Caulking Guns, Space Heaters, and 23 Other Things Our Readers Are Buying in January
Here are the top products Bob Vila readers bought to kick off the new year.
The new year comes with all sorts of goals, including taking better care of your home. Whether it’s updating decor or finally getting around to home maintenance tasks, some of these tasks are best achieved with practical products. And who knows products better than the Bob Vila readers? Our readers shopped a wide range of products this month, from shoe repair glues to washing machine cleaners. January still spells cold weather, so there were plenty of winter must-haves purchases as well, including space heaters and window insulating kits. Ahead are the top 25 products our readers bought to start their year out right.
1. DuPont Teflon Snow and Ice Repellent Aerosol
In many regions, January means snow and ice season. Make snow removal easier with this snow and ice repellent from DuPont. Our top seller this month, it’s very highly rated, affordable, and convenient for pre-treating and preventing ice build-up on snow blowers, shovels, and doors. It comes as an aerosol spray, which means it’s extremely convenient to apply.
2. Dr Infrared Portable Space Heater
Chase away the January chill with the Dr Infrared Portable Space Heater. This compact unit is durable, convenient, and safe, with features like an included remote control, built-in shut-off timer, overheat protection, and tip-over shut-off. It’s mounted on wheels so it’s easy to move around. It has a slightly vintage look too, with a wood cabinet that gives it more character than sleek modern units.
3. Gütewerk Shower Squeegee
A post-shower squeegee routine can help keep mold, mildew, and hard water stains at bay. Keep a squeegee within easy reach with the Gütewerk Shower Squeegee. This little squeegee looks nice, so it’s not an eyesore to keep out. It also comes with a suction cup holder, which means no need to use a drill or glue to keep it in place. Of course, the squeegee is useful for a streak-free clean on glass doors, windows, tile, and other smooth surfaces as well.
4. Master Lock Compact Door Stopper
For those who are hoping to improve home security or gain extra peace of mind while traveling, the Master Lock Compact Door Stopper can provide extra protection. This door stopper makes it extremely difficult for outsiders to open doors, thanks to the heavy-duty 20-gauge steel folding security bar. It’s adjustable and doesn’t require any installation tools so it’s a good helper to prevent entry on most hinged and sliding doors.
5. Mold Armor Do It Yourself Mold Test Kit
Test for the presence of mold with this DIY mold test kit from Mold Armor. While an at-home mold test won’t replace a professional opinion, this kit can give you a better idea of mold in your environment. This kit offers three testing methods (air quality test, air conditioning and heating sample test, and surface test) and displays results in as little as 48 hours.
6. Gorilla Waterproof Caulk & Seal Silicone Sealant
Tackle all sorts of home projects with this highly-rated silicone sealant from Gorilla, makers of the famous Gorilla Glue. Waterproof and made of 100 percent silicone, this indoor/outdoor sealant won’t let water, air, or moisture through, and it’s water-ready in as little as 30 minutes. Since it’s mold-, mildew-, crack-, and yellowing-resistant, it also holds up well over time.
7. Airthings Corentium Home Radon Detector
Gain better peace of mind with the Airthings Corentium Home Radon Detector. This at-home radon detector uses batteries, which means it can be placed anywhere. It doesn’t rely on outlet power, so it will keep detecting through a power outage. A digital display shows both long-term and short-term average radon levels for better monitoring over time.
8. ThermoPro TP49 Digital Hygrometer
Keep a tab on indoor climate with the ThermoPro TP49 Digital Hygrometer. This mini hygrometer is very small, so it’s easy to tuck away on a shelf or attach to a wall using the magnetic back or hanging mount. Though small, it has a clear digital display, which shows the temperature and humidity level in the room.
9. Clockwise Tools DCLR-0605 Electronic Digital Caliper
Tackle DIY projects with this top-rated digital caliper from Clockwise Tools. It’s durable, made of polished stainless steel, and with an IP54 rating. Taking measurements down to 0.001 inches, this caliper is an accurate option that’s also easy to use, with a large digital display and push buttons. A data transfer port makes it possible to upload measurements to a computer for easier project planning.
10. First Alert Radon Gas Test Kit
The First Alert Radon Gas Test Kit reliably detects radon gas in the home. This test is EPA-listed under the radon gas proficiency program and earns high ratings among Amazon reviewers as well. The simple kit has all the parts for users to complete the testing process. Mail it to a lab and results are available within three to five business days after the lab receives it.
11. XLUX T10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter
Avid home gardeners and house plant parents can both make use of the XLUX T10 Soil Moisture Sensor Meter. This simple, compact, and accurate sensor has a thin probe (which means less disturbance to roots). It detects the moisture level in soil and shows it on an easy-to-read dial. Plus, results are instant and no batteries are required.
