Reviewers Say These 21 Genius Products Actually Helped Them Solve "Gross" Problems

From personal care to home maintenance, you can rely on these shopper-approved picks to get the job done. Fair warning: These products deliver effective results that are both satisfying & a bit gross.

By Jenny Lee Jan 18, 2024 11:00 AMTags
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Can you believe we're already past the halfway point of January? Time is flying by, and the new year is officially in full swing. We're just about to round the corner into Valentine's Day (and, of course, the Grammys & the Super Bowl!), and before you know it, we'll be trading in our winter coats for spring dresses. Of course, that doesn't mean it's too late for you to hop on the "New Year, Better Me" train and upgrade your daily routine so you're thriving in 2024.

If you're looking to hit the refresh button on all your pesky problems, from personal care to home maintenance & more, it may be time to do a little shopping. But not just any shopping — we've rounded up the best problem-solving picks on Amazon that have received stamps of approval from shoppers for actually getting the job done in tackling "gross" problems, according to multiple reviews. These products each have thousands of five-star reviews on Amazon, along with countless "before/after" pictures that speak for themselves, TBH. From bestselling dandruff shampoo & razor bump treatments to bathtub jet cleaners & pet urine-detecting UV flashlights, these products will deliver satisfying, visible results.

Basic Concepts Tongue Scraper - Pack of 2

The first time I used this tongue scraper, I was unbelievably grossed out (and admittedly a little fascinated) by all the gunk & buildup that had been on my tongue — especially since I had followed all the "rules" of standard oral hygiene for as long as I can remember, from flossing & brushing to rinsing with mouthwash at least twice a day. Since that transformative experience, this stainless steel scraper has become a staple in my oral hygiene routine, and it's held up really well over the years. It's super easy to clean, doesn't rust, and features a wide, rounded design that allows you to get into all the corners of your tongue.

This pack of two tongue scrapers has over 75,800 five-star reviews on Amazon, with one shopper writing, "It's amazing how many people never even think about cleaning their tongues. Some people brush their tongues with their toothbrushes, but that doesn't work well. You'll be amazed (and frankly, grossed out) by how much crud comes off of your tongue the first time you use this. In fact, this is a two-pack and I guarantee, you'll give the other one to your significant other so as to make sure their tongue is as clean as yours before you ever kiss them again!"

M3 Naturals Retainer Cleanser Tablets - 120 Tablets

If you have a retainer, mouth guard, aligners, dentures, or any other dental appliance, these cleanser tablets with 18,300+ five-star Amazon reviews are an absolute gamechanger. The individually wrapped, dissolvable tablets work to eliminate odor-causing basteria, tough stains, and buildup, leaving your dental appliance looking and feeling like new.

One Amazon shopper raved, "I'm not one to leave reviews but I will absolutely give credit where credit is earned! I randomly stumbled upon this product while searching for a new retainer cleaner. I liked my previous product but my retainers were turning the worst shade of yellow ( like Jim Carey the grinch yellow and gross) despite how much is scrubbed and cleaned them. I even went to extents of soaking them in peroxide and baking soda (I read this helps with staining). With all I had tried nothing really seemed to take the yellow staining away. Until I used this product. I dropped my tablet and let them soak for several hours. Upon returning and opening my case I saw the difference immediately!!! I was shocked! I pulled out my retainers and they are nearly clear with little to no staining. I will never not use this product!! I am forever a repeat purchase!"

Colossal Foot Rasp Foot File and Callus Remover

Say goodbye to dry, cracked, and calloused heels with this simple-yet-effective foot file with 83,100+ five-star reviews on Amazon. Crafted from surgical-grade stainless steel, the file can be used on dry or wet feet and works to instantly shave off layers of dried callouses, leaving you with baby-soft soles.

One Amazon shopper described their experience with this foot file as the "Best purchase of my entire life, should have bought it sooner." They added, "I NEVER write amazon reviews, I've never been so blown away by a product before!!!! O M G. I hate having my feet touched, and that includes pedicures. My heels were cracked beyond oblivion, I'd never felt so gross or unable to wear sandals in my life and I thought it would be impossible to remove or fix. Bought this after seeing the reviews, I just applied some lotion to my heels and started filing. No instructions needed, and a light hand is all that was needed for me. You can't tell I ever had cracked heels. YOU WILL NOT REGRET THIS!!!"

Debrox Ear Wax Removal Kit

Do you hear that? It's future you saying, "Thank you for buying this ear wax removal kit." The ear wax removal drops use microfoaming action to gently soften and loosen excess ear wax, allowing it to drain out seamlessly with the help of the soft, rubber bulb syringe. This product has 16,600+ five-star reviews on Amazon, but be warned: You probably don't want to look at the pictures that accompany some of these rave reviews while you're eating.

As one shopper put it, "Okay I'm really grossed out that this came out of my ear BUT what a relief. It was such a satisfying feeling after. My primary doc told me I had wax build up and he recommended this product. I followed what the Amazon reviews said to do. The key is patience. I was about to give up, but I saw someone on here say they had squeeze the water into their ear for 10 mins before a nugget came out. So I decided to try one more time then I felt something blocking my ear. I had to go in and grab it out and I was shocked at what came out. I feel lighter honestly LOL."

"After reading many positive reviews I purchased because I had decreased hearing. I did as many others said to do, put 10 drops in and laid down and waited 30 min. After 30 min I stood over sink and flushed my ear with the bulb syringe with warm to hot water about 5-10 times and out came a giant hunk (I can't post the pic, it's too gross). I repeated on the other side with the same success. I am so thankful for this product."

O'Keeffe's Lip Repair Night Treatment Lip Balm

If the dry, cold winter season has done a number on your lips, this $10 night treatment lip balm is worth more than every penny. Formulated with deep conditioning oils that relieve & repair your lips while you sleep, the hypoallergenic balm with 9,800+ five-star Amazon reviews delivers visible results in as little as one night, according to the brand.

According to one shopper, "It actually does work." They added, "I've had gross lips all winter. Burt's Bees stopped cutting it for some reason, and my lips have actually been painfully dry and peely. But this stuff? It literally is one night to see improvements. All the cracks that were forming are just, GONE. My lips are smoother and softer, and it hasn't even been 24 hours. It doesn't have the nicest smell, but it fades pretty fast. The texture feels nice on my lips... it's not too Vaseline-y or sticky. I'm already ordering more. This is my new winter chapstick, for sure."

Abreva 10 Percent Docosanol Cold Sore Treatment - Pack of 2

Cold sores are annoying, painful, and stubborn to boot. Abreva's cold sore treatment cream has over 16,700+ reviews on Amazon, and it's easy to see why. The cream is formulated with 10% docosanol that deeply penetrates the skin to tackle cold sores at their source, efficiently reducing symptoms and healing the sore.

One Amazon shopper raved, "I never leave reviews, but this product is worth the time. As someone who knows the embarrassment of having cold sores come and go, I was so distressed that I paid up for this product. Yes, it is quite expensive, BUT IT IS WORTH IT. In just 1 day my cold sore reduced to about 10% of its size and on the second day it was almost completely gone. At least not noticeable to others. Don't be intimidated by the price and try it."

According to another shopper, "I ALWAYS have one in my makeup bag just in case. If you apply at the VERY first tingle it will keep the cold sore from getting big and gross. I will always get one right after a big cold and this year was no exception.. This time is was so small you barely noticed I had one."

Tend Skin The Skin Care Solution for Unsightly Razor Bumps, Ingrown Hair, and Razor Burns

Razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and post-shaving redness, oh my! The Tend Skin Solution with 37,600+ five-star Amazon reviews has the answer to all three problems & more. Simply apple a thin coat of the solution to your face or body post-shaving or post-waxing to help reduce the appearance of razor bumps and prevent future ones from forming.

One Amazon shopper described, "This stuff is life changing honestly! Not to get too personal but I struggle with ingrown hairs in my bikini line a lot and sometimes they develop into cyst like bumps that are so stubborn and won't go away (gross I know sorry) I read reviews and this seemed like a good product. I had a bump on my inner thigh area for about a month after an ingrown hair got infected and nothing would work but I put this one and the next morning, I'm not even kidding it was almost gone! I'm shocked! I'm recommending this to all my friends! I also put it on a stubborn pimple I had and boom, the next day gone! Seriously such a game changer!"

Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo with 1% Ketoconazole

With over 67,900 five-star reviews on Amazon, it's safe to say that this dandruff shampoo has earned the stamp of approval from shoppers. The shampoo contains ketoconazole 1%, which is clinically proven to help fight against dandruff, and it's 10x more effective at killing dandruff-causing scalp fungus, according to the brand.

According to one Amazon shopper, "Honestly, what the heck. I've had dandruff my whole life. Very visible dandruff. I couldn't go 2 days without having to wash my hair or cover it with a hat. I wish I knew about this product earlier. I thought there was no way it "cure" my dandruff but at such a low price I figured I'd try it and see if it helped 10% of my problem. To my surprise, it got rid of all my dandruff. 100%. After 2 uses. I can go a week without washing my hair (gross, yes) and have not one flake of dandruff in my hair. Insane. Buy this stuff. It works."

Ajjeff Cleaner Kit for Airpods Pro

This earbud cleaning kit is one of those things where you just need to try it out yourself to really get a grasp of how amazig it is. The three-in-one tool is equipped with a flocking sponge, soft brush, and metal pen tip, making it super easy to clean out stubborn dust, dirt & buildup from your earphones.

According to one Amazon shopper, "I knew my AirPods were gross, but this worked so well, I realized I am apparently disgusting. The sharp end words great for getting into books and crannies. The other end gets everything else clean. Best part is that it's all one piece, so you don't have to worry about losing any parts."

Another shopper wrote, "Homie I wish I had gotten a "before" picture of my AirPods because they were so dusty crusty GROSS. And I got this magical little tool and now my AirPods are free from their chains (earwax and dust). The sound quality improved and I didn't even realize it was bad before I cleaned it LOOOOL. Seriously so good. Love this little tool. Love yourself and buy one."

OXO Good Grips Under Appliance Microfiber Duster

You may clean your home every now and then, but what about those hard-to-reach spots? Say, under your refrigerator, behind your couch, or in between your blinds? That's where this microfiber duster with 2,000+ five-star reviews on Amazon comes in. It's designed with two types of microfiber — the thin cloth side provides maximum contact cleaning, while the long, fluffy strands conform to and clean uneven surfaces.

As one Amazon shopper explained, "Ceilings, fan blades, tall louvered blinds, tops of doors, and all nooks and crannies between cabinets and appliances are now easy to reach--and you'll be surprised what's in there (gross!). OXO Good Grips makes excellent products, and I'm glad to be able to say that this extended reach duster is no exception. The machine-washable microfiber duster head attracts and holds dust and cobwebs easily. The head comes off and can go in the washing machine (cold water, dry no heat) so that it is ready to work again. This duster is perfect for cleaning all the out-of-reach places in my house."

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16 Frequently Used Household Items You're Probably Forgetting to Replace

Vansky UV Flashlight Black Light

Heads up: You may be thoroughly grossed out by what you find with thi UV flashlight that helps detect food stains, dried pet urine & more in your carpets, clothes, rugs, and walls that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. Equipped with 51 UV light LEDs, the flashlight, which has 44,400+ five-star Amazon reviews, can also be used to help identify fake cards or currency, detect scorpions & minerals outside, cure UV resin, illuminate body art, and more, according to the brand.

According to one Amazon shopper, "Prepare to be horrified." They reported, "Certainly does it's job. We have a puppy and felt like we were surely missing some accidents. After the horror that was the carpets we took it to everything in the house and let me tell you…I had no idea how gross our walls were. Very eye opening. You may be disturbed and seriously consider just burning your house down. I feel much better knowing exactly where to direct my OCD. Highly recommend for all pet owners and obsessive house cleaners."

Miss Mouth's Messy Eater Stain Treater Spray

Accidents happen, and when said accident involves spilling or staining something, this treatment spray with 36,500+ five-star Amazon reviews is ready to face the cleanup task head on. It's made with a biodegradable, non-toxic, and chemical-free formula that's specially designed to remove tough stains from clothes, carpets & upholstery; just spray it directly onto the stain, and let the formula work its magic. (No need to pre-treat or scrub, according to the brand!)

One Amazon shopper wrote, "Blood, dirt, grease, deodorant on my bra, this stuff can get it out. I love it so much that after I ran out of my first bottle, I bought a two pack. I know it sounds gross but it gets period blood out. There. I said it, okay? I'm sure there are women out there that will understand the importance of this fact. If you're on the fence, take the plunge and remove those stains!"

