Do these TikTok spring cleaning hacks actually work? We asked an expert

Kim Dunn, a cleaning expert and brand ambassador for Molly Maid, tested four of the popular online hacks and let us know which viral trends are worth a try

Close up of a woman holding a basket containing cleaning materials.
Close up of a woman holding a basket containing cleaning materials.

Spring has finally arrived — and that means you may be preparing to give your home a much needed deep clean. Whether you love to clean or loathe picking up a mop, you’re certainly not alone in taking on the annual time-consuming chore.

A 2022 poll from Ipsos reports that 59 per cent of Canadians engage in spring cleaning every year, and 94 per cent of those find a strong sense of accomplishment once it’s complete.

While certain tasks like cleaning and reorganizing the closet can be fun, others like scrubbing windows can seem daunting.

Luckily, TikTok has a variety of cleaning hacks for every kind of household chore.

Kim Dunn, a cleaning expert and brand ambassador for Molly Maid, tested four of the popular online hacks and let us know which viral trends are worth a try— and which ones to skip.

The hack: Cleaning windows with a mop and microfibre cloth

This hack uses a Swiffer floor mop with a microfibre cloth instead of using paper towels to clean windows. Tiktoker @Izatayde first sprays the windows with Windex before wiping them clean with the mopping device, and say it's an "amazing" way to easily clean your windows.

Does it work?

Dunn agrees this home hack is a game-changer for not only cleaning cleaning windows, but also for cleaning hard-to-reach spaces. Not only does it get the job done, but she also likes that it uses tools that many people have handy in their home.

“It’s an awesome way to clean windows, walls, cupboards, shower stalls and a lot of the larger homes that have 12-foot floor to ceiling type windows,” she says. “Instead of having to get up on ladders and what not, repurposing your Swiffer is an excellent idea.”

The hack: Toilet overload

Cleaning toilets is one of the most dreaded household chores. One TikTok cleaning hack claims to help you clean your commode — but uses a lot of cleaning products.

Tiktoker @comet.queen starts by placing a sponge in the toilet bowl before squirting in Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, adding what looks like half a container of Ajax powder cleanser with bleach, spraying air freshener, adding two containers of a mysterious blue liquid, followed by two rounds of Pine Sol, before finishing it off with more Ajax powder.

Does it work?

Dunn says she was mortified when she saw this “chemical soup,” which she says is a waste of money with the number of products used. She notes that it can also be dangerous mixing different cleaning agents together.

"If you’re mixing a bleach-based product with an ammonia-based product you’re going to form a gas that’s toxic," she explains.

Dunn's recommendation is simple: stick to a good toilet bowl cleaner.

Squirt the cleaner into the toilet and let it sit before you start scrubbing. Make sure you also use a toilet brush with a plastic tip versus a metal tip to prevent scratching any of the porcelain. If you have natural stone in your bathroom, Dunn suggests placing a towel around the toilet to prevent any stains.

The hack: Cleaning walls with fabric softener and water

Many of us use fabric softeners to make our clothes soft and smell amazing, but have you ever used it on your walls?

A cleaning hack done by Tiktoker @skyyblue07 shows her mixing one part fabric softener with two parts water in a spray bottle to clean stains off a wall and marker off a door. In the end, she says about 70 per cent of the marker came off.

Does it work?

Dunn says while the technique works and leaves your room smelling fantastic, she doesn't necessarily recommend using this hack at home.

“There’s a film left on the wall and then what happens is the dust and dirt is actually attracted to it […] it’s going to be stuck on your walls,” she says. “In the end it’s just going to be more work for you.”

Instead, Dunn recommends a green alternative, which consists of adding equal parts vinegar and water into a spray bottle and adding a couple drops of your favourite essential oil (just don’t go overboard or it will also leave a film).

Teatree oil is another great natural alternative. While it’s widely known for medicinal purposes, it’s also an eco-friendly way to tackle mold. Just be sure that whatever you're using to clean your walls is safe for whatever type of paint is on them.

The hack: Cleaning pots and pans with oven cleaner

Even if you cook everyday, you have probably scorched a pan or two. It's frustrating when it happens and can be difficult to clean.

A TikTok hack demonstrated by @mobo698 uses Easy Off, a heavy-duty oven cleaner, to clean a scorched pan.

Does it work?

While it seems to work nicely in the video, Dunn says this quick fix will likely ruin your cookware long-term.

“The oven cleaner will cause discolouration and pitting of stainless steel and aluminum and those are the two most popular things that our cookware is made out of,” she adds.

Again, Dunn advises a green alternative to deal with the issue. Simply add baking soda and vinegar into your scorched pot or pan and let it sit for about 30 minutes before using a Magic Eraser to wipe clean.

If you still notice scorch marks left on your cookware, combine baking soda, vinegar and about half a cup of water and let it simmer on your stove for about 30 minutes. Once you notice the scorch coming off, use a Magic Eraser again to finish the job.

When it comes to cleaning advice seen on TikTok, Dunn says if you’re unsure if it’s safe or if it will work sometimes it’s best to look up your concerns online, call a local cleaning agency to ask for their advice or try the hack on a small area first.

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