Thought the biggest social media gurus were the ones flogging us lipsticks and eyeshadows on Instagram? Think again – this new breed of influencer is more in favour of discussing the pros and cons of their favourite cleaner for scrubbing stains off the kitchen sink. Yes, Insta cleaning gurus are taking over as the ones to follow and double-tap, showing off their spotless homes and just how they got them so clean.
Leading the pack is Sophie Hinchcliffe –known to her fans as Mrs Hinch – who has wracked up an impressive number of followers (610,000, to be exact) with her squeaky-clean house and instructional Insta stories, followed closely by self-professed ‘Queen of Clean’, Lyndsey Crombie, who has roughly 75k followers, and, Nicola Lewis, known on social media as This Girl Can Organise, who posts thoroughly satisfying snaps of immaculately organised drawers and cupboards.
As one of the original cleaning experts, Crombie is actually a familiar face on Channel 4’s Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, where she has been one of the key cleaners since 2014 (where she admitted to spending up to £80 a week on cleaning products), whilst also occasionally presenting segments on the Ideal Shopping World channel.
In her videos, Crombie stresses the importance of safe cleaning, using natural products rather than chemical-laden ones, and after going through a hard time with her ex-husband, is a strong believer in cleaning for mental health benefits.
Meanwhile, as a viral sensation Sophie has been handed a regular spot on This Morning, after a recent popular appearance on the show.
Insta-cleaning is turning into quite the phenomenon – high street store Savers even reported an 11% increase in the sale of household products so far this year. “There is something meditative about watching someone else clean their home on a screen,” said Doug Winchester, managing director at Savers. “It's similar to watching gourmet cooking programmes while eating a sandwich, but unlike MasterChef we've found it really [us] on to take pride in our cleaning.”
And while some might be sceptical that the rise in sales would be solely down to the cleaning gurus of Instagram, Doug puts that cynicism to bed, stating plenty of Savers customers come into the store ready with stills of these social media videos in order to ask colleagues for the exact products they’re using. It’s a pretty lucrative business – Hinchcliffe and Crombie seem to have deals to promote certain products on their Instagram accounts. Just two days ago, Crombie plugged her Vorwerk carpet cleaner in an ad for the company.
So why are we obsessed with cleaning videos? Perhaps the answer lies not just in how it can transform our houses into a palace of cleanliness – although there is that – but also how their videos have the ability to mesmerise and sooth. Much like ASMR, slime slapping and paint mixing, the reason we love these videos so much is mystifying. There seems no clear-cut reason we became obsessed with them, yet there’s definitely something we find deeply satisfying in the cleaning process. The simple monotony of an everyday task has this ability to remove you from the world for a moment and make all else fade away, which is probably why you can get caught up in such a viewing spiral; as SL deputy editor, Astrid Carter, said: “I watched Mrs Hinch clean a rug the other day for a whole 15 minutes.” Time has no meaning when you’re waiting for the end result of a stain remover.