Cleaning doesn't sound like the trendiest activity on the planet, but with the rise of ‘clean-fluencers’ and ‘clean-tok’, certain cleaning methods have become cult favorites online.
Just because something is trendy doesn't make it the best cleaning tip, however, experts warn. In fact, many of these cleaning fads have fallen out of favor, and there are some cleaning hacks to avoid because they could prove dangerous.
Here, professional cleaners have shared the cleaning trends they have fallen out of love with lately, and explain what you should be doing instead for a proper job.
Cleaning trends we have fallen out of love with
While cleaning trends may not be as obvious as the decluttering trends we have fallen out of love with, there are certainly some techniques that people have realized are not as practical anymore.
1. Using dish soap for everything
Dish soap is a great universal tool for the home, but there has been an over-reliance on the product for our household cleaning needs, says Paulo Filho, cleaning expert and owner of Celestial Cleaning Service. From using dish soap to clean clothes to using dish soap in the dishwasher, there is a myriad of uses for this detergent that is better left in the past.
‘One of the main trends I would completely stop using would be the dish soap to repel water from windows,’ Paulo singles out. ‘After a while, it can actually damage the windows and other porous spots on your window, seal, tracks, and whatnot. What I would do instead is use a car-intended product called Rain-X, at Walmart, which is water-repellent and great for most kinds of windows.
‘Before using I would test in small areas and make sure that the manufacturer approves on your specific window,’ Paula suggests. ‘I use it on my window and love it because we live near San Francisco and we get all the bay fog and condensation year long.’
That being said, there are still plenty of things you can clean with Dawn Powerwash around your home, for example, that won't result in damage. Dish soap won't completely disappear from our cleaning caddies, it should just be reserved for specific uses going forward.
2. Using single-use products and plastics
2023 is witnessing a huge shift towards being more sustainable at home, and our cleaning routines are some of the first areas to reflect this. As a result, we are using fewer single-use products and plastics in our cleaning cabinets – a clear departure from a time when buying everything premade was the norm, highlights Ahmad Jamal, a professional cleaner at CleanersAdvisor. Single-use items like plastic bottles of cleaning sprays and single-use wipes are among the items we are cutting back on, Ahmad says.
‘These products contribute to environmental pollution and waste, as they often end up in landfills or water bodies, leading to negative impacts on wildlife and ecosystems. Additionally, the production of these single-use cleaning products often involves the use of non-renewable resources and generates greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change,’ he says.
Replace disposable wipes with reusable cleaning cloths or microfiber cloths that can be washed and reused. These are just as effective for most cleaning tasks, and they reduce waste, he suggests.
Ahmad is a self-proclaimed 'clean-freak', with years of experience tackling tough cleaning projects and advising others on how to deal with the worst of messes.
3. Cleaning upholstery with pan lids
An attention-grabbing cleaning hack from TikTok, cleaning upholstery with pan lids became a bit of a craze thanks to the unique cleaning angle and bizarre results. Just because it seems to work doesn't mean it was the best option for cleaning upholstery, and it is one of the many cleaning trends we no longer love this year – for our and our furniture's sake!
This hack looked entertaining, but in reality, it can potentially damage the fabric or leave scratches on the surface, says Karina Toner, cleaning expert at Spekless Cleaning. ‘It's best to use appropriate cleaning tools and products recommended for upholstery and follow proper cleaning techniques to avoid causing any harm,’ she stresses.
4. Using overly harsh chemicals
In a similar vein to avoiding single-use cleaning sprays, the trend of overloading our homes with chemicals that emerged during the height of the pandemic is finally taking a back seat. Instead, we are favoring eco-friendly cleaning products and making our own homemade kitchen cleaners and homemade cleaning sprays.
‘Making your own cleaning solutions at home can be cheaper, healthier, and more environmentally friendly than buying commercial cleaning products in plastic bottles,’ says Ahmad Jamal, a professional cleaner, and tasks like cleaning with vinegar, cleaning with lemon juice, and cleaning with baking soda have increased in popularity over the last few months – especially as more of us look to create our spring cleaning checklists for the year.
5. Having a different product for every job
The Internet is a place almost defined by its ability to influence, and nowhere was this more true than in household cleaning and home organizing. As a result, many of us were suckered into the idea that we needed a different cleaning product for every task in our home – especially when preparing for spring cleaning and other deep cleaning rituals. This, Rick Sun, cleaning professional at GreenLeaf Air, says is one of the most important cleaning trends to leave behind this year.
‘There has been a real rise in slow living and minimalist thinking,’ he begins, ‘and many of us have started to reflect this in our reliance on fewer cleaning products. Instead of various specialized cleaners, they use a few multi-purpose products to clean their homes. This reduces clutter and waste and can be more cost-effective as more of us try to save money at home.’
What is trending in the cleaning industry?
As of 2023, there is a big trend toward reducing plastics and toxins in the cleaning industry as a whole. These eco-conscious choices are reflected in the rise of people purchasing sustainably made cleaning products such as bamboo cleaning tools, at Amazon, and washable microfiber cloths, along with an increased interest in cleaning with natural solutions such as vinegar and baking soda.
Why is cleaning your home becoming so trendy?
Keeping a clean home has become far more prominent online with many influencers sharing their whole house cleaning routines or dedicating their online profiles to cleaning and tidying their homes. Seeing clean homes can influence others to do the same which, in turn, boosts mood, leading to a cycle where cleaning has become just as important a step in creating the perfect home as acing the interior design.
These home cleaning trends may have served their purpose at one point in our lives, but moving on is important to keep a clean home and, in some cases, a cleaner planet, too.
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Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.
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