Mums warn against popular home scent hacks that can do more harm than good

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We all love the online bloggers who share genius tips on how to make our homes look and smell great.

The likes of Mrs Hinch and Clean Mama on Instagram have given us all the cleaning bug and even made housework fun (sometimes!).

But not every tip that's shared online should be tried out it seems, especially as some mums warn they could be dangerous.

The VapoRub hack you shouldn't try

Take the time that the VapoRub scent tip was doing the rounds. One online blogger shared a video on TikTok showing how they melted a scoop of the popular cough and cold remedy in their wax melt burner to help their families breath easier.

But a backlash ensued when users began commenting that the VapoRub is actually flammable and the so-called hack could put lives at risk.

One video viewer replied saying: "I did this and almost burnt my house down," with another saying "Do not recommend doing this – so unsafe!"

A third worried reader added: "Please don't do this is if you have cats or dogs.

"It's really bad for their respiratory system and can make them really sick."

A further voice in the backlash added: "You can buy Vicks candles from B&M. Works the same and is safe."

Indeed the Vicks VapoRub website does clearly warn against heating the product, so we definitely will not be trying this at home.

Zoflora and boiling water DON'T mix

Back in 2020 our favourite clean queen Mrs Hinch told her followers about the trick she uses to figure out if she likes the scent of Zoflora disinfectant.

Filming the process for her 4 million followers the influencer showed how she mixes the product with boiling water and leaves it to infuse a room with scent over night.

But some of those watching had a note of caution to share when they took to the site to write their replies.

One homeowner wrote: "Can't believe I'm having to write another warning…. please, please, please… do not mix Zoflora with boiling water.

"It is a disinfectant, it is not meant to be inhaled. I am obviously not talking about when being used for cleaning, I am talking about leaving it out on a counter all night with the sole purpose of the ‘fragrance’ filling the room/house."

As more readers took to their keyboards to warn against trying the 'hack' Zoflora released a statement saying that the product should not be used as an air freshener. It stated: "We do not advise using Zoflora with boiling water as this has not been tested, and could potentially negatively impact the ingredients within Zoflora and the vapour they release."

Why fabric conditioner is no good for the loo

Another hack to help get the bathroom smelling sweet, was shared on Instagram by an American cleaner talked about "pouring a cup [230ml] of laundry detergent in the tank of the toilet" which will then sink to the bottom.

"Each time you flush, a sweet aroma will be released in the tank, and the whole bathroom will smell amazing."

But plumbing experts spoke up to say that was no way to treat your pipes and that in fact, in the long term it could be disastrous.

The Director of Plumbers4U, Izzy Shulman, told IdealHome that the 'hack' could potentially damage your drains and increase your risk of flooding.

She said: "We’ve all seen the mess fabric softener can leave in a washing machine drawer. Over time it leaves a sticky film, which can coagulate and block your washing machine. If added to a toilet this means it may build-up and stick somewhere in your drainage."

She went onto explain that maintaining the cleanliness of your loo was the best way to ensure the bathroom stays smelling as it should. More scrubbing, less pouring, it seems.

The loo 'hack' that led to a flood

TikTok blogger couple The Hererras thought they were onto a winner with their tip that saw them popping a bottle of multipurpose cleaner into their toilet cistern.

They were delighted with themselves after snipping a hole into the bottom of the container and wedging it into the cistern so that it released product with each flush.

But just a week later the bloggers revealed the bottle had lasted seven days before causing damage and leading to a flood, explaining: "Our bottle lasted a week before floating and knocking the hose – causing water to spray all night long.

"Don't try this hack!!"

As well as drenching their bathroom floor, the water soaked into the carpets.

The air freshener radiator warning

Another tip often shared by bloggers is to spray air freshener inside radiators, so that dust is blown out and the heat from the radiators helps the room fill with scent.

But experts warn against this, often pointing out that the labels usually state that you should ‘keep away from heat, hot surfaces, sparks, open flames’ which applies to radiators and can, in the worst-case scenario, cause a fire.

While there are hundreds of amazing, safe hacks out there to try, it definitely pays to do your research just to make sure the 'tip' you're following isn't actually dangerous.

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