JSYK: You should try these unusual cleaning hacks — they really do work

We swear by 'em

Cleaning products on blue pastel background
(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to more unusual cleaning hacks, it’s safe to say that #CleanTok (the strangely cleaning-obsessed corner of TikTok where you can find the most mesmerizing videos) has got you covered. But, while #CleanTok might be home to some of the more unique and colorful “hacks” for cleaning, they're not guaranteed to work — or guaranteed for safety. There are plenty of cleaning hacks you should avoid.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the chances are that you’ve seen those viral TikTok toilet cleaning hacks (that everyone is raving about) where users fill their toilet basin with a combination of brightly colored cleaning products and mix them together. The issue with these kinds of hacks is that, while they might catch your eye, they don’t really work all that well, and if the wrong products are mixed together, can actually be pretty dangerous. 

While it’s best to give some unusual cleaning hacks a wide berth, there are others that actually work and are safe too. Intrigued? We’ve rounded up a selection of all the best unique cleaning hacks that will leave your house sparkling clean and smelling fresh. 

What are the best unusual cleaning hacks that actually work?

1. Use coke to clean your toilet  

Okay, okay, so it might sound weird but it turns out the rumors are true and you can actually use soda to clean your toilet. Simply pour a bottle of Coca-Cola around the rim of your toilet and then leave it to sit in your toilet bowl for about an hour, before giving it a good ol’ scrub with your toilet brush (this silicone toilet brush from Amazon is ideal for giving your toilet a good scrub). The result should be a sparkling clean, stain-free toilet. 

2. Remove table stains with olive oil and salt 

Noticed a watermark on your table? Don’t despair — it is possible to remove it. The answer? Olive oil and salt. It might seem like adding olive oil to any surface will just make stains worse, and yet, when mixed with salt it doesn’t. Make a paste of salt and olive oil and apply it to the affected area, gently rubbing it in. If the stain doesn’t disappear right away, don’t panic — by the next morning it should have disappeared or, at least, faded. 

3. Clean mirrors with toothpaste 

Okay, so this might seem seriously counterproductive but, JSYK, it works a total treat. Take a tube of toothpaste, squirt a little out onto your mirror, and use a microfiber cloth to buff the toothpaste — along with any grease and grime — away. 

4. Use rubber gloves to remove pet hair 

This might sound a little strange but if you have an issue with pet hair coating your entire home, the answer may lay in a pair of rubber gloves. Yep, really. Simply don a pair of rubber gloves and rub your hands over any surfaces covered in pet hair, and honestly, you’ll be gobsmacked by the results. I tried it on my pet hair-coated couch and the results were unbelievable. 

5. Use a lint roller to dust 

Lint rollers aren’t just great for picking up lint, they also work extremely well for removing dust from anywhere and everywhere in your home from your couch to your curtains — and everywhere in between. What’s great about using a lint roller to pick up dust is the fact that its sticky surface holds onto the dust without dropping it, as a feather duster would.

6. Clean your iron with salt 

If your iron is looking a little worse for wear, you might be wondering how to clean it. An easy hack that works well and won’t damage your iron, is to sprinkle salt onto your ironing board and run your iron over it a few times. This should help to remove any residue or grime from your iron, leaving it sparkling clean. 

7. Use baby oil to remove fingerprints 

Noticed a few fingerprints and handprints on appliances but not sure how to remove them? The answer — baby oil. It might sound odd but all you need to do is dab a little baby oil (Johnson's baby oil from Amazon should work well if you don't have any to hand) onto a cloth and use it to buff the appliance and the marks should come right off. 

Beth Mahoney
Staff Writer

Hi! I’m Beth, and I’m a staff writer at Real Homes. I specialize in writing about small spaces (think teeny tiny apartments and dorm rooms), cleaning hacks (I'm low-key #CleanTok obsessed), and organizing. I also have an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) and love nothing more than a bargain buy. I’m forever searching for items that will add style to my rather sterile rental property. I'm always on the lookout for eye-catching and on-trend pieces of decor that will add personality without damaging the paintwork, or old pieces of furniture that I can breathe new life into by restoring. When I’m not writing, you’ll usually find me baking brownies, camped out at my favorite coffee house with my Kindle, testing out new beauty products to write about, or exploring with my fiancé and our dog.