What’s Trending on Cleaning TikTok (#CleanTok)?

That’s right, cleaning is trending.

From “laundry stripping” to scraping pet hair off your carpet with a squeegee and all of those before and after “Clean Me!” videos, #CleanTok has become the spot for cleaning enthusiasts and voyeurs alike to gather, post and ogle at one another’s methods and tools. It seems that cleaning — especially deep cleaning — has come into vogue, and even the New York Times has taken note with multiple articles like “The Narcotic Pleasures of #CleanTok” and “Deep-Cleaning Videos Are Getting Grosser” in the last year.

As of May 2022, #CleanTok, a hashtag used on TikTok, is sitting at 37.6 billion (yes, B as in boy billion) total views and climbing. According to the Times, engagement with the portmanteau hashtag started spiking in December 2020. The interesting thing about these videos, as the Times also points out, is that they are often laser-focused in terms of focus. These typically aren’t videos about cleaning the house top to bottom; they’re about cleaning out the nasty bits out of the dishwasher filter (which is something you should know how to do).

Hack Your Anxiety author and psychologist Alicia Clark told the Times, “The best way to manage anxiety is to find something that you can control. . . . Our immediate environments and cleaning them is just right in front of us.” We could go on about why #CleanTok may have hit a nerve in the past two years, but we’re also interested in breaking down the cleaning hacks that have bubbled to the top.

Biggest CleanTok Trends

Cleaning blinds with dryer sheets. Folding toilet paper like a hotel. Mopping with hot water. CleanTok has also bubbled plenty of tips and home remedies to the top of the algorithm, and those short, hypnotic videos can certainly make the hacks look very appealing.

Why not try them yourself?

Well, as cleaning connoisseurs, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to vet these trends so you don’t have to. Hint: some of the trending products and tips are great... but some you should absolutely steer clear of.

Cleaning TikTok Trends To Try

Dawn Powerwash on TikTok

We’ve heard Dawn Powerwash described as TikTok’s go-to cleaning product for all things grimy. (There are nearly 60 million views on #dawnpowerwashspray alone!) There’s a reason this product is trending. It’s easy to use, effective, and — let’s just say it — fun. The suds activate without water contact, so you just spray, wipe, and rinse. Beyond using it for dishes, you can feel safe using it to clean your sink, your stovetop, and other hard-to-reach surfaces in your kitchen.

Here’s a pro-tip for you: you may have also seen hacks about how to refill the Dawn Powerwash bottle with classic Dawn dish soap. Hate to break it to you, but the two soaps have different solutions, so your results will be different. Plus, Dawn Powerwash actually has a refill you can buy!

Baking Soda + Vinegar on TikTok

This winning combination is one of our all-time favorites. Two items you probably have in your pantry with gentle but effective cleaning power? What’s not to like! Over the years we’ve recommended plenty of uses for this dynamic duo, from unclogging drains to cleaning the oven.

Like everything else, though, there are good ways to use these products togethers and bad ways. You want to get the mixture right, as too much of either product can neutralize their effects. Typically you’ll want to sprinkle a surface with baking soda and then lightly spritz with vinegar to activate, or make a paste of baking soda and vinegar, apply, then wipe and rinse.

We don’t recommend cleaning waxed wood, granite, marble, soapstone, aluminum, or cast iron with this mixture. Do your research before cleaning, and maybe even test a small area before proceeding to clean the whole tub, for example. Finally, baking soda and vinegar is about one of the only home concoctions we’ll suggest (besides dish soap and water). Mixing certain substances can be toxic, and that’s not really what you’re going for when cleaning your home!

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on TikTok

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is called magic for a reason, so it’s no surprise that this tool has taken off on the platform (77 million + views on #magiceraser!). Part of that magic is just how many uses you can find for it. Crayon marks on the wall? Magic Eraser. Tough streaks on cabinets or appliances? Magic Eraser. Stains on the bathtub? Magic Eraser. Just wet, squeeze out excess water, and erase away.

