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I quit my job to clean filthy homes around the world for free — it’s heaven

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Cleaning homes is currency for one woman traveling the world. 

Scrubbing her way around people’s homes for free has allotted Auri Katariina, 29, the ability to globe-trot, a squeaky clean career path she carved out for herself as a passionate declutter bug, according to South West News Service.

It all apparently started when Katariina helped a single mom organize her home. She loved cleaning so much she started making videos featuring her tips and tricks for tidying to the tune of 7.8 million TikTok followers. Now, she’s sponsored, and the money she makes from cleaning videos helps her cover traveling expenses, allowing her to afford her jaunting costs while never charging her clients a penny, according to SWNS. 

“I’m not afraid of dirt, the dirt is afraid of me,” the self-proclaimed queen of cleaning, who hails from Finland, writes in her Twitter bio.

Auri Katariina loves cleaning so much she gave up her job to travel the world and clean people's homes for free.
Auri Katariina loves cleaning so much she gave up her job to travel the world and clean people’s homes for free.
Courtesy Auri Katar / SWNS
Armed with a ScrubDaddy sponge and rubber gloves, Auri typically takes two days to properly clean a home, she said.
Armed with a Scrub Daddy sponge and rubber gloves, Katariina typically takes two days to properly clean a home, she said.
Courtesy Auri Katar / SWNS

Her viral fame stems from a personal passion for cleaning and helping people. In the beginning of her cleaning career, she helped a single mom with three kids transform their home after her husband took his life, she said, according to SWNS. 

“I went a weekend and cleaned her home for two days. By the end she was crying and her kids were hugging me and thanking me.

“It was the best feeling ever. I could see the transformation in the house and how happy they were,” she said.

Since then, armed with a Scrub Daddy sponge and pink rubber gloves, the Finnish clean freak posts videos of herself scrubbing down a molded shower, cleaning out a cluttered kitchen, knee deep in aluminum baking trays, bags and frozen dinners and pantry staples. At first, she fronted the bill for her cleaning supplies and travel expenses, costing her a reported $296 per visit. 

Woman cleans clutter for a living for free.
Katariina’s viral fame stems from a personal passion for cleaning and helping people. In the beginning of her cleaning career, she helped a single mom with three kids transform their home.
Courtesy Auri Katar / SWNS
Auri typically starts her process by cleaning off surfaces, moving to the hallways and then overhauling the kitchen.
Katariina typically starts her process by cleaning off surfaces, moving to the hallways and then overhauling the kitchen.
Courtesy Auri Katar / SWNS

Last summer, she was able to quit her job and focus on cleaning people’s homes full time by getting funds from cleaning product sponsors and creating content on her social media along the way. She’s up to cleaning strangers’ homes for two days while chronicling her best cleaning tips to followers.

First, she’ll declutter all the surfaces and start cleaning the hallways. Next is the kitchen, scrubbing dirty stove tops and using oven cleaner to melt away stains. She recommends limescale for bathrooms and dish soap to clean toilets calling it “the best product ever,” according to SWNS. Home offices have been another tall task, since more people are working from home, she said.

Got dust bunnies? Microfiber cloth, she explained, removes 99% “of everything.” 

“You don’t need any product,” she assured to SWNS. 

Auri once spent four days cleaning a woman's home that hadn't been cleaned for six years, she said.
Katariina once spent four days cleaning a woman’s home that hadn’t been cleaned for six years, she said.
Courtesy Auri Katar / SWNS
Auri Katariina, 29, quit her job as a service manager at a cleaning company in the summer of 2021, to pursue her passion of cleaning other people's homes for free.
Katariina’s top cleaning products are vinegar, dish soap, power paste from Scrub Daddy and oven cleaner, she said.
SWNS

“In all my cleans I mostly only use a few very basic things. For products my top things are vinegar, dish soap, power paste from Scrub Daddy and oven cleaner,” she noted of her cleaning kit. 

“Then for tools I just use a scraper, a dish brush, which is fantastic for tiny crevices, a duster, microfibre cloth, a Scrub Daddy sponge and a scourer,” she told SWNS.

No task is too tall for the clean queen, though she does recall a particularly daunting task when she spent four days cleaning a woman’s home who was “too depressed to clean” over the last six years.

“People that I help are often really struggling, but they want something 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, it’s great,” she told SWNS. 

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