Created In Partnership With Clorox

Inside The World Of CleanTok — & Why It’s About Way More Than Just Tidying Your Home

I held out on downloading TikTok for as long as I could — a steadfast refusal that I can’t quite explain, other than the fact that I had no interest in watching teens dance to random songs (or learning them for that matter). I was also a bit fearful of TikTok’s almighty algorithm and what it might say about me, my interests, and my personality. 
As it turns out, when I eventually downloaded the app, I learned that I was interested in…CleanTok. TikTok fed me one riveting video after another of people scrubbing their kitchen sinks, organizing their spice racks, decanting bulk items into aesthetically pleasing jars, vacuuming their living rooms, making their beds — and I watched them all. I got swept up into the world of CleanTok, and I’m not alone. The #CleanTok hashtag, at the time of writing, has an astounding 47.3 billion views. 
Advertisement
And three CleanTok influencers — Amber Mamian, Niki Stewart, and Kaity Dennis — know all about the immense power of cleaning, as a means to an end (the end being a tidy home), but also as an incredibly gratifying, cathartic, and therapeutic process. Keep reading to learn about the content-creating side of CleanTok, what motivates them to clean, and their all-time favorite Clorox products. 

Amber Mamian, @globalmunchkins 

@globalmunchkins Simple Laundry Hack for Back to School - Eliminate Odors and Germs with @Clorox Laundry Sanitizer #ad #StartClean ♬ Summer day - TimTaj
How did you get into CleanTok?
“When we downloaded TikTok at the beginning of 2020, we had no idea what we were doing. Our teenagers were on it first, and I thought to myself, Oh, I don’t think I belong here. But the teens would come up and tell me to check out a hack — like turning a large Ziplock into snack-size ones by using a heated pen knife — that seemed impossible, but they would work. So, maybe there was a place for a mom on TikTok. We were originally a family travel account, but when the pandemic hit, we were stuck at home. We have six kids, they were home 24/7, dishes were getting piled up in the sink, and I just needed more help around the house. I was overwhelmed. 
“So we decided to do chore challenges — a weekly game in which one winner gets no chores. We filmed them, posted them, and parents really liked our content. The biggest compliment I’ve received is learning that we’ve inspired others to spend more time with their kids, that the teenage years aren’t something to dread. And it helps for other kids to see that our kids do chores — someone is always cleaning the house — and we’ve made it into a way for our followers to get to know our family and do life with us.”  
Advertisement
Why do you think CleanTok resonates with so many people? 
“With Instagram and Pinterest, everything was picture-perfect, and they didn’t feel real. TikTok has pulled back the curtain. Instead of showing a perfectly made bed — I, for one, didn’t know how to make a bed properly — TikTok shows you how to do it. And we learned that people want to be social, to be friends. This platform is about relationships.” 
Why is maintaining a clean space important to you?
“There’s a certain feeling I want in the home — a very welcoming, peaceful place — and a part of achieving it is by keeping it clean and tidy. It allows a lot of moms to relax. And it feels good to have people over or have our kids’ friends into our home — having a clean home allows you to do that. But for me, mostly, it’s peace of mind.” 
When do you make cleaning a priority? 
“Definitely when we're entertaining. And also back-to-school season: making sure everybody washes their hands when they come in or wiping the counters clean, because there’s so many germs that they bring home. And I just want to help keep everybody healthy.”
How do you find motivation to clean?
“If stuff piles up too much, it becomes more difficult to tackle. And if there are germs, we’re going to all get sick — for a family like ours, we don’t have time to be sick. We wouldn’t be able to travel as much or have as much fun. So that motivates me to continue doing what I do.” 
Advertisement
What’s your advice for anyone who feels overwhelmed?
“Always start small. Give yourself grace and take one small step at a time. If everything is overwhelming, just focus on one space, like make your bed every day. And once you have that down to a routine, then add something else, like tackling laundry. I think having processes and getting the family involved is really helpful.” 
What's your favorite cleaning product? 
“We use Clorox Disinfecting Wipes a lot, because they're easy to use and quick, and they disinfect hard surfaces around the home (when used as directed).”

