Bathroom specialist warns against viral TikTok condensation hack – ’causes mould!’
Falling temperatures this winter mean many households will start waking up to steamy windows. Although condensation seems like a minor inconvenience, it can damage your home and have negative health effects. To combat condensation, many people turn to social media hacks, and while there are some useful ones, one in particular isn’t the safest option. This hack involves covering your windows with washing-up liquid to prevent condensation from forming on them. However, bathroom design expert Evan Jones of Bathroom Supastore warns against this viral trend, saying it could do “thousands in damage” to your home.
Condensation occurs when the air inside the home hits a cold surface of a window pane. When this moisture-laden warm air comes into contact with a cool surface, it cools rapidly and releases the water, which turns into liquid droplets on the cold surface. If left untreated, condensation can cause mold in homes.
The TikTok trick of adding washing-up liquid to the window aims to prevent water droplets from forming on the surface, which in theory should then prevent mold from forming in the home. However, this is not entirely the case.
Evan said: “Although the videos clearly show that they are free of condensation, what they don’t show is that the moisture that would have formed on these windows has now gone elsewhere.
“This moisture will now attract porous surfaces such as walls, ceilings and window frames, which is likely to cause mold in your home.
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“The biggest problem with using dish soap on your windows is that it doesn’t get rid of moisture, it just moves it to another area of your home.”
Instead, the expert advised implementing some safer alternatives to the washing-up liquid hack. He said: “If you want to get rid of condensation, you have to deal with the moisture you already have.
“One of the best ways to safely remove moisture in your rooms is to use a dehumidifier. Although dehumidifiers can be expensive, they will remove excess moisture from your home and significantly reduce the chance of mold growth.”
For those who cannot afford an electric dehumidifier, there are cheaper alternatives that work just as well. Traditional dehumidifiers can be expensive to run and can also be noisy, which is not ideal if you have children at home.
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Indoor dehumidifiers, on the other hand, cost around £4 and contain hydrophilic crystals that soak up the moisture from the air helping to fight damp, mold and mildew. All homeowners need to do is place them next to windows to get rid of condensation.
The first rule of using wet crystals is to be aware that they have a short life. The second rule is about placement. For example, if the kitchen suffers from excess moisture, simply placing moist crystals on the kitchen counter will not help much.
Damp crystals are designed to be used in specific areas that can be affected by moisture and humidity, such as poorly ventilated kitchen and bathroom cabinets or even bedroom wardrobes. These are all areas that can suffer from poor air circulation problems, reducing the humidity within.
Evan explained: “Indoor dehumidifiers are a much cheaper option than your standard dehumidifier and one unit will last four to six weeks depending on the humidity in your home.
“Although some social media users have commented that they can make theirs last longer by drilling a small hole in the bottom of them and letting the water drain out, this is not something I recommend.
“These devices are cheap and should be used as intended.” When these dehumidifiers stop working, it is recommended that households replace them with a new humidifier.
For those who don’t want to use a dehumidifier in the home, Evan recommended using an old towel and a squeegee to remove condensation from windows.
He said: “Although this requires some manual work, it is a far better option than allowing moisture to soak into the walls or frames.”