41 annoying problems you'll be shocked have cheap solutions

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Christina X. WoodUpdated: Originally Published:

Here’s the thing: I recently spilled wine on my favorite dress, and I wrote that dress off as ruined. I have a bathtub I never use, and I whine constantly about how much I want a deeper one. Also, I’m constantly losing earbuds and wasting a fortune replacing them. I’m confessing these random things because I’ve let these small-but-irritating problems win — and that has cost me money and deprived me of much-needed bathtub soaks. But it turns out that each one of these problems had a simple solution, and they’ve been available on Amazon this entire time.

There’s a solution to that feeble internet connection in the garage that makes you frustrated — because that’s where you work from home — as well as the unwanted odors in your car from your dog who went for a ride. Not to mention, there’s a remedy for the bag of chips you just opened (and hope won’t go stale), and even the sand on your beach towel. These things all have cheap, easy, solutions — and I found them for you (you’re welcome). All you have to do is drop them in your Amazon cart and get back to your life.

1. This door-draft stopper that also silences loud neighbors

Holikme Twin Door Draft StopperAmazon

This under-door draft stopper is great for keeping the air conditioning in and the heat out, but it will also help dampen external noise. So if your neighbors are loud (or if someone has a barking dog across the street), slide it under the door to create a sound barrier. It moves with the door, is easy to install, and comes in ten colors and patterns. You can use it on an interior door, too, if you need to make your home office quieter.

2. This Wi-Fi extender to strengthen your weak signal

TP-Link WiFi ExtenderAmazon

Plug in this signal extender, log it into your network, and boost your signal to cover up to 1,200 square feet (and bring your existing signal further into the house, down to the cellar, into the garage, or out to the patio). All your devices — up to 20 of them — can connect to it, and it connects to whatever router you have. Once you set it up, you can manage the network it creates through an app.

3. An easy fix for unwanted odors in your car

One Fire Car Essential Oil DiffuserAmazon

Drop this essential-oil diffuser into a cup holder in your car, plug it into the USB port, and conceal any unwanted odors that might be present. You can choose a scent to help you focus, reduce stress, or brighten the mood. The base lights up in the color of your choice and you can bring it right to your desk for all day scent and mist.

4. A roll-out dish rack for even the smallest surfaces

Koroda Roll Up Dish Drying RackAmazon

This dish rack unrolls over the sink to provide a dish-drying space for even the smallest kitchen surface space. Bowls and cups sit on the stainless steel draining rack, lids and flat dishes slide vertically into the wider slot, and utensils go in the draining cup. It all rolls up, and the utensil cup snaps out.

5. This sandwich maker for breakfast on busy mornings

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich MakerAmazon

This sandwich maker has a dedicated following — with almost 13,000 five-star ratings — because it makes breakfast from scratch simply by layering the bread, meat, raw egg, and cheese into it the way you like it (and closing the lid). Five minutes later, you’re eating a delicious sandwich. No more rushing to the cafe, because the one you made at home is better, faster, and cheaper.

6. A pasta timer that helps prevent overflowing boils

Brainstream Al Dente The Singing Floating Pasta TimerAmazon

Drop Al Dente into the water with your pasta, and he’ll keep track of the time and sing when it’s time to take the pasta out (there are different songs for different pasta types). This can help prevent that moment when boiling water starts overflowing onto your stovetop from letting it boil for too long. He’s also dishwasher-safe.

7. The dispenser that pumps dish soap right into your sponge

Aeakey Soap DispenserAmazon

The act of picking up a bottle of dish soap often creates a mess around the sink because your sudsy hands and sponge usually drip everywhere. This dispenser lets you load the sponge with soap — just by pumping it a couple of times — when you pick it up. And when the dishes are done, set the sponge back into the draining tray, and all the soap and suds will stay contained.

8. A bag sealer to re-seal snacks to prevent staleness

Karidge Mini Bag SealerAmazon

When you eat only a portion of that bag of chips, crackers, or cereal, do you have a system for storing the remainder? You don’t need one if you have this bag sealer, because you can just press the open bag between its teeth and reset the bag to be closed. There will be no more stale chips or rushing to finish a bag before it goes bad.

9. This mug warner so your coffee is always hot

Oracer Coffee Mug WarmerAmazon

Sometimes, the first sip of your fresh coffee is too hot — so you set it down and answer a few emails, which is when time becomes slippery. So when you pick that cup up again, the coffee is stone cold and you have been absconded of happiness and caffeine. This cup warmer solves that problem by gently keeping that cup of coffee warm till you remember it. If you forget the cup completely (or remove it), the warmer should shut off automatically, so it’s zero maintenance.

