The internet is full of it. Information, that is.
You can find just about anything on the web. If you can think of it, I guarantee it’s out there somewhere. Of course, cat pictures are the most important part – they are the reason the internet was invented, after all. But you can also find step-by-step instructions on car maintenance, recipes, updates on current events, and even learn things that were previously reserved for expensive college courses! That’s all pretty useful, too.
Today, we’re going to talk about cleaning tips and hacks, though, because TikTok is filled to the brim with ‘em.
Sure, cleaning how-to’s and tricks have been on the internet for much longer than TikTok has existed. You can find info on YouTube, blogs, and even Facebook. But as of right now, #CleanTok is the place to be. At the time of me writing this, these videos have accumulated 45.7 billion views! They promise to have your home sparkling from one end to the other, with a lot more ease and a lot less time spent.
Unfortunately, not everything we find on the internet is exactly true. This also applies to #CleanTok. While some hacks might be oddly satisfying to watch, they might not really get the job done in real life. They could just wind up wasting your time and money. And some of these hacks may even be damaging to certain surfaces in your home.
That’s why I’m here. We’re going to take a look at some of the popular cleaning hacks on TikTok that actually work. These are the ones that are definitely worth your time… plus a few that aren’t.
Washing Your Shower with a Dishwashing Wand
Cleaning the shower is not a chore to get excited about, but it is necessary. There are plenty of products out there that promise to bust through soap scum and grime, making it an easier task. It doesn’t matter. I still hate it.
This hack is poised to make cleaning the shower a breeze, because you do it while you are still in there. There’s no coming back later to spray it or scrub it. All you have to do is pick up a dishwashing wand – the kind you fill up with dish soap and has a sponge or brush attached – and use it to wipe the shower down while you’re in there.
Verdict: To be honest, these are the kinds of hacks I live for. This one is worth it just for the fact that I don’t have to come back later to clean! It’s easy, doesn’t require anything expensive, and is a habit that will help prevent soap scum and grime from building up. Besides, my shower has a lot of tile and grout, and I don’t feel like the “spray and go” shower cleaners work as well as a good scrub.
The “Real Estate Trick” to Revive Laminate and Wood Flooring
Especially in high-traffic areas, floors can become pretty worn. It might be scratched or dull-looking, lacking that luster it once had. Real wood flooring can be refinished, but it’s costly. Laminate can’t be refinished like wood, and manufacturers actually warn against it.
According to the hack, you just need to squirt Pledge Floor Gloss on the floor, use a mop to coat the entire floor, and wait 30 minutes. In the video, a shiny, brand-new-looking floor is revealed.
Verdict: I wouldn’t really suggest this product for anyone. There is no magic polish that will revive your floors. It will temporarily look great, but it is short-lived. After you apply this stuff, you’ll just end up with a buildup of product that will ruin the floors, plus it scratches very easily. And after you regret doing it, it’s really hard to remove.
Cleaning the Garbage Disposal With Ice
Garbage disposals have a tendency to get gunked up and smelly, on account of all that yucky food waste that goes down there. There are bacteria lurking around. We can clean all the visible parts, but what about inside, where all the food gets sliced and diced?
According to this hack, you can clean the inside of a garbage disposal with nothing but some ice cubes. Throw a bunch of ice in the sink, stuffing some of it down in the garbage disposal. Run some water and turn on the disposal. All that ice will help loosen up all the gunk that was stuck in the disposal, making it look like a dirty slushy of sorts before it all gets drained away.
Verdict: This one does work. You’ll end up with a cleaner disposal, sans any funky smells. As an added bonus, it doesn’t cost anything extra!
Basic Kitchen Ingredients Clean the Stovetop Better Than Store-Bought Cleaners
I love to cook, but that doesn’t mean I’m always great at it. None of us are as flawless as all those Food Network chefs, anyway. Stuff splashes, pops, burns, and spills on the reg. It can leave a glass cooktop looking pretty grimy. Add the heat of the stovetop to that mess, and now it’s basically bonded at that point and requires some serious cleaning power, right?
Before you buy a bunch of expensive cleaners, TikTok has an inexpensive and easy hack for the job. It only involves items you likely already have, too: white vinegar and baking soda. First, sprinkle the baking soda on the stovetop, and then pour vinegar on it. It will bubble up, and then scrub it with a dish brush or sponge to remove the baked-on gunk.
Verdict: Yep, this one works. Baking soda and vinegar together are a cleaning dream team, and they are safe to use on most cooktops. I would suggest leaving the baking soda and vinegar mixture on the stove for several minutes before scrubbing and wiping it off. That way, it can really work its magic. Do this after every time you cook, and the stuff won’t have time to ever build up.
“Steam” Cleaning Furniture With a Pot Lid and Pine-Sol
If you’re like me, you just read that and your face went:
I am absolutely not making this up. I really did watch a video of someone scrubbing their chair with a pot lid and some Pine-Sol.
The idea here is to clean and refresh your upholstered furniture without much hassle. It uses basic items that most households already have, and it looks really simple. In the video, you can see the stains disappear from a chair. That looks like microfiber fabric, by the way, which would be easier to “steam” than traditional woven upholstery fabric.
In the hack, they start by getting a microfiber cleaning cloth wet with hot water and wringing it out until it’s only damp. It’s sprayed with Pine-Sol, wrapped around a pot lid, and then rubbed over stains on a chair. The end shows that all the stains are magically gone.
Verdict: The jury is out on this one. At first, I was appalled by the idea of putting Pine-Sol on furniture, because I’ve always read that it is for nonporous surfaces. Apparently, the bottle does have instructions for tossing a little Pine-Sol in the washing machine, but only for white or colorfast fabric. Who knew? In any case, I think a true steam cleaner that is made for carpets and upholstery is a better idea and will do a better job. This hack didn’t really produce great results for me, especially not like the ones I get from a portable cleaner like the BISSELL Little Green.
Dawn Powerwash Makes Doing the Dishes More Efficient
The Dawn Powerwash phenomenon is not limited to just TikTok. I’ve seen it come up again and again in a cleaning group I’m in on Facebook, too. The stuff is often lauded as a miracle product that can tackle any and everything. It works better than other dish soaps, and you barely have to scrub because the stuff is so strong.
Instead of the traditional squeeze bottle of liquid dish soap, Dawn Powerwash comes in a special spray bottle. The actual dish soap comes out as a foam. Dawn claims it cuts through grease 5x faster, and all you have to do is spray, wipe, and rinse. Just like that, your dishes are clean! And while most people are using it on dishes like you’re supposed to, I’ve seen people claiming it cleans everything better. They’re basically cleaning their entire homes with the stuff.
Verdict: It works really well for doing the dishes quickly. I have Dawn Powerwash and do use it regularly for dishes. It works pretty well, especially on greasy residue. It is also really convenient to just spray the soap and wipe away. However, it isn’t magical. It’s not going to be more effective than specialized cleaners for specific surfaces or materials in your home. Besides, it’s more expensive than regular dish soap, so maybe save it for the pots and pans that really need it.