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I’m hardly a domestic goddess—I hate cleaning, I’m laissez faire about tidying, and I take no satisfaction from a toilet-scrubbing job well done. But sometimes, as Mary Poppins says, when there’s a job that must be done, there is an element of fun. Cue my favorite procrastination tool: TikTok cleaning hacks like this one, which turns a hose and some some soap into a pressure washer.

How to clean anything with a hose and soap, according to TikTok

TikTok creator @ocwarrior19 (listed name: SuzyQ), needs to clean a rug. She lays it out in her driveway. She grabs an outdoor hose, folds it over about two feet from the business end, pours in what looks like dish soap, attaches a spray nozzle, and turns on the water. She sprays the rug, and soapy water comes out of the hose. She keeps spraying until the water runs clear. She then sprays the rug with water until the soap has been washed away. She then drapes the rug over a chair to dry in the sun. (The voiceover notes that she has also used this method to clean her kids’ plastic toys.)

Commenters on the video have noted you can buy soap dispensing nozzles for your hose—if not a dedicated power washer. To those people I say: That’s why they call it a hack.

Does it actually work?

I recently tried out this method myself. I had no rug to clean, but I had just taken the dog to the park, where she played her favorite game, “murder victim,” which involves around on the ground for an hour getting fake bitten by another dog. She was a dusty, slobber-covered, happy puppy, and I was ready to ruin her fun by giving her a good rise.

It was a warm day and I have a hose attachment with a “mist” setting, so it’s not too strong for my sweet fur baby. I took the nozzle off and elected to pour the puppy shampoo directly into it instead of into the folded hose; otherwise I proceeded as the video instructs. The dog cowered in sadness at having to be hosed off, but it seemed to work: First the soap came out, then clear water, as promised.

My neighbor walked by with her own dog. “That’s the way to do it!” she marveled. “I learned this trick from the internet!” I told her, because I am young and in touch with the TikTok generation. My neighbor left, looking impressed.

Next, I’m going to load my hose with dish soap to wash my plastic outdoor chairs, which are covered in sticky pollen. I’m also considering taking out the fridge shelves and giving them a deep clean, but I’m not quite there yet. Maybe next year.

Important considerations

Keep in mind that your neighborhood might have a drainage system that flows directly into natural waterways—some drains in my neighborhood say “rainwater only” because they drain directly into creeks with wildlife. It’s hardly environmentally friendly to pollute such drains with soapy water, and may even be illegal, so look into whether the use of biodegradable or other types of natural cleansers is allowed before you start spraying.

Also ensure the soap you’re using is the right kind for the product you’re cleaning. Dish soap does wonders for many things but isn’t good for every surface, including some rugs. Also, make sure you completely clear out the soap before using the hose to water plants, humans, or pets. There’s nothing as satisfying as drinking from the hose on a hot day, or as unsatisfying as a refreshing mouthful of soap.

 



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