September 24, 2021

colintimberlake

The layout of our house

29 Cleaning Products That Work Fast When You Have Guests

You may even have enough time left over to regret inviting them in the first place.

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 stainless-steel cleaner and polish that’ll help you conquer the very time-consuming task of wiping down all the appliances in your kitchen. Reviewers say it helps keep your surfaces smudge free for longer, meaning less cleaning for you!


Amazon

Promising review: “After reading the newspaper, I desperately need just one dang thing I can fix in this world! But seriously, it’s the best stainless cleaner I’ve ever used. It’s quick, smells great and the finish is perfect. It resists finger prints (and paw prints) for days. It was also a great idea they had to include the microfiber cleaning cloth, as it does an excellent job as well. I probably wouldn’t have thought of that. I plan to give these as gifts. Pretty funny!” —Designer Mom

Get a bottle from Amazon for $16.95.

2.

Or a bottle of Bar Keepers Friend soft cleanser if you need a fast-acting, heavy-hitting cleaner. It’ll restore all your pots and pans with burned bottoms in mere minutes.


amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: “Even my old dishes look new, shiny, and clean! This is the only cleanser that I ever used that cleans fast, easily, and efficiently. I purchased it for my daughter and two friends, and they were very happy.” —Anci

Get it from Amazon for $12.99.


3.

A pack of dishwasher cleaning tablets because they clean as your machine runs — no need to spend your precious free time cleaning it by hand.


amazon.com

Promising review:Convenient, easy, quick way to keep the dishwasher fresh and working at peak.” —Amazon Customer

Get a pack of six tablets from Amazon for $5.99.


4.

A beeswax wood polisher so you can revive your dinged and dented cabinets and table quick as a flash. Plus, this method is a heck of a lot cheaper than actually replacing the wood, and using this polish on a regular basis can actually help keep the wood hydrated so it lasts longer.


amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: “Works as incredibly as the reviews said! Super fast, no strong smelly chemicals, amazing results!” —Michelle B

Get it from Amazon for $8.98.


5.

A drain clog remover for unclogging your pipes in a shorter time than it would’ve taken your previously clogged pipes to drain.


amazon.com

Promising review: “When I pulled the orange plastic spiked strip from the package, I was immediately skeptical and felt like all those 5-star reviews were from people who exist in an alternate universe. I was tempted to initiate a return on Amazon but decided that I might as well gamble on a piece of $9 plastic before gambling $200 on a plumber. I slipped the plastic strip down my shower drain and literally FIVE SECONDS LATER I was pulling up gobs and gobs and gobs of hair. HOLY COW!!!!!!!! OHMYGOSH. I can’t believe I still have any hair left on my head. SO MUCH REPULSIVE GUNK!!!! I saved my prize hairball on the shower floor to show my husband because I knew he would be as skeptical as I was. We both agree it looks like a small raccoon or a large squirrel lying helplessly on my shower floor. It’s a grisly, messy, smelly and oh-so-rewarding job.” —Chocolate and Chips

Get a six-pack from Amazon for $7.98.

6.

A broom for pet hair to loosen the fur trapped in your carpet effectively without having to spend time setting up your vacuum. The rubber head works as a magnet to attract stray hairs. There’s also a built-in squeegee for wiping up liquids or for cleaning glass. Plus, the handle extends so it can reach practically any mess.


amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: “I have two Great Pyrenees and they shed a ton. Before I found this, I had to vacuum/sweep the whole house 2+ times per day just to keep the hair at bay. This thing is great because it eliminates the need for a twice-daily vacuum of the rugs and it really gets the dog hair off the floor fast. It’s a must have if you have shedding doggos.” —Emily Bragg

Get it from Amazon for $12.44.

Check out my colleague’s FURemover Evriholder broom review for more deets and some very satisfying photos of the globs of hair she removed from her carpet.


7.

