TikTok isn’t just about people performing silly viral dances: it’s also a great resource for finding new and unique ways to make your life easier. Naturally, though, not all of the advice out there should be followed blindly. More and more TikTok users are sharing their favorite cleaning trends. And while some of them are diamonds in the rough, others could potentially cause more harm than good. We’ve rounded up 20 TikTok cleaning hacks in order to tell you which ones you should incorporate into your routine, and which ones should probably be taken with a pinch of salt!
1. DO — Remove Grime With a Simple Razor Blade Tool
The next time you’re browsing Amazon, do yourself a favor: buy a WEUPE Razor Blade Scraper Tool. TikTok user “Clean That Up” posted a video extolling the virtues of the small tool in 2022; it got over 20,000 views.
He claimed it was great for removing grime and stickers from windows, as well as baked-on grease from ovens, but website Insider wanted to test whether it was this good in reality.
Senior editor Lisa Sabatini wound up wholeheartedly agreeing with “Clean That Up” and recommended readers purchase the handy tool. She wrote about scraping paint from a window and explained, “The included blades are nice and sharp, and the tool itself is sturdy and easy to grip."
"It has a little bit of weight to it, which is good for control. Just be sure to push away from, rather than toward, yourself.”
2. DON’T — Use Dish Soap to Keep Windows Clean
During those long, cold winter months, we all find ourselves battling condensation on our windows when we have the heating on. TikTok claimed there was a way to combat this, though: simply squirt some dish soap on a cloth and rub it on the inside of the windows.
The theory goes that the thin layer of soap will cause a barrier that stops condensation forming: that’s by and large correct.
It could have bad consequences
Here’s the flipside, though, according to Bathroom Supastore expert Evan Jones. He told British Newspaper the Daily Express, “The moisture that would have formed on those windows has now gone elsewhere."
"This moisture will now soak on porous surfaces such as your walls, ceilings, and window frames, which is likely to cause mold in your home.” He added, “If… mold does develop in your walls, then it could cost thousands to fix and could make you very ill in the process.”
3. DO — Laundry Stripping
If you don’t trust that your washing machine is cleaning your clothes properly, then TikTok suggests you should try laundry-stripping. It involves you putting your laundry in a full bathtub along with Borax, baking soda, and a dash of Tide.
You leave the clothes to soak for up to five hours, during which time the bathwater will turn brown with all the residual dirt, fabric softener, and detergent that has clung to the fabrics over the years!
Get — most of — those dirty clothes in the tub!
This hack is actually pretty good and is especially useful for people whose clothes get super-dirty doing manual labor. It’s also great for cleaning towels and sheets: you might be surprised what you’ve been drying yourself with and sleeping on.
A word of caution, though: it might be too heavy-duty a cleaning process for very delicate clothing items, so choose carefully!
4. DON’T — Mix Harmful Chemicals
Lots of TikTok hacks involve mixing together cleaning products to create super-powerful solutions. Usually this is fine — if unnecessary — but if you combine the wrong chemicals, it can actually be incredibly dangerous.
Cleaning expert Deyan Dimitrov told website House Beautiful, “Whilst bleach is often a go-to cleaning product, most bleach-based products can't be mixed with products that contain ammonia, as the resulting mixture can be very harmful to our health and can prove toxic.”
It could actually be fatal
In fact, mixing products can be so dangerous that it can even lead to death. In 2020 a woman named Leah Seymour mixed toilet cleaner and bleach when she was cleaning her bathroom, and the gas produced caused her to have an asthma attack.
After being put into an induced coma, tragically she passed away in hospital four days later. It’s definitely best to steer completely clear of homemade chemical concoctions.
5. DO — Wash Your Shower With a Dish Brush
TikToker Vanesa Amaro blessed her followers with this hack, which involved a simple OXO Soap Dispensing Dish Brush from Target. Her advice was to fill the brush with dish soap and vinegar, then clean your shower with it once a week, while you’re showering.
The hack racked up an insane 4.5 million views, 326,000 shares, and over 19,000 comments! But did it work as well as she claimed?
