17 Household Items You Should Never Waste Your Money On

The way that products are marketed these days, they can be hard to say no to! There are certain household items, however, that are certainly not necessary. In this article, we’ll uncover 17 of these items that you shouldn’t waste your money on and why.

Expensive Cleaning Supplies

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While it may not seem so, common household items like vinegar and baking soda can be effective cleaners—more so than the $8 pumpkin spice latte-flavored kitchen cleaner you may have been fooled into buying. Specialized cleaning products are often not necessary, and DIY cleaning solutions can be more cost-effective​.

Pre-Moistened Disinfecting Wipes

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Likewise, it’s both more cost-effective and better for the environment to use reusable cloths with disinfectant rather than pre-moistened wipes. By doing so, you’ll be reducing waste and preventing recurring purchase costs. Plus, these wipes are often said to spread germs rather than eliminate them​.

Lint Rollers

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Lint rollers may get dust and pet hair off your clothes quickly, but they tend to leave a sticky residue on clothing and need to be replaced quickly. And, as shared by Rampley & Co, “Disposable lint rollers are the source of millions of plastic-coated sheets of sticky paper put into landfills every year.” Alternatives like a rubber glove or microbristle brush are reusable.

Oven Cleaners

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DIY mixtures like baking soda and water can be safer and more effective than store-bought oven cleaners. This is because commercial oven cleaners are full of chemicals, making them harsh and damaging. Cheaper and less toxic alternatives are easily available​​, so don’t waste your money.

Electronic Screen Cleaners

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If you’re often staring at a screen, such as a laptop or smartphone, you’re likely going to want to keep it clean and in good condition. This can lead to you spending money on specialized cleaners—ones that are often overpriced and unnecessary. Thankfully, microfiber cloths and water are usually sufficient and help you avoid potential damage to screen coatings​​.

Paper Towels

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Paper towels can, of course, come in handy. However, they contribute to environmental waste and mean higher shopping expenses, as they often need replacing. Why not opt for reusable cloths instead? These are more environmentally friendly and cost-effective, and simple microfiber cloths can handle most cleaning tasks​​.

Bottled Water

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According to Plastics Today, “Bottled water’s total volume sold in 2022 was 15.9 billion gallons, its highest volume ever, surpassing carbonated soft drinks for the seventh year in a row.” While it’s great that people are drinking more water, tap water, possibly with a filter, is much cheaper and often just as safe as bottled water. Investing in a reusable water bottle is a better choice​.

Mosquito Zappers

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There’s limited evidence of the effectiveness of mosquito zappers in mosquito control. In fact, these are often a needless expense with minimal benefits​. Thankfully, there are plenty of alternative natural and affordable repellents available, so don’t waste your money!

Ultrasonic Pest Repellents

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Similarly, there’s limited scientific backing for the effectiveness of ultrasonic pest repellents. Yes, these little devices may look cool and high-tech, but they tend to have inconsistent results and can potentially end up being a waste of money. Natural pest control methods can be more reliable​​.

Salad Spinners

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Salad spinners may be fun to use, but simple alternatives like shaking your greens in a container or using towels are just as effective. Spinners take up space in your cupboard and aren’t always necessary. It’s easy to dry salad greens without this specific tool​!

Electric Can Openers

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While electric can openers can be handy for those with arthritis or other similar conditions, those who are able to use their hands should stick to manual ones. Manual can openers are compact and equally (if not more) effective. Electric versions can be bulky, and they often stop working after several uses.

Air Fresheners

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We all love a home that smells amazing, but air fresheners can be expensive and contain harsh chemicals—known to be particularly harmful to pets and small children. DIY options are more eco-friendly and budget-friendly​, and natural alternatives like lemon juice or baking soda are effective.

Fax Machines

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This may go without saying, as fax machines are becoming obsolete in the digital age, but there’s no need to waste your money on this machine in modern times. Digital alternatives like scanning apps are more practical, saving you money and space with modern technology​​.

Robot Vacuum Cleaners

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As shared by PR Newswire, “Worldwide retail sales of robot vacuums exceeded 15 million units in 2021.” These vacuums are getting more popular, but traditional vacuums are often more thorough and less costly. Robot vacuums can be expensive and have limitations, whereas manually vacuuming can be more efficient and save money​.

Bread Makers

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Bread makers are often bulky and single-purpose—plus, they take the fun and sense of achievement away from baking! Baking bread in an oven can be just as easy and versatile, not to mention that homemade bread without a specific machine can be rewarding and cost-effective​​.

Fabric Softener

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Fabric softener is yet another household item that we don’t recommend you spend your money on. Many fabrics don’t actually require softeners, and if they do, alternatives like vinegar are cheaper and more eco-friendly. You could also consider reusable dryer balls or line drying​​.

Disposable Razors

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Reusable razors with replaceable blades are far more cost-effective than disposable razors, not to mention better for the environment and those on a budget (in the long term). Reduce waste and frequent replacement costs by opting to give these up!

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