Image of a shower head with running water illuminated by a orange spotlight with some purple light in the background.
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25 Bathroom Products That Are a Complete Waste of Money

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Image of a shower head with running water illuminated by a orange spotlight with some purple light in the background.
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Rub-a-Dub-Dumb

Frugal folks know there are a ton of products that make little sense to buy. Of course, they're in every room of the home, including the one where we primp, unwind, and answer nature's call: the bathroom. Whether they don't deliver on their promises, complicate a simple task, or serve little purpose in the first place, here are more than two dozen bathroom buys that aren't worth your hard-earned cash. 

Related: 48 Car Products That Are a Complete Waste of Money

Weight Gurus Bluetooth Smart Scale
Amazon

A Smart Scale

Smart scales connect to Wi-Fi, which means they can automatically record your weight in the app of your choice — a process that may take a whole five seconds if you do it manually. Some smart scales also attempt to measure your body fat, but as CNET notes, they are notoriously inaccurate. Given all that, paying at least three times the cost of a traditional scale doesn't make a whole lot of sense to us.

Related: 11 Low-Tech Things That Still Beat Their Digital-Age Upgrades

Disposable Wipes
CiydemImages/istockphoto

Flushable Wipes

Not only are flushable wipes pricey, they can also cost you big when you have to call a plumber. Why? Despite what the label says, they can easily clog your plumbing or sewer line because they don't disintegrate like toilet paper. If you want some extra assurance that you're clean down there, we suggest a bidet attachment — or, if you've just gotta have your wipes — pitching them in the trash instead of flushing them.

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Create a Bath Bomb
IrinaBort/istockphoto

Bath Bombs

Sure, bath bombs are fun, but if you're expecting them to do anything more than fizz a bit and turn your water a different color, save your pennies. While some may contain moisturizers, experts say, many also contain ingredients that may irritate sensitive skin. And when you're done relaxing, you'll probably have to contend with a colorful ring around your tub. Pass. 

Related: 11 DIY Solutions for Summer Skin Care on the Cheap

Myth: Skin Creams Can Reverse Aging
simarik/istockphoto

Cellulite Creams

File cellulite creams under "things we sure wish actually worked, but don't." Experts caution that any sort of cream promising to do away with lumpy, bumpy thighs is unlikely to do much, no matter the price tag. Pricey laser treatments are a better bet, experts say, but we'd recommend the cheapest option of all: Loving your body, dimples and all.

Placenta Pills
diego_cervo/istockphoto
Air Fresheners
Smikey26/istockphoto

Air Fresheners

The air-freshener industry continues to rake in the cash, and it's no wonder: Scented-oil refills for an outlet freshener can cost $2.50 a pop, and you'll often find them running low after just a couple of weeks. Even worse, nearly 20% of people say air fresheners can trigger headaches, breathing issues or other health issues. Try neutralizing odors naturally, and more economically, with baking soda and a few drops of essential oil. 

Related: 40 Products You Can Make at Home If You Can't Get Them

Sheet Masks
Macy's

Sheet Masks

We're on board with at-home spa days, but fancy sheet masks probably aren't worth your hard-earned dollars. "Cosmetics cop" Paula Begoun, founder of Paula's Choice, calls out sheet masks because they're impractical compared with other products and do a poor job delivering their ingredients to the skin.

Related:

Hello Activated Charcoal Fluoride-Free Whitening Toothpaste
Walmart

Activated Charcoal Toothpaste

Will brushing with this toothpaste mean whiter teeth? Charcoal toothpaste is certainly one of the trendiest products in the oral-health aisle, but it may be bad for your smile in the long run, experts caution. That's because it's too abrasive, they say, and can actually remove enamel and ultimately weaken teeth

Automatic Toilet Cleaners
Grigorev_Vladimir/istockphoto

Automatic Toilet Cleaners

Automatic toilet cleaners, often sold in the form of drop-in tablets, contain chemicals that can wear out the working parts inside your toilet tank, plumbers warn. To help keep your toilet bowl from getting too gnarly in between deep cleans, try distilled white vinegar. Pour a half cup inside the tank and a half cup inside the overflow pipe in the middle of the tank, Florida-based Hefner Plumbing recommends.

Related: 20 Cleaning Products That Are a Complete Waste of Money

Lavender shampoo, lavender oil
Anatoliy Sizov/istockphoto

Expensive Shampoo

Everyone loves a nice-smelling, rich-lathering shampoo, but your hair will get just as clean whether you spend $2 or $20. That's because they all contain similar surfactants, which are the compounds that whisk away dirt and oil. Of course, if you find a pricier version leaves your hair more manageable, splurge away. But if you just want clean hair and more money in the bank, get the cheap stuff.   

