OPENING the door to my Tinder date Sami’s home in August 2020, and catching a whiff of what lay ahead, I knew he was about to be disappointed.
When I glimpsed his greasy oven fan and dirty cupboard tops, I had one thing on my mind: cleaning.
Auri Kananen is a cleaner who lives in Tampere, Finland
She has more than 10million followers online
He was stunned as I whipped Marigolds out of my bag and began scrubbing his house clean.
Sami proposed in January 2022 and we’re getting married next year, so my obsession with being a ‘super cleaner’ – who loves tackling the stench of rotting food and the sight of squirming maggots – didn’t put him off!
It’s also made me the world’s most famous cleaning influencer, with 10 million followers.
I started cleaning professionally when I was 16 and still at school, helping my mum Sanna, 52, who ran a cleaning company.
Our home in Tampere, which we shared with my dad and brother, was always immaculate.
She taught me how to clean, including hacks like using a squeegee on floors, not just windows.
Aged 20, I went to Tampere University to study applied sciences, which included learning about specialised cleaning and hospitality management.
Afterwards, I got a job as a manager in a large commercial cleaning company partly owned by Mum.
I started working full-time with her in 2012 and realised the jobs I got greatest satisfaction from were the ones other cleaners refused.
The most extreme was a bathroom that hadn’t been cleaned for six years.
It was black with mould, the floor strewn with waste and bottles of urine and poo – I called it my ‘dirtylicious challenge.’
I first got the idea to share my work on social media during the pandemic in June 2020 – I knew people were stuck at home and I wanted to show them how easy cleaning could be.
So I set up accounts on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook and started sharing before and after videos.
They went viral, getting 1.9 million views, then double that and treble. By December, I had 3million followers, and I now have more than 10 million across my channels.
The following June, I become self-employed, thanks to my social media success.
My friends and family are proud of me, and while cleaning is how I earn a living, I also do some for free, helping people with illnesses.
I receive so many heartbreaking messages and photos of filthy homes.
Recently, I had a message from a woman who was concerned about her 86-year-old friend with Alzheimer’s who was squirrelling away rotting food in drawers and behind sofas.
I started working full-time with her in 2012 and realised the jobs I got greatest satisfaction from were the ones other cleaners refused. The most extreme was a bathroom that hadn’t been cleaned for six years.
Her bathroom was filled with mould and unwashed clothes.
I was determined to create a nice environment for her, so I spent two days wiping away inches of rotted food and maggots. The stink was overwhelming.
When I’d finished, she offered to pay me, but seeing her happiness was enough. I also talked to relatives and support groups to ensure they could keep her house clean.
For other vulnerable people, I leave them a kit and a list of when to clean and how.
One man contacted me because he was depressed and his bedsit had fallen into squalor.
I used a scraper to get rid of a year’s worth of cigarette butts and ash from the floor, and removed a mountain of rubbish and rotting food from the kitchen.
People think I use high-tech equipment, but I don’t. I use a broom to get rid of dirt and hair, then a dustpan and brush, followed by soap and water or carpet cleaner.
My top products are degreaser, scrapers, dishwasher soap and water, power paste, toilet cleaner and Scrub Daddy scrubbers.
After each job, I shower and change, before disinfecting my tools and washing my clothes on a hot cycle.
I don’t employ anyone, but I hope to set up a network of cleaners around the world to help those in need.
People might find my job disgusting, but I’m never happier than when I’m knee-deep in mould and grime.
Two hours of cleaning burns around 400 calories
An office phone can contain 25,000 germs per square inch*.
Leave antibac on surfaces for 1-2 minutes before wiping or it won’t be effective.
Source: *Cleaning Services Group
Auri is the world’s most famous cleaning influencer
She is getting married to electrical company CEO Sami next year