‘Cleanfluencer’ with 80,000 followers quits job to post cleaning content

A woman who describes her passion for cleaning products as ‘self-care for your home’ has become social media’s newest ‘cleanfluencer’ sensation.

House-proud Laura Mountford, 35, insists she is ‘not a clean freak’, despite notching up almost 80,000 followers on her Instagram dedicated to sprucing up her home.

Laura, who lives near Ringwood in the New Forest in a five-bedroom barn conversion, with her husband Gavin, left her job at a department store last year to become a full-time content creator, as her online popularity grew. And she says she only has to spend £10 a month stocking her cleaning cupboard.

But she admitted, in the beginning, she didn’t expect her posts – featuring pictures of her home renovation, shopping videos, honest product reviews and cleaning tips – to take off at all.

‘Seeing my account become this big is a dream come true. I’m just a normal girl,’ she says.

‘I’m not even that much of a clean freak. Using products I absolutely love is the biggest thing for me. It’s like self-care for your home.’

Laura, who grew up in Southampton, was inspired by the pristine home kept by her mum, Jan.

‘My mum always kept the house really lovely and clean and tidy,’ says Laura.

‘When I had my own home after I graduated, a one-bedroom flat in Luton rented with my then-boyfriend, I immediately wanted to do the same as I’d been brought up that way and was proud of having my own place.’

Laura worked in retail from the age of 16, first with Saturday jobs and part-time work to fund her way through college and her degree, she eventually became a store manager at a large high-street retailer.

‘Retail is my background and it was really my first love,’ Laura adds.

‘I always loved recommending products to friends, even before I had my page, just as a nice thing to do for people.’

Laura met Gavin in 2010, and the couple moved to the New Forest in 2013, where they bought a cottage in need of doing up – before moving into their current property in 2018, which needed total renovation, including new plumbing, electrics and lighting.

Inspired to share her clean and tidy habits with the world, Laura set up her Instagram account, @lauracleanaholic, in 2018 but she was determined not to pretend her home was always perfect.

‘I was so fed up with seeing the same old thing on social media,’ she says.

‘Some days my house is lovely and clean but it’s not always perfect and I do try and show that reality.’

Instead, she has made a point of sharing before photos, as well as Insta-perfect snaps.

She also says that keeping her home clean helps her to maintain a positive mindset.

‘I found it really helped my mental health as it was something to focus on and something positive out of each day,’ she says.

‘I love having nice smelling cleaners, especially for mundane tasks like cleaning the bathroom or kitchen.

‘If you can make it enjoyable by having products you love, it stops it from being such a chore.

‘You really have to find the positives in everything at the moment.’

Despite Laura’s success with her account, she didn’t show her face for the first year of posting.

‘It was partly me lacking confidence in my appearance,’ she explains. ‘But I also wanted to show that it doesn’t have to be about how you look, it’s about personality and how you engage with people.’

Finally, Laura took the plunge, and now frequently shares snaps of herself cleaning, or snuggled up with the couple’s new puppy, six-month-old Italian greyhound Luther.

Laura’s account continued to grow, until, in early 2020, at 70,000 followers she took the plunge – quitting her job to become a full-time content creator.

And it has paid off, with her page gathering almost another 10,000 followers since then and Laura taking on paid work, creating content for other cleaning brands’ pages.

‘Every day, I feel really lucky to be doing what I love,’ she says.

‘I’ll clean when I feel like it. Sometimes it’s a stress reliever and something to focus on.

‘I normally tend to do a lot on a Friday, spending a couple of hours in the late afternoon cleaning, so I can relax knowing it’s all fresh and ready for the weekend.

‘I’ll do little bits daily like cleaning the kitchen after dinner but I’m not constantly cleaning all the time.’

Her favourite room to clean is her newly renovated kitchen, which was completed in 2019, as well as doing laundry in the couple’s bespoke utility room.

‘I always wanted a utility room, so we turned the downstairs loo into one,’ says Laura. ‘I absolutely love going in there to put my laundry on.’

Her favourite part of running the account is her frequent ‘Shop with Laura’ videos – where she takes her followers around the shops with her, chatting about the products on offer.

It’s something she has particularly enjoyed being able to do during the lockdown.

‘You can shop online but it’s not the same as having a good old look round the shops,’ she says.

Recently, Laura has taken her cleaning reviews to TikTok page, and she has already gained more than 45,000 followers in under two months.

And looking to the future, she says she would love to introduce TV viewers to Shop with Laura.

‘I would love to be on the TV with my cleaning tips,’ she says.

‘It would be a huge step outside my comfort zone but I would absolutely love to go on Loose Women and talk about Shop With Laura.’

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