41 annoying problems you'll be shocked have cheap solutions

10. A big insulated bottle that keeps your water ice-cold

Takeya Vacuum-Insulated Stainless-Steel Water BottleAmazon

On a hot day, a long drink of cold water feels amazing. That room temperature stuff that comes out of the standard water bottle, though? Not so much. This vacuum-insulated, stainless-steel water bottle holds 32 ounces of water and keeps it cold for 24 hours. It has a mouth-friendly pop-top so you can drink straight from it without leaks, while a handle in the lid makes it portable. It comes in six colors, and over 22,000 people rate it five stars because — at this price — it’s hard to beat.

11. This chiller that makes a hot beverage iced in minutes

HyperChiller Instant Beverage CoolerAmazon

Whether your white wine is warm (or if you wish that hot coffee was iced), the HyperChiller will get it done. Pull it out of the freezer and pour hot coffee into it, and that coffee will be iced in less than a minute. It works for teas and adult beverages, too. So if someone stops by and asks for white wine (but yours is on a shelf), this will turn it into a chilled glass in moment’s notice.

12. A luggage scale so you don’t pay excess baggage fees

Etekcity Digital Luggage ScaleAmazon

This little luggage scale is small and light enough to pack along on all your trips so you can make weighing your baggage routine and thereby avoid paying excess baggage fees or repacking your suitcase at the check-in line. Just clip it to the handle and lift the bag with it, and it’ll show you an accurate weight instantly.

13. This bathtub drain cover for deeper baths

SlipX Solutions Bottomless Bath Overflow Drain CoverAmazon

Most modern bathtubs have an overflow drain that prevents a soak, especially if it was installed low — with the drain pointing down — by someone who doesn’t understand the joy of bathing. This plastic cover conceals the installed overflow drain and moves the overflow exit up to the top of the tub so you can enjoy all the volume your tub offers. It suctions on and off easily.

14. A hair catcher that still lets water flow through the drain

SinkShroom Bathroom Sink Drain ProtectorAmazon

When the sink water starts to drain too slowly, it’s usually a simple matter of hair or other detritus getting trapped in the pipe and obstructing it. When the obstruction happens deep into the pipe, that can be expensive to fix. This SinkShroom traps everything within easy reach, before it can cause a problem — and it still lets water flow through. All you do is clear it occasionally, and the drain keeps clearing.

15. This toilet paper dispenser that holds extra rolls

TomCare Toilet Paper HolderAmazonn

If you are tired or running out of TP, load this stand up with four spare rolls so there will always be a roll within reach. A dish on the top is the perfect place for wipes or your phone, and the roll that’s currently in use dispenses easily from the hook. It snaps together easily and solves all sorts of awkward toilet roll scenarios.

16. These two trays for quick defrosting when you forgot

Amerigo Defrosting Tray for Frozen Food (2-Pack)Amazon

Set your frozen food on these two defrosting trays, and it will defrost faster than other methods. The set comes with a silicone sponge for washing them, and nonstick silicone-covered bands for transporting meat and fish. Reviewers report that frozen meat typically defrosts in an hour and isn’t partially cooked the way it would be if you defrosted it in a microwave.

17. A stain remover that erases red wine completely

Emergency Stain Rescue Chateau Spill Red Wine Stain RemoverAmazon

If you love red wine, then you know how difficult it is to remove from fabric when there’s a stain. That’s why you should always have some of this stain remover on hand. Even if the wine spill is on a light-colored carpet, reviewers report the stain comes out completely, quickly, and easily. It’s nontoxic and works on any fabric.

18. A razor blade holder for the shower to keep it protected

OXO Good Grips Suction Razor HolderAmazon

Yup, you can stop chasing your shaving razor around the shower now. All you have to do is stick this big suction cup to the shower wall and stick your razor in the grippy handle. Then, it’ll stay put right there. This is better for the razor because it can dry — and it’s better for you because you can find it and the shower is tidy.

19. These chillers so your drink is always cold

LETIT.BEER Chiller Sticks for Beer BottlesAmazon

Drop one of these drink chillers into your bottle and sip through it. Your ale will be cold — right to the last sip — no matter how cold it started out. Just store them in freezer and pull one out when you open your bottle, insert it into the bottle, press firmly, and drink.

