Cleaning Hacks 101: “CleanTok” Dos and Don’ts
The cleaning niche of TikTok, dubbed "CleanTok," is filled with tips, tricks and hacks. But which ones are good ideas and which ones are dangerous?
One of the great things about TikTok is that there’s a niche for nearly every interest. If you’re into cleaning videos, you’re likely to end up on “CleanTok.” Here, you’ll find videos showing deep cleaning tips, dramatic before-and-afters, “product overloads,” cleaning hacks and much more.
TikTok can be a resource as well as a source of misinformation. Creators want to go viral, and sometimes that comes at the expense of safety. We’ve sorted through to find some “dos” to try and some “don’ts” that are downright dangerous.
Do Use Toothbrushes to Clean Hard-to-Reach Areas
Do you have a hard time cleaning your grout? Or reaching those dust-gathering corners? Consider using toothbrushes and other unusual item combos to get deeper into those troublesome areas. “CleanTokers” are really creative with this so there’s plenty of inspiration out there for you.
Do Deep Clean Your “Forgotten Zones”
Deep cleans take time. And since life is generally busy, these are often put off. But regular deep cleans are important, especially in parts of your house you don’t often think about — baseboards, garbage disposals, cabinet doors, etc. By taking the time to clean the nooks and crannies, you’re maintaining a healthy environment in your home.
Image Source/Getty Images
Don’t Try Cleaning Hacks Without Protection
Do not clean without wearing the correct protective gear. Most of the time, it’s as simple as putting on gloves to protect your skin from the chemicals.
If you’re working with a lot of products or strong chemicals, go with a mask and goggles. Many CleanTokers who go viral don’t wear any kind of protection. That’s a bad idea — they’re in serious danger of hurting themselves.
Do Clean Your Appliances and Tools
By deep cleaning your tools and appliances, you’re making sure they’ll work well and last a long time. Some of these “hacks” are obvious, like emptying your vacuum cleaner regularly. But others might not be, like regularly deep-cleaning your laundry machines.
Do Try Cleaning Hacks Like Aluminum Foil in Your Dishwasher
CleanTok has some effective “hacks,” like this one we tried with aluminum foil. Don’t be afraid to try some of these. Just make sure to exercise common sense. And when in doubt, do some research to be sure you won’t damage your items or hurt yourself.
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images
Don’t Mix Products
While some products are safe to mix, many are dangerous to combine. You probably know not to mix ammonia and bleach. Many CleanTok hacks feature “product overloads” or recipes that sound great but are actually unsafe.
In general, stick to one product at a time. You should also use a different sponge, paper towel or microfiber cloth for each product so that you don’t accidentally combine them.
Do Try Some Verified Recipes
Make your own cleaner if you’ve triple-checked the ingredients are safe to mix, like white vinegar and olive oil for stainless steel. CleanTok does feature several “cleaning hack recipes” that are OK. But be sure to confirm the ingredients you’ll be mixing aren’t dangerous and won’t cancel each other out.
If you don’t check first, you might just end up working harder, like if you were to accidentally mix a base with an acid and get a pH neutral solution. Or you could severely injure yourself and anyone near you if you accidentally create a toxic substance like chlorine gas. When in doubt, don’t mix.
Do Create a Cleaning Schedule
Cleaning takes time, and it’s all too easy for life to get in the way. To stay on top of things, try setting a cleaning schedule.
Consider what needs to be done, how often it needs to happen, and your own schedule. This way you can keep your place as clean as you want without feeling overwhelmed. Remember, everyone is different. You don’t have to copy someone else to do things right.
Don’t Use Just Any Cleaner on Wood Floors
TikTok features all kinds of recipes for wood floor cleaners. While there’s some good information there, it’s mixed with videos trying to go viral. Fortunately, we’ve got a list of cleaning hacks to avoid on your wood floors.
In general, avoid acidic products that can damage your floors. And be careful with oils, which can create a slip hazard.