DampRid Fresh Scent Hanging Moisture Absorber - Pack of 3

Musty odors, yucky mold, and stale air aren't the vibes we want to bring in 2024. Get to the root of the problem with these hanging moisture absorbers with 9,800+ five-star Amazon reviews. They attract and trap excess moisture from the air, leaving you with fresher, cleaner air that's pleasantly scented (but the absorbers also come in a fragrance-free option if you prefer). According to the brand, the absorbers can last up to 60 days depending on temperature and humidity, making them great for placing in your laundry room, closet, dorm, etc.

According to one Amazon shopper, "We have used these on and off as needed throughout the years. My first apartment was so damp that mold would grow behind the bookcases, and using these in the house cleared the issue up immediately. Currently, we bought these for our storage POD for a cross-country move. We've done this before, the hangars are sturdy and the bags don't leak, so we feel good about hanging them amongst our belongings during transit- we have no control over where the pod is stored, and under what temps/conditions, and the bags are always full when we have the POD delivered finally, so feels like a good investment!"

"Very easy to use. Just unwrap and hang in a section of your closet. Doesn't leak and it's actually delightfully gross how much water it pulls out of the air."

Pet MD Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes

Your fur baby deserves to have clean, healthy ears that aren't smelly — these ear cleansing wipes with 39,400+ five-star reviews have your pup covered. The non-irritating formula gently removes wax, dirt & debris from your dog's ears, helping to reduce ear odor and prevent future infections. According to the brand, the disposable wipes include soothing ingredients like aloe vera and eucalyptus, and they're safe for daily use. 

One Amazon shopper raved, "I'm a professional dog groomer who recently got a poodle. I know standard poodles have a reputation for easily getting ear infections, and I noticed hers were gross and yeasty smelling even two days after cleaning. I got these, and they immediately removed dirt and wax like nobody's business!(: I love how saturated they are - it's easy to clean without their ears getting raw. Will definitely use it every day to prevent build up and stinkiness."

Squishface Wrinkle Paste - Anti-Itch Tear Stain Remover & Bulldog Wrinkle Cream

On a similar note, if your precious pup tends to get tear stains, has lots of wrinkles, or struggles with itchiness, the Squishface Winkle Paste may be just what they need. The paste forms a water-repellent barrier that helps block moisture and limit potential irritation, and it also includes soothing ingredients like shhea butter and avocado oil. TBH, the 11,000+ five-star Amazon reviews (& cute dog pics!) speak for themselves.

According to one shopper, "My poor puppy has been experiencing raw, inflamed noserope and was itching and scratching her snout constantly with no relief, in addition to a gross wet, yeast fungal smell. I needed something that would work fast. I picked up Squishface Wrinkle Paste because it's made with natural ingredients like zinc oxide that protects the skin on her nose rope. Happily, it worked within a day. I'll definitely be buying more when I run out."

FlexiSnake Drain Weasel Sink Snake Cleaner - Pack of 5

I can personally attest to the (gross) effectiveness of this drain cleaning kit, along with the 20,000+ five-star reviews on Amazon. A couple months ago, I reached a point where I couldn't keep ignoring the fact that my bathroom sink took forever to drain every time I turned it on. I wasn't too confident about using a chemical cleaner, so I decided to go with the Drain Weasel, which seemed relatively straightforward. I read & followed the instructions, but even then, I wasn't prepared for the amount of gunk, hair, and who-knows-what-else came out of my drain. Long story short, it worked, and my bathroom sink is living its best, non-clogged life.

According to one shopper's experience, "I had a slow drain in my shower since I moved into my house but it had been getting worse to the point it wouldn't drain and id be standing ankle deep in water while showering. Tried liquid plumber, vinegar and baking soda, a different clog removal gadget and was about ready to give up and call a plumber. Saw this product and the great reviews and thought I'd try. In five seconds, this gadget pulled out a hair clog that was almost two feet long! Super gross but so cool that this little product saved me several hundred and was super simple and fast."

Zevo Flying Insect Trap - Starter Kit

Maximum impact, minimum effort. This Zevo fly trap, which has 6,300+ five-star Amazon reviews, is the perfect solution for dealing with all the gnats, fruit flies, and other pesky flying insects buzzing around your home without driving yourself crazy trying to chase them down. Just plug in the cartridge with the disposable adhesive backing, and you're all set!

One Amazon shopper raved, "This product is a game changer! It captures all those annoying flying bugs in the house from the super tiny to the big guys. I have two of them and haven't seen any annoying flying pests since I started using them. It's gross but satisfying when you change it to see all the bugs it caught!"

