People Are Using Empty Toilet Paper Rolls For This Vacuuming Hack


Nov. 22 2023, Published 1:54 p.m. ET

Cleaning can be a pain, especially when it comes to the dirt and grime that builds up in the tracks of your windows and sliding glass door. Sure, you can try to wipe the dirt away, but that could take a while, and it never really gets all the dirt.

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A hack circulating social media offers an easier way to clean sliding glass door tracks, using a vacuum cleaner and a toilet paper roll. We love this hack because it’s a great way to reuse empty toilet paper (or paper towel) rolls. Let’s look at how people use a toilet paper roll and vacuum to clean sliding door tracks.

An empty toilet paper roll on a white toilet paper holder.
Source: Getty Images
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An empty toilet paper roll can help you clean sliding door tracks.

In a video posted to Instagram by ACleanBee, she fitted an empty toilet paper roll on the end of her Dyson vacuum cleaner hose nozzle to clean her sliding door tracks. Unlike the head of the vacuum nozzle (or most vacuum attachments), the toilet paper roll is flexible enough to fit into the different-sized tracks of the sliding glass door and suck up all the dirt.

The OP then cleaned any remaining residue by wiping the tracks down with white vinegar and water.

The OP demonstrated vacuuming the tracks with the hose nozzle and then with the paper roll. The paper roll was the “clear winner,” she said.

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“The only issue I ran into was sometimes the crevices were so narrow that the toilet paper roll completely closed up, so I’d have to turn off the vacuum and reopen the roll,” the OP said in the video.

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One commenter to the video suggested that cutting the bottom of the paper roll at an angle should help prevent the roll from collapsing when you try to get to those narrower tracks.

Some vacuums come with a crevice tool, but they are usually plastic and not very flexible. And sure, you may be able to even buy a flexible crevice tool, some of which are specifically designed to clean sliding door and window tracks — but why spend the money if you don’t have to?

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A person cleaning the tracks of a window sill with a white cloth.
Source: iStock

There are a few other tricks for cleaning sliding door tracks.

If you don’t want to go out and buy a flexible crevice tool, there are plenty of other options for cleaning the tracks of your windows and sliding door.

Of course, using an empty toilet paper roll or empty paper towel roll seems to be an A+ hack. But in case you don't have any of those laying around — perhaps you rely on reusable toilet paper or a bidet instead of TP, and reusable cloths and rags instead of paper towels — there are a few other hacks you can try.

One commenter on ACleanBee's video said they use straws rubber-banded together to create a flexible vacuum attachment.

Another commenter suggested using an old paintbrush to loosen up the dirt in the tracks, which will make it easier to vacuum up or wipe away.

Or, as Lifehacker suggests, a combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide could moisten and loosen the dirt in your sliding door tracks enough that you can simply wipe them away.

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