Should You Clean Glass Surfaces with Shaving Cream?
Looking for a better way to clean glass? This TikTok hack offers a solution, so we tried it out.
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Streak-free glass has vexed amateur and pro cleaners for generations. Companies put out new product formulations constantly, promising to finally give us a flawless shine.
According to TikTok’s cleaning corner #CleanTok, the answer has been in our bathrooms all along. It’s shaving cream!
Does shaving cream clean glass? Have we been doing this wrong since shaving cream was invented in 1919? I tried it out and talked to cleaning expert Melissa Homer, chief cleaning officer at MaidPro, about this latest TikTok trend.
Here’s the video:
@lifewithrachelrose Easy Cleaning Hack For A Shiny Oven (Or Any Appliance/ Glass Surface) using shaving foam! ? #cleantok #cleantok101 #satisfyingvideo #cleantiktok #cleantokuk #cleantokusa #easycleaning #easycleaningtips #easycleaninghacks #ovencleaninghack #ovencleaning #cleanwithme #cleaningvideo #cleaningtips #satisfyingvideos #cleantoks #deepcleaning #homehacks #cleaningtiktok #homehack ♬ Up & Down – Vengaboys
How It Works
Really, not much to figure out here.
Spray a pretty good-sized blob of shaving cream on a clean towel (it looks like they used microfiber in the video). Vigorously rub the shaving cream on a glass surface, like your oven door window, microwave door or bathroom mirror.
It looks a little messy, but we’re told to “trust the process.” After an unspecified amount of time, the shaving cream buffs away, leaving the glass streak-free and beautiful.
Does It Work?
I tried this hack, and yes, it does work. I have two vanity mirrors in my bathroom, so I cleaned one with shaving cream and one with Windex.
Both mirrors look identically sparkly, but the shaving cream side took three times as long. It was also absurdly messy. As I buffed and wiped the shaving cream on the glass, stray blobs threatened to fall off onto the vanity. Often, they succeeded, especially when I got to the edge of the mirror.
The shaving cream smelled nice while I was working, and it cleaned as promised. Was it worth the effort? No.
What the Pro Says
Homer says shaving cream cleans glass because water, soap and alcohol make up the bulk of both products. Shaving creams also contain moisturizers, like glycerine. (Fun fact: Glycerine is the secret ingredient in bubble juice.)
“Glycerine holds water on the mirror to keep it wetter longer, and helps the soap cling while you scrub and buff,” says Homer.
Even though shaving cream can clean glass, Homer says, “There’s a huge gulf between can you do this, and should you do this.” According to Homer, this trend has three massive drawbacks:
- It’s messy. (I can attest to this.)
- It leaves streaks if you don’t work fast.
- It’s “wildly more expensive” than dish soap or glass cleaner.
So cleaning glass with shaving cream creates more work for more money. Why are we doing this again?
Better Ways to Clean Glass
“If you want to clean glass cheaply, professional window cleaners will tell you all you need is a few drops of dish soap, water and a squeegee,” says Homer. One ounce of dish soap costs about a dime and makes five gallons of window washing fluid. So, Homer says, “why would you even use a cheap $2 can of shaving cream?”
Shaving cream residues do have antifogging properties because they destroy the surface tension of water, Homer says. Surface tension makes water bead on glass, which is why we can’t see through a foggy windshield.
If you clean your bathroom mirror with shaving cream, it won’t fog up when someone’s in the shower. (Fun fact: Car wax will also keep you bathroom mirror from fogging up.) However, an antifog product like Rain-X lasts weeks per application, making it much more economical than shaving cream. For a commercial window cleaner that comes off fast and clear, Homer recommends Invisible Glass.
Bottom line? Shaving cream should be a last resort, not a first pick. “If you’re out of window cleaner and Rain-X and you really want to clean and defog your mirror right now — and you have a can of Barbasol lying around — it will do you in a pinch,” Homer says.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement.