I tested the simplest DIY cleaning hacks from toothpaste to baby oil & vinegar – here's what was the most effective | The Sun

EVERYONE loves a cleaning hack, and the Internet is quite literally awash with them.

It seems everyday a 'cleanfluencer' is coming up with a new method or technique to leave your loo limescale free or the sink super shiny, sharing their tips on TikTok and Instagram.

But how many have you actually given a go yourself? If you're anything like me, you may watch their reels and marvel at their creativity, but without actually bothering to see if they work.

Which is why I decided to test them out for myself, to see which tricks really scrubbed up, and which ones, in my opinion, need to get in the bin…

Mirror magic

I feel almost every cleaning hack I read involves using vinegar of some variety, and I know a lot of 'cleanfluencers' swear by it – but I've never actually tried it.

It's always dubbed the perfect solution and 'secret ingredient' to a sparkling clean and at 40p a bottle it barely costs a thing, and can be used to clean anything from windows, carpet stains and kettles.

I decided to follow one of Lynsey Crombie's recommendations of a concoction of half water and half white wine vinegar in a spray bottle to clean my bedroom mirror.

I sprayed it onto a microfibre cloth rather than the mirror itself to avoid streaks and wiped it on in small circular motions until dry.

The result was a super clean and streak-free mirror which I was actually very impressed with, even if my boudoir temporarily ended up smelling a little like a packet of fish and chips.

Buff in that baby oil

I don't have children and I'm not a member of the Dreamboys, but I doubt even most mums or male strippers would think to use baby oil when cleaning the house.

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However apparently it's the secret ingredient to polishing stainless steel appliances.

In her video, TikTok user Anna revealed her unusual cleaning technique, saying: "Use baby oil to make your stainless steel streak-free and shiny."

Apparently you only need a tiny amount, so I grabbed a cloth, squirted on a tiny bit and buffed it into my stainless steel hob.

It did look good after and I think it got rid of any smudges and watermarks left from cleaning, but I'm not entirely sure it was necessary.

Everything but the kitchen sink

One of my pet hates is when the kitchen sink starts to smell, so I'm always looking for ways to freshen up the drain.

Firstly, I cleaned the sink, covering the surface with a layer of bicarbonate of soda.

I then poured white wine vinegar over it, and enjoyed the fizzing reaction this created.

I left this for a minute before rinsing with warm water, and gave it a wipe down, which left the sink looking as good as new.

To freshen up the drain I decided to pop a dishwasher tablet in, and poured in warm water, to clean the drainage pipes and eradicate any lingering smells too.

Toothpick trick

There are always areas when cleaning that I find stubborn grime that's hard to reach, so I was actually quite excited to try this little trick out.

All you need is a toothpick and a sheet of kitchen roll, and by wrapping the toothpick tightly in the tissue you can then apparently clean underneath surfaces, such as in the gap between a cooking hob and a kitchen counter. 

I'm desperate to renovate my bathroom, which is old and inherited from the previous owners, so I used this technique on the impossible-to-remove grime around the bathroom tap.

It worked but required a fair amount of elbow grease and didn't eradicate the tough marks entirely – however it was definitely an improvement.

You don't have to use a toothpick either – I actually used a wooden skewer, and you can use items such as expired credit cards.

Toothpaste tip

One mum suggests cleaning your sink using toothpaste.

As I spend half my life cleaning my sink to get rid of toothpaste marks – so I was slightly sceptical about the idea that toothpaste can be used to clean my bathroom tap and sink.

Sharing her hack, she said: "Whether it’s dirt and grime, soap build up, slime or who knows what else TOOTHPASTE is the winner for me.''

Grabbing a tube of paste, I dolloped it around the tap and sink, before scrubbing it in with a sponge.

It actually did foam up pretty well, and left the sink sparkling, but this would be an expensive way to clean the sink regularly, and the minty smell was not unpleasant but quite overpowering.

It also took a long time to rinse away too, so I would recommend doing this every once in a while.

Cat that got the clean

The first thing you often notice when you walk into a room is what is smells like – whether it's good or bad.

Which is why I keep an air freshener in the hallway next to the coat and shoe cupboard which goes off on a timer.

However, it's been suggested kitty litter is a great way to eradicate unsavoury smells.

One influencer recommends: "Simply fill a sock with it and hang it in your shoe closet and you'll never smell socks again.

"It also works for cooking smells, mildew, and pretty much all kinds of lingering smells in your kitchen."

I thought this sounded like it could be genius, and so I put a layer of kitty litter in the bottom of my kitchen bin, but to be honest didn't notice much of a difference.

Washed up

A professional cleaner has previously using washing up liquid get your grubby shower screen sparkling in minutes.

This trick apparently involves no scrubbing, which is a big promise, and one I hoped lived up to my expectations.

I put some washing up liquid on a sponge and wiped it onto the shower screen.

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It didn't take long at all and cut through soap scum as you would expect, as well as leaving the screen looking streak-free and clean.

It's a good way to get multiple uses out of one product if you want to save some money, but I don't know if it's any more effective than the made-for-purpose shower cleaner you can get.

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