The 21 Most Popular Things Bob Vila Readers Bought in 2021
Bob Vila’s recommendations are valued by millions of visitors every year. Find out which products proved most popular in 2021.
Each year, Bob Vila’s experts conduct thousands of hours of hands-on testing and internet research. We vet a vast array of home and garden products so our readers have accurate, up-to-date information on what works—and what doesn’t.
Though 2021 has been a challenging year for many, Bob Vila visitors trusted us when it came time to make important purchases. Apparently, shower curtains still fell down, deer still nibbled prized flower borders, and all manner of home improvements needed attention—and folks turned to us before pressing “buy now.” Read on for the remarkably diverse range of products Bob Vila readers bought most of in 2021.
1. Septic Treatment by Cabin Obsession
Cabin Obsession’s natural, environmentally friendly solution is very popular. Each package contains a year’s supply. That’s one sachet a month that is simply flushed down the toilet to break down waste, reduce bulk, and prevent unpleasant odors. It is safe for use in all types of home plumbing.
2. Mold Armor FG500 Do It Yourself Mold Test Kit
Mold Armor FG500 won our “Best Bang for the Buck” award for top value. It is safe and easy to use, works indoors and out, and shows results in as little as 48 hours. It can take surface or air samples, including from HVAC systems. Depending on results, samples can also be sent for full lab analysis.
3. Flux Phenom Magnetic Screen Door
Folks seem to enjoy summer breezes as much as they dislike pesky bugs. While traditional screen doors have long been an efficient solution, they just aren’t practical for access points in many homes. Low-cost, easy-to-fit magnetic screen doors are a great alternative.
The highly durable Flux Phenom model was our top pick, and it proved to be incredibly popular. It provides hands-free passage for people and pets while keeping the bugs, dirt, and dust outside.
4. OxiClean Washing Machine Cleaner
Washing machines tackle all kinds of unpleasant content, yet we seldom think about needing to clean the machine itself. Fortunately, when grime and odors inevitably draw attention to the problem, washing machine cleaners offer a cheap and simple solution.
Oxiclean is a leading brand in both the U.S. and Europe. A sachet of their washing machine cleaner added to a normal cycle once a month removes residue and combats odors. It works with both standard and high-efficiency washers, and is safe for septic tanks.
5. Aterod 75 feet Expandable Garden Hose
The Aterod expandable garden hose is highly rated by many, including ourselves. It’s light yet tough, and stretches from an original 25 feet out to 75 feet. It also comes with solid brass fittings, a nine-way spray head, a holder for wall-mounting, and its own storage bag.
6. TriNova Granite Sealer & Protector
Granite countertops are beautiful, valuable additions to a kitchen. But this pricey natural stone is vulnerable to certain stains and germs, so it’s wise to protect your investment with a quality granite sealer.
TriNova Granite Sealer & Protector is our favorite, and it’s one that consistently tops independent reviews. It is quick and easy to apply, and seals the porous surface of granite, marble, and quartz to prevent stains from penetrating. It also adds a protective luster to the surface, making it simple to wipe clean.
7. Wagner Spraytech HVLP Sprayer
A new generation of DIY-friendly HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) spray guns helps paint walls, varnish furniture, and stain fences quicker and more easily than ever. What’s more, finish quality can be far superior to brush or roller.
Wagner is one of the market leaders, and the company’s twin-turbine Spraytech HVLP sprayer has a host of impressive features. There is pressure and material flow control, a choice of three spray patterns, and two different cup sizes—just what the DIYer needs to apply a wide range of finishes.
8. Govee 32.8ft Color Changing LED Strip Lights
Our look at LED light strips revealed a huge amount of choice. They boast tremendous versatility in terms of fit and consume less energy than standard bulbs, thus offering great value.
The Govee 32.8ft Color Changing LED Strip Lights are most popular with our readers, and it’s not difficult to see why. These affordable lights for any occasion can be set to enhance your mood or dance to your favorite music, via a choice of controls and a smartphone app.
9. Speakman Anystream High Pressure Shower Head
Federal regulations restrict the flow of shower heads to a maximum of 2.5 GPM (Gallons Per Minute). Nevertheless, it is still possible to have invigorating performance if you choose the right model.
Folks who found their existing shower head inadequate often upgraded to the high-quality Speakman Anystream. This high-pressure shower head boasts three power settings (intense, massage, and a combination), and the attractive fixture comes in a host of finishes to suit bathroom decor. There are also models for states where flow rates are even more restricted.
10. Vivreal Stud Finder Wall Scanner
A good stud finder is one of those tools that DIYers wonder if they really need—and then, having bought one, can’t imagine how they did without.
The Vivreal stud finder shows where to drive nails or screws where they will provide maximum hold. It will also warn about hidden water pipes and live AC wires to avoid costly, dangerous accidents. Given the safety and the low cost, it’s no surprise so many of our readers added one to their toolkits this year.
