When I was growing up, I remember there were several songs that felt like the soundtrack to certain years of my life. One of the musicians who appeared frequently in this soundtrack is Nelly Furtado. She has a killer voice and she has collaborated with the best in the business (Timbaland, anyone?). I still smile when I hear her songs, Say it Right, Promiscuous Girl, Maneater…anyway. I got to meet her last week! Furtado has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and has won a boatload of awards, NBD. So rather than ask her about her latest projects (which I did anyway, I couldn’t help it), I wanted to get to the heart and soul of things; I wanted to find out if she cleans.

When I met her, she was thrilled to meet me. ‘I have heard all about you!’ she exclaimed as we were introduced. Why? Because she really, truly enjoys cleaning and wanted to watch my videos (hearing that pretty much made my week). In fact, she went on to tell me that she finds it completely therapeutic and that she’s mastered it, too. Furtado doesn’t want anyone cleaning her house, she likes doing it herself and having the ability to get a sense of her space and spread her good energy around it. As we continued our conversation about cleaning, her face lit up as she told me about why she holds cleaning so near and dear to her heart.

Growing up, for ten years during her summers, she worked as a chambermaid in Victoria, British Columbia, where she’s from. She tells me her biggest challenge was checking her list in the morning and seeing how many rooms she’d need to clean on a hot summer day (for example, 12 room turn overs and 15 rooms staying – a good reminder to tip your chambermaid.) and trying to manage that in the heat! She tells me that ‘it was a lot of work, but it really taught me strong work ethic’. She’d need it later as she moved into pop stardom, you know, touring the world and recording award-winning albums. She also told me that she would write songs while cleaning and many lyrics made it into her first album and on her second album, Folklore, there’s a song called Saturdays that is all about her experience working as a chambermaid, you guessed it, on Saturdays.

pn_nellyfurtadotide_nov-17-2016_alexbrowne-41-2We got to talking about her home life and I pried a bit about what she liked to use at home for laundry (the fancy stuff, or the stuff I use?). She told me that she worked hard, and wanted a product that was reliable and worked just as hard as she did so she wouldn’t have to compensate for it. Right now, she told me that she’s into using Tide purclean (which, FYI, is 65% bio-based made with renewable energy sources) because not only is she dedicated to cleaning, but she digs living in a mindful and sustainable way, too. Tide purclean is involved in a partnership that goes right after her heart: WWF-Canada’s Count for Nature movement. Furtado has helped spread the word about this partnership and wants Canadians to pitch in. Until November 30th, 2016, for every tweet made @Tide using #purclean and #CountForNature sharing an action taken to help the environment, Tide will donate one dollar to WWF-Canada’s Count for Nature Campaign. I’ll be tweeting them like crazy, I’m trying to do my part each day.


We carried on and Furtado asked me about how to clean mirrors and windows – what I used to do the task. Of course, I took the opportunity to share my glass cleaning secret with her: clean windows with equal parts white vinegar and water, and add a teaspoon of cornstarch for extra cleaning power. She loved it! She shared a family secret with me for getting stains out of white clothing ‘my mom taught me to leave those items in the sun, it’s great at naturally bleaching clothing’. Yas. Nelly Furtado. You know what you’re talking about! She was extremely grounded and down to earth, too “People think they know me because they see me on TV singing in front of thousands of people, but really, I’m at home like them, sweeping my floors and doing laundry. In fact, last night, I was up late making sure my daughter had nicely ironed shirts for school…it’s a part of my life and ironing brings me a lot of joy. The best things in life are free, right?”. Her humility was refreshing.

As I do with Celebrity Cleaning Confessions, I end off the interview with four standard, rapid-fire questions. Here are her answers:

  1. What your favorite cleaning task: “Cleaning the mirrors. Sweeping isn’t bad either. Windows are also satisfying.” (she would have gone on for ten minutes if I let her!)
  2. What is your least favorite cleaning task: “Cleaning the kitchen – the fridge and ugh, the oven. It just feels so industrial”
  3. What is your cleaning pet peeve: “When people reuse a dirty dish cloth too many times, that’s so gross.”
  4. When you make the bed, do you prefer your flat sheet to be tucked or untucked: “I’m used to tucking it in, I like that tucked in feeling. I used to work at a hotel, so that’s where I get it from.”

She then said something to me that only a talented lyricist could, “I think that when you clean, you spread light and you spread energy around your home”. If I ever make Clean My Space tee shirts, I’m going to print her quote on the back. Well said, Lady. Her new album, The Ride, is about to drop, and you can keep tabs on her @NellyFurtado.


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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.