20. A big beach blanket that’s actually sand-proof

ISOPHO Beach BlanketAmazon

This parachute-nylon beach blanket is big enough for five adults, but it packs down into a bag you can easily keep in your beach bag or backpack. The fabric is sand-resistant and won’t transfer water from the ground to your clothes. It comes with stakes to hold it down and a carabiner to clip it to your pack.

21. This self-watering planter for whenever you forget

HBServices USA Self Watering + Aerating Round Planter PotAmazon

Keeping up with the needs of a thirsty plant that lives in a planter can be difficult, especially when you travel. This self-watering one-gallon planter buys you lots more time by providing a reservoir of water in the drain tray beneath the planter. The plant sits on hollow legs that siphon water up to the it as it needs it so your greenery never rots or goes too dry.

22. A steering wheel cover that keeps things cool

BDK Steering Wheel Cover with Microfiber LeatherAmazon

If you’ve ever tried to drive after your car has baked in the sun, you know how hot a steering wheel can get. This cool-gel filled steering wheel cover protects your hands from that heat by staying cool right where you want to grip the wheel, even in the heat. The black microfiber with squishy blue grip pads look cool, too.

23. The gap pockets that catch stray items in your car

Lusso Gear Car Seat Gap OrganizerAmazon

Slide this clever pocket between your the front-row seats and the center console, and then resolve two irritating problems at once. You will no longer drop things into that space where phones get lost and sunglasses fall. And you’ll have a handy storage pocket precisely where you need one. Foam spacers make sure it fits every car’s gap, and reviewers give it over 4,500 five-star ratings.

24. This simple solve for the gap next to the stove

Linda's Silicone Stove Gap Covers (2 Pack)Amazon

Maybe you thought the only way to stop utensils and spills from sliding into the gap between the stove and the surface was an expensive remodel. But this silicone gap cover works well and is super cheap. Once you cut it and fit it, slide it in there and it will stay put. You’ll never notice it’s there, and nothing will fall into the gap.

25. This earbud holder so you always know where they are

cobcobb Airpods Strap Magnetic CordAmazon

If you are constantly losing your AirPods, this clever silicone retainer with a magnetic clip will turn them into a necklace so you’ll always be able to find them when you want to use them. It’s light and wearable, and it won’t pull your AirPods out of your ears when you wear them. But the best part is that your earbuds won’t hit the ground if they do fall out of your ears.

26. These chair-leg covers that help protect your floors

anneaseit Felt Bottom Chair Leg CoversAmazon

These are like silicone socks for your chair legs. Pull them on, and the cork-bottoms soften the sound of chair legs as you move the chair and help reduce the impact of the friction on your floors. Unlike the glue-on kind, they won’t drop off constantly or grab pet fur and dust for you to clean off. This is a package of 16 to cover all the chair legs in the house.

27. This rock that hides a key so you don’t get locked out

RamPro Hide-a-Spare-Key Fake RockAmazon

If you’re someone who loses their keys often, take the precaution of hiding a key somewhere inside this fake rock within in your landscaping. It looks realistic — especially if you style it into your garden — and you will never find yourself having to break a window to get in.

28. These colorful cable protectors that help prevent fraying

Jetec Highly Flexible Silicone Micro USB Protector (12-Piece)Amazon

If your USB charging cables tend to fray or break at the point where they constantly bend, these telephone-cord-like protectors will reinforce them. They are also great for color-coding your cables so you don’t have to find your glasses to tell which is Lightning and which is USB-C. This is a twelve pack of four different colors.

29. A bib that catches beard trimmings before they hit the sink

BEARD KING Beard Catcher Amazon

You can skip the hour of cleanup and the clogged sink drain that happens after shaving by wearing a bib for a few minutes while you groom. This one goes around your neck and attaches to the mirror so that when you shave, all the beard hairs go into the bib instead of the sink. All you have to do is empty the bib and you’re done.

30. This USB hub if your laptop doesn’t have enough ports

Sabrent 4-Port USB HubAmazon

Everything from your web camera to your printer wants to plug into a USB port, so why does your laptop have only one? This four-port hub is an easy and inexpensive solution, though, so this isn’t a big deal. Each USB port has its own power switch, it’s small enough to carry with you, and your devices will plug-and-play just like with the one on your laptop.