12. Reach Barrier 3009 Kit Garage Door Insulation
It’s straightforward to insulate garage doors with this DIY kit from Reach Barrier. The insulating panels block up to 95 percent of radiant heat to reduce heating loss through the winter. Each panel is lightweight, so it won’t add too much extra weight to the door itself. The panels are pre-cut and include adhesive tape, which means they’re ready to install right out of the box.
13. AcuRite Hygrometer and Digital Thermometer
Get a detailed idea of temperature and humidity with the AcuRite Hygrometer and Digital Thermometer. On the digital display, it shows the current conditions, as well as high and low readings from within the last 24 hours. A color-coded comfort meter scale indicates if the current humidity is comfortable, giving users an easy guide for making adjustments.
14. RunningSnail Emergency Crank Weather Radio
This emergency radio is a compact powerhouse that is a welcome item to have in the event of a crisis. It can be powered by a hand crank, solar panel, a rechargeable battery, or through the micro USB input. When it comes time to use it, it lets users listen to NOAA weather radio, plus it also has a built-in flashlight and USB port for phone charging.
15. Zircon Multiscanner A200 Electronic Wall Scanner
Finding studs is simple with this Zircon stud finder. We tested it for our Best Stud Finders guide and found it easy to use and accurate. It detects wood studs, metal studs, and live wires (the WireWarning Detection stays on to warn about wires in all scanning modes) to make home renovations and decorating safer.
16. Newborn 930-GTD Caulking Gun
Tackle home caulking jobs with the Newborn 930-GTD Caulking Gun. It’s a highly-rated pick for its comfortable and user-friendly design: two over-molded rubber grips and a rod that automatically retracts when the trigger releases to keep excess caulk from coming out. The 10:1 thrust ratio is suitable for low-viscosity materials. A built-in cutting and seal-puncturing tool makes this caulking gun even more convenient.
17. 3M Indoor Window Insulation Kit
Insulating windows is one step towards weatherizing a home, and the process is made all the easier with this 3M Indoor Window Insulation Kit. This pack comes with clear film panels and installation adhesive to insulate five 3-foot by 5-foot windows. It’s a small addition to windows that can make homes more energy efficient.
18. Gorilla Super Glue with Brush & Nozzle Applicator
It’s always a good idea to have some super glue on hand, and Gorilla Glue is a crowd favorite. This little bottle is versatile: it has the typical nozzle but also a fine bristle brush applicator that ensures precise application. This glue sets quickly, taking as little as 10 seconds to dry, which means clamping isn’t required.
19. Cabin Obsession Septic Tank Treatment
The Cabin Obsession Septic Tank Treatment can help keep septic tanks in good shape. This container includes a year’s supply (12 pre-packaged doses) with billions of bacteria in each pod. The bacteria break down sludge and scum layers in the septic tank and also help control odor too. Since there are no chemical additives in this product, it’s safe for the environment.
20. Newborn 250 Super Smooth Caulking Gun
With an 18:1 thrust ratio, this caulking gun from Newborn can handle more viscous materials, like acrylic, adhesives, asphalt, butyl, and cement. It’s comfortable to use and dispenses a smooth flow of product, with a rubber-dipped handle for better grip and control. This caulking gun is highly rated for its sturdiness, with frequent users noting that it holds up nicely.
21. Green Gobbler Foaming Root Killer
Tree roots can cause major damage to sewage lines, but there is a way to tackle this issue before it becomes a big problem. Green Gobbler Foaming Root Killer kills tree roots that have made their way into sewage lines: just flush some of the product down the toilet as instructed, and it will kill the problem roots, without killing the entire tree.
22. Boot-Fix Shoe Glue
Don’t throw away old shoes: try to fix them up with Boot-Fix Shoe Glue. This professional-strength shoe glue creates a flexible bond in just a few seconds and doesn’t require clamping. It can help repair boots, sandals, sneakers, and handbags, giving these items a second life. Since it dries clear and doesn’t expand, fixed-up items can look as good as new.
23. OxiClean Washing Machine Cleaner with Odor Blasters
A stinky washing machine is never pleasant, but with OxiClean Washing Machine Cleaner, it’s possible to banish smells and the build-up that causes them. With several positive reviews, it’s easy to use, coming as a pre-measured powder that goes right into the washer drum. This product is suitable for standard and HE washers and is septic-safe as well.
24. Gorilla Super Glue Gel
Fix a wide range of items with Gorilla Super Glue Gel. This super glue works well on plastic, wood, metal, rubber, ceramic, and leather. The gel formula allows for more precise application: the texture isn’t runny, so it can be applied to vertical surfaces. Since it dries in 10 to 45 seconds, there’s no need to clamp pieces together.
25. Bio-Clean Drain and Septic Tank Cleaner
Keep drains and septic tanks clean with this Bio-Clean waste eliminator. Made of a combination of natural microbes and enzymes, it eats away at organic waste without damaging pipes or tanks. It’s suitable for use in kitchen sinks, showers, tubs, garbage disposals, septic tanks, and more, and this one container holds up to 100 drain treatments.