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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Amber O'Connor

'Cleanfluencer' who went through 14 bottles of bleach a week reflects on 'obsession'

If you've ever completed a 'deep clean' and felt an even deeper sense of relief afterwards, you'll know how restorative the process can feel.

When things start to feel overwhelming, it's sometimes helpful to start tackling the problems you can address. Other times, intricate chores and tasks may prove to be effective methods to release pent-up stress, while offering a much-welcomed distraction.

Regardless of the reasons - for they are varied and complex - it's evident cleaning can have a significant impact on our mental health.

Perhaps then it should be no surprise that the uplift in 'cleanfluencers' in recent years has coincided with a renewed focus on the importance of mental well-being.

Lynsey Crombie found cleaning helped her with her past (lynsey_queenofclean / Instagram)

Take for instance Mrs Hinch - or Sophie Hinchcliffe - now, a household name on account of her popularity as a cleaning guru.

Of course, interest in #cleanfluencers (a hashtag that returns over 31,000 results on Instagram alone) varies among viewers. For some, perhaps, the interest stems from a liking for a tidy house, or a preference for time-effective tips to speed up the process. But for others bringing order to their home has helped them make sense of a troubled mind, according to

Talking to the publication, Lynsey Crombie, also known as Lynsey Queen of Clean, explained cleaning helped her to process her traumatic past experiences.

In her candid interview, the author and This Morning expert said cleaning helped her after she found out her first husband was a paedophile, while she was pregnant with twins. "I did counselling, CBT, all those things, but the only time I ever felt normal was when I was cleaning. It became an obsession."

She added that she would go through about 14 bottles of bleach a week. When she appeared on TV show Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, she was filmed throwing a bottle of bleach on the floor, followed by pine disinfectant and washing up liquid - something she now regrets as she emphasised the importance of cleaning safely.

Thankfully, Lynsey found "things calmed down" when she had her son with her second husband in 2008.

For her, cleaning is still something connected to emotion - and she'll sometimes employ "rage-cleaning" after an argument, but she no longer cleans for eight hours a day, as she once used to.

Instead, she likes cleaning to going for a run - explaining that it's a form of exercise that releases pent up negativity and relieves stress.

For Danielle Mason, cleaning also acts as a useful method to use up excess energy. A former glamour model and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding star, she was previously married to someone from the Traveller community, and credits this as the source of much of her "know-how".

But for the mum-of-two, who said she had a "fetish for smelling dust" when she was pregnant, cleaning is about much more than knowing which steps to follow.

Danielle said it's something that helps with her anxiety - which she also takes medication for - and she believes it can help people to stop overthinking.

The hardworking mum, who runs a cleaning business and presents Good Housekeeping on shopping channel Ideal World has over 20 years of experience, and it doesn't look like she plans to stop anytime soon.

"Even if I won the lottery tomorrow, I would never let another cleaner in my house," she revealed. Danielle added that she gets "real satisfaction" from her cleaning.

Elsewhere, Yohann Dieul, or ‘Frenchy’, explained he found solace in cleaning when he experienced childhood anxiety.

Now, a cleaning and lifestyle content creator, Yohann said he's had a passion for cleaning since an early age, when the shy schoolboy found it offered him an escape.

He told "Cleaning set me free. My bedroom was spotless. Nothing was on the floor. Everything was dusted, everything was back in the cupboards. It was a safe space and it really helped me."

Yohann, who was diagnosed with anxiety aged 10, remembers feeling "trapped in anxiety", with "a fear of dying, a fear of being ill."

Thankfully, he said he was able to be more open when he went to high school and then university, but he continued cleaning.

In the decades since - he moved to the UK 25 years ago - he's experienced a number of jobs and even worked as an au pair, visiting lots of hotels and bringing his cleaning supplies along.

He now lives happily in Yorkshire and says every room in his house is spotless, even though his cleaning hours are limited by his work as an administrator at a charity, as he ensures he cleans "a bit every day", sometimes up to three or four hours on the weekend.

Anyone affected by this story who may wish to seek medical support can find out more about local mental health services on the NHS website.

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