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Whether you're dealing with cracked skin, chapped lips, dry hands & cuticles or other skin concerns, this Aquaphor Healing Ointment with 27,500+ five-star reviews on Amazon has you covered. Designed specifically for dry, compromised skin, the water-free formula soothes skin while creating a protective barrier that allows for the flow of oxygen, in turn creating an ideal healing environment.

According to one Amazon shopper, "I have severely dry, cracked, damaged, dead skin around a couple of my fingers from biting my nails and the skin around them (gross I know) and have tried numerous lotions and products to help with the appearance of the dead damaged skin but hadn't had much luck with long term improvements in skin regrowth and moisture improvement but I found a small tube of this and used it for a week and saw improvement so ordered more and used it another week and I finally see it getting under the damaged skin and tissue to help it heal and grow healthy skin! I'm feeling super optimistic and excited to have normal looking fingers again"

EcoTools Makeup Brush and Sponge Shampoo

With over 41,300 five-star reviews on Amazon, this makeup brush & sponge shampoo has earned itself quite a devoted following among beauty lovers — for good reason. It effectively removes makeup, dirt, oil, and other impurities from your makeup tools without the use of harsh chemicals; not to mention, it's also hypoallergenic & dermatologist-tested, so it's safe for sensitive skin, according to the brand.

One Amazon shopper noted, "You really don't know how gross your makeup tools are until you shampoo them with this! It worked like a dream on all my makeup brushes - ranging from large kabuki to tiny concealer brushes in all different brands and materials. Got them all super clean, left no residue, and they all easily shaped back. Trust me, you want this brush shampoo!"

Olivia Garden Brush Cleaner

Speaking of cleaning your beauty tools, this brush cleaner with 3,100+ five-star Amazon reviews is another nifty tool that will turn the chore of cleaning your hairbrush into something you might actually look forward to (because it produces results that are kind of grossly satisfying). Use the large side to rake through your brush bristles, removing hair & buildup, and use the small side to clean thoroughly in specific areas, repeating the process until your brush is clean. Bonus tip: Follow up with the EcoTools shampoo to get your hairbrush extra clean.

One Amazon shopper wrote, "Wish I knew about this product years ago." They added, "I've tossed and repurchased plastic bristle hairbrushes many times over my lifetime due to the base of the brushes getting clogged with gunk. Kayley Melissa mentioned this product in her 2020 hair brush video and I was curious so I tried it out. It works fantastically! My wet brush brand brush was pretty gross after two years of use daily, even with me using my fingers to remove any hair after 3very use. This brush rake got out all the hair and all of the gunk at the base of the bristles. Brush looks new again. Bought one for my best friend, who has completely different hair texture than me, and she had a similarly great experience with cleaning her plastic bristle brushes with this product. This is one of those rare cases where the product seems gimmicky and like you wouldn't need it, but it actually works and you need this in your life. I would give this 10 stars."

Oh Yuk Jetted Tub Cleaner for Jacuzzis, Bathtubs, and Whirlpools

True to its name, this jetted tub cleaner will have you saying, "Oh, yuck!" when you first see all the gunk and buildup that comes out of your bathtub, jacuzzi, or whirlpool. According to the brand, it cleans your tub in just 15 minutes — just run your water, pour in the cleaner, and run your jets.

The tub cleaner has 25,400+ five-star reviews on Amazon, with one shopper writing, "**Go buy this NOW** I moved into a new house and wanted to do a deep clean before we got settled in. No matter what cleaning products I used, I kept finding weird black dots floating in the water when I turned on the jets, so I never used the tub. I saw Oh Yuk recommended by a ton of people on TikTok and decided to give it a try. Omg I wish I took pics of how bad it was. I followed the directions, and it took **eight cycles** of filling up the tub, adding Oh Yuk, running the jets for 15 mins, draining, scrubbing the whole tub and the gross ring that was left, rinse and repeat. I had no idea what was stuck in the jets, and I feel so much better seeing the water perfectly clean. I ended up having to buy two bottles, and used a 1/4 each time like the directions recommended, but that's just because my tub was worse than I thought. I 100% recommend this product."

Looking to shop more amazing finds to upgrade your home? Check out our roundup of the best easy-organizing products that will make a huge difference in your daily routine!

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