Why This Latest DIY Hack Could Be Dangerous for Your Home

This TikTok hack might look harmless, but it's a dangerous way to heat your home.

Many people flock to TikTok for the latest home hacks and trends, and while some can be helpful, occasionally, a viral tip can be less than desirable—or unsafe. The latest one includes a way to heat your home in a rather risky way.

Across the country, the cost of heating is rising, and many people are looking for ways to save money on their home energy bills. As energy costs continue to rise, so does an increased variety of home heating tips, and this one viral TikTok hack encourages using DIY terracotta heaters to warm up your home.

With over 2 million video views under the hashtag #terracottapotheater, it’s become a fast phenomenon. Although the hack seems harmless, experts warn that these DIY terracotta heaters are dangerous fire hazards and may pose other serious threats to your home.

What Is a Terracotta Heater?

A terracotta heater is a DIY heater made from a terracotta plant pot placed upside down on top of lit candles. After some time, the terracotta pot will warm up, serving as a makeshift radiator in your room.

The viral hack has TikTok users promoting this as a cheap way to heat your home in place of your home’s heating system as the weather gets colder.

Is a Terracotta Heater Safe?

Although a DIY heater might seem like a good idea as a cost-effective alternative to traditional heating, several experts are warning that these terracotta rigs are harmful fire hazards that can pose additional health risks.

For one, the melted wax from the candles combined with the terracotta pot is a fire risk. Plus, when the terracotta pot is heated, it can burn your hands easily and can be a hazard in your home.

Secondly, the upside-down pots can also get knocked over, exposing the lit candles to flammable items like curtains, carpeting, or a couch. Make sure you know others things in your home that may be fire hazards.

Additionally, there’s also a risk of explosion. If a terracotta pot has moisture inside, the heat from the lie candles can create steam. When the steam gets trapped inside the pot, it may expand, causing the pot to explode.

Safer Ways to Heat Your Home

There are several ways to warm a room that actually work. Try these other projects to keep your house warm this winter if you’re hoping to save on your heating bill:

  • Add more insulation
  • If you have a fireplace, keep a fire lit throughout the day—with logs or candles!
  • Add weatherstripping to doors and windows
  • Invest in some thicker window coverings
  • Check for inconspicuous drafts in windows, outlets, and more
  • Buy a safe space heater
  • Open blinds and curtains in the morning to let sunlight in.
  • Cook and bake more often to heat up your kitchen.
  • Don’t leave doors open too long when heading outside.
  • Have your air ducts cleaned

If it’s an emergency, check out ways to heat your home in an emergency.

Cianna Garrison
Cianna Garrison is a California-based freelance writer with a love for home design and architecture. Since she was small, she's been immersed in interior design and DIY projects, whether hands-on or through her HGTV obsession, and is handier around the house than she'd like to admit. Her work has appeared in Elite Daily, How-To Geek, Review Geek, Truity and other publications.