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Products at The Container Store Checkout That Are Worth It

Jul 18, 2023Jul 18, 2023

Contain yourself! Most of those impulse buys will clutter your junk drawer, but a handful are nice to have.

The impulse buys near the checkout counter at The Container Store have always lured me in with claims to solve all kinds of problems, some that I never even knew I had. Who knew my bacon grease and toilet odors needed to be contained?

As I waited in line on a recent Container Store trip, I wondered whether any of its products actually worked to make my life better or easier—or whether they’re just more crap for the junk drawer. So I went on a shopping spree at the checkout counter to find out, purchasing 16 purported problem solvers (no gifts or cutesy knickknacks), which were priced from $3.99 to $16.49.

Here are six things that I’ll actually buy again, in no particular order, and many more that I can definitely live without.

Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports

Shop: Maxsa Innovations Mini Car Hangers$10.99 for 2 metal hooks

The pack comes with two metal hooks that attach to the back of a car’s twin-post headrest (as long as the diameter of the post is ½ inch or less). Each hook can hold up to 20 pounds, so use it to hang shopping bags, wet umbrellas, handbags, and anything else you don’t want flailing around the back seat or floor.

Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports

Shop: Zorbitz Emergency Pop Charger for iPhone$6.49

The Pop Charger is a fully pre-charged and ready-to-use battery that powers up your phone in emergency situations like power outages or when you’re outside without a power source. It’s not a power bank; it charges slowly, gives your phone about half of its life back (around 5 hours), and is trash once its juice runs out. You can use all the power at once, or a few hours at a time. It revived my dead iPhone in 15 minutes, and within an hour, I had 10 percent of my charge back. I like that it’s tiny (3x2½ inches) and fits in my handbag without getting in the way. You don’t need a cable because the connector is built in, but it’s compatible only with iPhones.

Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports

Shop: Oxo Good Grips Dish Squeegee$7.99

You’ll love this dishwashing tool, whether you wash dishes by hand or use a dishwasher. Its rubber edge gently scrapes food residue from cookware, dishes, and cooktops. It’s also easy to store by simply standing the squeegee up to dry or using the hole for hanging.

Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports

Shop: Bacon Bin Grease Keeper$16.49 for 1 cup

This little piggy makes it easy to drain, store, and dispose of bacon grease. Its heat-resistant silicone allows you to pour hot grease right into the container.

The grease pools in the container’s base, while the strainer captures bacon bits and other residue. Keeping the pig next to the stove allows you to collect any other grease for disposal later, but if you want to reuse the fat, pop it in the fridge. Freeze the grease before trashing it—or heat it up directly in the container and solidify it with FryAway, another surprise favorite CR product.

Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports

Shop: Casabella Pet Hair Removal Sponge$9.99

Having a washable rug is tricky because while it’s nice to be able to wash these rugs when pets and kids make messes, it’s time-consuming to wash and dry the larger rugs, so fur, hair, and lint can build up, even with regular vacuuming. This latex rubber sponge helps remove that stuff in between washings without wasting loads of lint roller sheets. You just swipe it across the fabric’s surface and all that gunk pills up. It also comes in handy on car seats and sofa cushions.

Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports Photo: Perry Santanachote/Consumer Reports

Shop: Oxo Good Grips Kitchen Appliance Brush Set$10.99

These handy tools feature tough nylon-bristled brushes on one end and angled silicone tips on the other. The brushes excel at whisking crumbs and other food bits off countertop appliances, while the scraper can reach into tough crevices and corners. The tools work on your large appliances, too, getting gunk off the range’s knobs and clearing out the dishwasher’s gasket. One of the brushes is looped to clean your blender blades.

WHOOSH! Screen Cleaning Wipes$14.49 for 20 wipes + mini microfiber cloth

WHOOSH! Screen Shine Wipes are specifically designed to clean, polish, and protect your smartphone screens and electronic devices. I can’t find an ingredients list, so I don’t know what they’re made of. Do they work? Yes, very well. Is it worth $0.75 per use? Eh. I can buy alcohol prep pads for way less at $0.03 a pop.

