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Putting popular cleaning hacks to the test

We all want to take the elbow grease out of housework, and a good cleaning hack that can help give us back some of our valuable time can seem very appealing. But do these hacks really work or are they just myths? We take a look at some of the most common cleaning hacks and put them to the test.

  • Clare - copywriter
  •  7min read
Putting popular cleaning hacks to the test

Clean the oven door with vinegar and baking soda

Our oven doors pick up all kinds of dirt and grime over time, so a hack to help cut through that is always going to be welcome!

One of the most popular oven door hacks suggests you can give your door a good clean with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.

All you need to do is create your solution by mixing the vinegar and soda together and then give the back of your oven door a good old-fashioned scrub. When you’re finished, give it a wipe down with a damp cloth and – hopefully – admire your gleaming door.

Does it work?

You’ll definitely see some improvements if you decide to give this one a try, but for the effort you need to put in, you’re unlikely to see a great return. It’ll give it a clean, but it will take much more time and work than it needs to so it’s hard to really class this one as a ‘hack’.

This is one where you’re better off getting the right tool for the job. Get yourself an Oven and Grill Cleaner, which is designed to cut through baked-on grime, and you’ll get through the job with half the effort. You’ll achieve better results for much less time and effort.

Descale the shower with white vinegar

For something we use every day to get ourselves clean, showerheads can get very dirty! Over time, grime and limescale builds up and you need to give them a good clean to keep them fresh.

A well-known hack for cleaning a showerhead is to pour some white vinegar into a plastic bag, fasten the bag over the showerhead and secure it with an elastic band. Make sure the shower head is completely covered by the white vinegar. Leave it to soak for an hour, remove the bag and run some hot water through the shower. The white vinegar acts as a shower cleaner – so your showerhead should be nice and clean, the limescale gone!

Does it work?

Yes it really does! White vinegar works great on limescale and grime, and a good soak will sort out your showerhead no problem. You can even use it to give your taps a clean – it's a great all-purpose descaler alternative.

Get rid of grubby grout with bicarb and a toothbrush

Getting the grout clean is always a bit of a chore and one of those jobs we’re more likely to put off. This makes it perfect for a time and energy-saving hack!

Grout gets grimy and moudly, especially in moist environments like bathrooms, and there’s no way around it.

Luckily, there’s a popular hack that will supposedly help you clear it without much bother – sounds good right? All you need to do is make a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water, and coat the grout in it. You could use an old toothbrush if you have one hanging around, or even better the nylon brush from our set of 3 wire brushes – it’s a great tile grout cleaner.

When you’re done, give it a spray with some white vinegar and scrub it off, before rinsing it all off with some water.

Does it work?

Yes, and it works well, giving your grout a new lease of life! If it sounds like too much effort, though, a mould and mildew spray and a good microfibre cloth may suit you better.

Tool up with toothpaste to banish stains

Can a humble tube of toothpaste really do more than just clean your teeth? There are many who swear by toothpaste as their go-to hack for shifting stains around the home, but does it really work?

Toothpaste is actually a very versatile tool. It contains abrasive agents and bleaching powder, which helps it cut through lots of different types of stains.

For example, imagine you’ve spilled a cup of tea and stained your favourite shirt. Could toothpaste help you with that? To put it to the test all you need to do is pop a blob of toothpaste on a damp cloth and give the stain a rub. When you’re done, give it a wash on its usual cycle and the stain should be gone.

Does it work?

It really does, and that’s the reason why it’s such a popular hack. However, before you start using toothpaste on every stain you see, take care to be sure that it won’t damage the surface or fabric you’re using it on. Test it out on a discreet section first if you can.

For peace of mind, and to keep things a little simpler, you may just want to use an effective stain remover you can simply add to your regular wash.

Clean your mirrors with shaving foam!

A mirror is an essential part of any bathroom, and unfortunately so is the dirt, streaks and steam that comes with them! Could there possibly be a cleaning hack that could deal with all these issues?

There is! Believe it or not, a common bathroom mirror hack is to clean it with some shaving foam. To try it out, simply lather some shaving foam onto the mirror and leave it there for a minute or two. Wash it off with some water and a microfibre cloth. Not only will your mirror be nice and clean, but the shaving foam should mean it doesn’t steam up either!

Does it work? Well you will definitely have a clean mirror, but this isn’t really a great value hack overall. Shaving foam may be effective but it’s a more expensive way of cleaning a mirror – you’d be much better off using wilko Plastic Free Glass Wipes or a window cleaner spray and microfibre towel or cloth.

Have you tried any of these cleaning hacks? Share your own hacks with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

For all your cleaning needs, visit www.wilko.com