β€”Chris F

    Get it on Amazon for $8.63+ (available with either bleach or a blue cleaner, at slightly different prices).

    11. A drain millipede because you have multiple long-haired teenagers and despite their (supposedly) best efforts to pick up their hair after they're done, they regularly end up wading through several inches of water at the end of their showers.,

    I was a teen, I remember how it goes. This will extract every last bit of hair and whatever other mysteriously gross gunk lurks below the surface so the water can actually drain.

    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 it gets the job done without chemicals or a plumber. A must have!" β€”D. Darr

    Get it on Amazon for $5.28.

    12. And a hair-catcher to actually keep those drains flowing freely once they're clear, so you don't have to find a place to store a bulk supply of drain millipedes.,

    You will have to convince your family to clean the hair catchers out and set 'em on the side of the tub to dry after showers. Otherwise they can get gross quickly. But it only takes like, two seconds.

    Promising review: "Can't say enough good things about this product. I have a family of four and would frequently have to snake our shower drain, but it appears I won't have that problem ever again. I even give my dog baths and this collects the hair. It does not seem to slow down the flow of water down the drain significantly. I'm very impressed after using it for about a month. You don't know how much hair you wash down your drain until you use this!" β€”Aaron Morlock

    Get it on Amazon for $12.95 (six colors. Have a pop-up or flush drain? Try OXO's hair catcher instead, $8.99 on Amazon.)

    And we know it works because we've tried it! Read our full Tubshroom review for more.

    13. A dual-ended hairbrush cleaner that you can give to the same long-haired teen, because the last time you noticed their brush...they needed it.

    Promising review: "I have very long hair that seems to trap thing like dust, stuffing fluff, cat hair, small children, etc. My wet brush, and for all of you also have one you know how dingy they get just after one use, was a safe haven for all of this. I try to pick out my hair after brushing, but the nest of leave in conditioner and fluff holds on like magnets. With some Windex, warm water and three minutes of scrubbing, my brush looks brand new. It's easy enough to do once a week. Don't be afraid to get a little aggressive with the scrubbing, it will work out in your favor." β€”Katie S.

    Get one on Amazon for $5.49.

    14. A makeup brush spinner because when one of your kiddos starting to learn makeup is suffering from acne, regularly washing their brushes is one of many steps that could help make a difference.

    This brush effortlessly expels every last ounce of foundation/blush/etc and then *dries* the brush, all in less than one minute. You simply charge it via USB, insert your brushes in the wand one at a time, then choose one of three speeds to spin it in the glass bowl. One reviewer suggested picking up a second glass bowl from a dollar store to use for rinsing after you clean, which sounds smart to me.

    Promising Review: "When I use liquid foundation and get them REALLY dirty I have to scrub them down before I wash them but the machine gets them cleaner than I could after. The most important thing is that it DRIES them ASAP. I don't want damp or even wet brushes that I can't use β€” this solves that problem! The speed variability makes it so all my brushes are perfect! Never blown out. All of my brushes worked in this, even the ones that I thought would not β€” the ones that have diamond-shaped or flat handles, or ones where the brush head is asymmetrical. Keeping your brushes clean means having cleaner skin and more sanitary cosmetics." β€”L

    Get it from Amazon for $34.88.

    15. Heavy-duty extra-large cleaning wipes that'll make quick work of all kinds of messes β€” mud, lipstick, crayon, stickers, nail polish, food, permanent marker, just to name a few β€” on surfaces from carpet to countertops to leather and more.

    Sure they're not quite a ~gadget~, but they're so useful they might as well be.

    Promising review: "These towels are awesome, large, and very sturdy, so they work well for household cleaning. The real benefit for me, though, is having a wipe that works for things like the grill, the oven, the dashboard of my car, muddy shoes, chairs and umbrellas that go to soccer games and practices, and lawn furniture. I frequently wipe something down, rinse the towel, and wipe again. They can go through 3–4 rinses and wipes and still hold up. I use these almost daily, so the canister lasts about three months and the last towel is never dried out. The lid closes securely, yet is easy to open and the towels dispense easily through the opening. The canister (minus the lid) is recyclable when the towels are gone β€” an added bonus." β€”COMom

    Get a tub with 90 towels on Amazon for $11.94.

    16. And a set of air-tight paint touch-up pens to easily cover up any scratches, scuffs, or other child-related marks that refuse to clean off any other way., Slobproof

    They work like little syringes to neatly suck up the paint from the can. Because they're completely air tight, the paint lasts for years without drying out! They *are* refillable, despite what some reviewers claim; here's how.

    Promising review: "Love this β€” absolutely perfect for touchin' up little spots that need touchin' up. I have several sets filled with different paints and so far they've stayed usable, without the paint drying out. I rinse the brush really well after each use (latex paints) and recap it. It would be nice if the manufacturer put an area on the pen where you could easily label the paint info, but I use a permanent marker, and it works okay." β€”Hooked on Amazon!

    Get a set of five on Amazon for $11.10.

    17. A HEPA air purifier that can capture at least some of the germs and allergens floating around in the air, so your entire family's less sniffly.

    Air purifiers with HEPA filters are most noticeably effective against allergies and asthma triggered by pet dander and dust, but might also help capture some airborne viruses. So when the kids bring home colds, maybe you'll be slightly less likely to catch them yourself.