Oxo Good Grips Grey Electronics Cleaning Brush$8.99

This electronics cleaning tool has a retractable brush on one end and a silicone blade on the other end, which helps clean hard-to-reach dust and dirt from keys and screen edges. It worked fine to brush off dust and debris from my keyboard—nothing a paper towel or alcohol prep pad couldn’t do—but it couldn’t remove splatter marks from my desk lunches. This could be a good gift for an office mate, but I wouldn’t buy it for myself.

Grand Fusion Pet Hair Remover Dryer Balls$8.99 for 2 balls

These sponge-like dryer balls claim to pick off and collect pet hair from washed clothes, but they deteriorate quickly—after just a few uses—and leave small black flecks of the ball’s material on clothes, which is way more annoying than my dog’s fur.

Mobi Odor Steeler Soap$14.49

I hate it when my fingertips smell like garlic. There are products out there to help—basically, they’re stainless steel disks or bars that you rub on your hands. Supposedly, the stainless steel binds with whatever molecules are causing the stink, thus shifting odors from your skin to the steel surface. The Mobi helps to a degree, but it can’t get under my fingernails, so my fingers still reek after cooking with garlic. I haven’t found anything better than using food prep gloves when chopping alliums.

Joie Herb Scissors$4.99

Despite these six-bladed scissors’ promise to create “clean slices, thin strips, and elegant chiffonades” out of herbs, the results ended up bruised and less than picture-perfect. Plus, much of the herbs got stuck between the blades.

Poo-Pourri Before You Go Toilet Spray in Original Citrus$9.99 for 2 oz. (up to 100 uses)Fragrance: lemon, bergamot, and lemongrass

Poo-Pourri claims to trap toilet odor under the water’s surface, so it never enters the air. The spray bottle wouldn’t spray when turned on its side, which defeats its purpose because you want to spray it downward onto the toilet water surface. It is also very strongly perfumed—so much so that I couldn’t smell anything else because the Poo-Pourri was assaulting my nose. The instructions say to use in well-ventilated areas, which some bathrooms aren’t, and to keep away from children.

Connoisseurs Diamond Dazzle Stik$10.99

It made my diamonds sparkle, but it’s nothing dish soap and a paintbrush can’t do. It’s also not to be used on silver (or pearls), so it’s limited if you have any precious stones set in silver instead of gold or platinum.

Kikkerland Nano Tape Phone Holder$4.99

This sticker will hold your electronics (up to 0.9 pound) to any smooth surface. It’s reusable by washing with water up to 300 times. The downside is that it doesn’t work on my silicone phone case (I needed to stick it directly to my phone), and you need to pull really hard to get it off. There might be some cases where this is handy, like watching a movie on a plane or shooting a video from a weird angle, but it’s not convenient if you need to quickly grab your phone and go.

Scrub Daddy Screen Daddy$3.99 for a package of 2

These tiny microfiber circles didn’t pick up lint or dust from the screen and can’t handle liquid splatters, either. Don’t quit your day job, Scrub Daddy!

Travelon Window Cleaner & Defogger$6.49

I kept waiting for one of those storms that fog up the car windows, but that didn’t happen during this evaluation, so to be fair, I didn’t get to test this product for its intended use. Instead, I gave the defogger a try in the bathroom post-shower, and while it did remove condensation from the mirror, it left streaks.

Perry Santanachote

As a multimedia content creator at Consumer Reports, Perry Santanachote covered a range of trends—from parasite cleanses to pickleball paddles. Perry was also a main producer of our Outside the Labs content, evaluating products in her tiny Manhattan apartment.

Shop:Shop: Shop:Shop:Shop:Shop:WHOOSH! Screen Cleaning WipesOxo Good Grips Grey Electronics Cleaning BrushGrand Fusion Pet Hair Remover Dryer BallsMobi Odor Steeler SoapJoie Herb ScissorsPoo-Pourri Before You Go Toilet Spray in Original CitrusConnoisseurs Diamond Dazzle StikKikkerland Nano Tape Phone HolderScrub Daddy Screen DaddyTravelon Window Cleaner & Defogger