It’s Official: We Hate Household Chores
Either you love cooking and cleaning or you don’t. And apparently many of us are in the latter category. A 2019 survey by Yelp reveals that the most hated chores are washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom, sweeping/vacuuming, cooking meals, and shopping for groceries. In fact, these tasks are so despised that some survey respondents said they would be willing to take extreme measures—give up alcohol, add an hour to their commute, spend a week in jail, shave their head, or even give up their smartphone—to never have to do housework again!
But cooking and cleaning don’t have to be so excruciatingly tedious. With the right products, you can cut down on cleaning, streamline your cooking, and simplify your household tasks. To help you out, we’ve found 17 items that can make your cooking and cleaning chores easier, if not downright enjoyable.
2-Basket Air Fryer
You love the taste of fried food but hate all the grease and mess of frying—and let’s face it, that’s why the golden arches at McDonald’s can claim that “billions and billions” have been served. But with an air fryer, you can fry food at home quickly and easily, and it will even be more healthy because you’re using little to no oil. The Ninja Foodi 2-Basket Air Fryer is a particularly versatile choice. It can air-fry, air-broil, roast, bake, reheat, or hydrate food. With its dual cooking baskets, which each hold 4 quarts, you can cook two foods at the same time and even at different temperatures. So you can air-fry chicken wings in one basket at 400 degrees while you’re roasting vegetables at 360 degrees in the other. Best of all, you can have your fried food without all the mess. Because both baskets are nonstick and the crisper plates are dishwasher safe, cleanup is a breeze. Available on Amazon .
Ultra Lightweight Cordless Vacuum with Attachments
Cleaning your stairs is a particularly tedious job, especially if you have to lug a heavy vacuum up and down each step without tripping over the cord, and it’s almost impossible to get into the corners. The best vacuums for stairs are lightweight and easy to maneuver—in other words, they’re like the Shark IZ462H Vertex Ultra Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum. Its strong suction and 60-minute runtime make cleaning the stairs simple, whether they’re carpeted or bare. The DuoClean PowerFins in the back maintain nonstop contact with carpets and hard floors to make sure you don’t miss any debris, while the soft roller in the front catches everything from large particles to fine dust and leaves a polished look on hard floors. And no more having to pull hair out of the brushroll; the Shark’s brushroll is self-cleaning.
If anyone in your household suffers from allergies, you’ll be glad to know that this vacuum is equipped with Shark’s Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology, which keeps practically all of the bad stuff inside the vacuum. The vac comes with three attachments, including a crevice tool, pet multi-tool, and anti-allergen dust brush. It also converts to a hand-held vacuum, so it’s easier to get into corners, clean sofas and chairs, and even remove dust from blinds, ceiling vents, and other hard-to-reach places. Available on Amazon .
Related: You're Not Using Vacuum Attachments the Right Way
Gourmet 6-in-1 Multi-Function Cooker
With the Wolf Gourmet Multi-Function Cooker, you can cut down on the amount of time you spend in the kitchen. Whether you’re making pot roast, apple crisp, or corn chowder, this appliance can handle it with one of its six modes, including manual, meal timer, program, rice, sauté/sear, and sous vide. It comes with a removable sous vide rack that holds individual sealed bags of food, keeping them submerged in precisely heated water until they reach temperature. The meal timer lets you set the number of cooking hours based on when the meal will be served and adjusts the temperature accordingly. At the end of the cook time, it automatically switches to the warm heat setting. The appliance also has a temperature probe, which fits neatly under the lid, to ensure your meal is perfectly cooked. Its stainless steel cooking vessel can be removed and used like a Dutch oven, and it’s oven and stovetop safe. Available on Amazon .
Air Purifier That Captures Dust
If you hate dusting as much as you hate dust, your best bet is to try to stop it from accumulating in the first place. The Lasko LP300 HEPA Tower Air Purifier has a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter, and is designed to capture 99 percent of airborne irritants like dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores. Because it also removes smoke, cooking odors, and VOCs, it might save you some money on air fresheners. The air purifier is 21.6 inches high, so it’s not intrusive. It weighs 9.3 pounds and has a handle, which makes it easy to move from room to room as needed. The electronic controls include three speeds, a check filter reminder, and a timer that can be set for one, four, or eight hours, or you can operate the appliance manually. It works best in rooms up to 170 square feet. Available on Amazon .
Durable Stainless Steel Frying Pan
When it’s time to pan-fry or sauté, you want a durable pan that resists corrosion. In short, you want to reach for a stainless steel frying pan like the 14-inch, All-Clad 4114 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Fry Pan. Made of durable stainless steel with an aluminum core, this kitchen essential heats quickly and evenly. You can use it on electric, gas, ceramic, and induction cooktops, and it’s safe up to 600 degrees in the oven or broiler. Cleanup is also quick and easy because the pan has a stick-resistant cooking surface and is dishwasher safe. In addition to the 14-inch version, the frying pan also comes in an 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch size. Available on Amazon .
