As more people turn to social media for information, many are using TikTok for cleaning tips. However, much of the cleaning information found on the social media platform is not from professionals, and some of it can be dangerous.
The #cleaninghacks hashtag on TikTok has amassed more than three billion views, while #cleaningtips rakes in more than an extra 627.2 million. It has become so popular, it’s close to replacing Google for cleaning how-tos. But people are viewing the tips and trying them out without realizing the advice may not be sound.
For instance, a popular TikTok cleaning video trend is cleaning radiators. A tutorial that went viral involves pouring a cleaning product onto radiator grills to remove dust. The hack explains that eventually the dust will fall onto the floor in a wet sludge, where it can be wiped up. But experts have warned that this radiator cleaning hack can cause explosions and serious injuries since the product contains flammable components and radiators are hot. It even says on the product packaging that it should not be used on hot surfaces.
Another tip from a TikTok influencer is to pour a fresh-smelling cleaning product into sinks then fill them with boiling water to disperse the scent throughout the building. However, many of these products have not been tested with boiling water and experts are not sure whether the vapors resulting from the practice are safe. The manufacturer of the product specifically recommended for this hack has advised against following this tip.
Numerous TikTok videos also suggest making your own cleaning solutions by mixing various products. Cleaning experts say mixing products is the last thing you should do. No matter how credible the content looks, never follow a recommendation to mix chemicals together. The solution may provide a stronger cleaning product, but it could also cause chemical burns and sickness if inhaled. Some combinations can even be fatal.
For example, mixing bleach and vinegar results in chlorine gas, which can cause coughing; breathing problems; and burning, watery eyes. Mixing bleach with rubbing alcohol results in chloroform, which can cause shortness of breath and irritation of the ears, nose, and throat. Mixing bleach with ammonia results in chloramine, which causes coughing; breathing problems; burning, watery eyes; and in more serious cases, coma or death.