Series / How Clean Is Your House
How Clean is Your House?
was a British television program featuring Kim Woodburn and Aggie Mackenzie in their quest to clean some of Britain's (and later America's) filthiest flats. Rather a Lighter and Softer
version of Hoarders
, the series focused less on the personalities of the occupants and more on the straightforward matter of cleaning, offering practical household tips and solutions for common cleaning problems. These helpful hints, plus the colorful personalities of Kim and Aggie, drive the show.
This show contains examples of the following:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: The voiceover, particularly during the final reveals.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Kim, if only in her own opinion. Her husband apparently refers to her as "all meat; a real treat."
- Brainy Brunette: Aggie, the brunette of the pair, also has the scientific background.
- Dirty Old Woman: Kim's coquettish flirting.
- First-Name Basis: In Britain especially, everyone refers to them simply as Kim and Aggie—even when they're not on camera.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: As stern as they are with their charges, Kim and Aggie have run into people with genuine tragedies and emotional issues. As soon as the tears start, both Kim and Aggie melt into sympathy and kindness. This happens rarely as the show generally strives to be upbeat and light-hearted.
- Instant Costume Change: When they're ready to start cleaning, Kim and Aggie magically appear in white coveralls and custom marabou-trimmed rubber gloves.
- Large Ham: Kim, in all senses of the phrase.
- Lemony Narrator: The voiceover frequently verges on this.
- Neat Freak: Kim and Aggie.
- Product Placement: A subtle shift occurred between the British and American seasons: while the British episodes focused on traditional cleaning methods, such as generic biological powder and sugar soap, the American episodes dropped a lot of brand-name cleaning products, even offering a prominently-displayed pile of sponsored products to the family after the clean-up was finished. This shift is probably related to the BBC's commitment to commercial-free programming opposed to America's more commercial-friendly television.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Inverted: Kim and Aggie. While Kim frequently wore blue while Aggie wore brighter colors, personality-wise, Kim was the aggressive, cheeky Red Oni to Aggie's more reserved Blue Oni.
- Scare Chord: The first half of the program, while Kim and Aggie explore the messy home, the music is full of ominous stings.
- Terrified of Germs: Aggie—exaggerated for comedy, as she is also the one who takes bacterial samples from the homes.
- The Pig Pen: Subverted. Invariably the occupants of the messy homes keep themselves well-groomed and clean so that outsiders won't suspect the conditions in which they live. Truth in Television, as this form of concealment is a common trait amongst hoarders who still interact with the outside world.
- The Reveal: The final third of each show is devoted to a shot of the former mess which fades into the newly cleaned version. The show makes a point of never replacing worn or filthy furnishings and carpets, instead preferring to restore all the owner's original items to a like-new state.
- In one exceptional situation when the owner had practically no furniture, Kim and Aggie accepted donations from his friends and family to refurnish his flat. They then restored the secondhand items in their usual way.
- Three Act Structure: All episodes follow this structure. First act shows the terrible condition of the home, second act demonstrates the cleaning process, and the third act shows the family's reaction to The Reveal.
- Trash of the Titans: A frequent feature of the homes.
- Questioning Title: How Clean Is Your House?