Washing Machine Cleaner Tablets
Washing your clothes is boring enough, but did you know that you should also be cleaning your washing machine on a regular basis? Affresh Washing Machine Cleaner Tablets make this chore a lot easier. They’re designed for all types of washing machines, including front-loading, top-loading, and high-efficiency models, and they’re easy to use: Just toss one time-release tablet into the empty washer tub and run a wash cycle. (If you have a clean cycle, select it instead.) During the cycle, the tablet slowly dissolves as it removes odors, residue, and grime. The six-pack of tablets should last for six months, since you need to clean the washer only once a month (or every 30 cycles). Affresh also makes cleaner tablets for your dishwasher, garbage disposal, and coffee maker. Available on Amazon.
Admittedly, toasting bread is not a particularly taxing job, but I’ve smelled enough burnt toast—and eaten enough bad toast—to know that while it’s not rocket science, there is a science to making perfect toast that’s crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The Revolution R180 is a two-slice, high-speed smart toaster that lets you customize your toast on the digital interface. You first select the bread type on the screen (breads, waffles, English muffins, bagels, or toaster pastries). Then you indicate whether your bread items are fresh or frozen, or if they just need to be reheated. Finally, you choose one of seven browning levels and press start. The custom toasting algorithms ensure that your toast browns quickly without being burnt or underdone, and the countdown clock lets you know when the toast is ready. An auto glide feature lifts and lowers the toast, so you don’t have to worry about it getting stuck in the appliance. Available on Amazon .
Carpet Cleaner for Pets and Kids
If you have pets and/or kids, cleaning up spills is part of life. But when those spills—or tracked-in mud—end up on your carpet, it’s beyond frustrating. Who wants to get on their hands and knees to scrub the carpet, or pay for professional carpet cleaning? That’s where having your own carpet cleaner can be a lifesaver. The Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro delivers the type of results you would expect from a commercial cleaner, thanks to its 12 rows of rotating Dual DirtLifter PowerBrushes that can reach stains and odors deep in the carpet.
When you use the express clean mode, carpets are fully dry in 30 minutes—just enough time for you to catch the news or a sitcom. Other features include the CleanShot pretreater, which sprays a concentrated stream of cleaning solution on a particular spot, a bonus 3-inch tough stain tool, and a 2-in-1 pet upholstery tool that can be used in either wet or dry mode. The carpet cleaner weighs 18 pounds, has a 1-gallon clean water tank, and includes three formula samples. Available on Amazon .
Shower System With Cleaning Tools
Cleaning your bathtub/shower area is yet another tiresome chore. Make the task easier by replacing your existing showerhead with the Peerless 76455 Sidekick Shower System Combo. Its showerhead has five spray patterns, including a massage spray and a water-amplifying spray, so it’s great for taking a refreshing shower. The accompanying wand is equipped with an 84-inch metal hose, a pause button to reduce water waste, and a volume adjusting dial with a soft waterfall setting, which is ideal for bathing kids. There’s also a pet scrubber attachment for giving your lovable pooch a bath. But the real time-saver is the tub and tile cleaning pad that attaches to the wand, which makes it less of a chore to keep your shower area sparkling. Available on Amazon .
If you would love to skip mopping and vacuuming your floors altogether, consider a robot vacuum that does both, ideally one with enough suction to pick up pet hair and other annoyances. The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 Robot Vacuum and Mop Cleaner, equipped with a dustbin and an adjustable water tank, can vacuum your carpet and vacuum and mop your hard floors. This robotic multitasker can climb over doorsills and avoid falling down stairs. Using smart laser mapping, the vac saves the diagram of each floor of your house and remembers every room’s layout and no-go zones (such as the pet bowls or the kids’ play area). You can even schedule the vac to clean certain rooms at a particular time.
The robot can be controlled via the app on your smartphone or with Google Assistant or Alexa. It has a runtime of 180 minutes; when the battery is low, it automatically returns to the charging dock and then continues cleaning where it left off. An optional purchase, the Auto-Empty Station, automatically empties the dustbin into a hypo-allergenic disposal bag that can hold up to 30 days’ worth of debris before it’s time for a new bag. Available on Amazon .
The pandemic has made us all more aware of germs, but trying to figure out which disinfectants won’t ruin your electronic devices can be challenging. Fortunately, you can safely clean these items with a UV light sterilizer like the PhoneSoap HomeSoap UV Sanitizer, which can kill 99.99 percent of germs and sanitize your phones, tablets, TV remotes, and other household objects in just 10 to 15 minutes. Its interior dimensions are 9.13 by 3.43 inches (although it’s narrower at top and bottom), and it’s equipped with a USB port, so you can charge your device while it’s being sanitized. The patented design uses UV-C light, a reflective interior, and a transparent quartz plate to provide 360-degree disinfection in the sanitizing bay. The sanitizer, which is available in black or white, can be operated in either automatic or manual mode. Available on Amazon .
