WE all love trying out different tips and tricks to spruce up or clean our homes – but did you know some of them could end up costing you thousands of pounds?

The hacks you see across social media aren’t always safe and they could even cause permanent damage to your home.

To make matters worse, according to the experts at Admiral Home Insurance, if you needed to make a claim on your property it could be rejected.

Plus, it’s worth noting that making a claim on your home insurance can drive up your premiums too.

The company has warned that no matter how simple and cost effective they may seem, if these “hacks” go wrong you could even put your own safety at risk.

Noel Summerfield, head of household at Admiral says it’s really important people are careful when trying out the hacks in their own homes.


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He said: “In the worst case, they could risk not being able to make a successful claim if the hack causes damage rather than solves the problem.

“Like most insurers, we require customers take care to prevent any accidents, loss, damage or injury.

“If they choose to follow a hack that causes damage to the property, they risk invalidating their insurance.” 

Whilst most of the home hacks we see online are nothing but harmless and helpful, it’s always worth checking with experts whether to use these tips and if they are safe for you to try.

We spoke to Admiral about the four most common hacks that could cause damage to your house and cost you cash.

Hanging items on your walls using duct tape

The first home hack Admiral says could do more harm than good is people using duct tape to stick various things to their walls.

While this may sound obvious, it really is a thing and people have been spotted sticking racks and paintings or even wooden furniture up.

It seems people do it in a bid to save money, and time, instead of using picture hooks and nails.

It might sound like a good idea at the time but you risk damaging walls or furniture when removing it by ripping off the paint or damaging the plaster underneath.

Items are also unlikely to be properly secured and are more likely to fall and break – or potentially hurt you too.

Noel said: “This might seem like a quick and easy fix, but it’s unlikely to be sufficient in holding items in place, and objects could get damaged or cause more damage if they fall off the walls.

“The tape is also likely to damage the paint on your walls, adding another decorating job to your list and additional costs in the long run.”  

How much it could cost you will depend on the item you damaged.

For example if it falls and knocks off a really expensive vase or stereo you could be out of pocket for the value of that item if the insurer doesn’t pay out.

Instead why not stick to the tried and tested methods, while they may cost more up-front they could save you cash in damage in the long run.

Using a power drill to clean your shower

Again, this one might sound obvious, but it’s probably best not to use an electric drill to clean your shower.

Of course, no one likes cleaning their bathroom, and there are lots of tricks you can use to speed up the process but attaching a scrubbing brush to a drill? Not really a good idea.

Noel says: “Power tools should be used with caution, and they’re definitely not for cleaning.”

The speed of the scrubbing could damage your bathroom fixtures and fittings, plus you could also damage your tiles or shower.

Most importantly, you could risk injury to yourself if the brush becomes loose and flies off.

As laborious as it might seem, using your brush with your own hand is definitely a safer bet.

If you’re looking for some safe tips on keeping your bathroom clean why not try some of these.

Fixing a tunnelled candle using aluminium foil

This hack is a particularly popular one, using aluminium foil to fix a tunnelled candle.

Videos for this trick online has racked up hundreds of thousands of likes on social media.

The person wraps foil around the top of the candle and leaves it while the wax returns to its usual shape.

Of course, aluminium foil will only become flammable at very high temperatures, it’s never safe to leave a candle unattended.

If the foil becomes exposed to heat for too long, it could catch fire, putting your safety and your home at considerable risk.  

Noel advises: “Candles are a popular way to create a cosy atmosphere, but we urge people to take care and never leave them unattended.

“Our insurance data from the last five years showed the average cost of claims for fire damage caused by candles coming in at almost £7,000.” 

If you’re looking to fix a tunnelled candle why not instead start by trimming its wick to prevent further tunnelling.

Also, why not invest in a candle topper to protect the flame and stop it from burning unevenly – you can find them for just £6 on Amazon.

Cleaning your settee with a dishwasher tablet

One viral TikTok hack sees users cleaning fabric sofas with a microfibre cloth and a dishwasher tablet.

It’s done in order to lift stains and freshen up the material.

But according to Noel, dishwasher tablets are one of the most toxic cleaning products in the home, and could damage the material over time.  

He said: “Dishwasher tablets should be reserved for the dishwasher – the chemicals are likely to be too harsh for cleaning soft furnishings.”

He also warned these kinds of chemicals should also be kept away from children and pets as they could be toxic or irritate sensitive skin.

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If you attempt to make a claim on your damaged sofa and your insurer doesn’t pay out – you could be out hundreds of pounds in order to replace it.

Instead, why not follow our handy guide on how to safely clean a fabric sofa.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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