You may have heard folks wax lyrical about the cleaning power of lemons, or swear by sprinkling bicarb on their mattress. But there's another potential stain remover hiding in your medicine cabinet. Shave foam cleaning hacks are taking social media by storm and with good reason.
Unlike so many convenience store cleaners, shave foam isn't only cheap, it's also multipurpose, so you really do get more bang for your buck. We've come up with 10 great ways to use it – some in conjunction with one of our best vacuum cleaners (opens in new tab) or best handheld vacuums (opens in new tab).
Whether you love a good bathroom cleaning hack (opens in new tab), or you simply have a stubborn stain that refuses to budge, these shave foam cleaning hacks could be a potential game-changer for your cleaning routine.
10 things you can clean with shave foam
1. Clean up and shine a stainless-steel sink
A can of dollar-store shave foam can do wonders for a dull and dirty sink. Apply a few squirts, then buff your sink with a microfiber cloth. We rate Buff Pro Multi-Surface Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, $14.23, Amazon (opens in new tab), which are designed specifically for use on kitchen sinks and worktops, and which launder beautifully.
Super-shiny results are guaranteed, and this trick will work on other stainless-steel surfaces, too – think cookers, fridges and backsplashes.
2. Get stains out of a sofa
"In a pinch, shaving foam can be used in place of almost any fabric/carpet stain removal product," says Matthew Baratta, VP Operations at Daimer Industries (opens in new tab), a commercial and industrial cleaning equipment company. "Try an out-of-sight area first to ensure that the shaving cream will not affect any color on the fabric."
Rather than cover your stained fabric sofa with throws, you can get it looking good as new with shave foam. Top Ten Reviews tried this at home on a sofa with stains that had been there for a year, and we were amazed that they lifted out completely.
After watching countless TikTok tutorials, where people raved that they'd cleaned up everything from crayon to claret, we came up with our own method. It's said you can use foam or gel, but we decided to stick with foam, as more people recommended it. We applied the foam and rubbed in using a soft brush, then left it 25 minutes or so to work its magic.
Next we took a damp, clean cloth and used this to wipe the foam away. You can leave to air dry or use a wet/dry vacuum to remove any excess water. Either way, it works a charm.
Matthew Baratta says, "Cover the stain with shaving cream, work it into the fibers with a cloth and let it sit. You can then blot it up with a cloth. If you have a wet/vac, you can go one step further. Instead of blotting, pour a little warm water on the spot and suck it up with your wet vac. Repeat and agitate again if needed. This will both remove the soil and effectively remove the remnants of the shaving foam."
3. Leave your cooktop shining
If you've invested in one of our top-pick best electric cooktops (opens in new tab) or best induction cooktops (opens in new tab), you'll want to look after it. And this clever little shave foam cleaning hack will go a long way to help. Try it after any messy cooking sessions.
"Once the hob has cooled, spray a layer of shaving foam over the top and leave it to soak for fifteen minutes,' say the experts at Dr Beckmann (opens in new tab). "Finish by simply wiping the foam away and watch how the hob glistens."
The foam is powerful enough to remove cooked-on food and even burn marks.
4. Clean and de-mist bathroom mirrors and shower screens
"Using shaving foam to clean your mirrors will stop them from fogging up when your bathroom gets steamy," says cleaning influencer @lauracleanaholic (opens in new tab). She recommends applying a thin layer of shaving foam, then wiping it off quickly for a streak-free shine that won't fog up.
Ideally leave the foam for just a minute, and buff the surface with a dry towel."You can use it on your shower doors too, for a fog-free shower experience," Laura tells us.
5. Tackle water stains
Water stains on shower glass, faucets, basins, sinks and tiles are a common issue. But one that can be solved simply with shaving foam.
In this case you'll want to apply the foam and let it sit on the surface for at least 15 minutes before wiping it off with a clean cloth.
6. Remove dirt from car upholstery
If it can work for sofas, it's no real surprise that shave foam is just as good at cleaning your car upholstery. But don't use it on leather, as it could cause damage and water marks in the long term.
