These days we all lead such busy lives that we look for ways to make things quicker and easier.
With the pressures of work and family life, there can be little time left for housework and DIY so ‘hacks’ that take the strain out of essential chores are always welcome.
And that has seen a rise in cleaning gurus who are keen to share their incredible tips for getting the maximum result with minimum time and effort.
READ MORE: Woman’s brilliant £1 trick to leave dirty kitchen spotless
But you may be wondering if all these ideas really work. Or maybe you’ve tried some of them and regretted it.
TikTok has become one of the most popular social platforms to share home hacks but did you know that some of these tips could actually be doing more harm than good?
1. Painting your sink
#painting – 32.8 billion views on TikTok
Painting your sink has been a popular hack on TikTok but this should only ever be carried out by a professional. Doing a DIY job could result in your sink becoming permanently damaged and needing to be replaced entirely (which costs an average of £562).
2. Mixing cleaning products together
#cleaning – 12.2 billion views
On TikTok, many cleaning influencers suggest that you mix certain cleaning products together for a more potent effect on dirt and grime. But scientists say you should never do this.
Mixing chemicals can create toxic fumes and lead to irritation and chemical burns. You could end up with inflamed airways, respiratory problems, or burns to the skin, eyes, throat, nose, and lungs. Some fumes from mixed products can also damage the nervous system, liver and kidneys. So don’t pretend you’re in a chemistry lab because chances are you have no idea what you are doing.
Bleach + vinegar = chlorine gas (causes coughing, breathing problems, and burning, watery eyes)
Bleach + ammonia = chloramine (causes coughing, breathing problems, and burning, watery eyes)
Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar = peracetic/peroxyacetic acid (it’s fine to use these two chemicals to wipe down countertops one after the other but don’t mix them in the same container. Peracetic acid can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system)
Bleach + rubbing alcohol = chloroform (shortness of breath, irritation of nose and throat. Acute inhalation can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness and drowsiness)
Bleach should only ever be mixed with plain water, chemists say.
3. Painting floor tiles
#floorpainting – 91 million views on TikTok
While painted floor tiles may look pretty and give a kitchen or bathroom a fresh new look, the paint is often not durable enough to handle natural wear and tear from being walked on. What’s more, the chipped paint can not only cause a health hazard as people can trip or injure bare feet, but it could end up with you having to replace the whole floor.
4. Laundry stripping
#laundrystripping – 85.5 million views on TikTok
This involves soaking your bedding in a solution of borax, baking soda and washing powder, and is supposed to remove any deeply embedded dirt that remains after the bedclothes have been put in the machine.
However, these strong chemicals can actually cause permanent dye loss on your sheets and make them harder.
You shouldn’t have to do this to towels and sheets on a regular basis if you’re washing them correctly in the first place, experts say.
5. Painting your kitchen worktops
#paintedcountertops – 18 million views on TikTok
A lot of worktops are made from laminate, meaning that the paint won’t bond to the surface as it is designed to be impervious. Minor bumps will cause chips that bacteria can get into, where you are prepping food.
6. Using an air freshener to clean your radiators
#radiatorclean – 3.9 million views on TikTok
People have begun sharing a ‘hack’ in which they spray air freshener inside their radiators, pushing the dust out to clean it while the fresh, clean smell lingers. However, the labels on such sprays state that you should “keep away from heat, hot surfaces, sparks and naked flames” which applies to radiators and can, in the worst-case scenario, cause a fire.
7. Giving your bathroom a pink makeover
#pinkbathrooms – 2 million views on TikTok
Research shows that the best interior colours to increase your home’s value are blue, green, grey, cream and white.
So, while pink bathrooms are a popular hashtag on TikTok, it’s probably best to refrain from giving it a total makeover in this colour as the bathroom is one of the most expensive rooms to refit (costing up to £7,400), which could put off potential buyers from making an offer.
8. Using a drill to clean your bathtub
#cleaningwithmydrill – 1.4 million views on TikTok
A big trend on TikTok features attaching a sponge or cleaning utensil to your drill, lathering it in a cleaning product and turning it on to give tiles, grouting and hard-to-clean corners a good going over. However, the strong force could chip or damage your bath and washbasin – not to mention that the drill could slip and cause even more damage to your fittings or to you.
9. Painting your stairs white
#paintingstairs – 50,000 views on TikTok
Painting your stairs looks like a cheap method to make your home look brighter and more appealing – but you should refrain from painting the treads (the part you walk on) white. As this area is walked on multiple times a day by multiple people, it can lead to wear and tear that is extremely noticeable and will need to be repainted regularly.
10. Ironing your sheets while they’re on the bed
#ironedsheets – 10,000 views on TikTok
Mrs Hinch fans helped to make this a popular hack but experts say you should never iron your sheets while they’re on the bed.
Heat can damage certain mattresses, such as memory foam and latex mattresses, so this tip could end up costing you a new mattress and a lot more than you bargained for.
MattressNextDay warned householders that carrying out these cleaning and decorating hacks can cost you more money in the long run, and also end up causing damage to you and your home.
But here’s one that does work – though it is still not advisable…
Spraying vodka on sheets to remove creases?
A recent Instagram cleaning hack from a home stylist claimed you can use vodka to remove creases from your bedsheets.
In a spray bottle, the influencer combined one cup of water, half a cup of vinegar, a few drops of essential oils and two tablespoons of vodka.
After making the bed, she then sprayed her homemade concoction over the sheets and, with that, the wrinkles start to disappear.
Martin Seeley, CEO of MattressNextDay, said: “The video featuring a savvy home stylist using vodka to remove the creases in her bedsheets is, in fact, legitimate. Vodka is known to be a natural cleaner, which when left to evaporate into the fabric, can eliminate any lingering odours. This, therefore, makes it an ideal addition to a homemade spray for spritzing your sheets in-between washes.
“However, that being said, it’s not entirely essential for removing the creases in your sheets. Instead, you could spray watered-down fabric conditioner onto your sheets, whilst they’re on the bed and the creases will still disappear. This is a cheaper alternative to using vodka, too.
“Alternatively, if you’d prefer to stick to the traditional method of ironing your sheets, a top tip is to iron them whilst they are still slightly damp. We also recommend that you fold your linens in half, vertically, then iron them that way – as your sheets could be thin enough to be ironed on both sides with one movement.”