If you ever doubted that there was a YouTube channel for pretty much everything, you really need to meet Melissa Maker, who maintains the cleaning tutorial channel Clean My Space. Yup, she runs a popular channel teaching you the best way to clean just about everything. Crazy, right? Fortunately, even she admits that she has trouble with cleaning — she just happened to have been an entrepreneur with the brains and motivation to turn an opportunity into a cleaning company career. And then turn a cleaning company career into a blogging and vlogging second life — complete with the tidiest YouTube videos you’ve ever seen.
Melissa is like Mary Poppins — she enables you to do the cleaning yourself. From bathrooms to kitchens to spring cleaning, Melissa tackles every quandary you’ve ever had involving mops brooms and residual stains. And she does a good job of it too — personally, we’d rather just live in our own filth. NMR decided to ask Melissa a few questions about the art of cleaning and she decided to smash a home run by pretty much writing a small novel (which if you’ve lived as interesting a life as she has, probably isn’t a far-off proposition). There is a lot of energy in seemingly everything Melissa does — heck, we didn’t even have to find her; she found us. We can easily envision a total takeover of YouTube by Melissa and her cadre of cleaning enthusiasts. Pretty soon we’ll all be doing our chores on a regular basis (sigh).
Be sure to check out this funny interview with YouTube’s Queen of Clean (yes, I know that it’s low-hanging fruit and that any person who’s ever picked up a scrub brush has probably been called the “Queen of Clean,” but so what? It’s a catchy title and I don’t have as much energy as Melissa does), and then jump over to check out the invaluable resource that is her channel.
Did you always love cleaning, and how did that transition into a YouTube channel?
Melissa Maker: No, I didn’t (and still struggling with saying that I ‘”love” it!). This comes as a huge surprise to some viewers! In fact, this all came to be in a very interesting way. No, I was not born a neat freak. After graduating from a fancy Canadian business school in 2005, I took a job at a bank despite wanting to start my own business. After exactly one year I resigned from the bank to do just that. I kept searching for good business ideas, and it came to me loud and clear: “I hate cleaning, and other people do too. I should start a cleaning company and cultivate a great reputation!” Eureka. I did that, and much to my chagrin, had to learn absolutely everything about my least favorite topic, and then had to go out and actually do the job for a while until I was able to hire people to service clients. I actually became really good at cleaning and I am proud of that turnaround to this day. The business has grown substantially, and while I don’t go out and clean anymore, I still train my employees and teach them about cleaning.
In 2011, my husband Chad and I decided to create YouTube videos about cleaning to potentially drum up some extra interest for our service business (which is Toronto-based). So, we released our first video on how to clean salt stains off winter boots. The videos progressively got better (production value, content) and our subscriber base grew. Since then, we’ve run the service business and created YouTube videos on all things cleaning. Yes, we’ve both got two very intense, full-time jobs (Chad works on the videos as well as the service business along with me).
I have spent so much time learning, testing and developing cleaning skills and concepts, and now I get to share information with the Clean My Space community in the form of fun and entertaining videos. My goal is to help people learn how to do an otherwise unexciting task faster, better and properly and possibly enjoy it along the way. I find that once people are empowered with the know-how, they actually enjoy doing the task because the results are great and they feel good about the work they’ve done.
Is your husband the luckiest guy ever, or does he still have his share of household chores to do?
Absolutely the luckiest guy ever, and I the luckiest girl. However, we still split the household chores, no questions asked! We also both do our own laundry and occasionally even leave a dish in the sink. Go figure.
What’s your least favorite thing to clean?
My least favorite cleaning chore is vacuuming. It drives me bonkers. I am glad the robot vacuum was invented, and I desperately want one.
What is one tip that should be the absolute MUST for a good cleaning?
There are two and they go hand-in-hand. First, an absolute must for good cleaning is learning the right way to do it; it is so much easier and less painful once we know how to do it properly. Second, I think half the battle is mental, and if we feel it’s going to be so hard to do a certain task and that it will take forever, it will feel painful to do. Therefore if we are in the right mindset and know exactly what to do, it’s so much easier and palatable and the time spent is super productive. Nothing beats that.
If I just sort of use the same rag/bucket of lukewarm disinfectant on every surface, is that doing more harm than good? Or is all cleaning “good”?
Totally not cool! A bucket of cleaning solution gets progressively dirtier throughout a cleaning, so changing it up often is crucial, or spraying product on is better than using a universal bucketful of cleaning solution, not to mention the fact that you’d be reusing dirty solution to clean something! Also, using the same cloth throughout your house can lead to cross-contamination which is pretty undesirable. Further, a dirty cloth and dirty solution won’t actually clean anything; it will re-deposit dirt and won’t leave your surfaces clean and shiny. I’d say have multiple cloths for cleaning and use a spray bottle instead of a bucket. Most cleaning is good, I just want you to be efficient and not have to re-clean areas or get poor results from your efforts.
What is the craziest thing someone has ever asked for a tip on cleaning?
People from other countries will ask me about cleaning things which I’ve never heard of, so I’ll Google them and then try to figure out good solutions. The craziest thing I’ve been asked for a cleaning tip on? Use your imagination, and there’s your answer.
Um, what’s the best way to effectively clean up a bleeding, dead body off carpeting?
First, blot up the blood really well. Then, get an enzyme-based cleaner, which works wonders on removing protein stains and then you … wait, why am I telling you this?
Who are some of the other YouTubers you follow?
I follow so many! Here are a few: Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube, Laura In the Kitchen, Food Wishes, ASAP Science, VSauce, Simon’s Cat, and GossMakeupArtist.
What is some advice you can offer to YouTubers to grow their channels?
Always step up your game no matter how little traction you get at the beginning, and keep at it, regularly. If you have fun with your videos and always try to make your next video better than the last, you’ll eventually create captivating content. We’ve invested in better equipment, software and hardware and I’ve tried to present the content in a better way with each video. Also, talk to your subscribers and community members. You owe them everything, and they want to hear from you. Engage them! We absolutely love our subscribers and try to comment and reply as much as we possibly can.
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Here are some other creators you might like though: