This brand new series follows people who, by their own admission, cannot stop cleaning and carefully matches them with someone whose home is in dire need of a spring clean. Together these people with such contrasting compulsions will explore how their different behaviour affects their lives.
Whether it’s scrubbing an oven with a toothbrush for six hours, sleeping on the floor for fear of creasing pristine bed sheets or trimming the edges of the lawn with a pair of scissors, the cleaners will go to almost any length to make sure their homes are immaculate.
At the other end of the scale are those that live surrounded by clutter and mess. From the woman who shares her home with six goats to the lady who has filled her partner’s home with 40 years’ worth of belongings including a collection of replica baby dolls – they won’t throw anything away and it’s impossible to keep their houses clean.
The series also features a new strand, The Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners Guide to…in which a team of obsessive cleaners, led by OCD diagnosed 27-year-old bleach fan Hayley, reveal their fears and phobias about everyday places and objects. Whether it’s a trip to the supermarket, a train journey, using a public toilet or visiting a café, the cleaners carry out a range of tasks, swabbing surfaces and objects along the way, pushing their boundaries and uncovering the bacteria hotspots we all come into contact with on a daily basis.
The cleaners include:
Ben, 31, is a foot health care practitioner who was diagnosed with OCD after his divorce. To keep his Scunthorpe home pristine he will sit on a beanbag rather than the sofa and sleeps on a mattress on the floor rather than creasing his pristine sheets. He also showers at his mum’s house because he doesn’t want to build up limescale on his showerhead. Ben’s cleaning obsession is having a negative impact on his life and he feels unable to have his children to stay as he is worried they would make a mess – instead he takes them for days out.
Mother and daughter Lesley, 56, and Tuesday, 23, from Bridgend, are locked into a never ending cleaning cycle where their contrasting rituals fuel each other. Lesley describes herself as a minimalist and Tuesday as a germaphobe. Lesley spends between eight and 16 hours a day cleaning her home and she cuts the edges of her immaculate lawn with a pair of scissors. Tuesday is fiercely protective of her wardrobe – every hanger must be spaced two fingers’ width apart and if anyone touches them she has to empty out the entire wardrobe and wash all her clothes again. She washes her hands 40—50 times a day. The pair never cuddle or kiss for fear of spreading germs. Tuesday and Lesley also feature in The Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners Guide to…
Vinny, 51, is a gym owner and fitness instructor who lives with his youngest son Reuben,18, in Sheffield. Vinny regards taking care of himself and his surroundings as of the utmost importance. He spends on average 6-10 hours a day cleaning. It can take him two hours to get ready to go out and if he’s not satisfied at the end of his routine he’ll start all over again. As a personal trainer he has a disciplined approach and will often tell his clients off if they don’t clean and put the equipment back the right way. He uses antibacterial lotion on his hands around 100 times a day. He cleans his oven with a toothbrush and his shower has to be wiped and dried down after every use. He believes his obsession stems from a time he spent living on the streets at the age of 16.
Jade, 33, is a mum of two from Cornwall who has been diagnosed with OCD. While she is not proud of it, she loves it when her children are at school as she then has six hours of interrupted cleaning. She goes to extreme lengths, including wearing plastic bags on her hands, to avoid her two pet hates – grease and animals. When she leaves the house Jade is paranoid about touching door handles, she cleans cutlery in restaurants and if she has to use a public toilet she will put toilet roll on the seat to ensure there’s no chance she will make contact with it.
Zahra, 46, lives with her daughter Issy in Essex. She has a show home with show beds and show pillows – she even thinks her sofa is there to be seen, not sat on. Her show towels in the bathroom are for display only and if anyone uses them they are put in a cupboard and are no longer show towels. Issy calls her mum Mrs Fussy Pants but she is already showing the same traits when it comes to cleaning and tells her friends not to mess up her room.
In The Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners Guide to…are:
Hayley, 28, who heads up The Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners Guide to…and also featured in series one, was diagnosed with OCD in 2007. The mum-of-three from East Grinstead spends between four and five hours a day cleaning her house. The day before her wedding she spent 19 hours cleaning. She won’t clean her bath with a sponge – so instead uses a mop to keep her distance from all the dead skin cells. She only wears a pair of rubber gloves once and then bins them for fear of contamination. She has a serious love of bleach, she bleaches her fridge inside and out daily, and the toilet is bleached countless times a day.
Richard, 37, featured in series one of Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners. Richard makes sure he lives in a world of order and structure. He has no picture frames, paintings or ornaments on his walls or on any surface. Everything in his house is streamlined and he sees ‘no need for unnecessary items’. Richard’s obsession with order manifests itself in his everyday life. When he goes to the supermarket, he obsessively rearranges the tin cans to all face the front.
Mark, a 46-year-old gym owner, competitive bodybuilder and personal trainer, first graced our screens last series using his skills of organisation and cleanliness to help bring order to a chaotic home. Mark is known by his co-workers to vacuum the gym up to 20 times a day and wipe the front desk 30 times a day. He is obsessed with symmetry and organisation (things being in lines and in the correct place) and can spend up to an hour every day organising the pleats of his curtains.
The homeowners include:
Deborah, 48, is known as ‘goat lady’ in her local area of Dunstable as she shares her three bedroom semi with six goats. Deborah puts the goats before herself and spends all her money on making sure they are fed, watered and given regular health check-ups. The house is covered in goat droppings and urine and as soon as she cleans it up the goats produce even more mess. Following the death of her partner, Deborah started to rescue and re-home animals. The goats used to live in a shed in the back garden but have now moved indoors with three in the conservatory (including a 27 stone goat called Skippy) and two smaller goats having free reign of the rest of the house – including the kitchen worktops.
Scott, 36, and Faith, 30, tied the knot after meeting online. Scott was mortified when he finally built up the courage to show her his home in Blackpool – he has been collecting electrical items and anything he can take apart since the age of nine. When he moved into the house four years ago he ripped out the old kitchen and planned to put in new cupboards but he still hasn’t got round to it and the couple use a kettle and toaster in the bedroom and a microwave and halogen cooker in the dining room which are kept next to a quad bike. Scott knows he needs to change for the sake of his relationship.
Michelle, 62, grew up in a series of pristine houses and describes her mother as OCD. Her father was in the RAF and they moved house every two years when all her belongings, apart from her clothes, would be given away. Michelle, from Swindon, began to accumulate things when she got married, including a collection of lifelike dolls which she keeps in cribs in her spare room. She collected so many items that she had to pay for a storage unit and reckons she has spent more on that than the value of her belongings.
Robin, 50, is a dog lover. But with six ‘hairy house-guests’ taking over his four bedroom home in Margate, the house has gone to the dogs – literally. Robin lives with his partner Kevin, who spends just one day a fortnight at the home, which he co-owns, due to its state. But the dogs aren’t the only issue in this home – Robin, who runs a charity shop, is also a chronic collector and with more than 30 years’ worth of paraphernalia piled up floor to ceiling this is a mammoth task. Robin knows that now is the time for action.