Domestic enterprise: the workers who keep our homes clean

Whether it’s for the mammy’s boys who wreck the house, the compulsive clutterers or time-pressed professionals, some professional cleaners reflect here on the reality of cleaning other people’s homes

Sue Ryder, managing director, Cleaner Angels: young people nowadays leave home without even knowing how to turn on a washing machine. Picture: Fergal Phillips

After 25 years cleaning Ireland’s homes, Sue Ryder has seen it all. From removing 43 black bags of rubbish from a one-bedroom apartment, to newspapers stacked from floor to ceiling, to a client who stored their washing machine on top of their bed, Ryder is definite: “You get all sorts.”

I’m speaking to Ryder after watching the new Netflix series Maid, which follows single mum Alex as she turns to house cleaning to make ends ...