Wireless Peephole Camera
When you’re in the throes of cleaning, the last thing you want is to have to stop to see who is at the door. With a peephole or doorbell camera, you can check the door without interrupting your work. The Ring Peephole Camera is a smart video doorbell that can be installed in place of your existing peephole in just a few minutes, and it requires neither wiring nor drilling. Simply unscrew and remove your existing peephole (using the included tool), insert the peephole camera from the outside, connect it from the inside, and insert the rechargeable battery. The peephole camera has a built-in doorbell button for visitors to press, but you can also receive notifications on your smartphone or via Alexa when someone knocks on the door or enters your customized motion zones. The camera provides 1080p HD video quality and night vision illumination, and you can talk to and hear your visitor while you’re doing housework (or lounging in your PJs). Available on Amazon .
Related: The Best Keyless Door Locks for Easy and Safe Entry to Your Home
In a survey by Robert Half/Accountemps, 70 percent of respondents said that listening to music at work made them more productive. The good news is that music can also make you more productive when you’re cooking or cleaning—or at the very least, make you feel better about what you’re doing. Keep the music playing with the Urbanears Ralis Portable Bluetooth Speaker, which has a convenient carrying strap so you can listen to your favorite tunes in every room. Its waterproof design means you can even take it along when you’re cleaning the bathroom, splashing suds in the kitchen sink, or washing the car outside. A single charge lasts for 20 or more hours, and you can use the USB port to charge your phone while you play. Control the speaker with the built-in controls or connect a Bluetooth-enabled device. The speaker comes in four colors: Slate Blue, Haute Red, Charcoal Black, and Mist Grey. Available on Amazon .
Related: The Best Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
Wireless On-Ear Headphones
Audio entertainment, whether it’s music, audiobooks, or podcasts, is great for passing the time (and learning something new) while you clean your home. But maybe others in your house don’t want to hear you blasting music while you’re doing your chores. That’s where headphones come in handy. The Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones have the Apple W1 Chip (which pairs and connects quickly, eliminates drops, and improves power efficiency), and you can use them with both iOS and Android devices.
Audio controls on the left ear cup allow you to play, pause, or skip songs, and also increase and decrease the volume. A single charge provides up to 40 hours of listening time, and a 5-minute charge provides three hours of listening time. The headphones are adjustable, and the cushioned ear cups won’t hurt your ears, even after several hours of use. Playful color choices are plentiful: Club Red (paired with blue), Club Yellow (paired with turquoise), Club White (with red), Club Blue (with cream), Rose Gold (with white), and the solid colors Black, Red, Silver, and Satin Gold. Available on Amazon .
While you’re cleaning up around the house, you often encounter appliances and devices with loose screws and sundry items that need a quick fix. Instead of running around the house trying to locate the tools you need, keep the Leatherman Free P4 Multitool close at hand. Though just about the size of a pocket knife, it does it all, with 21 different tools that include scissors, a pry tool, package opener, pliers, can opener, ruler, Phillips screwdriver, bottle opener, and saw. A new lock design secures open tools in place, and one-hand opening lets you release each tool with your thumb—particularly convenient when you need to use your other hand to hold an item. The multitool comes with a removable pocket clip, so you can always keep it handy. Available on Amazon .
Did you know that household chores like vacuuming, mopping, and doing the laundry burn calories? If fitness is your goal, track your progress with the TicWatch Waterproof Pro3 Smart Watch. It provides centralized health data—for example, it monitors your blood oxygen, heart rate, and stress levels, and alerts you to take deep breaths to relax—and lets you know when your body has returned to normal. You can also use it to track activities like running and even swimming. Plus, you can connect the smartwatch to your phone to make and receive calls. The battery lasts three to five years, depending on your settings and activities. Available on Amazon .
Smokeless Indoor BBQ Grill
People who hate to cook tend to like grilling, and even reluctant cooks are sometimes eager to take charge of the grill. But given the messy charcoal, potentially hazardous lighter fluid, the dirty grates, the wait for the grill to heat up, and the occasional threat of inclement weather, even grilling can become tedious.
With the Philips Smokeless Indoor BBQ Grill, you can focus on the best part of grilling—the tasty food—without the mess and annoyance. The 1660-watt grill uses infrared technology and reflectors to guide the heat evenly, and a drip tray beneath catches grease and fat, so the grill creates almost no smoke and is safe to use in the house. It quickly heats up to 446 degrees and maintains this temperature, eliminating the need to fumble with adjustments. When you’re done, just wipe the cooking grid clean or pop it in the dishwasher. Available on Amazon .
Have you ever been tempted to buy one of those products you see advertised on TV infomercials? Sure, the spokesperson swears it does everything (and more!) but can it really live up to the hype? Sometimes, yes! Click through now to see some of our favorites.