What is it about the word ‘hack’ that elevates a mundane chore into something more fun? Is it because a hack implies a clever solution to an otherwise frustrating household dilemma?
Whatever it is, I love a good hack — and I know that I’m not alone. Especially when those hacks require zero extra purchases and require nothing more than my frugal supplies already on hand.
However, a lot of these supposed miraculous internet hacks are a bust, so I went through the trouble of testing four of them to save Clark.com readers from wasting your precious time and energy!
Four home cleaning ‘hacks’ put to the test
Hack #1: Squeegee on carpet
This hack has legions of fans who love how the lowly squeegee easily removes pet hair from hard to clean carpeted stairs. For this test, I borrowed my neighbor’s cat friendly stairs, as my own are wood. I doubted whether there’d be anything to clean, as my neighbor’s house appears immaculate at all times. Lo and behold, I was rewarded with a satisfying amount of cat hair after just a few swipes with my $1 Dollar Tree squeegee. Hack #1 — thumbs up!
Hack #2: Polish silver with boiling water, baking soda and aluminum foil
This hack promises to polish silver without the work of scrubbing, and it’s actually been in my rotation for a number of years.
I love my old silverware, but I hate, hate, hate the work of polishing it. (Hand cramps.) My mother has informed me that this method is incorrect, as it temporarily removes the dark details, but I still rebelliously dip my silver into this magical elixir.
Instructions: Line a pan with aluminum foil, add in a couple tablespoons of baking soda and boiling water almost to the top. Dip your silver into the solution and watch the tarnish magically disappear. Pro tip: Use tongs, as the silver quickly gets very hot. Hack #2 –Thumbs up! (Sorry, mom.)
Hack #3: Use an extra stretchy sock for your Swiffer Sweeper
I love the convenience of a Swiffer to clean my 104-year-old hardwood floors, but I hate spending money on expensive and wasteful disposable cloths.
Enter an extra stretchy sock to the rescue! I have a couple pairs of these puffy socks, which are extremely stretchy and work perfectly for this function.
I simply dampen the sock, and then swiff and sweep to my heart’s content. I then switch it out with a new sock to dry any wet areas. The best part is that the sock has enough texture for actual cleaning, plus they’re washable for reuse. Hack #3 — Thumbs up!
Hack #4: Clean your oven door using vinegar and baking soda
It seems like however much I clean it, the inside of my oven door reverts to being a baked on mess. I’d seen online tips for sprinkling the door with baking soda and then spraying with vinegar as an eco-friendly cleaning hack. This method sounded easy, so I happily gave it a try. Unfortunately, this hack was a bust.
Yes, I was able to get a decent before-and-after photo, but it was only with a tremendous amount of back breaking scrubbing and elbow grease. This was far from being any type of clever solution. Seriously, it took forever. Hack #4 — Thumbs down!
Although the fourth hack got a resounding thumbs down in my book, it was still worth a try. I want to work smarter not harder when it comes to maintaining my home and its contents, and without a bit of experimentation, I never would have discovered how well the other three hacks worked. And nothing makes me feel smarter than finding clever solutions to life’s little problems.