Auri Katariina / SWNS
A woman loves cleaning so much that she gave up her job and is now traveling the world scrubbing homes for free, helping women who need a huge hand.
Auri Katariina was a service manager at a cleaning company in Finland in the summer of 2021, when she decided to quit and follow her unique passion.
“My dream is to clean for free all over the world, and help people whilst doing something I absolutely love,” said the 29-year-old, who has become a bit of a social media sensation, by sharing her cleaning tips.
“I’ve always loved cleaning, and I began posting videos online of me just cleaning my family and friends home’s two years ago.
“Then one day, a woman asked me for help because she was struggling so much and her home was so messy. She had three kids and her husband had just taken his own life, so she was finding it really difficult.”
Auri, who says she’s “in heaven” whenever she cleans, was more than happy to help—in fact, she was “excited” to help.
“I went on a weekend and cleaned her home for two days. By the end she was crying and her kids were hugging me and thanking me. I could see the transformation in the house and how happy they were and it was the best feeling ever.”
The young woman from Tampere has gone as far as the USA and UK to help people who are in desperate need of decluttering and cleaning.
Auri Katariina / SWNS
Now, thanks to her huge TikTok following of 7.8 million fans, and the 2.1Mil on Instagram who watch her viral videos that share cleaning tips—and, before-and-after photos—a corporate sponsor has reached out to cover her expenses.
She decides where to clean from reading requests she gets online, but chooses only the dirtiest, grimiest homes belonging to people most in need.
“I only clean for free. You can’t buy my services and I won’t ever charge anyone to clean their home.
For the first six months she covered all travel and product expenses herself, about 300 euros per visit. Then Scrub Daddy, a cleaning sponge brand, became a sponsor.
Now, Auri goes to clean strangers’ homes once a week, for two days, and creates content for her social media channels, including lists of some of her top tips—some of which have racked up 24 million views.
“When I go in, I always start with just taking all the rubbish out and decluttering all the surfaces. From there, I usually clean the hallways first so I can walk through, but honestly it doesn’t matter where you start—just start!”
Some of her viral cleaning tips
Her biggest trick when cleaning ovens or stoves is to use cling film: “It’s absolutely magical.”
“If you have a dirty stove, put oven cleaner and cling film on it, wait overnight and the stains will melt away – the same goes for inside your oven.”
“A lot of the time, it’s not about a fancy product that you use, it’s about the time and the tools. If you have limescale in your bathroom, a lot of people ask what product is best to use, but really the most important thing is a strong tool like a scraper and a metal scourer.
Most of the cleaning agents she recommends are simple and natural.
“I wash my toilet and shower with just dish soap—it’s the best product ever. It removes grease, and in the shower you of course have grease from your body so it can remove all of that.
For your home office, Auri says less is more. “All you need for dust is a microfiber cloth and water, it removes 99% of everything, you don’t need any product.”
Her tool kit mostly just contains only a few basic things: vinegar, dish soap, oven cleaner, power paste from Scrub Daddy, a scourer, a scraper, a dish brush (or old tooth brush)—which is fantastic for tiny crevices—a duster, microfibre cloth, and a Scrub Daddy Sponge, which appropriately is in the shape of a smiley face.
Auri Katariina / SWNS
“Companies will try and sell you a different cleaner for each room in your house, but it’s not necessary,” she insists.
She said that some jobs take longer than the usual two days. “There was one home which took four days because the girl had lived there for six years, but was just too depressed to clean.
“She was such a lovely girl, but she was so depressed she had even shaved her head so she didn’t have to take a shower. Her bathroom was totally black, but I cleaned all day and it was so great by the end.
“People that I help are often really struggling, but they want to change, so I come and help them take the first step. Many people send me messages after six months or a year, showing me their homes that are still clean, which is great.
Auri feels passionately that cleaning should be a fun activity, rather than a chore. Watch her perform some magic in this video of a hideous bathroom mess:
Advice if you don’t like cleaning
“When I clean, I start with looking around the house and just seeing what’s dirty – I don’t do the same thing every time, because then it gets boring, and then during the week if I see something that needs cleaning I’ll do it then. What I recommend is to put a 15 minute timer on and do as much as you can. It’s okay to clean poorly, you don’t always have to vacuum the whole floor, just do the living room.
“People stress too much about cleaning, it’s not that serious if you have stains or have forgotten to clean something—your house doesn’t always need to be extremely clean like it is in magazines.”
Auri’s Top Cleaning Tips:
1. Put clingfilm over cleaning products and leave it overnight to remove tough dirt.2. Use dish soap to clean your toilet and shower.3. Clean little and often—don’t feel pressured to clean everything at once.4. First job is to always take out the rubbish then go from there5. Focus on using good tools rather than fancy products
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