Why You May Want To Avoid This Popular TikTok Window Cleaning Hack

TikTok is home to some of our favorite cleaning hacks – whether it's resurrecting burnt pan bottoms or removing red wine spills from white carpets, the app's cleaning content creators have saved us a time or two. But once in a while, even CleaningTok misses the mark. For instance, one trend that swept through TikTok was cleaning tile grout lines with bathroom cleaner, which seemingly instantly lifted stains without much elbow grease. But as HydroClean notes, this is terrible for the long-term health of your grout, as it breaks down the seal and leaves it open to damage and deterioration. 

Since we've been burned a few times, we've had to be a bit more skeptical when it comes to getting our life hacks from TikTok. So when we saw a tip for keeping condensation from building up on windows with dish soap, we did a little research before we tried it ourselves, and we are glad we did. 

Why condensation happens

Window condensation is a common phenomenon, especially in the colder winter months. Condensation is a totally natural phenomenon that happens when water in the air releases moisture when it comes in contact with relatively colder glass windows, notes Envirovent. It can still be a bit pesky, though, partially because it can obstruct the view out of your window, and because pooling water can cause damage to your window sill and trim. So rather than mopping up dripping water from your window, it makes sense to look for a preventative measure. 

On her page, Lynsey_QueenofClean recommends an easy hack that requires just one ingredient — dish soap. The TikTokker simply adds a bit of soap to a microfiber cloth and wipes the window down, with the intent of creating a barrier on the glass and repelling water molecules from collecting. But any hack that requires leaving a residue of cleaning product on a surface for the long term has its risks, and this hack just isn't worth it. 

Always rinse dish soap from your windows

Glass is a non-porous material, which means water can't get through it. This is why it is generally much easier to keep clean than, say, wood or fabric, per Green Orchard Group. So when you add a layer of dish soap on the window without rinsing it, you obstruct that non-porous barrier, which can lead to nasty bacterial growth. Even a bowl of water and dish soap can quickly collect mold, so this principle applies to your windows as well. Now, instead of water clinging to your easy-to-clean glass, it's repelled from the dish soap and will settle into your window sill and trim. For this reason, we recommend skipping this TikTok hack. 

Instead, Stanek Windows recommends buying a dehumidifier, or just turning the fan on to prevent condensation in your home. Air circulation prevents water from settling, which is exactly why we turn a fan on when we shower, as it prevents mold and damage to your walls and trim. These simple changes are much safer bets than this TikTok cleaning hack.