Make it part of your weekly cleaning habit
According to James Brains of Insider, yes, the hack works a treat! He tried it out at home, and wrote, “The hair-dye stains were noticeably duller after scrubbing, and the brush diminished, if not completely removed, other blemishes.
I have a full shower/tub, and it took five minutes for me to clean it all. I plan on keeping the brush next to my shower so I can make a weekly habit of cleaning.”
6. DON’T — Overload Your Toilet
Sometimes TikTok cleaning trends are strange and hard to fathom for a regular joe. Take the trend of “overloading” your toilet: a tactic which saw users filling their thrones with every cleaning product they could imagine, all while squeezing and squelching a sponge around the interior.
People actually made YouTube compilations of these videos because of their colorful, ASMR-friendly vibes. Weird.
Won’t someone please think of the plumbing?
As a cleaning expert told the Daily Express, though, shoving a whole bunch of chemicals down your toilet mightn’t actually be the best thing for it! The expert said, “This can cause erosion and damage to the pipes, not to mention flooding if you are filling your toilet to the brim before flushing it.”
It’s also wholly unnecessary, as one toilet cleaner will do the trick. Oh, and buying that many products won’t come cheap!
7. DO — Use a Pot Lid to Clean Upholstery
The next time you want to freshen up your couch, simply enlist the services of a lid from one of your pots or pans. Wait, what?
This hack was big on TikTok for a while and involved stretching a microfiber cloth over your circular lid, then dipping it in a solution of water and dish soap, or even a liquid detergent capsule. Simply push the damp cloth over your upholstery, and watch it pick up dirt and lint like a pro!
Time for a refresh
Lindsey Ellefson of the Life Hacker website vouched for this tip in an article in late 2022.
She deemed it “a surprisingly good tool for cleaning couches, carpets, and upholstery,” and explained, “The goal here isn’t to make your carpets and cushions wet, but to give them a damp refresh — the lid provides stability and works the solution in gently and evenly.” Sounds good to us!
8. DON’T — Use Shaving Foam to Get Rid of Stains on Car Upholstery
The next time you spill cherry cola all over your car seat — something we’ve, regrettably, experienced more than once — there may be a unique solution. According to TikTok, all you need to do is smother your seat in shaving foam, before running an old toothbrush over it.
Just 15 minutes and a warm-water, microfiber-cloth wash later, and your seat will look brand new.
Save the foam for your face
If it sounds too good to be true, though, that’s because it is. Car-detailing expert Iwan Lloyd Jones told magazine Auto Trader, “I wouldn’t use or recommend shaving gel as a quick solution for car upholstery cleaning. Shaving gel is specifically designed to shave with and nothing else.”
This is because repeated use of the gel will leave behind mineral oil deposits which will stain and could actually ruin the upholstery.
9. DO — Dust Baseboards and Trim With Dryer Sheets
Ken C. Long runs a TikTok account called DIY Tips, and one of his most popular clips was a cleaning hack involving the humble dryer sheet.
In the video, Long asked his viewers, “Have you ever used dryer sheets to clean your baseboards? Well, maybe you should.” His claim was that dryer sheets were better than regular dusters, because they create a film which stops dust from gathering again. But is he right?
Make dust a thing of the past
The Washington Post’s Newman said “yes!” She wrote, “One sweep with a dryer sheet along the trim of my walls picks up all visible dust and dirt.”
Then, she added, “I ran the sheets along my doors and door frames, because I haven’t been as mindful about dusting there, and I was very satisfied by how much they were able to clean. Two weeks later, I checked the same spots, and, sure enough, they were still dust-free.”
10. DON’T — Use a Swiffer for Sparkling Windows
TikToker Jacqueline Stein’s account — known as Home Reimagined — is full of handy cleaning hacks, and one of her most popular is her five-minute window-cleaning trick. She claims you can simply attach a microfiber cloth to the end of a Swiffer mop, dip that in cleaning solution, then wash your windows.
Attach another cloth to dry them, and hey presto, spotless windows in less time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee!
More trouble than its worth
Unfortunately, The Washington Post’s reporter Kalina Newman reckoned, “The Swiffer immediately felt very clumsy and awkward to use; there was little control or glide, and it kept flopping around.”