Niki Stewart, @operation_niki

How did you get into CleanTok?
“I've always been interested in ‘CleanTok’ before it was even CleanTok. I used to clean my house and post before/afters on my personal Instagram account — purely for my enjoyment. I also used to love watching YouTube videos of people cleaning their homes; whenever I felt down, I would get a cup of coffee and watch them clean — it would give me energy and motivation to tackle my tasks. 
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we moved to Tennessee because of my husband’s job. Schools were shut down, so I was stuck in the house all day with three kids, and after a while, I felt like I was losing my soul. Everything I did was for my husband and children. I wasn’t doing anything for myself, and I was really homesick, being away from family and friends. So, I downloaded TikTok and started posting about my day, before/afters, and I noticed how much I enjoyed the content creation aspect of it — it brought me joy, and it helped me through that time period when I was dealing with a bit of depression.” 
Advertisement
Why do you think CleanTok resonates with so many people? 
“Because it inspires people to get their lives in order. It’s very easy for things to get chaotic, for the house to get messy, for things to feel out of control. CleanTok is a way for people to learn new tools, tips, and hacks to make their life more functional. I show what I do specifically for me and my family, and I think that’s what sets me apart from others. I have a true love for streamlining processes, cleaning, and organizing. And it helps others see how things can run a bit more smoothly in their household.”
Why is maintaining a clean space important to you?
“When I was younger, cleaning gave me a sense of control and mental clarity. I felt like when I had an organized space, I could focus on my schoolwork. I used to purge my entire room, clean, and put everything back. Most people in my life thought I was weird, but I like to say I’m different. Cleaning is almost like therapy for me, and a clean space also keeps my family safe and healthy.” 
When do you make cleaning a priority? 
“It's an everyday act — even if it’s something little — otherwise it can get overwhelming. I like to clean a little bit every day to keep things manageable. When family is coming over, it's all hands on deck, and it’s a thorough clean.” 
How do you find motivation to clean?
“I get asked constantly, ‘How do you do it? How do you have the energy?’ It’s not that I have energy because I’m a spring chicken. What inspires me to start cleaning is knowing that I wouldn’t know what to do if things were chaotic and out of control. I have so much on my plate, so I have to clean in order for my life to function properly — and that’s what inspires me to start cleaning.” 
Advertisement
What’s your advice for anyone who feels overwhelmed?
“If things get too overwhelming, I tend to freeze. I won’t want to deal with it. I procrastinate with a small task that feels more manageable than tackling a mountain of stuff. So, I find that doing a little bit of every task — laundry, cleaning the kitchen — keeps things manageable. That’s a piece of advice I live by.”  
What's your favorite cleaning product? 
“The Clorox Disinfecting Mist because it sanitizes porous surfaces, which is innovative — I don’t think there’s anything like it on the market. There are disinfecting products for hard surfaces, but I’ve been looking for one that’s good for porous ones, like my kids’ shoes or backpacks.”

Kaity Dennis, @sheiskd_

@refinery29 #ad Get ready for back to school with @Clorox! #cleanwithme #cleantok ♬ In Love With You - BLVKSHP
How did you get into CleanTok?
“When I first downloaded TikTok last January, I was doing random trends like everyone else, but a month later, I posted a video of a hack: cutting a hole on the bottom of a floor cleaner bottle and putting it in the toilet tank, so every time you flush, it smells amazing. I didn’t think anything of it. The next day, when I woke up, it had 2 million views. It kept racking up views, and articles were written about it (now, it has up to 50 million views). 
“But I’ve always had a passion for cleaning — it’s just something I've always done. I have to have everything perfect and clean, so I thought I could do it on TikTok. I really take my time to make my videos, to make sure it’s of the highest quality. I overthink my videos — everything is a process.”
Advertisement
Why do you think CleanTok resonates with so many people? 
“I think a lot of moms are trying to figure out how to do this or that. Ninety percent of my audience are women or moms, and I’m a mom, too. Sometimes you just need help. I get comments from people thanking me for helping them, that they were trying to get the stain out or how to clean something. It feels really good that I’m able to help.” 
Why is maintaining a clean space important to you?
“I grew up in a small apartment with five people, and it always felt cluttered. When I finally got my own place, I didn’t want it to be like that. I want my place to be my sanctuary where I feel at peace. Ever since I moved out, I’ve always been like this.”  
When do you make cleaning a priority? 
“Whenever people come over. I don’t ever want anyone thinking, Why is her home messy? Why is this lying around? I just want to make sure things are presentable.”
How do you find motivation to clean?
“When I come home from a long day, I want to walk in and see that my space is clean already. It minimizes the amount of things I would have had to do if I let things pile up, like the dishes or laundry. I clean every day, but don't spend hours cleaning — it can be something as wiping my countertops, cleaning my stove, making my bed. It’s good to have a routine, and then I have more time for myself.”
Advertisement
What’s your advice for anyone who feels overwhelmed?
“Make a plan. I would be lying if I said I never felt overwhelmed, with all the tasks I had to do in my home. But you make a plan, pick a goal, pick a day, and go down the list of things you want to do. If you feel your home is too cluttered, then take garbage bags and decide what you don't need. I do that all the time: I randomly clean out the closets, take out the clothes my child doesn't wear, what I don't wear, and I give them away.”
What's your favorite cleaning product? 
“Definitely Clorox Disinfecting Wipes because they’re super easy to use. Instead of a spray and a towel to clean and disinfect my table, I can just grab my Clorox wipes and go.”
Advertisement

More from Home

R29 Original Series

Advertisement