I tried out TikTok hacks to stay cool in the heatwave, here are which ones *actually* work

I will try literally anything at this point to have a good night’s sleep

I think we are finally allowed to say this heatwave is shit. As Brits, we love to talk about the weather and really, what that means is we love to moan about our terrible weather. We moan when it’s too cold and it rains too much and now I’m going to moan that it’s too hot. I can’t sleep, I can’t work and I feel like I can’t fucking breathe.

Having realised this heatwave is more than a few days of sun and is actually going to be two weeks of muggy, swampy hell, I’ve decided to take drastic action. I’ve scoured through all of TikTok, finding every hack possible for keeping cool in the sun and tried them all. Should you drink hot tea? Open your windows or close your blinds? Does putting ice cubes in front of your fan actually work? We’ve tried it all and we are here to tell you what actually works:

Freezing your sheets

tiktok heatwave hack

I’ve seen this theory everywhere and someone needs to call it out because it doesn’t work at all. Stripping your sheets and putting them in the freezer next to your sausages is weird enough but when you actually break it down and realise you are attempting to freeze the residual moisture in your sheets which is just last night’s sweat – it’s grim.

I left my sheets to freeze for two hours and by the time you’ve put them back on your bed, any sense of the sheets being cold has disappeared. It takes ages, it’s a bit grim and you end up hotter than when you started after you build up a sweat putting the sheets on. Avoid this hack like the plague.

Sweat-o-meter: 1/10 – Feel like a wet flannel.

Putting a bowl of ice cubes in front of your fan

Start filling your ice cube trays because this genuinely works. I was sceptical at first and you won’t notice the effects immediately because it only really starts to kick in when the ice melts but it’s as close to air-conditioning as you’re ever going to be able to get. Really difficult one to position in your bedroom because you want the fan and the tray as close to you as possible but if you are working from home and have a desk fan – ideal.

Close your eyes, add a bit of salt into the water, it’s going to feel like a sea breeze.

Sweat-o-meter: 8/10 – I’m sweet, I’m breezy, my heatwave irritation is the lowest it’s been all day.

Drink cold peppermint tea

The whole hot drink vs cold drink debate is quite complicated. According to Dr Ollie Jay of the Thermal Ergonomics Laboratory in Canada, drinking hot drinks can in fact cool you down because it creates more heat dissipation than if you drink a cold drink. If you drink a hot tea, it’s going to increase how much you sweat and it’s the evaporation of that sweat which releases body heat and cools you down.

That’s the science behind it, but does anyone actually fancy a hot drink when they are already sweating buckets and it’s not cooling you down? Having a cold drink won’t cool you down any better than a hot drink but if it offers you better relief, go for it.

Hot or cold, peppermint tea does actually offer some relief against the heatwave. Peppermint naturally contains menthol which helps to trick our nerves into thinking it’s experienced something cold so while it won’t actually cool you down, it tricks your brain into thinking you have.

Sweat-o-meter: 5/10 – I’ve enjoyed the tea but I’m probably still a bit damp under the pits

Get inside your sheets with a fan

tiktok heatwave hacks

I’m typing this paragraph from within my sheet fort and it’s the highlight of my day so far. More importantly, it’s the coolest I’ve been all day. This seems like a classic TikTok gimmick that looks far too good to be true. I was expecting to get in and have a claustrophobic crumpled sheet on my head. What you get is an airy and bright oasis with 100 per cent of your fan hitting you.

The view from inside

Get your peppermint tea, get your laptop, and get inside your own sheet fort.

Sweat-o-meter: 9/10 – Bone dry inside here.

Run cold water over your wrists

tiktok heatwave hacks

Not everything you see online works and this is one of those occasions. While your wrists are under the water, will you cool down? Sure, but it’s very short term relief. In the first 10 minutes after you’ve taken your wrists out of the water you realise two things. Firstly, your whole hand feels uncomfortably numb. Secondly, and far more frustratingly, your wrist very quickly starts to warm up, leaving you exactly as hot as you were beforehand and leaving you feeling like a bit of a mug.

Very mediocre hack.

Sweat-o-meter: 4/10 – Feel the beads of sweat forming on my forehead.

Closing all your blinds rather than opening windows

It seems intuitive that if you want to cool down your room, you should open a window. However, TikTok will have you questioning this natural assumption. Having spent all afternoon in a ridiculously dark room, and despite the slight mole-like feeling, I have to hand it to the TikTok scientists, they are right.

As long as the temperature outside is hotter than inside, closing your blinds or curtains is going to cool your room because it’s going to block the heat from getting inside in the first place. You should only open your windows if the outside temperature is cooler than your room. There’s no point opening your windows, to circulate air through your house if that air happens to be 41 degrees.

Sweat-o-meter: 6/10 – It’s still hot but it’s definitely an improvement.


Having drunk copious amounts of peppermint tea at varying temperatures, sat in a dark room in the middle of the day and built a sheet fort, I can tell you all three of these options work well. Add to that, the ice water in front of the fan – it brought genuine relief. Running water over your wrists is self-explanatory and a bit of a short term hack. Whatever you do, don’t freeze your sheets. It’s a complete waste of your time. Freezers are for ice-creams not bedsheets.

For all the latest TikTok news, the best memes and quizzes, like The Holy Church of TikTok on Facebook. 

Related articles recommended by this author:

A woman’s tips for surviving the hot weather have gone viral and they’re life changing

Take this personality quiz and we’ll tell you which park tinny is your perfect match

This is what your summer drink of choice says about your general vibe