A pack of garbage disposal freshening balls that’ll deodorize your sink ASAP, because if you have to smell last week’s rotting veggie peels for one more minute you just might scream.


Amazon

Promising review: “These work great at eliminating odors from the kitchen drain and leave a really nice light lemon scent. Very easy to use and only takes a few seconds. I usually crunch up some ice in the disposer to scrape the sides clean then follow the rest of the instructions. This is my second box so I do recommend them.” —yoey

Get a pack (good for 10 uses) from Amazon for $3.17.

8.

A blind cleaner brush if you don’t have the time or energy to clean each blind individually. Work smarter not harder!


Amazon, amazon.com

Promising review: “Where has this tool been all my life? This is a quick, inexpensive way to clean vinyl blinds. The tool is so easy to use that we have added the chore to my 9-year-old son’s list. We also use it on our metal indoor heat/air vent. Love that the tool comes with washable replacement dusters.” —mastermom

Get it from Amazon for $7.99 (also available in green).


9.

A portable Bissell SpotBot because who wants to spend hours on their hands and knees scrubbing cat vomit from the carpet with a brush? The answer: no one. Good thing this’ll clean up your messes in minutes.


amazon.com

This portable carpet cleaner will spray, brush, and suction up any stain, no adult supervision needed. It also comes with a hose and tool attachment if you’d prefer a more hands-on cleaning session.

Promising review: “I have two cats (ages 16 and 8), one dog, a 5-year-old kid, and several other dogs on occasion (I pet sit and board dogs). I have needed to rent a carpet cleaner at least twice a year since I can remember. No longer! The SpotBot has revolutionized cleaning in our household. It is ridiculously easy and fast! The best part is that I barely have to touch anything gross anymore. I always pick up the larger chunks first, but I let the SpotBot do the rest and all I have to do is follow-it up with a good dump and rinse. A single spot takes less than five minutes to clean depending on the setting used and your competency (again, super easy to set up and use). I’ve had good experience on the stairs and the upholstery using the wand as well.” —Rainbow Chicken

Get it from Amazon for $179.99.


10.

A red wine stain-remover spray so you can hastily remove any vino you’ve spilled in those few moments of clarity you have when you’re drunk and realized you’ve made a big mistake. It even works on old stains!


amazon.com

Promising review: “We have a lighter-colored carpet throughout our entire house and with a toddler, two black cats, and two clumsy adults, it feels like a new stain shows up every single day. Saw this product on a BuzzFeed list and figured I’d give it a try. It WORKS! It worked SO fast and smells nice too! I promise you, this is $6 well spent!” —Jonathan and Jill Orbell

Get it from Amazon for $9.70.


11.

A pumice cleaning stone for powering through tough rust, lime, and calcium streaks you have to explain to your S.O. are not poop stains — you swear! Give your tired arms a break and let this little guy scrub away discoloration with ease. This nontoxic cleaner is tough on dirt but gentle on porcelain so you can sit atop the listening throne you deserve.


amazon.com

Promising review: “I used one of these today for the first time. Our toilet has hard water stains really bad. Oh my goodness, it was fast and easy to finally get rid of all those stains. They even have a case to put it back into. These are just the best thing since slice bread. I never want to be without these ever again.” —Poohbear

Get it from Amazon for $8.99.


12.

Or a pack of fizzing toilet tabs to loosen stains in your toilet bowl and leave behind a refreshing scent. Think of it as a sanitizing bath bomb that disinfects your toilet.


Blue Well Essentials / Etsy

Blue Well Essentials is a Laporte Minnesota-based small business that sells a variety of body care and wellness products. These fizzies are lemon, lime, and lemongrass scented.

Promising review: “Shipped on time. Smells so nice and all natural. Love it.” —Christine Casarsa

Get six fizzies from Bee Well Essentials on Etsy for $4 (available in six scents and a variety pack).

13.

