We’ve all seen them before: those “miracle” cleaning hacks that use just a few household ingredients and supposedly get stains out of anything or give you glorious, streak-free windows. And most of us give a collective eye-roll.
When sites like Pinterest were shiny and new, we may have been more likely to buy into every cleaning trick that came our way, but we’ve learned by now that not all of those “hacks” are worth our time.
On the other hand, we also can’t be the only ones nervous that we’re going to miss some kind of incredible cleaning solution because we’re paranoid.
How are you supposed to know which hacks work and which hacks don’t?! Well, we have nine internet cleaning hacks right here, all tried and tested by the detectives at BuzzFeed. This do’s and don’t’s should help you determine which hacks are amazing – and which need to be deleted.
Hack #1: Easy Microwave Cleaner
The Procedure: Fill a microwave-safe bowl up with water, add a large glug of vinegar, and slice up a lemon. Microwave that on high for five minutes, then leave the microwave door closed for five more minutes so everything can steam. Then, wipe clean with a dry paper towel.
The Result: It was a success! The mixture loosened all the caked on spaghetti sauce and various other food splatters coating the inside of the test microwave, making it easy to wipe away the grime. All that was left was a sparkling clean surface and the lovely smell of lemon.
Hack #2: WD-40 as Crayon Remover
The Procedure: Layer paper towels on the crayon stain, then turn the garment over. Spray WD-40 from the back of the clothing item and let it sit for five minutes before flipping the garment BACK over and spraying WD-40 directly onto the stain. Rinse under cold water and wash as normal.
The Result: This method really does work, but we found an extra step in the process really helped remove this super tricky stain. After you rinse the WD-40 off, try working some dish detergent into the stain. THEN throw the garment into the wash; we found this helped the stain fade a lot more noticeably.
Hack #3: Inexpensive Makeup Sponge Cleaner
The Procedure: If you have a Beauty Blender or other makeup sponge, you know that just a few uses make your blender look dirty beyond repair. Usually, you have to buy a Beauty Blender cleaner, which can cost up to $16. But apparently, scrubbing your sponge onto a cheap bar of soap will do the trick for a fraction of the price.
The Result: For the first five-seven minutes, the makeup seemed to be really coming off. After the seven minute mark, the makeup stopped coming off. In this example, tough scrubbing also made the sponge tip snap off, which we don’t suggest doing! Be gentle and determined and you should see decent results.
Hack #4: Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda on Cookie Sheets
The Procedure: Layering baking soda, liberal sprays of hydrogen peroxide, and more baking soda, letting it sit, then scrubbing aggressively apparently gives you like-new cookie sheets, even if they’ve had baked-on crud for years.
The Result: The mixture made a SLIGHT difference; some crud came off, but it took 45 minutes of scrubbing to get an okay result. And the hack promised “like-new cookie sheets”. Not worth the effort, we say.
Hack #5: DIY Glass Cleaner
The Procedure: Mix equal parts alcohol, water, and vinegar in a spray bottle, then use that as a spot- and streak-free glass cleaner.
The Result: This worked as well as most store-bought cleansers. Besides the grimiest of windows, this mixture made glass surface shine with almost no effort at all. Definitely our new go-to!
Hack #6: Toilet Bowl Grout Cleaner
The Procedure: Instead of specialty grout cleaner or relatively pricey gel bleach pens, just use gel toilet bowl cleaner — you can control where the gel goes using the specialty spout, and the gel stays in place while it bleaches.
The Result: The toilet bowl gel may have done pretty well, but that bleach STINKS. No matter what you do, it’s going to make going in your bathroom impossible for at least a day. Buy. Grout. Cleaner.
Hack #7: Homemade Static Ball
The Procedure: Crumple up a length of aluminum foil into a ball and toss it into your dryer with a load of clothes for no staticky garments.
The Result: It works! This incredibly simple, cheap hack actually keeps static off your clothes just as well as a store-bought “static ball” does. Plus, you can use this same ball again. Let it be known though, that this shouldn’t make dryer sheets irrelevant; aluminum foil isn’t going to make your clothes soft or smell amazing, just saying.
Hack #8: Descale Your Shower Head
The Procedure: Fill a Ziploc bag with vinegar, sprinkle in some baking soda, then secure that over your shower head or kitchen faucet with a rubber band. Wait 1–2 hours, before removing to reveal an unclogged, clean shower head.
The Result: Not only does this work to make your shower head look clean, but it kills stubborn mildew FAST. It also helps to make your shower pressure stronger and more consistent, making for enjoyable, not-gross showers once again.
Hack #9: One Powerful Carpet Cleaner
The Procedure: Combine ½ gallon of vinegar, ½ cup of salt, and 2 tablespoons of dish soap. We suggest putting the mixture into some kind of spray bottle. Spritz onto the carpet stain in question and let it sit for a few minutes before cleaning both the mixture and the stain away with a damp cloth/paper towel.
The Result: This WORKS. This all-natural solution really pulls stubborn stains out of your carpet. Bonus: This mixture always works as an amazing herbicide to kill garden weeds.
What do you think of these cleaning hack tests? Is there a Pinterest tip you love or hate? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.