She added, “It took a lot of sprays to soak the towel, and even then, not much was transferred onto the windows… The consensus? A step stool, rag, and spray — or actual window-cleaning kit — would have done a better job.”
11. DO — Fight Pet Hair With a Rubber Glove
Pet hair is the bane of any dog or cat owner’s existence: it gets everywhere and is so hard to get rid of. Felicia Wilson, an animal rescuer on TikTok, had a simple solution, though: a rubber glove, like you’d use to do dishes.
Simply rub the glove over your couch and hair will cling to it like Garfield clings to a lasagne!
Ticket to a fur-free future
The Washington Post’s Newman initially seemed unconvinced by this hack. After all, TikTok once convinced her to buy a $30 pet-hair remover contraption that turned out to be a dud.
Thankfully, though, this tip worked brilliantly, with Newman writing, “I followed Wilson’s instructions. It took six or seven firm sweeps to collect all the cat hair, but the glove picked it up and left my couch and my cat’s favorite blanket totally fur-free.”
12. DON’T — Clean Grout With Toilet Cleaner
In 2021 a cleaning hack trended which convinced people to try to clean the grout between the tiles in their bathrooms with toilet cleaner. It seemed to work for many, but spare a thought for Chey, whose attempt was so disastrous that she wound up ruining her grouting entirely!
She actually filmed the whole experience and posted it to TikTok, leading to sympathy and condemnation in equal measure.
If you’ve got black grout, do not try this at home
You see, what Chey didn’t realize was that the hack only works if you have white grout, because toilet cleaner contains bleach, which turns things white. Her grouting, on the other hand, was black, and it wound up dissolving into a horrible sludge.
D’oh! At least one commenter sympathized, though, posting, “Yeah TikTok fooled me as well! It damaged my grout and didn’t look any different. Ugh.”
13. DO — Stick Half a Lemon on Your Faucets
The next time you need to remove limescale from your water faucets, you should try TikToker Clean With Kayleigh’s lemon trick. The standard tip is to tie a plastic bag full of white vinegar around the faucet, but Kayleigh’s hack is much simpler: simply cut a lemon in half and wedge it on the end of the faucet!
Leave it for a half hour or so, and then scrub clean with a wet cloth.
A citrus-y triumph
The tip isn’t too good to be true, either: it actually works. Website The Kitchn’s Ashley Abramson wrote, “After I took the lemon off, I could still see some limescale around the end of the faucet, so I used the lemon half to scrub at it and rubbed away the rest with a wet washcloth."
"This hack required a little more scrubbing work compared to the vinegar trick, but I liked that I wasn’t using a plastic bag.” Nice!
14. DON’T — Prevent Dust Buildup With a Vinegar and Olive Oil Spray
At least 329,000 TikTokers have watched Carolina McCauley’s cleaning hack involving a homemade dusting solution and a microfiber cloth. The frugal cleaner combined two cups of water and three drops of dish soap with a quarter-cup of vinegar, six drops of citrus oil and one tablespoon of olive oil.
She claimed that wiping surfaces with this mix once a month would help keep dust away.
A horrific hack
The Consumer Reports website wasn’t happy with McCauley’s tip, though. In fact, it advised against it.
It wrote, “There’s a reason we don’t use olive oil to maintain wood cutting boards — it turns rancid. And again, with the vinegar. The acid could damage your countertops, flooring, and furniture, depending on the material you’re applying this solution to.”
15. DO — Steam Clean Your Microwave
This hack — posted by Jessica Haizman in 2020 — is so simple it will make you wonder why you didn’t think of it first. To clean her microwave, Haizman doesn’t use any store-bought sprays or solutions.
Instead, she simply places a bowl of water in the machine and nukes it for at least three minutes. When that’s done, she easily wipes down the interior with a cloth, because any caked-on food residue has been loosened by the steam!
A microwave marvel
Stuff magazine’s Kylie Klein-Nixon confirmed that this tip actually does work wonders. She enthused, “I tested this one out a few years back, and it works every single time, no matter how long it’s been since you wiped the old thing out.”
She added, “If you want to deodorise it too, pop a couple of slices of lemon in the water for a citrusy-clean scent.”