A bottle of Goo Gone that’ll make you understand why your parents always had a bottle on hand. All it takes is a few wipes and you can see questionable stains and sticky residue vanish right before your eyes.


amazon.com

Promising review: “This is a wonderful product for ridding built-up grease stains, removing paint spills on floors, and oils. There’s no heavy odor, and it’s always good to have because it works fast.” —Sheila p.

Get it from Amazon for $7.48.


14.

A pet hair remover if you love your fur baby but hate how much they shed…on everything. Roll it over your couch, bed, favorite blanket, you name it, and watch it lift the fur away. See, we can own nice things!!


amazon.com

Promising review: “Where has this been all my cat-loving life? Sticky rollers work fine for clothes, but this is the only product that has ever COMPLETELY removed all the cat hair from my bed. I have a long-haired 20-pound tabby and if you run your hands up his back a few times and fling the hair everywhere, it looks like it’s snowing — he never stops shedding no matter what I do. After using the ChomChom, I can put on a black dress and roll around on my bed and not get a single hair on me. It’s absolutely amazing. Everyone is getting one for Christmas, even if they don’t have a pet. I don’t care, it’s THAT good.” —Stephanie

Get it from Amazon for $24.95.

15.

An eco-friendly hard water stain-remover because it’ll help you wipe away soap scum and residue in your shower in half the time it normally takes you to clean.


amazon.com

Promising review: “We tried everything to get rid of hard water stains and nothing worked. We were getting our house ready to sell and our tub and sink were a mess. We tried this product and it worked immediately, restoring everything to like new. It was fast and really worked! We even used it to clean our glass stove top. It was amazing how clean it got things. I have a bad back and have to be careful about scrubbing things and it takes no effort to use. We use it in our new house and love it!” —Bradley

Get it from Amazon for $17.77.

16.

A power scrubber so you can actually be impressed for once. It’s basically an electric toothbrush, but for cleaning tile grout and hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. This is gonna save you so much time and effort.


amazon.com

Promising review: “This is so much easier than using the toothbrush when trying to really scrub grout or around the sink, etc. This little thing is pretty powerful; I was really surprised at how fast it rotates! This is one of the most helpful cleaning tools I have ever owned. A real time- and energy-saver!” —Sissy39

Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

17.

An odor-eliminating spray for erasing stains and odors fast. Each spray releases bacteria that feeds on the ammonia left behind after your pet’s accidents, eliminating the urine completely and deterring your pet from peeing in the same spot again.


Amazon

Rocco & Roxie is a family-owned small business named after the Magleby family’s pets Rocco, a labradoodle, and Roxie, a former shelter tabby cat. They make a variety of pet supplies, including cleaners, treats, grooming tools, accessories, and toys.

Promising review: “Unbeknownst to us, our senior cat had been peeing on two brand-new large shag area rugs. The first one I gave up trying to clean and purchased a new one. I just realized last week she has been peeing on another shag rug and I started crying. It’s the worst smell ever! I can’t keep purchasing new rugs until she dies. After scouring Google, this product kept being mentioned as the best enzyme cleaner, which I never knew was a thing. My order arrived at 6 p.m. today and we went right to work. By 6:30 I was almost in tears, the smell was gone! The other rug I gave up on, I threw in the garage intending to try and power wash it in the spring to maybe salvage as a basement rug. But now I’m bringing it in the house to treat and put back into a bedroom. I can’t believe how well it works! I can’t believe how fast it works! I can’t believe how good it smells and I am so thankful for this product!” —J. A. Merryweather

Get it from Amazon for $19.97.

Check out our in-depth review of Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator.

18.

A microwave steam cleaner to melt the baked-on crud that’s clung to the sides of your microwave since, well, we’re not exactly sure how long it’s been there but suffice it to say it’s been awhile.


amazon.com

Promising review: “Something I didn’t believe until I tried it. So easy to follow directions, written on Angry Mama. Was disappointed when I opened the microwave to see the filth still on it. Was wishing it would magically taken care of itself. But all it took was a quick swipe with a paper towel and GONE. Loosened everything, which is half the process. My microwave was sooooo white once cleaned!! Would buy as gifts.” —max’s mum

Get it from Amazon for $8.99 (available in four colors).