Apply the foam just as you would to a sofa (see step 2, above). It's best to use a wet/dry vac to remove the excess liquid after scrubbing. Check out our best shop vacuums (opens in new tab) for recommended models.
7. Take stains out of rugs and carpets
"It's no secret that shaving foam is great for cleaning up small messes," says Oberon Copeland, founder of Very Informed (opens in new tab). "The foamy consistency clings to surfaces and lifts away dirt and grime with ease. But did you know that shaving foam can also be used for bigger cleaning jobs, like vacuuming? Simply spray a thin layer of shaving foam onto the carpet or upholstery, and then run the vacuum over it."
Another of our favorite cleaning influencers, @lynsey_queenofclean (opens in new tab), is a massive fan of using shaving cream as a cleaner. Writing on Instagram, she reveals her top shaving foam cleaning hack – and one you'll turn to regularly if you have a habit of spilling drinks or nail varnish. Because yes, it works on both...
"Shaving cream is simply a form of whipped soap. When applied it lathers up, penetrating and adding moisture to just about any stain,' she explains. "Just use warm water and a small soft brush or cloth and very gently rub into the stain leave for 10 minutes then rinse away. Finally, open up your cloth into a square and pat dry."
Lindsey likes to use a white cloth so she can clearly see the stain lifting off the carpet, and sticks to white foam as it doesn't contain any dye that has potential to stain the fabric.
Meanwhile, Oberon Copeland says, "The shaving foam will help to loosen any embedded dirt and hair, making it easier for the vacuum to do its job. Plus, your home will smell fresh and clean afterwards! So next time you're running low on cleaning supplies, reach for the shaving foam instead - it just might be the versatile cleaner you've been looking for."
8. Clean and deodorize the toilet
If you can't seem to shift bad urine smells from your toilet bowl, let shave foam come to your rescue. Spray liberally around the bowl (on the inside and out) and leave it to work for an hour or so – just don't let it dry out or it will be hard to remove.
Next, use a toilet brush and hot water to remove the foam and your ceramics will come up sparkling clean and free of that nasty pee odor. It should do the same on porcelain or ceramic tiles.
9. Lift dirt from your mattress
This top tip comes courtesy of Florida-based professional cleaners, All Star Steam Cleaning (opens in new tab): "You may be surprised to learn that foaming shave cream is actually one of the best mattress cleaners," they explain on their blog.
"Leave this to sit on the mattress for 10 to 15 minutes. This will allow the alcohol in the shave cream to sink in and attack the stain."
You'll then need to let the mattress dry naturally, as its thickness means it can be hard remove excess moisture with a wet/dry vac. And it's a good idea to check the smell of the foam before you apply it, as you're likely to breathe it in for days after you've cleaned up.
10. Get red wine out of almost any fabric
The trick to using shave foam on stubborn red wine stains is to apply it using the back of a spoon. It should work on most fabrics, but we don't recommend it on leather. We would also recommend spot testing on all fabrics first, particularly on delicates.
Once you've worked in the foam with the spoon, dab with a damp cloth or sponge. If you're applying to upholstery, leave to air dry. If it's clothing, give it a rinse in cold water. Never use hot water as it could set the stain.
Why is shaving foam such a good cleaner?
Aside from water, the main ingredient of shaving foam is soap, so it's no wonder it's good at cleaning. It also contains glycerin, which mildly antimicrobial and antiviral, and bonds well with water molecules. This is why shaving foam can stop steam from settling on surfaces and is good at removing water marks.
Shaving foams contain conditioning agents, which means they are able to nourish and soften fabrics. And foams tend to be easier to work into carpet piles, and thick upholstery materials such as velvet, than a liquid.
Finally, because shaving foams are designed to be gentle on skin, you can use them without the need of protective gloves. If you have children or pets, there's also less risk should they accidentally come into contact with the foam while you're cleaning.
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