Plummeting temperatures this winter means that many households will begin waking to steamed-up windows. While condensation seems like a small inconvenience it can damage your home and have negative health effects. To combat condensation many people are turning to hacks from social media and though there are some useful ones, there is one in particular which isn’t the safest option. This hack involves covering your windows in washing-up liquid to stop condensation from forming on them. However, bathroom design expert Evan Jones from Bathroom Supastore warns against this viral trend and says that 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-packed warm air comes into contact with a chilly surface, it cools down quickly and releases the water, which turns into liquid droplets on the cold surface. If not treated, condensation can cause mould in homes.
The TikTok hack of adding washing-up liquid to the window aims to prevent water droplets from forming on the surface, which in theory, should then prevent mould from forming in the home. However, this is not entirely the case.
Evan said: “While the videos clearly show that they are condensation free, what they don’t show is that the moisture that would have formed on those windows has now gone elsewhere.
“This moisture will now soak on porous surfaces such as your walls, ceilings and window frames, which is likely to cause mould in your home.
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“The biggest problem with using washing up liquid on your windows is that it doesn’t get rid of moisture, it simply moves it to a different area in your home.”
Instead, the expert advised implementing a few safer alternatives to the washing up liquid hack. He said: “If you want to get rid of condensation then you need 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. While dehumidifiers can be costly they will remove excess moisture from your home and reduce the chance of mould developing significantly.”
For those who can’t afford an electric dehumidifier there are cheaper alternatives that work just as well. Traditional dehumidifiers can be expensive to run and can be noisy too which isn’t ideal if you have kids at home.
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Interior dehumidifiers on the other hand cost around £4 and contain Hydrophilic crystals that suck in the moisture from the air which helps combat damp, mould and mildew. All homeowners have to do is place them next to their windows to get rid of condensation.
The first rule of using damp crystals is to be aware of the fact they have a short lifespan. The second rule is all about location. For example, if the kitchen suffers from excess moisture, simply placing damp crystals on the kitchen counter isn’t going to help all that much.
Damp crystals are designed to be used in specific areas that can be affected by damp and moisture, such as poorly ventilated kitchen and bathroom cupboards or even the wardrobes in bedrooms. These are all areas that can suffer poor air circulation problems, and reduce the moisture within.
Evan explained: “Interior dehumidifiers are a much cheaper option than your standard dehumidifier and one device will last four to six weeks depending on how much moisture is in your home.
“While 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 isn’t something I recommend.
“These devices are cheap and should be used as intended.” When these dehumidifiers stop working it is advised that households replace them with a new humidifier.
For those who do not want to use a dehumidifier in their home, Evan recommended using an old towel and a squeegee to remove condensation from windows.
He said: “While this does require some manual work it’s a far better option than letting moisture soak into your walls or frames.”