Amid the craze for cleaning Instagram accounts, Sue Ryder tells Marian Finucane that there is a generation gap when it comes to knowing how to properly clean, and this is possibly what people get from those videos.
Although everyone and their mother is seemingly obsessed with cleaning Instagram accounts, one cleaning expert says that the
Ryder, who owns cleaning service Cleaner Angels, was speaking to Marian Finucane about the surge in interest for cleaning Instagram accounts, where people post about their cleaning routines, new products and before and after comparisons of their homes.
For Sue, the fascination is obvious: the younger generation has never fully learned how to clean and these videos break down the process and make it look a little sexier through social media.
For Sue, cleaning has always been a central part of her life, starting from her childhood. Her mother was exceptionally clean, she explained, so much so that "she used to even iron her dusters".
While that might be a little excessive, Sue says she has the same streak in her: "I think I have a little bit of OCD because everything has to have a place, and everything in its place."
"I was taught at a very young age how to clean, you had to have your chores before you went out and it was a must because my mother worked full time also."
Through her work with Cleaner Angels, she sees all kinds of homes at very stage of cleanliness, and she says about younger people that "you know when you go into certain homes [that they don't know how to clean]".
"Some people, they have great intentions because underneath their sinks is full of products, but they don’t actually know how to clean. For some of them, it’s not that they don’t want to. They just don’t know where to start or how to do it. They don’t know what to use".
When it comes to starting, she says the key is routine. "You need a routine and you need to clean as you go. I clean my kitchen counters every day and then I sanitize them. When I have a shower I clean the glass before I get out. I clean the sink, I clean the loo. And then once a month get in and give everything a good cleaning."
However, she says that in many cases she's seen people are unable to clean, be it down to old age, illness or depression. These are the most upsetting cases for her, but at each point she treats clients - who may be upset or embarrassed - with patience, understanding and compassion.
"I get people calling me up and saying ‘my house is a mess, can you help me’ and they’re embarrassed and they’ve no need to be because it’s a very common problem in this country."
"We’ve done houses where you can’t get in the door and where everything that shoudl be in the bin is all littered all over the place. We did a house where we filled up three large skips just with debris that was on the floor."
Of course, there are some cases where no amount of air freshener will help. Sue recalls one case where a man had died in his apartment and the bathroom was covered in feces. When she approached a plumber to have the toilet removed, he refused, as did everyone else she contacted. Faced with cleaning it or walking away, she wasn't going to let down a client.
She suited up and cleaned the toilet herself. "I do have a strong stomach for certain things", she says. She'll also never ask a member of her team to do a job she wouldn't do herself.
Listen back for her cleaning tips here.