Two sisters who have worked as extreme cleaners for almost two decades encountered the filthiest home they had ever seen.
Yvonne and Angela walked into the north London flat of an elderly widow and were confronted with the heartbreaking squalor she’d lived in alone for nine years.
Every surface was covered with thick black mould, damp marked the walls, and dog mess and rotting food was piled up on the floors.
The 76-year-old occupant hadn’t set foot in her bedroom in the nine years that had passed since the death of her husband, and the two women opened the door to discover a rotting bed and his mildewed suits hanging untouched in the wardrobe.
‘Nineteen years we’ve been doing this and this is the worst,’ said Yvonne, who stars with her sister in ITV’s new series Call the Cleaners.
The elderly woman had abandoned her bedroom (pictured) after her husband died nine years previously. It was covered in dirt and mould
Water had spread through the entire flat because of a broken pipe in the toilet and mixed with the filth to create a mud-like consistency
Every surface in the kitchen was covered with rubbish, empty packets and rotting food, as well as dirty pots and pans
Extreme cleaner Yvonne lifts up the damp blankets that the occupant was using as a cover while sleeping on the mouldy chair
After their efforts the cleaning duo were able to reveal the completely unrecognisable bedroom
The duo could barely push open the door to enter the abandoned bedroom and assess its condition.
‘I’ve never seen anything like it,’ said Yvonne.
The elderly woman, who is not identified in the episode, had been struggling to cope with looking after the flat.
She vacated the property for five days to allow Yvonne and Angela – who have completed nearly 6,000 cleaning jobs between them – to work their magic.
A broken pipe in the bathroom appeared to have been leaking for so many years that damp had spread to every corner of the flat.
Yvonne and Angela (right) couldn’t believe their eyes when they entered the flat and saw the state it was in, labelling it the ‘worst’ they had seen in 19 years
The bedroom window sills were covered with thick gunk and mould, that the two women had to clean
Water had leaked all over the rooms and mixed with dirt from rubbish strewn around the flat, which together with mounds of dog faeces contributed to an appalling stench.
The bereft widow had shunned her bedroom since her husband’s death, sleeping instead on a rotten, sodden chair, with damp rugs as a cover.
‘It’s what you’d find on a landfill site,’ Angela said.
Yvonne and Angela put a back-breaking 40 hours work into transforming the home, and eventually restored it to its former glory.
The broken toilet once covered in black residue, was fixed and cleaned to reveal a shining bowl
The living room was cleared of all the rubbish and dirt, with some of the furniture replaced
The kitchen surfaces were cleaned and pots and pans scrubbed so the occupant could cook
They removed the fridge themselves – in which they discovered a carton of juice that dated back to 2001 – and removed four skips worth of rubbish.
The leaky toilet was fixed and after using several litres of disinfectant and a lot of elbow grease, the sisters revealed a sparkling clean home ready to welcome back the occupant.
It’s a job Yvonne says will stay with them for a long time: ‘I certainly won’t forget that job in a hurry.’
‘I will never forget that,’ Angela agreed.
Call the Cleaners returns next Tuesday on ITV at 8.30pm