11 Essential Spring Cleaning Products

Better Life/Amazon
Better Life/Amazon

While cleaning probably won’t top too many people’s lists of favorite springtime activities, a good top-to-bottom scrub of your home can be a cathartic experience. To help you get started on your spring cleaning, we pulled together a list of products that will get your house sparkling in no time.

1. Scrub Daddy Three-Pack; $18

Scrub Daddy/Amazon

The Scrub Daddy is no ordinary sponge—and that's not just because of its smiling face. The scrubber alternates between soft and rigid, depending on the temperature of the water you rinse it with. Gently wipe down dishes with a soft, warm sponge, or tackle tougher stains with a colder, harder sponge. The product was the darling of Shark Tank a few years back, and now it’s a staple in stores everywhere.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Instant Rug Rejuvenator; $40

Hammacher Schlemmer

Anyone with a light-colored carpet knows the struggle of keeping it clean. This rug rejuvenator scrubs more vigorously than you could ever do by hand. It has two sets of rotating bristles that massage the carpet shampoo into the fibers. Once the shampoo dries, the crystals and dirt can all be easily vacuumed up. The simple cleaning process gives a deep and balanced clean that will make your carpet look and feel brand new.

Buy it: Hammacher Schlemmer

3. Dyson Cord-Free Vacuum; $400

Dyson/Amazon

Say goodbye to cumbersome cords and cables with a completely wireless vacuum. This popular Dyson vacuum is battery powered and runs on a digital V8 motor that can last up to 40 minutes. It's great for getting dirt that's deeply wedged into corners and carpets, and you can even remove the handle and use the smaller handheld option for harder-to-reach areas.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Swiffer Sweep and Vacuum; $48

Swiffer/Amazon

The Swiffer Sweep and Vacuum is the all-in-one tool you need to get your floors clean. With its long-lasting battery, you can get to work on cleaning up dust, dirt, and any other remnants of winter. The Swiffer uses its sweeper to get unwanted particles out of hard-to-reach places, while its vacuum works on larger debris that may still be lying around on the floor.

Buy it: Amazon

5. One-Handed Broom and Dustpan; $30

WISP/Amazon

Once you've finished sweeping, getting the pile into a dustpan can prove to be a bit of a problem. This unique dustpan aims to make the process somewhat simpler by removing the handle. Instead, the device has a spot for your foot to keep it in place while you sweep in debris. And as a bonus, it even has a little comb on the side to clean out the broom when you're finished.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Two-Pack of Angry Mama Microwave Cleaners; $12

Bell Dream/Amazon

Getting caked-on food off of the inside of a microwave is going to need more than just a sponge and some elbow grease. Use this "angry mama" cleaner to help loosen up the gunk first. Simply fill it with water and a bit of vinegar and microwave. The steam from the head will soften the splatters and help remove any funky odors.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Dust Mop Slippers; $11

AIFUSI/Amazon

If you haven't swept in a while, you might notice your socks beginning to pick up bits of dirt and hair—but now you can do that on purpose. Make your footwear work for you with these slippers that double as microfiber mops. Now you can clean your floors without even thinking about it, and then toss the slippers into the wash afterward.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Better Life Unscented All-Purpose Cleaner; $8

Better Life/Amazon

This is one bottle with a lot of uses. Better Life can be used on countertops, toilets, baseboards, floors, and pretty much any other place in your home that could use a good scrub. You can even use it on laundry to remove stains. And an added benefit? It’s a plant-derived cleaner that’s safe to use around kids and pets.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Scrub Gloves; $16

MITALOO/Amazon

OK, these gloves may look ridiculous, but hear us out. Having scrubbers attached to your fingers makes it easy to apply just the right amount of pressure to scrub off dried-on or burnt food residue.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Bar Keepers Friend Sponge; $16

Bar Keepers Friend/Amazon

Bar Keepers Friend is about to be your friend for polishing appliances and cookware. The substance is tough on rust, lime, stains, and tarnish and comes with a non-scratching scourer cloth. Use it on white porcelain sinks and tubs, pots, pans, and anything else that needs a new shine.

Buy it: Amazon

11. Gel Keyboard Cleaner; $13

bonzer-shine/Amazon

Dirty keyboards and other gadgets are often the last things on your list to clean up. Now you can happily check it off first, using this giant glob of goo. The Silly Putty-like substance is perfect for grabbing little bits of dust, dirt, and snack residue from your laptop, phone, and anything else with lots of nooks and crannies.

Buy it: Amazon

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Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Kodak

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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These Blue Light Glasses Can Help Protect Your Eyes From Your Phone and Computer Screens

Swanwick
Swanwick

You’ve probably read all about the correlation between insomnia and the digital blue light emitted from phones, computer screens, and televisions. And while it's a good idea to limit your exposure to blue light at night, you'll also want to limit it as much as possible all day long. For that, you can pick up a pair of blue light glasses, like the kind put out by Swanwick.

What is blue light?

For those who aren’t familiar, blue light is exactly what it sounds like. It's the blue section of the visible light spectrum, between 380 nm and 500 nm. During the day, exposure to natural blue light is a good thing; it helps tell your brain that it’s time to be awake, thus boosting attention, reaction times, and mood. However, exposure to blue light at night has been shown by numerous studies to suppress the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that signals to your brain that it is time to power down for the night, according to the Harvard Health Publishing blog.

This can throw off your circadian rhythm, which is the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, and can lead to occasional and sometimes chronic insomnia. But even outside of nighttime hours, there's evidence that excessive blue light exposure, especially from screens, could potentially be harmful to the eyes and speed up age-related macular degeneration.

Needless to say, humans are exposed to more blue light than ever before. According to one recent poll, the average American spends 42 percent of their waking hours looking at a screen. That works out to roughly six hours and 43 minutes looking at phones, tablets, laptops, and television every single day. And 79 percent of respondents said their screentime had increased over the last five years.

How blue light glasses work

Unfortunately, making significant cuts to screentime is probably not an option for most people, but blue light glasses can help block the light from your eyes. Day Swannies, by Swanwick, are specifically designed to be worn any time you are using devices with screens during daylight hours. Because we all need some blue light to help regulate our sleep-wake cycle, Day Swannies do not block out all blue light. Instead, they only block 42-80 percent of blue light between 400-450 nm, and 22-42 percent of blue light between 450-500 nm.

Day Swannies currently come in eight different models with different size and color options, so you are guaranteed to find a pair that suits your personal style. These include models designed specifically for kids, for reading, and for prescriptions. Regardless of the model, all Day Swannies have CR-39 lenses, which means they are made from a prescription-grade material that allows for maximum optical clarity. And all styles block 100 percent of UV light. You can get more details here.

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