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10 genius tools to help you clean all those spots in your house you've ignored

Take your cleaning game to the next level with these genius tools. (Amazon)
No fan fiction here: Take your cleaning game to the next level with these genius tools. (Amazon)

The time for a deep spring cleaning has passed, but somehow all the dust in your home keeps accumulating. You do your best to stay on top of all those regular household chores such as laundry and dishes, and you do a regular house clean each week, but the truth is, you're likely neglecting some major spots in your home. In fact, we'd wager you've never cleaned your garbage disposal or clothes dryer. You've probably avoided cleaning the dishwasher too. And yes, you’re even supposed to clean a machine meant for cleaning!

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But the payoff is big: When you keep on top of these gnarly, awkward-to-get-at places, they work better and your home feels fresher. As a former Home editor at Real Simple magazine, cleaning was one of my beats so I was always trying out the latest broom or updated sponge. (What can I say, it was a glamorous job.) And now that I’m a mom of two messy kids, I’ve really put these products to use and want to share my wisdom about everything under the sun, even weird cleaning products!

We’ve scoured (get it?) the market to find the best, easiest-to-use tools to tackle the jobs you never thought you’d have to. From a microfiber ceiling fan duster to an ergonomic brush for window and door tracks, these gizmos will inspire you to dole out some serious elbow grease.

Bathroom sink clogged? No need to remove the stopper — just finagle this guy down the drain and give it a spin. The “micro hooks” on the pipe cleaner-like gadget will dislodge all that nastiness. You’ll be free-flowing in no time.

$20 at Amazon

Scary but true: Lint buildup in your dryer can cause fires. Eliminate the risk by cleaning those ducts with this tool that extends up to 12 feet. You can turn it manually or, for longer ductwork, attach it to a drill. And prepare to be shocked at the amount of gunk that comes out.

$26 at Lowe's
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$27 at Amazon$38 at Wayfair

Sure, you can toss in some lemon slices to spruce up that garage disposal. But to really sanitize the pipes, you’ll want something stronger. These biodegradable lemon-scented foaming packets eradicate grime and odors from all parts of the unit — sidewalls, blades and under the splashguard — and leave behind a nice fresh scent.

$4 at Amazon
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$6 at Lowe's$10 at Walmart

Your water bottle needs more than a mere rinse-and-go (yes, even Stanleys!). Harmful bacteria could be lurking on its wall and within its interior crevices. This antibacterial long-handled silicone brush will do the trick while repelling mold and mildew (unlike standard sponges).

$13 at Amazon

Sometimes no matter how hard you scrub the toilet, stains just won’t budge. That’s because the spots are actually lime buildup or rust. This pumice-stone-on-a-stick works insanely well, but it’s gentle, so it won’t scratch your beloved bowl.

$10 at Amazon
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$58 at SHOP.COM$7 at Hardware World

Thought picking out random hairs was enough to clean your hairbrushes? It’s not. This mini rake-like gizmo gets every last strand. And if you want to thoroughly sanitize your brush, follow with hot soapy water rinse.

$7 at Amazon

Sometimes your morning sanity-saver (aka Keurig brewer) starts turning out odd-tasting joe or inconsistent pours. When that happens, run it with one of these schmutz-busting pods and then again with just water, and you’ll be back to that yummy coffee you depend on in no time. Nontoxic and biodegradable.

$10 at Amazon

Super-stiff nylon bristles and an easy-to-grab handle make light work of pesky grout gunk (think tubs, backsplashes, floors, anywhere tricky tile presents itself). The bright brush is designed to handle heavy-duty cleaners without bending or damaging the bristles. So go hard, or go home.

$13 at Amazon

If you clean your sliding glass door tracks regularly, then feel free to skip ahead. If you’re like the rest of us, get this brush immediately! Use it to sweep away debris from door and window tracks; the scraper on the handle dislodges stubborn crud. Then grab a wet paper towel or hand vac to get your door back on track for good.

$6 at Amazon

Like a cozy mitten for your ceiling fan, this microfiber sleeve slides right over its blades, trapping dust so it doesn’t drop down onto your floor — or head! And oh yeah: It’s machine washable!

$14 at Amazon