20 Household Items That Are Overrated and Overpriced

There are countless household products on the market today. While many make our lives easier, some are used only once. Most Americans spend a surprising amount of money buying household items that eventually go to waste. Here, we will discuss 20 such items that you can avoid.

Expensive Cleaning Products

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Many cleaning product commercials boastfully advertise their products and charge hefty prices. However, most of these cleaners are only as effective as any regular cleaner, if not worse.

Detergent Pods

Image Credits: New Africa, Shutterstock

Even though detergent pods cost more than traditional laundry detergents, they are not any better at cleaning clothes. Some pods have also been criticized for leaving stains on clothes. Instead, go for any traditional detergent and try to use less than the recommended cap amount.

Fabric Softeners

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

While fabric softeners tend to soften clothes and offer a pleasant scent, they can damage your clothes in the long run. These softeners coat cloth fibers with a waxy layer, affecting their absorbency and irritating skin. Instead of using a fabric softener, consider vinegar, which naturally softens clothes without harsh chemicals.

Single-Use Coffee Pods

Image Credits: VasiliyBudarin, Shutterstock

While coffee pods are convenient, they are much more expensive than ground coffee and reusable filters. Plus, they are made of single-use plastic and aluminum, which is not environmentally friendly.

Paper Towels

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

People often buy them in bulk and then use more than needed. Plus, these get expensive in the long run. There are also brands in the market that sell medium-grade paper products at a premium price. It is advisable to go for reusable paper products that are cost-effective and ecologically friendly.

Bottled Water

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Apart from being incredibly expensive, bottled water is also terrible for the environment. Plus, it has no probable health benefits. Consider using tap water instead. If you think tap water is unclean or you like the taste of bottled water, add a filtration system to get the same quality.


Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Unitaskers are appliances that perform only one task, such as an egg cooker, chicken roaster, or pizza scissors. These items take up much counter space and collect dust after the initial novelty disappears. Consider getting multi-functional appliances such as air fryers or pressure cookers to save money and space.

Pre-cut Fruits and Vegetables

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Although pre-cut fruits and vegetables can save you some time, the cost of that convenience is significantly higher. Plus, cutting fruits and vegetables in advance loses their nutritional value and also affects their texture and flavor. Unless absolutely necessary, steer clear of buying these and try to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Image Credits: Dmitry Galaganov, Shutterstock

Although effective, chemical drain cleaners can be overly harsh and expensive. They contain sulfuric, hydrochloric acids, and other harsh chemicals that can damage your pipes. Also, the fumes from these cleaners can cause eye, lung, and skin irritations. Instead, mix baking soda and vinegar for minor clogs, which are equally cheaper and effective. For more challenging blockages, consider using a plunger.

Disposable Utensils

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Disposable utensils are convenient for parties and other events, but they generate a lot of waste. Because they are non-recyclable, they often end up in landfills. Instead, use sustainable and reusable plates and cutlery such as stainless steel, copper, or bamboo.

Vacuum Robots

Image Credits: Krakenimages.com, Shutterstock

While having a robot vacuum clean around your house is convenient, they’re not suitable for deep cleaning. These vacuums only skim over the surface and leave the deeper parts containing dust, mites, and hair. They also leave out nooks and corners they can’t reach, leaving the debris as is. These “innovative” solutions have no advantage over traditional cleaning methods and are often short-lived and expensive.

Cable TV

Image Credits: Roman Samborskyi, Shutterstock

With so many streaming options, cable TV needs to be updated. Cable often forces you to pay for channels you don’t watch, which can be costly. Instead, switch to the streaming services you use. Streaming services are generally cheaper and let you choose what to watch, making them a more affordable and convenient choice.

Unused Subscriptions

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Digital subscriptions, like those for streaming services, online magazines, or gym memberships, can quickly become costly if not regularly used. Paying just to avoid ads might not be worth it financially, so it’s best to cancel them.

Dusting or Disinfecting Wipes

Image Credits: VGstockstudio, Shutterstock

Despite their popularity, disinfecting wipes are costly and generate significant waste, and there is not much need for them. Instead, use a cloth rag and a bottle of disinfectant, vacuum, or mop you already own, which costs nothing. This method works similarly with disposable dusting products.

Plastic Food Storage Containers

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Although plastic containers are handy, they aren’t durable and can stain easily. While glass containers might be more expensive initially, they are a more cost-effective option.

Lint Rollers

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Lint rollers might seem necessary for pet owners or people who shed a lot of hair, but they are less indispensable than one might think. Despite their compact size and portability, lint rollers are ultimately wasteful. The sticky tape used to remove lint and hair from clothes is quickly used and ends up in landfills. Refills can also become costly over time. Use a rubber glove or a micro bristle brush to effectively remove hair and lint from clothing.

Single-use Batteries

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Single-use batteries are widely used but generate a lot of waste and can be harmful due to their toxic materials. On the other hand, rechargeable batteries offer a more sustainable choice. They can be used repeatedly, saving both money and reducing environmental harm. Moreover, many modern devices come with built-in recharge capabilities, avoiding the need for disposable batteries.

Air Fresheners

Image Credits: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

Commercial air fresheners only cover bad smells and don’t tackle the root cause. They can also contain chemicals that might trigger allergies or worsen asthma. Instead, consider using baking soda or natural essential oils like lavender or lemon to eliminate odors and add a fresh scent.

Stocked Medications

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Avoid turning your medicine cabinet into a drugstore. Over-the-counter medicines can expire, becoming less effective or even dangerous. Buy only the medications you need for your current health issues. This approach saves money and helps ensure your medications are safe and effective. Consider using a digital medication reminder app to keep track of expiration dates and prevent waste.

Aesthetic Containers

Beautiful young woman with bottle of perfume at home, closeup
Image Credits: Deposit Photos

While aesthetic items keep your house looking pretty and organized, they are wasteful and not cost-effective. These containers often incorporate materials that complicate recycling, eventually going to landfills. To avoid this, try to keep the items in their original containers.

Scroll to Top