TIKTOK has DIY hacks for cleaning everything, including your car, but some are not as solid as you might think.
There is a lot of car cleaning advice out there, and some of it is even winter specific.
But a bad tip from TikTok could damage your vehicle, or even be dangerous to you as a driver.
Here are some of the dodgiest bits of advice online.
Oiling your dashboard
One trend that has been gaining popularity is to spread olive oil on the dashboard to limit the amount of dust that collects, while making it look shiny and new.
This is not a good idea. The dash board will still collect dust and it will be slippery, so put a cup of hot coffee on your oiled up dash in the morning and you could have a nasty spill on your hands.
Plus, depending on what the dashboard is made of, the oil could accelerate the deterioration of the material and cause cracking.
Removing dents with a toiler plunger
Another bit of bad advice is using a toilet plunger to get dents out.
The idea is simple, suck a plunger to the dent and pull until the it comes out.
However, this could do more harm than good.
If you pull too hard or too fast you could pull the metal out too far, stretching it and making the problem worse.
Cheap soap tricks
Some TikTokkers suggest forgoing more expensive car wash soap and just making your own.
The idea is to cheap out, and use dish soap rather than a product designed for cleaning cars.
It sounds like it should work, but here’s the thing; dish soap isn’t meant to clean cars, it’s meant to clean dishes.
The chemical makeup of dish soap can strip the layer of wax and clear coat from your car’s paint, leaving it vulnerable to the natural elements.
A new paint job could cost thousands, and even just the clear coat is at least several hundred dollars. Much more expensive than the cost of proper car soap.
Boiling water on snow and ice
Using hot water to remove snow and ice from your windshield is another trend that should be avoided.
Glass contracts when it gets cold, and expands when it gets hot, meaning it has to move and bend with the temperature.
And when glass changes temperature quickly, it breaks.
So if your windshield is covered in ice one morning, don’t pour hot water on it, or else it will shatter – leaving you with a $400 bill to have it replaced.
Baking soda on car upholstery
Another touted tip online is to use carpet cleaner, vinegar, and baking soda to clean your car’s seats and upholstery.
With this one, it is important to pay attention to what the seats and upholstery are made of.
If you’re trying the home-made cleaning solution, start in an area out of sight first, under the seat for example, and wait to see what happens.
This means you can check if the solution actually makes the upholstery cleaner, or makes the dye bleed and ruins everything it touches.
Glue and detergent slime
A recent trend online is combining glue and laundry detergent to form a DIY slime that can pick up dirt and grime.
This depends on what your car’s interior is made of, but the combination of chemicals might not play well with your interior.
And if it does not ruin the material itself, it could ruin the colored dyes in the interior.
Not to mention the problems that could be caused if you get the mixture wrong, and end up with glue all over the inside of your car.
If you want to play it safe with car care and cleaning, it’s always best to use supplies that are specifically designed for the job at hand.