A backlash is growing against the “ASMR Cleaning” videos that have swept across Instagram and TikTok, with Reddit users horrified by the trend’s wastefulness.
One Redditor posted a screenshot of a cleaning influencer’s Instagram grid, which shows an array of different cleaning products that they will either pour away or squirt needlessly onto sponges.
According to the original poster, ASMR cleaning influencers “just pour chemicals down the sink for views and likes.”
ASMR videos are a diverse collection of content that show “oddly satisfying” phenomena, whether that’s the sight of hands playing with gelatinous slime or the sound of gentle whispering.
“ASMR” stands for “autonomous sensory meridian response”, which refers to the tingles, goosebumps, or soothing feelings that certain sounds and visuals stimulate.
For some, the sound of bubbling and foaming cleaning products hits the right spot, but with a serious cost for the environment and even, at times, people’s health.
Experts have repeatedly warned that pouring the wrong combination of cleaning products down the sink or toilet could inadvertently create noxious gases, which are toxic to breathe.
Mixing bleach and ammonia, for example, creates chloramine gases, which can cause coughing, shortness of breath, and even pneumonia if inhaled.
Overloading cleaning products is common in these videos, which can break down the enamel on bathroom surfaces and pipes, allowing harmful bacteria to grow and could lead to high plumbing repair costs.
And if excessive quantities of these fluids end up in the environment, they can have devastating effects on wildlife. Phosphates, for example, can cause toxic algae to grow in waterways, depleting the oxygen in the water and causing aquatic animals to suffocate.
“This is so bad for the environment. People that do this are horrible humans,” one Redditor commented.
“This infuriates me to no end. It is absolute murder on the environment,” another fumed.
“I could do a lot better and am in no way perfect when it comes to my consumption. I am truly learning every single day. But this s*** just angers me on so many levels,” another agreed. “It’s absolutely mind boggling to me people keep indirectly supporting this behaviour by watching it.”
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