Mrs Hinch: Domestic Goddess or Environmental Menace?

So, ‘Hinching’. Or, ‘getting your Hinch on’. Or a tonne of other plays on words which involve Mrs Hinch – it’s the new internet phenomenon which has taken the world by storm. Sophie Hinchcliffe is the woman behind this particular sensation, having begun her new movement on Instagram – mrshinchhome_x_.

When I first heard about ‘Hinching’, I peered at the Instagram and wasn’t too keen – but apparently it’s her Instastories where the true gold is. Sophie is a domestic goddess, a cleaning enigma that passes on her know-how with witty videos and by naming her cleaning utensils rather affectionate names. People have gone crazy for this – she’s appeared on This Morning, YouTubers such as Louise Pentland are scouring shops on her recommendation and she’s gained a million followers on Instagram. I’m going to be looking at why this lady is so popular, and how she’s shaping the world of household chores for the better.. And worse.

The good points:

Seeing someone clean, is motivational. I can really buy into the satisfaction side of her appeal.

“Fair play to her – I think it’s inspiring to see her gaining a million followers from being herself and helping so many people, including those with mental health issues. It’s so sad that so many are so eager to criticise and try to tear her down. Essentially she’s like us bloggers as she’s putting herself out there on social media – but getting so horrifically trolled. Don’t like her/it? Scroll by. No one is making you watch!” Beth, Twinderelmo is happy to see Sophie succeeding — something that doesn’t happen too often this day and age from something as wholesome as cleaning.

The products she recommends are sometimes things that people aren’t too sure of – now, shelves of products that people once shunned are empty. Her ‘Narnia’ — a cleaning cupboard stocked up with multiples of every cleaning product you could ever imagine, is causing people across the UK to pick up four, five (or a whole pallet in some cases) of cleaning product just to create their own Narnia. I’ve even seen cleaning product hampers in Facebook selling sites just in time for the festive season, stuffed to the brim with Hinch-endorsed products.

“I just feel hugely motivated to clean after sitting and watching her videos. If I ever fall in a instahole, i flick on her stories, watch a few, then scrub my house to within an inch of its life!” Sarah, Mummy to Dex

People are inspired. Those who usually shy away from the cleaning are embracing it, even me. I’ve purchased an oven cleaning kit fully under the ‘Hinchfluence’ and yes. I did pick up some Zoflora.

I don’t think anything can ever trump actually inspiring someone to do something, whether it’s cleaning their home or doing a marathon — to succeed in changing another persons way of thinking for the better is groundbreaking.

“Honestly, between her and Little Miss Mops my house has never looked better even before kids! I was never the cleaning type but they’re so motivating I actually like cleaning now!” Stacy, Mom of Two has felt the positive side of the Hinch movement, sadly however — there are two sides to this coin.

The not so good points:

She uses a lot of products. I mean a lot. This has prompted more and more people to go out and fill their baskets with her product recommendations, but what about the ecological impact of this? All the plastic waste caused by this phenomenon can’t be scoffed at, not to mention the environmental impact of every UK household pouring Zoflora down the drain to make it smell pretty. I’d like to see her embrace some more eco friendly products — there are so many available and easy to find online these days, it would be a great opportunity for her to get to grips with some new products, and to promote some lesser known brands who are kinder to the environment.

“It’s great and I’ve definitely become more house proud but I’m worried she’s sharing advice about products that are so bad for the environment, I realise others are adults and can make their own choices etc but there are so many that follow her blindly without thinking and mix chemicals. She’s helping many of course but not sharing important details that could easily be missed.” Sarah, Mummy Cat Notes adds, bringing up another good point.

Nobody questions her cleaning cocktails — one of which was fabric softener, Zoflora and water to spritz on fabrics around the home to make them smell better. Fabric conditioner and Zoflora are flammable, and this isn’t recommended to do, yet the nation has sold out of Zoflora and personalised spray bottles. Mixing cleaning products is a dangerous game of roulette, which can result in hazardous fumes and damage to your home.

For some, it’s triggering a compulsive habit. I’m in a Facebook group where people are proud of ‘Hinching’ their homes seven times a day. Seven. Some people are using a bottle of Zoflora a day — some two or three. Others are paying extortionate amounts for the products she uses on EBay as they aren’t available in stores. Sometimes up to five times the original RRP!

“It’s big time making me feel bad about my cleaning efforts! I work full time and have two young boys, so what little energy I have left at the end of the day is definitely not used up on cleaning!” Alana, Baby-Holiday

I used to think I did well keeping my home clean — the usual clean, not this ‘show home’ clean. Jess of Tantrums to Smiles hit the nail on the head: “I’m now beginning question if my normal cleaning routine is good enough.”

I completely sympathise with this. Now I feel like if I don’t have my house gleaming I’m not satisfied. For me with a baby and a rabbit, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact the Hinch level of clean is unattainable for me, personally. I’ve made my peace with that somewhat, but while I can see her inspiration being positive for some mental health, I can see it being detrimental to others also.

“I love it but that’s because I keep my house like that and have done for years. I love being tidy and organised. A friend of mine commented that her husband saw the mrs hinch account and is now criticising how she keeps their home which doesn’t make her feel good at all!” Laura, Mummy’s Zone

The fact people are using the account as a benchmark for cleaning is infuriating. Every one of us knows what a clean home looks like, and seeing these stylised images on Instagram is toxic — Instagram is a huge stage, and it’s very easy to get caught up in show without recognising what happens behind the scenes. We usually only ever project the best of ourselves online, the candid reality behind Instagram is almost never revealed. Comparing your life to something to see on Instagram is incredibly damaging, and not a circle you should be getting in to.

I think accounts like this have promise, and it’s wonderful that Sophie has been recognised for the things she obviously enjoys doing.. But she’s walking a fine line between her cleaning motivation and being irresponsible with products, mixing and just what she’s projecting onto Instagram as her ‘normal’. I did discover other cleaning methods while researching this post, which I find much healthier and beneficial but everyone has a different way of working. What doesn’t work for me might be brilliant for other people, and that’s okay.

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  • I have approached her before on her mixing of chemicals and using neat chemicals but she just gives abuse and blocks you!

    • That’s so disappointing! Especially as you’re only trying to help her by raising it as an issue. I have a feeling it will only matter when someone does themselves harm by mixing things though. 😓.

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