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Avoid these cleaning hacks that could invalidate your home insurance this spring clean

As searches for spring cleaning peak in March each year, home insurance experts have revealed some popular cleaning hacks to avoid during this year’s spring clean. 

There are more than 160 million ‘spring cleaning’ videos on TikTok but experts warn that some have the potential to cause damage and invalidate your home insurance policy. 

This means you could be left to pay for damages if anything goes wrong.

The Confused.com home insurance experts have identified some popular cleaning hacks that could invalidate your insurance:

  1. Using a power drill to clean the shower

One popular hack that has taken TikTok by storm involves attaching a scrubbing brush to a power drill to clean your shower and other hard-to-reach areas. While this might seem like an easier and more efficient way to clean, it could cause damage if things go wrong. 

Power tools are dangerous when misused. The scrubbing speed of the brush could damage bathroom fixtures and fittings, especially weak tiles or showers. Worse still, you risk injury to yourself if the brush flies off.

  1. Using vinegar to clean surfaces

Vinegar can be a great cleaning aid. It is a natural cleaner and works wonders on windows and removing limescale. It’s often used to remove limescale from kettles and taps. 

While vinegar can help clean many household items, it has recently been shown on TikTok as a cure-all for kitchen surfaces, from cooking tops to drywall. However, using vinegar on your kitchen surfaces is not a good idea. It can etch natural stone, such as marble countertops or tiles, and excessively using vinegar can damage stained surfaces.

  1. Window cleaner for your laptop screen
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Some TikTokers have even come up with the idea of cleaning laptop screens using window cleaner. Several popular videos show the before and after of using window cleaner on your screens. 

While the results may look impressive, many screens have anti-reflective coatings which window cleaners can remove. Window cleaners often contain alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, which can damage your screen. Apple warns customers not to use window cleaners on screens. 

This cleaning method could also damage your computer and the screen. If you spray cleaner directly on the screen, it could drip inside the display and cause serious damage.

Matthew Harwood, home and lifestyle expert at Confused.com home insurance, said: 

“TikTok is full of exciting hacks for all sorts of jobs around the house that promise to save you time, money, and effort. But, as simple and cost-effective as a home improvement hack may seem, you could risk damaging your home if it goes wrong. Worse, some hacks could put your safety at risk or invalidate your home insurance policy.

“Most insurers need you to take reasonable care to prevent and avoid accidents, damage or injury. If you try a so-called hack that ends up causing damage to your property or its contents, it could mean you’re not covered.

“Standard home insurance doesn’t usually cover you for accidents inside your home. Depending on your policy, you may or may not have accidental cover, but most home insurance policies do not come with this cover as standard. 

“Damage as a result of DIY is often only covered by accidental cover (and still won’t be covered if you attempt DIY projects you’re not qualified to do, such as electrics). 

“But these policies also usually state that deliberate acts won’t be covered, meaning that any damage caused by misinformed ‘hacks’ may not be covered. So, you may want to avoid jumping on the latest DIY TikTok trends before checking what your policy covers.”

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