    Promising review: "I suffer from pretty extreme allergies, have two pets, and live in Texas, so I was feeling worse and worse every day. But I was set against spending $100+ on "fancy air." Eventually, I gave in on a particularly sneezy Tuesday, although I expected to immediately suffer from buyer's regret. I left the air purifier on medium setting overnight (eight hours), and had the best night of sleep I've experienced for weeks! Although I still woke up feeling a bit stuffy, it was nowhere near as bad as it has been lately. There is no denying that the air purifier is working; I can sit in my living room without needing a box of tissues within arm's reach." β€”Beth VanVooren

    Get it on Amazon for $167.99.

    18. A set of three water bottle cleaning brushes so you can quickly get the gunk out of every last nook and cranny of the whole family's reusable water bottles.

    Emily Shwake / BuzzFeed

    We reviewed and loved these β€” and liked that they were sturdy enough to stand up to some intense scrubbing.

    Promising review: "Didn't know what I was missing! I primarily wanted a longer-handled bottle brush, but didn't think I'd need nor use the smaller brushes. I love all three. The set is great for our family who has sports bottles and baby/toddler straw bottles. The small brushes clean our 'specialty' bottles very well." β€”Aimless

    Get them from The Container Store for $9.99. (They're usually available on Amazon for $9.95, but sold out at the time of this writing!)

    19. An expandable tub scrubber that makes quick work of an annoying job, so you can just enjoy having a clean bathroom.

    And when they're old enough, it can be part of your kids chores β€” the expanding handle (26"–42") will help them reach the high corners.

    Promising review: "Living with lupus and fibromyalgia, chores like cleaning the tub have long been excruciating for me. Then I stumbled upon this item, and wondered how I hadn't thought to search for something like it years ago. The scrubber is lightweight enough for easy handling, yet sturdy enough to do the job. The attached sponge has a pointy tip, making it easy to get into the corners of the tub or even to the floor behind the toilet (another problem chore!) Once done, the scrubber can be put away just about anywhere, as its pole is quite slender and the sponge head folds down." β€”Joanna M

    Get it on Amazon for $12.99. And when the scrub pad wears out, you can replace it for about $10.

    20. Or a set of drill brushes because it's been longer than you'd like to admit since you've cleaned the kids bathroom, and you want something to tackle the job quickly.

    Maybe this could also motivate your teens to do the cleaning themselves? Just make sure to use them only on surfaces you're pretty sure won't scratch! You can alway test in a discreet area first to be sure.

    Promising review: "I bought this on a whim because my walk-in shower is just a pain to clean. I'm 51 and I guess I've just been old school with how I clean, so hand scrubbing it was for years. The FIRST time I used this to clean my shower it took five minutes AND it scrubbed my shower more clean than it has been in years. In the corners, the floor, the glass door...everything came out squeaky clean. I'm NEVER cleaning my shower by hand again." β€”Terry

    Get the set of three brushes on Amazon for $14.96 (various colors that correspond to different stiffnesses).

    21. A glass and ceramic cooktop cleaning kit that comes complete with a heavy-duty scrubber, a razor blade, and a bottle of powerful cleaner β€” when your tween is slowly learning how to cook, sometimes messes happen.

    I mean, I've been cooking for years now and messes STILL sometimes happen, and I never expect that to stop. I also used to enjoy cleaning the glass cooktop with something similar when I was in high school.

    Promising review: "I hadn't thoroughly scrubbed my glass cooktop in years, only wiped down with random multipurpose cleaners which never seemed to do much. Then a friend recommended this product... AMAZING! The included scrubbers and scrapers really make the difference. It will leave your cooktop shiny and new. Even marks that had been on there for years came almost completely off. 98% better. The key is to use very little product. Let it dry to a haze and buff with a clean dry cotton towel, just like waxing a car." β€”B. Swartwood

    Get the kit on Amazon for $10.68.

    22. A compact electric power washer so you can send your teen out to clean the sidewalk, deck, and fence the next time they complain that they're bored. (Or ask to help around the house! Hey, it could happen.),

    Maybe they'll discover how satisfying it is to spend an afternoon blasting of years of built-up gunk from the windows, deck, fence, and concrete. Or maybe not. Either way, you get a cleaner home! (My parents totally did this to me as a teen, and I found it fun! But I also now write about cleaning for a living, so...YMMV.) It comes with five quick-connect cleaning tips so you can choose the perfect one for the task at hand β€” including a tip for soap, which you can use to easily wash your car β€” and generates up to 2030 PSI.

    Promising review: "I love this washer. It competes with my 2200 PSI gas-powered pressure washer. In fact I sold the gas one to keep this. It doesn't have the noisy gas engine or the heavy weight. Easy to move around, lightweight, and has great power. Very quiet. The soap dispenser works well. I'm cleaning everything: my deck, my house, the garage doors, the concrete slab! It even takes off all the dirt and mold from the old concrete stairs and sidewalk." β€”Tim S.

    Get it on Amazon for $129.

    You and your family, anytime someone finds an easier way to keep something cleaner:

    Nickelodeon /

    Make your life even tidier. Check out some of the best home organization products on Amazon, the best all-natural cleaning products for your home, the best bathroom cleaning products, organization products perfect for neat freaks, and, of course, our ultimate guide to cleaning every single room in your house.

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