16. DON’T — Clean Dishes With a Powerwash Spray
According to TikToker Webbiefoot, Dawn Powerwash spray has totally changed her dishwashing habits for the better. In her video, which amassed a fairly scant 480 views, she claimed the heavy-duty spray meant she only needed to spritz her dishes and then wait a while, before wiping them clean.
No water, no suds, no fuss, no mess! Sounds too good to be true, right? Right.
Dawn didn’t do what was promised
Insider’s Lily Alig wrote, “I really wanted this to be magic, but it's just a heavy-duty dish soap in a convenient spray bottle. The Dawn Powerwash was definitely more effective on dirty dishes and burnt pans than my regular soap was."
She continued, "Unfortunately, I still needed to scrub, instead of just spraying and rinsing as advertised.” Alig did use less water with Dawn, though, so that’s a positive.
17. DO — Put a Ball of Foil in Your Dishwasher
This amazing tip — from McCauley again — took us by surprise, as we’d never even considered anything like it. McCauley’s dishwasher hack, which amassed nearly 3,500 views, saw her improve the shininess of her cutlery by using a ball of aluminium foil.
Indeed, it’s as simple as putting the ball into the flatware compartment of your dishwasher and running a load.
Shifrah Combiths of The Kitchn tried the hack, and revealed, “When I unloaded the dishwasher, I took out a handful of utensils to take a look. And I’m happy to report that my forks, knives, and spoons, did in fact look shinier!” But… how?
Well, Combiths explained, “It’s all due to the science-y, oxidization interaction between the baking soda-like properties in dishwashing detergent and the aluminium foil. Together, the process lifts tarnish.” Crazy!
18. DON’T — Clean Your Air Fryer With Water
In 2022 a hack began doing the rounds on TikTok that wasn’t only misguided, it was downright dangerous. Lots of users began circulating videos in which they filled their air fryer’s drawer with water and dish soap, before setting the temperature to “high” for a three-minute period.
At the end of it, they had a sparklingly clean drawer. But here’s the deal: you may wind up killing yourself while doing this!
Don’t be an idiot
You see, as anyone with even the smallest amount of sense knows, water and electricity do not go well together. Filling your electrical device with water is basically asking to be electrocuted: an air fryer is designed to house small amounts of oil, but not a large amount of liquid.
Here’s the other thing, too. Even if you manage to get away without hurting yourself, you’re likely to damage the air fryer by filling it with water.
19. DON'T — Ice Makes the Garbage Disposal Nice?
Shavonne, a TikToker known as Restyle Living, posted an interesting cleaning hack in 2021. It involved her using a bowl of ice to clean the garbage disposal of a new apartment into which she was moving.
She simply poured the ice down the disposal, ran it, then poured hot water from the faucet. Soon the sink was filling up with a mix of ice and murky brown disposal muck! Could it be that simple to clean a disposal?
Maybe best to leave this one alone
Well, Insider’s Kenedee Fowler wasn’t a fan of the tip. She reported, “I tested this hack twice at both of my parents’ homes, and to my surprise, I didn’t get any dirty disposal residue."
"We don’t clean our garbage disposal often, so I was shocked I didn’t see anything.” Even worse, a couple of Shavonne’s followers posted comments saying the hack had broken their disposal! Uh-oh!
20. DON’T — Use Air Freshener Spray to Dust Your Radiator
Cleaning radiators can often be a pain, especially when dust has built up inside the hard-to-reach grill area. TikTok user Cleaning With Charl believed she had a solution, though: Fabulosa Shock, an air-freshener spray.
She spritzed it into the grills, and it managed to push out the dust, which she could then gather up and dispose of. A stroke of genius, right? Actually, no. Playing with fire is more accurate!
A potentially explosive mistake
You see, spraying a hot radiator could result in a massive explosion. According to the manufacturer, “Fabulosa and its packaging is fully compliant with all safety regulations on how to safely use them and any associated risks. In line with this our Shock Can states quite clearly that it is extremely flammable and should therefore be kept away from heat and all sources of ignition.”
Theoretically, you’ll be fine if your radiator is off, but it’s best to avoid the hack altogether.