31. This slim credit-card tracker so you don’t lose your wallet

Tile Slim Sleek Bluetooth TrackerAmazon

Slide this slim, credit-card sized Tile tracker into one of the slots in your wallet (or a pocket in your backpack or handbag). And if that item goes missing, you can use your phone to locate it. Your phone connects to it via Bluetooth, shows you on screen where the Tile Slim is, and lets you tap your phone or ask your AI to make the Slim ring so you can locate it. It has a three-year battery life, too.

32. This huge pack of cable clips to organize all your wires

OHill Cable Clips (16-Pack)Amazon

There are cables snaking all over your desk, under the TV, on the bedside table, and in the kitchen. But you don’t have to deal with the chaos, because this huge pack of adhesive cable clips is here to wrangle every cord you have. Stick the clip — with the included 3M adhesive backing — where you want to guide the cord, and then snap the cable into it.

33. A mosquito repellent that makes no scent

Thermacell Patio Shield Mosquito RepellerAmazon

It might seem like those bugs that love to bite are an insolvable problem (and that the only solution is to stay indoors), but you can just set this fuel-cell powered repeller down nearby, and it’ll emit a scent-free and invisible bug repellent and create a 15-foot mosquito-free zone around you.

34. These elastic laces that convert any shoe to slip ons

Lock Laces Elastic No Tie ShoelacesAmazon

Slip-on shoes are the best because you never have to stop to tie your laces, and these laces will transform any pair you have to slip-ons. Just lace the shoes once, lock them to fit, and those shoes are good to go. They’ll feel snug with a little give from the stretchy laces, and they’ll never come untied.

35. These stretchy workout shorts with pockets

HANERDUN Men Sport Shorts with PocketAmazon

This pair of workout shorts might become your summer uniform, because they feature a comfortable layered look that’s light and breathable — and they have pockets to stash all your stuff. There’s a phone pocket hidden in the under-layer, a zippered pocket in the back, and two zippered front pockets. They come in six color combinations, too.

36. A notepad for all of the shower thoughts you forget

Aqua Love Notes Waterproof NotepadAmazon

It feels like all of the best ideas happen in the shower and are gone by the time you get out. Thankfully, you can stick this notepad of waterproof paper to the wall in there and capture your thoughts as they happen. You can also leave love notes for the person you share that shower with. The pad attaches to any slick surface with suction cups, as do the two pencils that come with it.

37. A moisturizing balm that’ll help soften your beard

Honest Amish Beard Balm Leave-in ConditionerAmazon

If your beard is feeling a bit course, this balm will help enrich and moisturize the follicles so they soften (thanks to many nourishing ingredients, such as avocado oil, pumpkin seed oil, apricot oil, virgina argan oil, and more). Well over 19,000 beard-tenders love this stuff, with many people writing that it “smells good.”

38. A wallet-sized multitool with so many convenient features

Wallet Ninja MultitoolAmazon

This multitool fits into a slot in your wallet where it will be always handy if a bike, eyeglasses, bottle, or box need fixing or opening. It’s small and portable but contains six hex wrenches, a can opener, a fruit peeler, a bottle opener, a ruler, a letter opener, a box opener, a phone stand, an eyeglass screwdriver, and two screwdrivers.

39. These large ice globes that won’t water your drink down

The Classic Kitchen Store Chillz Ice Ball Maker MoldAmazon

The local drink lounge might make a fantastic mixed drink with a huge ball of ice to make it extra cold — and it’s amazing, but that one drink might cost more than this ice mold, which will have you well on your way to mixing your own delicious adult beverages. It makes four big spheres at once, each of which will melt slowly to help prevent watered-down drinks.

40. A glass screen protector so you don’t break your screen

Ailun Glass Screen ProtectorAmazon

Because it’s made from tempered glass (instead of a plastic film), this screen protector is easy to install without bubbles. It’s also crystal clear and shouldn’t scratch or dull over time. If you drop your phone, this inexpensive protector might break — but it will probably protect your phone’s screen from cracking. Tons of reviewers love these and have given them over 157,000 five-star ratings.

41. This Bluetooth remote for taking selfies from afar

Mountdog 2-Pack Bluetooth Camera Remote ControlAmazon

Instead of reaching your arm as far away from your face as you can, connect this remote control to your phone via Bluetooth and snap the shutter. You can stand where you like, pose how you want, and take photos of yourself and groups from 30 feet away. It works with Apple or Android phones and tablets, too.

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