In my nightly scrolls of watching the most ridiculous shit on TikTok, I stumbled upon a woman who just documents herself cleaning and organising her house, opening up the serotonin floodgates that only sorting out my life has the key to. CleanTok probably the best pocket of TikTok, and it’s definitely the most satisfying. It’s like having a grandparent or old, wisened cleaning sage in your phone to teach you all the old wives tales and tricks to get everything spick and span.
From refilling videos (which hit me like ASMR) to hacks on how to deep clean your oven or strip-clean all your bedding, rugs, and lounge covers, everything within the confines of CleanTok is like being privvy to all the old tricks in the books on how to get the deepest grime out of your things.
There’s so much to learn and try your own hand at – or just lie in bed and scroll through endlessly – but here are my favourite elite hacks from the depths of the #cleantok tag.
Put Everything In Compartments And Containers
I feel like this is a deeply American thing, because I’m yet to see anyone who isn’t an American set their house (and specifically the kitchen cupboard and fridge) up like a shop, with everything sorted into neat and tidy, easy to see and reach sections.
Something about this just makes my brain immediately go brrrr, because being able to see everything that’s in the pantry sounds like some kind of impossible task. What do you mean I can get little clear containers so my fridge doesn’t look like I’ve just thrown a bunch of shit in there? There’s a way to set up my fridge and cupboard so things don’t get lost to the depths to go out of date? I’m obsessed.
Restocking and refilling videos are done in this weird, slightly sped-up format so you get all the little plopping and clinking sounds of the products, and it’s like a top-speed ASMR to me. I love it.
Speaking of ASMR, the visual pleasure I get in watching people take products out of their packets, bags, boxes, whatever, and put them in jars or reusable containers. Organisational TikTok @_catben_ is a queen at this, and decants everything from strawberries to these weird laundry pellets that I assume are also an American thing.
I’m not even sure if “decanting” food and anything other than wine is a thing, but it is now. Decant all your shit so you can see it, and it sits all nice and uniformly on your shelves.
Oh god that spice drawer just made me cream my jeans.
Stock Up On Baking Soda
Pretty much every CleanTok video I’ve seen uses baking soda/bicarb soda in some form or another. Cleaning out the sink and drain? Scrub baking soda and chase with white vinegar and a lemon half.
Want to scour the inside of your oven to the point where you could eat off it? Mix baking soda with washing detergent and white vinegar.
Want to brighten white bedding? Chuck some bicarb in the wash with it.
A lot of CleanTok also uses the Scrub Daddy sponge scourers, which look alarming (because you use the eye and mouth holes to clean with) but I’m also deeply invested and now I only want to clean my life with a smiling little sponge that looks like it’s seen some real shit.
I would die for the extended Scrub family.
You Really Can Use Household Things Instead Of Expensive Products
My workmate Steff has recently found out that a lot of those fancy-ass, pricey cleaning products tend to not really work as well as rogue things you probably already have in the cupboard, or kitchen pantry, or deep in your parents’ shed. As well as stocking up on baking soda, CleanTok has taught me to always have ample white vinegar in the pantry.
A lot of the American and UK tiktokers use something called ‘The Pink Stuff‘ which I’m pretty sure is just an all-purpose cleaning paste like Gumption – something else I always have under my kitchen sink for cleaning. Don’t ask me how it works but it somehow manages to clean everything. Like, I’ve gotten hair dye stains out of a bathroom sink with that shit.
One account @zeniahnur demonstrated how you can clean a timber butchers block or benchtop with nothing but coarse salt and half a lemon, which then opened me up to eco-cleantok.
That’s a whole other side of cleantok that strays away from using harsh chemicals, instead using more natural products to clean and scrub everything down. Like using a walnut to remove scratch marks from wooden furniture, whitening and brightening white linen with lemons and bicarb soda, and making your cutlery shiny again with potato water (???) I’m baffled.
The only downside of CleanTok is that it’s so satisfying it gives me the rush of dopamine I get after actually cleaning, but I haven’t done shit to my own house. Maybe let the cleaning side of TikTok inspire you to go and scrub those weird bits of the house, or do a bulk buy of household stuff so you can put everything in jars and containers, or clean everything with bicarb and white vinegar.