19.

A glass cleaner that’ll cut through fingerprints, toothpaste specks, paper towel lint, dust, and more. Now you can get back to more important things, like admiring your reflection in the mirror.


Pardo Naturals

Pardo Naturals is a Black woman-owned small business helmed by Rita Pardo, a mom who was looking for natural hair, body, and home products that wouldn’t irritate her daughter’s severe eczema.

Get it from Pardo Naturals for $8 (available in four scents).

20.

A jetted tub cleaner if you need a relaxing bath and you need it now. This cleanser will quickly flush out soap scum and body oils that are gunking up your tub’s jets.


amazon.com

Promising review: “Works better than anything else we have tried on our six-foot jetted hot tub. We have well water with lots of minerals. Oh Yuk gets the crud out fast and rinses easy. Been using it for three years and nothing else comes close.” —Linda

Get it from Amazon for $16.99.


21.

A carpet freshener because it expels all the questionable odors lingering in the threads of your carpet. Sprinkle the powder and let it sit for 10 minutes before vacuuming it.


SiVi Tidy Co

SiVi Tidy Co is a Black woman-owned, Florida-based vegan cleaning company. A percent of every purchase goes to charity!

Promising review: “I don’t have carpet in my house so I wasn’t sure how I would use this. Welp I ended up using it as my car rug refresher and bam. It left my car smelling like pineapple and lavender. I could literally throw out those little cheap tree air fresheners I buy because the smell is strong. If you don’t like strong scents you may want to choose a lighter fragrance. However it worked for me and I love it. Every time someone gets in my car they ask me what air fresher I’m using.” —Alexis Scott

Get it from SiVi Tidy Co. for $3.50+ (available in two sizes and five scents).

22.

A pair of sweeper slippers so you can quickly clean the floors as you walk around your apartment. They pick up dirt, dust, pet hair, your hair, and more with each step. And! These even fit over a Swiffer so it’s like two products in one.


amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: “I absolutely love these! I kind of bought them as a joke. I hate wearing socks, shoes, or slippers, but I also HATE dirty feet. These were the answer I was looking for! They are lightweight on my feet…hardly notice I’m wearing them, and by golly they pick up the dust and dirt that our dog leaves behind! They also wash very nicely. We always wish in Tide and these looked brand new after being washed. I’m very pleased with my purchase!” —Tim S.

Get five pairs from Amazon for $13.99.


23.

A cast-iron scrubber, which is just a piece of chainmail, for lifting leftover food grit — not the pan’s seasoning. This’ll save you a heck of a lot of time now that you’re not trying to scrub away stubborn stains with a fragile sponge.


amazon.com

Because this scrubber is metal, you should avoid using it on nonstick pans as it can scratch and damage the surface.

Promising review: “I love the product. I wish I had known about it when I first got my cast-iron skillet over a year ago. It is really easy to use and did a great job getting the crud off of the skillet without stripping the seasoning away and it was fast. I find myself using my cast-iron more frequently since purchasing this product because I no longer dread the cleanup process. If you have cast-iron cookware then you need one of these babies. I will definitely recommend it to others.” —KeCaRi

Get it from Amazon for $21.99. This customer review is long but it’s full of great tips if you end up purchasing this scrubber.


24.

A heavy-duty oven scrub to get the job done right and fast. You’re not about to be bested by years of baked-on dinner explosions and drippings that coat the inside of your oven.


Cleaning Studio / Etsy

Cleaning Studio is a small business based in Fairfield, Connecticut, that specializes in natural cleaning products.

Promising review: “This product is amazing! It works fast with pretty minimal elbow grease. The stainless-steel sponge that comes with it makes it easier. And it smells great!” —Melissa C.

Get it from Cleaning Studio for $17.99.

25.

