Extraneous household products will attack our wallets with a vengeance — and bathroom gadgets are no exception. Some useless bathroom products seem like smart buys, but others are so wacky it’s a miracle anyone bought them in the first place. If you want to save money, the home goods section is a good place to start. These bathroom gadgets are the biggest wastes of money. (The product on page 9 could actually light your house on fire!)
18. Robot mop
It’s tempting to splurge on this little helper, especially if mopping is your most despised household chore. But a simple mop or even a pre-moistened Swiffer will do the job just fine. Plus you won’t have to deal with the iRobot’s limited battery life, small bin size, and questionable motor power.
Next: A common tooth-brushing myth renders this product useless.
17. Electric toothbrush
Aside from coercing kids to brush their teeth, we see no other need to make brushing fun. Consumers buy electronic toothbrushes assuming they’ll provide a better clean, but experts say the plaque is determined by how your toothbrush is used. Reach all nooks and crannies, and you’re good to go. The pricey electronic toothbrush won’t change whether all molars are addressed. Bad dental hygiene is usually user error.
Next: Glorifying bathroom trash?
16. Simple Human trash can
Throwing away trash is not meant to be a glorious endeavor, so there’s really no need for a specialized trash can for the bathroom no matter how stylish, finger-print proof, or quiet it is. Any active family will tell you they replace their cans yearly (it’s full of trash after all). Overspending for style and efficiency in this instance is unnecessary.
Next: A product your guests don’t care about — and you shouldn’t either
15. Caffeinated soaps
Lathering up with caffeine-injected soap seems like a great morning jolt. But too much caffeine can have dangerous side effects if you ingest more than 400 milligrams per day. ShowerShock soap allows 200 milligrams of caffeine to be absorbed through the skin per shower. But potential harm aside, it’s unclear whether the bar actually works any real magic. Reviews suggest it does not boost energy, thus rendering it another useless bathroom product.
While we’re on the topic of fancy soaps … decorative soaps are also impractical. These usually sit on the counter unused. So what seems like a harmless purchase ends up a waste of money.
Next: This expensive gadget will hurt more than help.
14. Built-in waterproof TV
We have enough technology to contend with. The last thing you need to do is subject yourself to more harmful blue light during a relaxing bubble bath. Instead, turn on some calming tunes or practice deep breathing. And if you absolutely must catch the big game or series premiere, stream it from your phone instead (just place it a safe distance from the water).
Next: We see simpler alternatives to this bathroom product.
13. Bathtub Champagne chiller
As much as we appreciate a bubbly glass of chilled Champagne, this product is a little excessive. You could place your regular wine or Champagne bucket next to the bathtub for the same effect, or rest your Champagne glass on the ledge. But regardless we give Hammacher Schlemmer credit for trying to bring bubbles into the bathroom.
Next: For those who love going to the dentist
12. Airfloss machine
“I can’t wait to go to the dentist, so they can murder my teeth and gums with their tools!” said no one ever. If going to the dentist every few months isn’t enough, perhaps a tool like theirs will make you feel better. With one press of a button, air will clean all the plaque and food particles from your teeth. However, recent reviews claim the product rarely works, so let’s stick to regular floss rather than waste valuable cash on a high-tech product.
Next: Those showerheads everyone pines for are an unwise buy.
11. Rain showerhead
Maybe you’re tempted to complete that bathroom renovation with a rain showerhead. Unfortunately, these gadgets are much more expensive than regular showerheads and produce less water pressure. For people with long or thick hair, this could be a problem. If you must get a rain showerhead, remember they’re larger. Make sure the flow is adjustable or pressurized to control the amount of water you use (read: waste).
Next: A spa luxury that could light your house on fire
10. Towel warmer
Just like manufacturers prey on parents with inventions like baby wipe warmers, home goods manufacturers like to target stressed humans with spa-like inventions. But there’s really no need for a towel warmer. It’s just another useless bathroom product designed to take your money. Even worse, it’s dangerous to have around young children due to the heat, and they’ve been cited to cause massive fires.
Next: Those gross bath mats
9. Fancy bath mat
Some people use bath mats to avoid slipping and control excess water. But the plush mats hold water, causing bacteria to fester. To combat such atrocities, you can splurge for cork or wood mats that last longer, but those alternatives can get pretty costly, too. Apartment Therapy suggests replacing these bathroom products every two years, so why spend extra money on something with a shorter shelf life?
Next: An air freshener will do just fine.
8. Odor-neutralizing toilet seat
OK, we get it. Bathroom odor is a serious and embarrassing concern. But the Kohler Purefresh toilet seat is just another gadget that could malfunction and cause more stress than it should. Every six months you have to replace the carbon filter and choose a scent, so you’ll also spend precious time ordering the accessories and maintaining the feature. Why not get a nice candle or diffuser instead?
Next: A toilet brush that makes a splash
7. Loogun toilet cleaner
Price: About $52.00
Sure, the Loogun looks pretty with its contemporary design and sleek features. But a regular toilet brush and cleaner will do just fine. And can you imagine a kid getting their hands on this bathroom squirt gun? Total chaos.
Next: Bring technology to the bathroom.
6. Waterproof case for your technology
Gallup says 46% of people admit they can’t live without their smartphones. Americans have a love affair with technology, so much that going without it while we shower seems unbearable. Plenty of new gadgets enable you to take your phone in the shower. But if you’re willing to spend money to avoid unplugging for a few minutes, you might have a bigger problem.
Next: The Snuggie 2.0
5. Wearable towel
Snuggie lovers might be tempted to purchase a Wearable Towel shaped like a dress or sweatshirt. It’s hands-free drying at its finest. But it’s unlikely this towel actually dries your body as needed. People can purchase an elastic cover-up for less money if they want to stay covered after showering. But the Wearable Towel infomercial is amazing and might sway your decision.
Next: Singing in the shower on a whole new level
4. Bluetooth shower speaker
What’s up with people wanting devices to listen to music in the bathroom? We’re convinced a regular portable bluetooth speaker — safely resting on a table or counter away from water — will get the job done without another object cluttering your shower stall.
Next: All we envision is water all over your bathroom.
Although still debated, the alcohol found in some mouthwashes has been linked to cancer. The benefits don’t outweigh the cost, no matter how minty-fresh your breath smells after rinsing. It’s filled with preservatives to ward off bacteria, and according to National Dental Care, your own saliva is all that’s needed to thwart bad breath, gingivitis, and bacteria.
Next: A word to the wise for men
2. Disposable razor
Another heavily discussed topic is the debate between electric and disposable razors. Men’s Science lists the pros and cons of each, including a faster shave, less need for shaving cream, and increased versatility. On the other hand, disposable razors allow for a closer shave. If you’re only concerned about money, buck up the cash for the electric route.
Next: What’s convenient is not always practical.
1. Tub tray
Placing a decorative tray across your bathtub is a popular staging idea on HGTV remodeling shows. But in reality, the modern inconvenience gathers junk and stands in the way of shower time each night. It might hold a book and a wine glass, but that’s what the ledge is for. This tray becomes yet another way you squandered hard-earned cash on a useless bathroom product.
Follow Lauren on Twitter @la_hamer.
Additional contributions by Ali Harrison.