Wearable Towels
Amazon

Wearable Towels

If you're like most people, you already wrap a towel around yourself for a few minutes when you step outside the shower, no elastic or special design required. You probably also have a bath robe. Between the two, we'd say you're covered — literally.

Disposable Toilet Brushes
CherriesJD/istockphoto

Disposable Toilet Brushes

We get it: This is one place you really don't want to get your hands dirty. But toilet wands that use disposable brushes produce a lot of extra waste, including the brushes and scrubbers as well as their packaging. The cost of the refills adds up — you'll pay around $8 for 20 brushes. And as experts caution, the flimsy wands often snap, and the brushes aren't great for scrubbing. Stick with your old-fashioned toilet brush and preferred toilet cleaner. You'll be able to clean with a lot more force for a lot less cash. 

Related: 21 Things You Never Knew About Toilet Paper

Cold Medicine
NoDerog/istockphoto
Cotton Swabs
Dollar Tree

Cotton Swabs

You probably have a box of cotton swabs at the ready for post-shower ear cleaning. But cotton swabs can actually push ear wax further into your ear, leading to pain and discomfort, or they could even seriously damage your eardrum. To safely remove excess ear wax, it should be softened, then flushed out.

Towel Warmer
Bed Bath & Beyond

Towel Warmers

This is strictly a luxury item, so if you're concerned with pinching pennies, the towel warmer is an easy addition to any "waste of money" list. Moreover, most warmers only keep your towel toasty for about 30 seconds, Wired has found. For a product that can cost hundreds of dollars, that's a pretty poor return on your investment.

Smart Toothbrush
Amazon

Smart Toothbrush

There's some evidence that electric toothbrushes have a very slight edge over the old-fashioned kind when it comes to effectiveness. That said, why pay $200 for one that connects to your phone? Experts with The Wirecutter agree they're unnecessary. Moreover, as they note, "toothbrushing provides a twice-daily respite from staring at a screen." Embrace it.

LED Toilet Lights
Amazon

LED Toilet Lights

When's the last time you wished your toilet bowl could turn a rainbow of colors during your middle-of-the-night bathroom break? If the answer is never, you can safely skip these gimmicky motion-sensing LEDs

Related: 31 Fun Gag Gifts

Taking a Shower
Sutichak/shutterstock

Musical Showerheads

Yes, indeed, Kohler has given us the Moxie, a showerhead with a magnetic wireless speaker right in the middle. Considering you can pick up a compact waterproof speaker for $20 or $30, we'd say that makes a little more sense than replacing your whole showerhead just to facilitate your watery warbling.

Sleeping Pills
PeopleImages/istockphoto

Sleeping Pills

Can't sleep? Join the club. But experts caution that relief rarely comes in the form of a sleeping pill. Most sleeping pills offer very limited short-term aid, experts say, and that often comes with trade-offs: drowsiness, confusion, and other unsavory side effects. Even more dangerous: potential interactions with alcohol or other medications. Lifestyle changes and even therapy are safer and more effective in the long run, experts say.

Related: How to Safely Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet

Soap
dolgachov/istockphoto
Disposable Razors
Praisaeng/shutterstock

Disposable Razors

Whether you opt for cheapie disposables or are locked into a fancy razor system that demands its own special cartridges, the cost of these things adds up shockingly fast. According to a comparison by the Christian Science Monitor, the cheapest shaving option is also the most old-school: a trusty safety razor. Another way to save if you can't part with disposables: getting a blade sharpener to extend their usefulness. 

Vitamin D
Sathit/shutterstock

Vitamins and Supplements

While there are some exceptions, especially in the case of folic acid for pregnant women, experts have long said vitamins and supplements don't do much, if anything, for our health. A much better bet, researchers with Johns Hopkins say: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of produce, grains, low-fat dairy, and protein. Whatever you decide, remember that vitamins and supplements are only loosely regulated, and be skeptical of any (illegal) claims that popping a pill will treat or prevent a disease. 

Feminine Washes
Amazon

Feminine Washes

Women, repeat after us: Despite the incessant marketing of feminine washes and wipes, you really don't need anything special to clean your special parts. In fact, as experts note, anything more than your regular soap-and-water routine can actually disrupt the natural acidity that is the body's way of helping ward off infections.

Foot Baths
Amazon

Foot Baths

We speak from personal experience: It's so hard to avoid spilling water when filling or emptying a foot bath that it's tempting to just use it in the tub anyway. Which begs the question — why not just treat your tired toes to a bath in the first place? Sure, there may not be fancy massaging rollers or vibrations, but you can always pick up a cheap foot scrub to provide a little luxury for less. 

Most Anti-Aging Creams
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