On your last weekly trip to your local supermarket, you may have found that a few of the cleaning aisle shelves are a little more empty that than they are usually. Alternatively, if you do your weekly shop online, you may have noticed that several of your preferred cleaning products are out of stock. What’s going on?
You may (or not) be surprised to hear that a new Instagram trend is to blame – ‘Hinching’. If you haven’t heard already, 2019 has begun with a sensible approach — giving your home a good old clean. The difference now is, cleaning is cool and is so cool, that in fact, it’s got it’s own hashtag: have you been #hinching lately?
‘Hinching’ – What is it?
If you haven’t heard already, ‘hinching’ is basically a form of home cleaning. A good, proper cleaning though, not just running the vacuum over and tickling the cabinets with a dust cloth! Parents in particular might be wondering who has been blessed with the unfathomable power to not only making cleaning trendy, but inspiring their Instagram-loving youngsters to clean?
While it may be true that a number of cleaning gurus do exist, one in particular that has had quite an impact is 28-year-old Sophie Hinchcliffe, known on social media as Mrs Hinch.
The Instagram page of Mrs Hinch currently sits at an impressive 2.4 million followers, who call themselves the Hinch Army, and take inspiration from Mrs Hinch’s own spotless interior house design for their own homes.
As well as making recommendations for an array of different cleaning products, Mrs Hinch actively encourages cleaning to be a ‘fun’ activity. It’s not a chore, it’s a ‘Half Hour Hinch’ — give yourself a little list, set the timer, and surprise yourself with how much you can get cleaned in just 30 minutes rather than dreading the idea of starting cleaning and not getting finished. Little and often, she tells her followers, and it seems to be working, with hashtags flooded with clean rooms of Hinchers testing her top tips.
It pays to be Hinch-approved
Similar to beauty and fitness influencers, if a cleaning expert like Mrs Hinch recommends a certain product or brand, a significant boost in sales is on the horizon. It’s little wonder, considering many of the products Mrs Hinch recommends are often priced at £1 or £2 — undoubtedly a lot less than some eyeshadow palettes that are trending.
As far as Instagram trends go, there’s certainly no denying that cleaning is a highly accessible trend. Let’s take a look at the top products Mrs Hinch recommends, and how they have enjoyed her spotlight:
When a hinching post is shared, it’s a given that Zoflora will be nearby. After all, Mrs Hinch seems to use this product for everything. From mixing it with water in a spray bottle for a general wipe-down, to adding a little to her laundry, her toilet brush holders, and even the bottom of her bins, nearly everything the cleaning guru does has a sprinkle of this scented disinfectant.
What’s more, it’s flying off the shelves. Last year, the Huddersfield-based manufacturer enjoyed a record sales growth of 28% as a result! Due to its social media adoration, production of Zoflora has had to double to keep up with the demand, with around 1 million bottles going out every week.
With Zoflora being amassed by cleaning fans like it’s going out of fashion, you might be hard pressed to obtain a bottle at your local supermarket. It is certainly worth snapping up if you see it though — it generally retails at around £1.50 for 120mls, and can be used all around the house.
2. Minky M-Cloth Anti-Bacterial Cleaning Pad
Thanks to Mrs Hinch’s endorsement of the Minky M-Cloth Anti-Bacterial Cleaning Pad and ‘Kermit’ the Minky Glass & Window Cloth on social media, the company’s Anti-Bacterial Cleaning Pad (retailing at around £2.50) has sold out in a number of outlets and eBayers are taking advantage of the hype and are selling the cloths in excess of £10 each! The BBC recently reported that the company had witnessed a 10,000% increase in demand since June 2018 thanks to Mrs Hinch.
Why do Hinch fans love this product so much? Well, like Zoflora, it can be used for many things, with a scrubbing side and a soft microfibre side offering different ways to tackle any cleaning issue.
3. Stardrops 4-in-1 Disinfectant
Another home cleaning product that has the gained the Hinch seal of approval is available in a pouring or spray bottle, and can be used for everything (especially if you run out of Zoflora!).
In keeping with Hinch-recommended products, this pine-scented disinfectant can be used throughout the house — Mrs Hinch is seen using it on her sinks, but it can also be used for surfaces, toilets, and baths, amongst others.
While Stardrops 4-in-1 Disinfectant is enjoying a sales surge, it hasn’t quite managed to reach the sell-out level of counterpart disinfectant Zoflora. But parent company Starbrands Ltd are certainly not soured by this, as Mrs Hinch has endorsed many of their products in her videos, also spotlighting their White Vinegar spray and this next product…
4. The Pink Stuff
Another product from Stardrops, The Pink Stuff, is an alternative multi-purpose marvel that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. With a name like that, you’d be be forgiven for overlooking it on the shelves in the past. But no longer, with the Instagram limelight firmly on this product! In fact, it’s sold out in many stores as shoppers snap up the ‘miracle paste’ that has restored grimy deep fat fryers to a shining new glory, and scrubbed stained tiles to a fresh gleam.
Mrs Hinch was quick to share the product with her followers after using it to scrub her oven, and from there on The Pink Stuff became a staple addition to shopping lists at supermarkets and purchase orders at wholesale cleaning products outlets alike!
The Hinch Effect
It’s not just increases in sales that have been the effect of social media’s newest craze. Undeniably, Sophie Hinchcliffe has given the job of home cleaning a glamourous new appeal, where previously it has struggled to shake off its outdated image of it being ‘a woman’s duty’ to clean the home.
Rest assured, the new cleaning trend isn’t set to send people back to this obsolete idea that being a ‘domestic goddess’ is a necessary goal that women must emulate in order to have appeal. Instead of it being a chore to please others, cleaning is now a self-rewarding experience. Gone are the days when women were seen to put on make-up to impress others; now, women are proud to say they choose to wear make-up however they want because it makes them feel good. The same now goes for cleaning — people are taking part for the rewarding feeling of a clean house, of seeing the results of hard work, and not to appease anyone else. Simply put, people like living in a nice house and feel better for having a nice, clean house.
It’s the sense of pride we get from hard work, but just enough hard work; Mrs Hinch recommends half an hour each day, with a deep clean reserved for the weekend. Limiting yourself to half an hour means the task doesn’t seem so gargantuan, tackling it little-by-little each day.
On top of this, Instagram can be viewed as an added bonus reward — like with the make-up craze, people can post the end result of their efforts for the gratification of likes and comments. There’s also an element of mindfulness to it, notes one report by the BBC. It’s a task that can keep hands busy, occupy the mind, and give a little boost of satisfaction in achieving something that day.
There’s no arguing that this social media trend seems like a positive one, as far as online trends go. Will you be hinching your home any time soon?