A former hoarding technician shares 6 of her favorite cleaning hacks for a spotless home

Fiona Mills shared some of her favorite cleaning hacks with Insider.Michael Duva/Getty Images

  • Fiona Mills is a former hoarding technician with Spaulding Decon.

  • The nationwide firm focuses on biohazard, hoarding, and crime-scene cleanups, and extra.

  • Now a franchise enterprise marketing consultant, Mills shared her high cleaning hacks from her time within the area.

Fiona Mills is a former hoarding technician for Spaulding Decon, a nationwide firm that gives biohazard cleaning providers together with crime-scene and meth-lab cleanups.

Photo of Fiona Mills, a franchise leader and hoarding technician at Spaulding Decon

Fiona Mills has labored with Spaulding Decon in Florida since 2018.Courtesy of Fiona Mills

Among the Spaulding Decon crew is Fiona Mills, a former hoarding technician and present franchise enterprise marketing consultant joined the corporate in 2018.

Spaulding Decon has chronicled a quantity of its cleanups on TikTok, the place it shared its first video in July 2020 and has 4.3 million followers as of Wednesday.

Mills, 33, advised Insider her favorite ideas and hacks to scrub the filthiest messes.

Mills makes use of her go-to formulation for cleaning home equipment like fridges.

Fiona Mills told Insider that refrigerators are one of the easier areas to clean.

Photos shared by Fiona Mills present the before-and-after outcomes of a soiled fridge.Courtesy of Fiona Mills

Several movies featured on Spaulding Decon’s TikTok account present uncared for refrigerators teeming with moldy food and maggots, however Mills mentioned they’re the best equipment to scrub. Mills really useful that owners use sizzling water and her go-to cleaning resolution, trisodium phosphate, or TSP.

“It’s a heavy degreaser. Honestly, I would recommend it for anyone,” Mills mentioned, including that she realized about TSP whereas rising up with her father. “I tell all the franchisees, ‘You need this on your van.’ It takes away half the elbow grease that you put into cleaning.”

Mills advised mixing ¼ TSP with ¾ sizzling water and a disinfectant for the typical mess. Areas with heavy buildup can require 50% TSP and 50% sizzling water. Add bleach when wanted.

Homeowners can buy a $10 TSP powder on Amazon or a $6.97 liquid TSP spray at Home Depot.

While fridges are the best, Mills mentioned bathtubs and bathrooms are “the absolute worst.”

Before and photos of a toilet cleaned by Fiona Mills, an employee at Spaulding Decon.

Two before-and-after pictures had been taken by Fiona Mills to point out one rest room’s transformation.Courtesy of Fiona Mills

Mills advised Insider that bathrooms could possibly be notably difficult as a result of calcium buildup and rust stains.

“I’ve seen some toilets so bad we just had to remove them,” Mills mentioned. “At its worst, I’ve probably scrubbed a toilet for about two to three hours.”

Mills, who suggested to put on gloves whereas cleaning, mentioned utilizing sizzling water, Mills’ TSP formulation, along with a pumice stone, will minimize by means of the muck.

“Just make sure the stone is wet,” Mills mentioned. “I will scrub up and down one way, then I come back at it and I go sideways.”

Amazon sells pumice stones for $8.99.

The secret to a glowing sink are espresso filters, Mills mentioned.

Photo of dirty sink from Getty Images

Fiona Mills mentioned that folks ought to let their sinks soak in sizzling water, disinfectant, and TSP earlier than wiping dry.Katrin Ten Eikelder / EyeEm/Getty Images

One of the most typical errors Mills seen with stainless-steel sinks is that folks do not let the cleaning resolution soak previous to scrubbing out the sink.

“You can’t just spray and scrub. You need to let those chemicals work,” Mills mentioned. “Whatever chemical you’re using, you have to give it a chance to eat at the buildup.”

Mills makes use of a giant bristle pad alongside the TSP formulation, bleach, and sizzling water to get rid of grime. Once the sink has dried, she goes again in to dry the floor with a espresso filter to make it “super shiny.”


Mills mentioned that utilizing charcoal or white vinegar airs out smelly odors that linger within the home.

Before and after photos of a bathtub cleaned by a hoarding technician

This before-and-photo present a bathtub that was cleaned by Mills.Courtesy of Fiona Mills

While Spaulding Decon makes use of an ozone machine to kill odors, the typical particular person can use elements from their kitchen cupboard.

“You can put white vinegar on the stove and let it boil for a little while. It’s going to stink, obviously, but give it about an hour or so and it will neutralize the air,” Mills mentioned, including that folks can embrace orange peels to offer a further citrus scent.

She additionally famous that charcoal pouches, out there for $16.95 on Amazon, assist as a result of charcoal reduces odor.


From meals to bloodstains, carpet may be tough to scrub with out the right disinfectants.

Toppled cup with spilled juice on the carpet

Technicians typically get rid of a property’s whole carpet if the injury is dangerous sufficient.Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Most purchasers need their carpets totally eliminated by the point they name Spaulding Decon, however there are some options to persistent stains.

Mills pointed to a heavy-duty, multipurpose cleaner known as Shockwave, which common owners can combine with sizzling water or a disinfectant to scrub areas of their home. Amazon sells a one-gallon bottle of Shockwave for $33.99.

The Pink Stuff Miracle Cleaning Paste, promoting for $5.97 on Amazon, can also be a useful gizmo to make use of with carpets and different surfaces.

Technicians at Spaulding Decon have tackled their justifiable share of blood-stained carpets, which Mills mentioned may be cleared out with hydrogen peroxide. However, most individuals are approaching bloodstains incorrect.

“The biggest problem is people usually put hydrogen peroxide and then they scrub,” Mills mentioned. “That’s the worst thing you can do because when you scrub it, you’re actually pushing it further down, and it’s penetrating deeper.”

She suggested that folks ought to as an alternative apply the hydrogen peroxide, then calmly “agitate” it till it foams up. Afterward, dab it with a towel or brush to get the stain out.


Everyday issues like door handles and partitions should not be neglected, Mills mentioned.

Photo shows the before and after of a cleaned wall.

Fiona Mill advised Microban multi-purpose cleaner on surfaces like partitions and door handles.Courtesy of Fiona Mills

Insider’s Megan Willett-Wei reported that frequent issues like handles, taps, and light-weight switches are actually dirtier than a toilet seat — so remember to offer them an additional scrub.

“Those areas are disgusting because your hands are dirty when you turn them on, and then the handle is still dirty afterward,” Mills mentioned.

Mills advised individuals use Shockwave, a disinfectant like Lysol, or Microban 24, which she mentioned is “mainly used for mold but does have a general multi-surface cleaner.”

She additionally advised Microban 24’s Sanitizing Spray and Multi-Purpose Cleaner. These merchandise promote for $6.41 and $4.14 on Amazon, respectively.

Read the unique article on Insider

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