There’s just nothing like a clogged drain in a tub, sink, or shower to get the day off to a bad start. Ack! Now what? Gallons of caustic drain cleaner? A mad online search for an available plumber? Today, I want to share a fabulous anti-clog tool plus seven other kitchen gadgets that I love and adore because they make my life easier. Besides that, I think they’re just plain awesome.
If you’ve got drains they’re a problem just waiting to happen—but one you can prevent with a slickest little gadget you’ve ever seen.
Many years ago, a faithful reader introduced me to Zip-It, an ingenious drain cleaning tool that works like a champ on drains prone to gathering hair—showers, bathroom sinks, etc. There are lots of knock-offs out there, but this is the original Zip-It from its inventor, still made in the USA. Totally genius. You’ll find one of these under every sink in my home.
Zip-It is a 25-inch plastic snake with barb-like hooks that when inserted into any drain, twisted, and then pulled out, easily removes all the hair, gunk, and stuff that builds up in those bathroom drains to eventually cause a major clog—stuff that doesn’t easily dissolve using boiling water or other tricks.
Zip-It is 100% environmentally safe and involves no toxic fumes or chemicals. Use it once a month to maintain clean drains in your home and you can say good-bye to future clogs and expensive housecalls.
Amazon sells Zip-It in a 3-pak; Walmart 1-pak.
2. Classic can opener
I’m pretty sure I’ve tried them all—every type of can opener out there. EZ-DUZ-IT is the old school, faithful, tried and true can opener, easy-to-use, manual can opener. This kitchen gadget is compact, doesn’t take up counter space and with red handles, I can always find it. (It does come in other colors.) Best of all, EZ-DUZ-IT works. It really does open cans without any hassles, tricks or annoying fails. CAUTION: Do not put this can opener in the dishwasher! Handwash and dry only.
3. Pocket food thermometer
This ThermoPop super handy, food thermometer gives super fast readings for whatever you’re cooking—and it easily rotates so you can see it no matter the angle required. Even better it has a backlight! It comes in a bunch of cool colors. This is my old faithful because it’s simple to use and I know I can trust ThermoPop. I’ve had mine for years and it still works like new.
It was new to me—a non-noodle choice at Noodles World Kitchen restaurant. It’s called zoodles—zucchini noodles! My first thought was, how did they do that? I’m pretty sure they use a gadget and you can have one, too. This Spiralizer will turn out fresh zoodles right there in your kitchen. Of course, it has lots of other uses, too Bonus: So much fun!
5. Mr. Scrappy
Whether you have a stinky garbage disposal presently or plan to never experience such a thing ever again—this is the kitchen gadget you need. Mr. Scrappy‘s secret is that he will clean under the splash guard (the rubber flange that keeps stuff from splashing out. That’s where gross, nasty stuff gets caught that you cannot see or reach. Just follow the package instructions for use and you’ll have a clean, fresh-smelling garbage disposal in a matter of minutes thanks to the original Mr. Scrappy!
6. Lemon and lime juicer
As part of my kitchen clean-out-reorganization-spring-clean project, I discarded three useless citrus juicers and replaced them with this one, fabulous, manual gadget. The electric juicer was a piece of junk. It made a big mess, was difficult to clean, and took up too much storage space. The other two had rusted and had never worked well anyway.
This Zulay Lemon Lime Hand Juicer quickly found a spot on my “it’s a miracle!” list. Seriously easy to use (takes so little effort because it is ergonomically correct) gets out more juice than I would have thought possible—especially from limes.
It has two different sized “bowls” that make it even more useful because one of them always fits whatever I need to juice. Zulay is made of enamel-coated-metal, so no more rust. And so handy. I could not be any happier with my Zulay. NOTE: The cut half goes into this juicer cut-side down. I know that seems weird given the shape and all but therein lies the magic.
Note: Walmart’s Zulay has a single bowl.
It’s a splash guard for your favorite skillet. You may know about needing something like this if you’ve prepared our favorite Crispy Skin Chicken Thighs recipe (an EC favorite that makes quite a mess without a Frywall).
Frywall is totally genius. Made of silicone it can handle high-temp sauteing and frying, keeping all that popping grease contained and not all over the stovetop without closing up the top of the skillet, which would prevent you from reaching in to add, stir and move things around. Frywall comes in three sizes to fit 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch skillets. (Make sure you’re using the right size.) It cleans up in the dishwasher then folds up neatly for storage. Frywall is such a cool invention! And it comes in several colors.
8. Handheld cordless vacuum
This is the new, updated version of the Black + Decker cordless handheld vac I’ve been using for years and absolutely love. Now with 20v Lithium-ion battery, its super-powerful, holds the charge like forever when off its charger, and has amazing runtime. Lightweight, fast charging. Comes with a washable (also replaceable) filter and large dirt bowl.
Revised & Updated 6-9-21
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