We Tried TikTok's Sponge Hack To Clean Horizontal Blinds & It Was Dustpan-Worthy Flop

While they often go ignored for months or even years on end, it's important to clean your blinds at least every 1-2 months to keep them looking fresh and operating efficiently. Even if you know you're overdue for a blind cleaning, it can be hard to find the motivation. After all, cleaning blinds is time-consuming and frustrating when you have to work between all the little slats and cords. Many of us would prefer to just roll up the blinds or simply shut the curtains and forget about them! Dusting the blinds can be especially difficult in the kitchen, where airborne grease tends to make everything stickier. 

Luckily, a TikTok hack shared by creator Jill Koch (@jillcomesclean) shows a clever way to get between each blind slat; all you'll need is a few foam sponges and a pair of kitchen tongs! But does Koch's trick really work for capturing dust, and is it worth the time it takes to build? We decided to put this hack to the test on our own blinds so you don't have to. Here's how we put together the blind cleaner tool and what he learned about this handy hack.

Gathering some simple supplies

One awesome thing about this hack is that the supplies are relatively simple and likely something you already have in your home. The first thing you'll need to create the blind cleaner tool is a pair of small kitchen tongs. These can be either silicon, metal, or plastic, but the "hands" of the tongs should be flatter and narrower than a standard kitchen sponge. We picked up our True Living brand tongs at Dollar General for $3. For the TikTok hack, you'll also need two foam kitchen sponges. You could try this with a typical synthetic kitchen sponge, but foam will be much easier to cut and likely do a better job of catching dust. We picked up a 5-pack of True Living foam sponges at Dollar General for $1. 

To cut the sponges, almost any kind of knife will do, but a thin, serrated steak knife is best for cutting through foam without applying too much pressure. Of course, you'll also need some blinds to test the cleaning hack with! In all fairness, we tested on blinds in a three-year-old newly built home. While the blinds had never been cleaned, they weren't terribly filthy due to being relatively new. Still, there was enough visible dust accumulated to be able to see the difference after passing over with the tool.  

Building a DIY blind-cleaner tool

Before following Jill Koch's TikTok instructions for building the blind cleaner tool, we cut off the ergonomic "handles" from the sponges to more closely resemble the flat, rectangular foam sponges in the original video. Next, we poked and scraped with the tip of the knife on the short edge of the sponge right beside the rough pot scrubber side. When cutting with the knife, it can be tricky not to shred the delicate foam or rip through to the other side. Ideally, you want to create a neat pocket that's just wide enough for the ends of the tongs. 

Once you've cut your sponges, you may need to slide them over the ends of the tongs a few times and adjust the fit as necessary. Once we got the sponges in place, the blind-cleaning tool was ready to go! Koch's TikTok recommends lightly wetting the sponges after cutting them and squeezing out any excess so that the moisture will help to trap dust from the blinds.

Putting the blind-cleaner to the test

To test our tool, we first lowered the blinds all the way down to the windowsill, then twisted the handle until each slat was at about a 45-degree angle. This way, we could easily slide the sponges onto either side of a slat and see where the dust had accumulated. To clean the blinds, simply clamp the tool onto a slat and slide from one side to the other, repeating if necessary before moving to the next slat. It's best to start at the top and work your way down so that you can catch any dust as it falls onto the blind slats below.  

Overall, the tool was fairly self-explanatory and easy to use. It fit nicely on these standard, thick, wood-slat blinds but may not work so well on thin, bendable blinds. When using the blind cleaner tool, it was simple enough to slide the sponges from side to side and pick up dust. However, it couldn't reach between the vertical cords and was a bit difficult to slide while wet.  

We're leaving this hack in the dust

Overall, this hack was cheap and easy to make, but was it worth the effort? In our humble opinion, no. While the TikTok hack may be creative, we could have easily used a rag or duster to clean the blinds in the time it took to cut up the sponges and attach them to the tongs. The tool did pick up some dust from the blinds, but we don't feel like it was the most efficient or eye-opening hack out there. It didn't capture all of the dust buildup, and if the sponges were too damp, they left behind a trail of soggy gunk shoved up next to the blind cords. 

Plus, the project ended up creating another mess in and of itself! After sawing through the sponges, little foam bits were scattered across the table and on the floor — something we had to vacuum up afterward. In summary, it was time-consuming, messy to make, and more difficult to use than a simple dust rag or Swiffer duster. We think it's not a great hack for cleaning horizontal blinds, but it could be smart for some other awkward surfaces like ceiling fan blades or vertical blinds!