You get the idea — this is one of the most powerful tools in your cleaning supply arsenal, and one that is incredibly satisfying to use.

Cleaning TikTok Trends To Avoid

Ice + Hot Water To Clean Your Drain

This was a whole thing. One drain cleaning TikTok had nearly 6 million views! Even we know the proper way to clean a garbage disposal. Yes, you can throw ice cubes (plus some rock salt) down the drain to knock the gunk off the disposal blades. But we would recommend following that up by adding 1 cup of vinegar + ½ cup of baking soda, which will cause a fun and fizzy reaction. Let this mixture sit for about 15 minutes and work its magic. It’ll help kill any bacteria that might be growing in the drain and disposal.

Then finish up by pouring some hot water down your drain to rinse. By this time, all of that gross drain stuff will have been mostly dissolved by the acidic cleaning agents and you won’t risk it bubbling back up into your sink.

Cleaning a Stained Tupperware With Paper Towel + Dish Soap

If running your tupperware through the dishwasher won’t get the curry or tomato sauce stains out of its clear plastic, why would using dish soap and a paper towel be effective? This riddle confounded us. Needless to say, we weren’t super surprised when it didn’t work. We have some alternative ideas, though.

Cleaning a Mattress With Baking Soda

Generally speaking, baking soda is great for cleaning most things. But lots of mattresses are already equipped with textile treatments that are meant to naturally eliminate allergens. Adding baking soda to the mix is both unnecessary and pointless. You’re actually just making more work for yourself, because you’re going to end up having to vacuum up all that baking soda.

Mixing a Cocktail of Cleaning Agents

For a while there, people were cleaning their toilets by dumping anything and everything in their arsenal down the drain. Please do not do this. It’s a waste of product and money but can also be super dangerous. For example, you never want to mix bleach and ammonia. The result is super toxic and can seriously damage your health.

Sticking a cleaning brush on the end of a power drill

This is just so extra. When it boils down to it, [water + electricity] is not an equation that often wins. If you value your drill (as a drill), we wouldn’t recommend using it to clean with water or water-based solvents. It’s also worth noting that most power drills are designed to produce RPMs between 500-2000 under heavy torque. No one typically needs that much power to scrub their tiles. You could actually end up doing damage to the material you’re cleaning with that much power. You might also end up with a pretty sore wrist.

Deep Cleaning Your Microwave’s Charcoal Filters

Grease filters need to be cleaned. Charcoal filters do not. Charcoal filters get replaced when they expire, typically twice each year. They aren’t reusable and aren’t meant to be used long term. According to cleaning experts, cleaning a charcoal filter actually doesn’t benefit anything. In fact, you might even be damaging the charcoal filter by attempting to clean it. In this case, @mamaknowsbest, made popular for revealing her microwave’s hidden compartment, missed the mark.

Cleaning the Toaster With a Hair Dryer

Once again, this never seemed like a very good idea to us. Surely the toaster crumbs will become airborne and fly all over the place, including your counter and probably the floor, right? Right. Follow our guide to how to clean a toaster, which involves removing the tray and dumping the crumbs in the trash can (obviously).

Cleaning fan blades with a pillowcase

The basic idea here is that you put the pillowcase over the fan blade, and pull backward to clean. Two in one: the blades are cleaned, and the pillowcase catches all the dust. But we’re here to point out that now you also have to clean that gross pillowcase. There are already products that have solved this problem! Swiffer Dusters trap and lock dust, so you can feel confident you’re removing dust, not kicking it up.

Assessing TikTok cleaning content

It’s easy to be taken in by those fun little videos, but it's important to remember that they haven’t been fact-checked, and they may not be that helpful — or harmless. Do your research before trying out any new hacks in your home. You don’t want to end up paying more to fix your floors or your plumbing or wherever you tried a cleaning product cocktail (which—we’ll say again—we do NOT recommend!).

We do however have 50 Cleaning Hacks we stand behind. Happy cleaning!

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