11. Gorilla Silicone Sealant
It’s important to choose the right product when caulking the shower or bathtub. Get it wrong, and it can quickly yellow, crack or peel away, letting in moisture that can soon lead to mold or mildew.
Gorilla is widely recognized as one of the leading caulk brands, and the company’s 100 Percent Silicone Sealant is ideal for bathrooms, providing a 100 percent waterproof, durable barrier. It can also be used outdoors, and will seal gaps of up to 1/2 inch.
12. Amico 6 Pack Recessed LED Lighting
When illumination without obtrusive fittings is desired, recessed lighting is often the best solution. It can bring subtle warmth to a large area, or be equally effective as focused task lighting.
The big advantage of Amico’s recessed LEDs is that they don’t need cans for incandescent bulbs, and so can be fitted in much shallower spaces. Switchable brightness on the control box creates anything from a soft bedroom glow to clear white work light.
13. RMR-86 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover
Mold and mildew often penetrate surfaces, making them very difficult to effectively banish. Fortunately there are a number of effective mold removers that tackle the problem without excessive scrubbing or using bleach.
Bob Vila readers made RMR-86 their top mold remover this year, supporting our expert opinion and that of thousands of other users. The ready-to-use, spray-on formula works on multiple surfaces, clearing mold and mildew stains in as little as 15 minutes.
14. Reach Barrier Garage Door Insulation Kit
Insulating the garage door reduces heat loss. This results in lower energy bills, and a more comfortable space to work in. We investigated garage door insulation kits so we could help Bob Vila readers choose the right type for various installations.
The Reach Barrier kit turned out to be a favorite with many. It is easy to fit, doesn’t interrupt garage door opener operation, and blocks up to 95 percent of radiant heat loss according to the manufacturer.
15. Deer Out 32oz Concentrate Deer Repellent
Deer can create havoc in the garden, especially as they tend to focus on the youngest, most tender growth. Fences seldom prove much of a deterrent, but good deer repellents can protect your plants without harming your visitors.
Deer Out concentrate is a natural, year-round solution that many of our readers opted for. It sticks to plant material, giving off an aroma that deer find extremely distasteful—yet to humans, it just smells pleasantly minty.
16. Juegoal 12 oz. Hanging Hummingbird Feeder
Few feathered friends are more enchanting than hummingbirds. We shared tips on attracting and caring for these tiny visitors—including choosing the best hummingbird feeder.
The affordable Juegoal feeder has proven to be very popular. It provides feeding stations for up to eight birds simultaneously, has a built-in moat to trap insects that would otherwise pollute the nectar, and is easy to clean.
17. Sikaflex Self Leveling Sealant
Concrete is strong and durable, but weathering and natural movement can cause cracks or openings in the surface. These can often be unsightly, and if not dealt with properly might lead to structural weakness. Concrete crack fillers often provide a cost-effective remedy.
Among those we recommend, Silkaflex was bought most often by our readers. The gray polyurethane is designed to fill gaps in horizontal paths, driveways, and other high traffic surfaces. It is easy to apply, self-leveling, and highly resistant to weathering.
18. BRIOFOX Shower Curtain Rods
Judging by the number of shower rods bought by Bob Vila readers this year, there must have been quite a few that were either past their prime, or perhaps these essentials were part of many bathroom makeovers.
The spring-loaded model from Briofox found its way into many homes. It clamps securely across gaps from 42 to 72 inches, gripping securely without the need for drilling, and it comes in six rust-resistant finishes to suit a host of bathroom styles.
19. Varify 17 in 1 Premium Drinking Water Test Kit
Increased focus on health, combined with concerns over possible contamination, have made water test kits an increasingly common purchase. These products can quickly detect and identify a variety of potential hazards.
The Varify Drinking Water Test Kit is particularly comprehensive, providing both test strips for the rapid identification of 16 harmful chemicals, and bacteria tests for E. coli. There is also live chat support 24/7 for further help if required.
20. GÜTEWERK Shower Squeegee
Just a couple of minutes’ work with a good shower squeegee not only leaves glass and tile surfaces looking good, but helps prevent mold or other bacteria from taking hold in the bath. Many people also use these tools for cleaning windows and when washing the car.
Most popular with Bob Vila readers is the Güterwerk shower squeegee. The strong, stainless steel core is wrapped in silicon rubber, creating an attractive, ergonomic, and high-performance tool. It also comes with three mounting options.
21. Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator
Much as we love our pets, those unfortunate stains and their associated odors can be among the most difficult to get rid of. Our team investigated a range of pet stain removers to find which tackled the problem most effectively.
Our top pick also proved to be a favorite with readers. Rocco & Roxie Stain Remover has an enzymatic action that removes marks and smells. It is chlorine-free, merits a seal of approval from the Carpet and Rug Institute, and is safe around kids and pets.
The prices listed here are accurate as of publication on 12/22/21.