A handheld vacuum that’ll suck up pet hair like a pro when you only have a few minutes to clean. It has a special rubber nozzle that picks up fur with ease, especially on hard-to-vacuum areas like stairs. There’s no bag, so simply pop off the canister when you’re done vacuuming and dump the contents in the trash.


amazon.com

Promising review: “Don’t walk…run to your computer and buy one of these! This little vacuum is so powerful. I am really impressed. It’s easy to use and fast — way easier than hooking up attachments to my upright or canister vacuum. They are so awkward to work with compared to this little vacuum. It has a very long cord, which I really appreciate. The rubbery nozzle with the little knobs on it is so effective to help loosen the hair so it can be sucked up by the vacuum. It also has another tool that will allow you to pick up larger loose debris. It’s very satisfying to see how much junk you’re vacuuming up — gives you that sense of accomplishment we all need to feel inclined to vacuum at all.” —ozmoore

Get it from Amazon for $35.14.


26.

A no-rinse spot remover if your usual MO is to just ignore the mess. This’ll lift even the most stubborn old stain, and it doesn’t require you to rinse or vacuum after you spray.


amazon.com

Promising review: “I never take time to review Amazon products, but this one deserves some attention. All I can say is wow! I used this on several small stains on my living room carpet from the kids. They literally vanished. With skepticism I tried it on a few spots of paint (my wife and I both argue how they got there) that were 9 months old from when our house was built. The paint was wiped up, but it is purple and stained our beige carpet in the bedroom. This product completely removed all of it! That’s right, 9-month Valspar soaked carpet, and it looks brand new! This product has no odor and is extremely fast working and simple to use. The only warning is about people with very sensitive skin, but I had it on my hands for about an hour and it didn’t bother me.” —Jonffpo

Get it on Amazon for $11.91.


27.

A multipurpose cleanser because it’ll accelerate your cleaning routine and keep practically every surface in your house sparkling. It’s safe to use on glass, ceramic stovetops, copper, brass, chrome, stainless-steel, and porcelain.


amazon.com

Promising review: “Like a hot knife through butter for built-up hard water stains on my glass shower doors. I’ve tried everything and this stuff worked in two minutes. Made me a little embarrassed it took so long to find something so effective. I haven’t tried it on anything else yet but I guarantee I’ll be reordering just to have extra. Just can’t have enough of a good thing.” —Ron

Get a bottle from Amazon for $8.29.

28.

A robot vacuum so you can tackle all the other things that need your attention while this cleans the floor. Bye bye mountains of dirt, dust, and pet fur.


Amazon

Promising review: I am a NEAT FREAK! I love to clean. I literally clean my house daily. It can’t be clean enough. I have a two-story, three-bedroom three-bathroom house with two dogs. This vacuum cleans all of it! This gadget is legit like a little human vacuuming your floors, but super throughly. It goes over all my rugs and hardwood floors, and it goes in the bathrooms and closets and under all the furniture. Once in a while it gets caught in the wires underneath my TV but most of the time it is able to get itself out of it. It’s quiet. My dogs barely even notice it. This is worth every penny! It’s easy to set up, and easy to clean after each use. It does all the hard work for you. Since I’ve had mine, I’ve literally gotten five friends to buy one and they all love it too.” —Shannon

Get it from Amazon for $197.99+ (also available in white).

29.

If all else fails, a cheeky storage solutions — like a locker-style end table or a bar cabinet — for hiding your clutter. Sure, this isn’t “cleaning” per se, but it’s mighty helpful to have a place to store all the random knickknacks that you seem to accumulate and are now cluttering most of the surfaces in your home.


The Novogratz

Get them from The Novogratz: the metal locker end table for $149 (available in four colors) and the bar cabinet for $329.


Your brain the minute you get a text that says, “I’ll be there in 20!”


Lonely Island Classics

The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity. 

Need A Shopping Buddy?

Get great products – from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online – delivered to your inbox!