I've tested just about every weird cleaning product and these 9 were life-changing — starting as low as $6

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Left: Oxo cleaning pen, pan strapers; Right: silicone straws, Angry Mom microwave cleaner
These are some of my tried-and-true faves. (Photo: Amazon)

As a former Home editor at Real Simple magazine, I’ve come across my share of domestic products. Cleaning was one of my beats, so I was always testing out the latest mop or updated scrub brush. (What can I say, it was a glamorous job.)

And now that I’m a freelance writer and a mom of two amazing but ridiculously messy children, I’ve really put these cleaning products to use. I definitely have my favorites — the ones I reach for whenever soy sauce finds its way onto the walls or cracker crumbs invade my keyboard crevices (which unfortunately happens more than I care to admit).

So with spring cleaning right around the corner, I’ve decided to share my top nine products with you. Some are the best of the basics — like this microwave cleaner — while others are brilliant new inventions, like a mini power tool for grout that looks like an electric toothbrush. To say these are satisfying is an understatement. Put some in your cart and get cleaning!

Homwe Professional Silicone Oven Mitt

The oven mitts over 26,000 five-star shoppers can't stop raving about. (Photo: Amazon)
The oven mitts over 26,000 five-star shoppers can't stop raving about. (Photo: Amazon)

These might be one of my favorite inventions ever: BPA-free silicone gloves you can use to move hot pots and pans, as well as maneuver around the grill. Here's the genius part: Because the glove is mostly silicone, it's entirely waterproof, so if you accidentally dip your finger into your hot soup, your glove won't soak it up.

$14 $20 at Amazon

Greenco GRC1012 Power Scrubber

Greenco Power Scrubber
With this set, you can clean just about anything. (Photo: Amazon)

I live in a rental apartment, and when I moved in, the grout around my tub was, shall we say, grout-y. Meaning, stains everywhere. Ew. This tool makes light work of scum. There are different brush heads and scrubbers for every type of job. Use it on everything from faucets and grills to sliding-door tracks — you won’t want to put it down.

$24 at Amazon

Angry Mom Microwave Cleaner

Angry Mom microwave cleaner
Celebrate a whole nother kind of mother's day. (Photo: Amazon)

I can’t count how many times tomato sauce has splattered in my microwave. And even though I know I should clean those splotches right away, I never do. The result? Crud. This gizmo uses steam to loosen all that baked-on grime. Just take off the hair, fill with water and vinegar, and watch Angry Mama get really pissed off as she spews hot steam all over the interior. Then wipe with a damp cloth. She’s incredibly fun to use!

$8 at Amazon

Topulors Stainless Steel Cast Iron Skillet Cleaner

chainmail cast iron pan cleaner
You've got chainmail: Cast iron pans can be scrubbed clean with this tough gizmo. (Photo: Amazon)

I don’t like how traditional steel wool scrubbers always seem to leave behind steel remnants. (Once I found a little piece wedged in a burner on my stovetop, causing it not to light.) Then I found this medieval-looking cleaner and never looked back. It’s gentle enough for cast iron pans, but won’t scratch. And it happily hangs on a hook.

$10 at Amazon

Ruimaican Window Blind Cleaner

three-pronged blinds cleaner
Make quick work of the blinds in your home. (Photo: Amazon)

I can’t get enough of this microfiber blade cleaner. I use it on my blinds and my air conditioner fins— which get particularly nasty because I live in a city. Just spritz with a little water and go nuts.

$10 $16 at Amazon

Flathead Reusable Silicone Drinking Straws

silicone straws + cleaner
Good for the planet, and stylish, too. (Photo: Amazon)

If I gave my kids only straws in their stockings for Christmas, they’d be thrilled. They ask for straws so often, I should buy stock in them. And now that reusable straws are a must in every home, these silicone wonders (and the cleaning tool they come with) are sure to get plenty of use. Just $9 for ten of 'em.

$9 at Amazon

Norpro My Favorite Colored Scraper

Pan scraper
Scrape the remnants of your meal from any pot, pan or plate. (Photo: Amazon)

I eat eggs every morning, and I’m messy. So these two things together means my pan stays in the sink for most of the day, and then I’m left with a disaster come evening. Before these brilliant gizmos, I’d grab a paper towel to clean off the egg remnants before using a scrub brush. But it’s gross and annoying. These pan scrapers are a breeze and can also be used for getting stickers off new glassware and plates.

$6 at Amazon

Oxo Good Grips Electronics Cleaning Brush

Oxo good grips electronics pen
Say goodbye to crunchy keyboards (ew). (Photo: Amazon)

I eat over my keyboard. There, I said it. This retractable cleaning tool makes me feel like a detective working on a top-secret case. I whip it out and brush crumbs from between those keys, then use the silicone side to pick off any crud. Great for detailing watches, cameras, and cellphones too.

$9 at Amazon

Baseboard Buddy

Baseboard Buddy
When's the last time you cleaned your baseboards? (Photo: Amazon)

Do my kids walk on the baseboards? They get so grimy that sometimes I think they do. And I’m not getting on my hands and knees for anything. That's why the Baseboard Buddy is my friend — it takes on both low baseboards and high moldings. The head swivels to get into angles and can be used dry for dusting or wet for deeper cleaning.

$20 at Amazon

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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