Cleaning Hacks That Don’t Actually Work


You may have come across numerous cleaning hacks on social media or other such platforms. While some of them may work, most of them don’t and you may end up damaging your furniture or floors while you use them. When you search for “home cleaning services near me” and hire professionals they would agree on the efficacy of these absurd cleaning hacks. Let’s check some of them out so that you know when to scroll down when they pop up on your feed:

The Hacks

  1. Peanut butter removes gum – Don’t waste peanut butter for removing gum. Save it for your sandwiches and weird recipes. Apart from wasting food, you will also mess up the fabric or surface, even more, when you use peanut butter. Instead, rub some olive oil or coconut oil on the surface the gum is stuck to. If it’s on fabric, immediately apply cornstarch on the oiled area to avoid staining.
  1. Vinegar and baking soda cleaning solution – Vinegar has acetic acid while baking soda is an alkali. Both these compounds are great at dissolving dirt, grime, dust, and stains. However, if you remember basic elementary level chemistry, you’d know that acid and base neutralize each other and lose their effectiveness. The same happens when you mix vinegar with baking soda. At that point, you’re just rubbing a salt solution on a surface.
  1. Salt soak prevents fading – Don’t soak your clothes in salt. Save it for seasoning your food. Irrespective of what the cleaning hacks say, the rate at which dye bleeds from fabric mostly depends on manufacturing technique. The fabric would get discolored very easily if it isn’t finished properly. Blame the brand for fading clothes.
  1. Wax paper prevents dust build-up on baseboards – Wax paper has a chemical coating that prevents food from drying up. When you rub it on any surface, it leaves a thick chemical residue that leaves the board sticky and hard to work with. Moreover, while wax and any oily substance are great at repelling water, the same isn’t true for dust.

On the contrary, wax is a dust magnet and would leave your baseboards dirtier. Instead, use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe off the dust on your baseboard. You can even attach the cloth to a long stick and use it to reach tall surfaces and under the furniture.

  1. Dryer sheets in the vent freshen up the house – As the name suggests, dryer sheets are meant for your dryer, and you want to keep it that way. You should not mess with the expensive and complex HVAC system in your home. When you place dryer sheets in the air vents, they can block airflow and spread chemicals all over your home.

Instead, you can try organic deodorizer in rooms and clean or replace the air filters when necessary. You can also use essential oil diffusers to make your home smell like a spa.

  1. Hairspray removes ink and marker stains – This trick used to hold some truth back in the day when manufacturers loaded hair sprays with alcohol and people weren’t aware of its harmful effects on your scalp.

Now you are better off with rubbing alcohol. Directly rub a tiny amount of it on the stained area and wipe it off. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol you can also use perfume and other household items that contain alcohol.

  1. Use wood polish to shine your furniture – Another hack that holds some truth to it. Back in the day, most wooden furniture had wood polish on the surface to protect against the elements. However, modern furniture doesn’t have that. You can only use this hack on very old, antique furniture in your home.

Nowadays, your furniture is covered with advanced materials like urethane, shellac, polyurethane, or varnish finish. All these finishes are made of plastic and using wood polish on them would make the furniture lose its shine. Cleaning them regularly should be enough

  1. Dusting shelves with coffee filters – Another ridiculous hack that makes you waste your time and your coffee filters. The hack sounds tempting since coffee filters individually are way cheaper compared to a duster. However, unlike a duster that creates static and attracts dust, coffee filters simply filter coffee. If you want to save money on dusters, you can use a soft and damp cloth or your vacuum cleaner with a small nozzle attachment.
  1. Dish soap and vinegar remove pet stains – Both dish soap and vinegar are household products that do a banger job at cleaning stains and getting rid of dirt or grime. However, neither of them is strong enough to remove staining or decolorization caused by pet urine or vomit. This fact doesn’t change when you mix them either.

Instead, you need to buy an enzyme cleaner to clean those stains. These chemicals can break down the organic proteins in the stain and make your rug or upholstery as spotless as the day you bought it.

  1. Soda cleans chalkboard – This hack has been making the rounds through the internet and word of mouth. However, it is as ineffective as the rest on this list. Soda contains a ton of sugar that’s unhealthy for your body and leaves a nasty mess on the chalkboard or most other surface

Instead, you need to summon the household cleaning hero, vinegar, to rescue your chalkboard from those stubborn smudges. Mix equal parts of vinegar with water and spray it on the smudges. Wait for a few seconds before you wipe it clean.

  1. Dryer sheet removes stubborn food scrapes from cookware – Dryer sheet is a fabric softener that makes clothes and sheets soft by removing static. It doesn’t lift food scraps from dirty pans. Soaking your dirty pans in soapy water overnight gets the job done.


Now that you know all about these hacks that don’t work, you better pick up the cleaning supplies and use some good old elbow grease to clean your home. Otherwise, you can leave it to the professionals by searching for “home cleaning services near me”.