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Why You Shouldn’t Use That Popular “Dust-Repelling” Hack

A woman uses a rag to dust shelves.
Prostock-studio/Shutterstock.com

TikTok has no shortage of cleaning hacks, but with everything on the internet, you shouldn’t always believe them. One frequently cited hack for dust might not be the trick you think it is.

According to Consumer Reports, a viral dust-repelling mixture could actually damage your furniture and surfaces.

The hack has been posted multiple times online, but Carolina McCauley’s iteration is one of the most popular. In her video, McCauley recommended combining water, vinegar, dish soap, olive oil, and citrus essential oil in a spray bottle. Then, use it to clean and coat your surfaces to both get rid of and repel dust. Here’s the problem, though, not all surfaces will take well to the solution.

Consumer Reports explains that some surfaces can actually be damaged by vinegar. Acetic acid is the key cleaning component in vinegar, and the acidity is what helps vinegar cut through grease and grime. However, it could damage floors, countertops, and furniture if applied to the wrong material.

While this hack could be effective on some surfaces, you need to triple-check your material before using it.

The best bet for repelling dust? Keeping it out of the air. An air purifier can help mitigate dust accumulation. Not only will the device pull in dust, but it’ll also help keep pollen, pet dander, and other allergens out of the air.

The next time you’re tempted to try a Tikok cleaning hack, you might want to triple-check the ingredients.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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