Does the TikTok couch cleaning hack actually work? I tried it, and this is what happened

A tip worth taking

A saucepan covered with a dishcloth on a couch
(Image credit: Eve Smallman)

I’ve spent so much time relaxing on my couch, but I’ve never actually thought about how dirty it might be. That was until I was scrolling through my FYP and came across the TikTok viral couch cleaning hack, which completely grossed me out. So much so, that I just had to try it for myself. Chances are, you've already got everything you need to try this hack just lingering around at home, so, you can understand why I found it so tempting. Yep, you won't need an upholstery cleaner to test this out.

All you need to grab from around your place is a laundry pod, a saucepan lid, a dishcloth, and a bowl of hot water. Sounds weird, but in the name of journalism, of course, I had to give it a go. And obviously, I filmed it for TikTok, so you can watch what happened...

Just so that you know: I tried this hack on my couch, which I have had for a year and a half — and literally sit on every day. So while it hasn’t accumulated years and years of dirt, it definitely has seen enough to deserve some TLC.


♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim

Honestly? It might not look like this hack made a huge change in the video, but I was amazed at how well this hack worked! I was a little skeptical at how good a saucepan lid would be to clean with. But it’s just the right weight to apply pressure to the couch, especially when paired with the soaked dishcloth. You do have to put in a bit of hard work, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

It managed to erase all of the dark spots on my couch after going over it a couple of times, and the best part is that now my couch smells absolutely incredible. It did stay damp for a few hours though, so it's best to try this in the morning or long before you plan on having a Netflix sesh.

If you’re looking for a low-cost, quick way to make your couch sparkle, then in my eyes this is the perfect solution. 

How to do the TikTok couch cleaning hack

1. First off, I tied the fabric to a saucepan lid. I used a slightly smaller one than other videos as my cloth wasn’t big enough, but I don’t think this affected the results as it was still pretty hefty.
2. I then dipped it in water mixed in with one laundry pod. I’ve seen a few different versions of this hack, with some using dish soap and dishwasher tablets in the water, but I went with the OG version.
3. I placed the saucepan on my couch, and holding its handle I worked to move the lid up and down each cushion, visibly cleaning it with every swipe. I made sure to clean the cushions, the back of my sofa, and the sides and arms. I could clearly see the spots I had missed, which helped a lot.

What I'll do next time

I will try it with a bigger saucepan next time, just to see if that helps get more of the dirt out. I didn’t have that much dirt come off on the cloth, but that could be because the couch isn't that old. I’ll also definitely try it with a dishwasher tablet, just to see if that affects the results at all. But overall I’m seriously impressed and will be trying this on my other couch and on other items around the house.

Up next: I tried TikTok's wooden spoon cleaning hack, and this is what happened

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.