Cleaning Hacks: Old Wives’ Tales VS TikTok

Posted on by Online Carpets

In today’s world, household tasks are an unavoidable part of our daily lives, and effective cleaning hacks have taken on a new meaning in the digital age. Traditional cleaning hacks passed down through generations, often referred to as Old Wives' Tales , have provided us with tried and tested cleaning strategies.

But, with the rise of social media platforms like TikTok, we have entered a new era of cleaning tips and tricks, which also introduced us to the world of #Cleantok .

Let’s face it, we’ve all Googled ‘how to clean…’ at least once, and experienced that initial panic when a huge stain or smell is revealed in our carpets.

Besides Google, a new way of searching has emerged in recent years, TikTok, and with over 1.6 billion users, many people are now turning to short online videos for tips and advice.

Following this, we wanted to look into the different carpet cleaning hacks from tradition, and the internet, to reveal which ones truly work, and which ones don’t, to find out which hacks are the most trustworthy.

So what did we do? And how well did they work?

To truly put these popular cleaning hacks to the test on some of the most stubborn carpet stains , such as red wine, spaghetti bolognese, and coffee, we tried them ourselves so you don't have to! 

Throughout the process, we videoed each stain removal to show the results, so you can get the full rundown on the truth behind these cleaning hacks .

Check out our cleaning test videos, and their results, below:



A spill of red wine on your carpet can instantly make you see red. Apart from the stain looking like a disaster on your carpet, those red pigments can prove to be quite difficult to remove.

In a TikTok cleaning hack , the recommendation was to tackle the red wine stain with a simple carpet cleaner and steam. 


  1. Spritz carpet cleaner over the stain
  2. Cover it with a cloth
  3. Use a steamer (or steam from an iron) over the cloth
  4. Lift the cloth to reveal the residue
  5. Wipe the remaining product away

Surprisingly, this hack worked exceptionally well, eliminating the red wine stain that once plagued the carpet.

Our old wives’ tale was to simply pour white wine on the red wine, and it should remove itself. 

From our test, this actually did work, but left a tinge of white wine behind in the form of a dark splodge.

TikTok: 1 - Old Wives’ Tales: 0


A coffee stain on your carpet is a morning ritual turned sour, and if you let that stain hang around,  you're looking at a not so trendy addition to your home décor.

For our TikTok cleaning hack , we combined one tablespoon of white vinegar, one tablespoon of dish soap, and two cups of warm water. 


  1. Create the mixture
  2. Dip a cloth in the solution
  3. Blot from the edges into the middle of the stain

Our old wives’ tale suggested we use dishwasher liquid and white vinegar - a strong smelling mixture. After these are combined, simply rub this into the stain and it should be removed. 

Once again, this hack succeeded in eliminating most of the coffee stain but left behind a noticeable mark.

TikTok: 2 - Old Wives’ Tales: 0


Muddy shoes on your carpet? The earthy tones may be in fashion, but a muddy footprint is not the look you want to go for.

In our TikTok cleaning hack, we employed the use of a palm sander – yes, a palm sander. The palm sander should be used to bring the dirt up to the surface due to the vibrations, allowing you to easily remove the mud with a cloth afterwards.

However, as you might have guessed, it was highly ineffective, and we were left with as much mud as we did at the beginning.

On the other hand, an old wives' tale suggested dissolving a dishwasher tablet in warm water, then using a cloth to rub the mixture into the stain. 


  1. Create your mixture
  2. Dip a clean cloth in the solution
  3. Rub over the stain

Surprisingly, this simple hack worked well and would definitely benefit your carpet if it was struck by muddy stains . It didn't completely eradicate the stain, but made a substantial improvement.

TikTok: 2 - Old Wives’ Tales: 1


Chewing gum on the carpet can be a very sticky situation, so we truly put these cleaning hacks to the test.

For our TikTok cleaning hack, we followed simple instructions which involved placing 4 to 5 ice cubes on top of the gum.


  1. Apply 4 or 5 ice cubes on top of the gum
  2. Allow it to sit for up to 30 minutes
  3. Remove the ice cubes
  4. Scrape the gum off with a knife, or pull if hard enough

Our old wives' tale was a bit out there, but worth a shot. The advice was to use peanut butter on the chewing gum to lift it off the carpet with a clean cloth afterwards.

The hack did remove some of the gum but left behind a peanut coloured stain, as anticipated. It's safe to say this hack caused more harm than good.

TikTok: 3 - Old Wives’ Tales: 1


It happens to the best of us - a well prepared meal, an inviting aroma, a delicious taste that you can’t wait to indulge in. But then, it drops. 

Food stains are one of the more common carpet stains , especially in homes with children, and some food stains can be a lot trickier to remove than others.

Our TikTok cleaning hack was simple - use antibacterial spray over the stain, and scrub with a clean cloth.

On the other hand, an old wives' tale suggested using white spirit over the stain, and dabbing with a cloth. 


  1. Pour white spirit over the stain
  2. Wipe over the stain with a clean cloth

This method proved more effective than the TikTok cleaning hack, although we wouldn't announce it as a foolproof way to remove carpet stains .

Overall, both of these hacks didn't completely remove the food stain, but one hack definitely had the best effect.

TikTok: 3 - Old Wives’ Tales: 2

The Verdict: Did TikTok or Old Wives’ Tales come out on top?

In the battle of old wives’ tales vs TikTok, it was clear that TikTok won, with a ratio of 3:2 on wins.

Several of the cleaning hacks we used exceeded our expectations, and provided some surprisingly effective results. 

This outcome was definitely unexpected, considering the longstanding tradition of old wives’ tales that have been passed down through the years, and how they are trusted by so many.

So, could there be a possibility that we might witness the emergence of ‘old TikTok tales’ in the future?