Experts advise us to clean our bedding once or twice a week to avoid a grimy build-up of skin cells, sweat, and other dirt.
But one woman horrified television viewers when she admitted that she had never washed her bedding.
Cornelia Bayley, who made the revelation while appearing on Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners in 2013, lives in a Grade I listed 17th century manor in Flintshire, north Wales.
She bought the 10 bedroom Jacobean mansion, which was built in 1610, for £70,000 in 1985. She devoted herself to preserving the historic home, moving there from London following the breakdown of a relationship with a man she described as the ‘love of [her] life’.
At her time of moving, the property was a derelict shell, prompting her to spend tens of thousands of pounds to keep the property standing.
Cornelia Bayley (pictured) appeared on Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners in 2013, where she revealed she hadn’t ever washed her bedding
However, her money had since dried up, and she had been forced to live off her small pension, which she supplemented by holding paranormal evenings in her home.
Since living in the mansion, the whole place had become increasingly grimy, thanks to her only cleaning once or twice in the whole time she had lived there.
‘200 years ago, there would be 20 or 30 people looking after the house,’ Cornelia said. ‘Now there is just me and the cat.’
She admitted that she hadn’t bathed in two or three years, as the boiler was broken and she couldn’t afford hot water, but said: ‘In the 18th century people didn’t bathe all the time so I’m just living in another age.’
However, the real horror, when it came to cleanliness or lack thereof, was to be found in the bedroom.
Speaking with the programme’s hosts Hayley and Dann, retired antiques dealer Cornelia opened up about her bedding.
Not only had she never washed it, she admitted, but she believed her mattress was a staggering 100-years-old.
Cleaning obsessives Hayley and Dann were horrified by the admission, as well as by the general grubbiness of Cornelia’s home Plas Tag.
She also revealed that her mattress – which had also never been cleaned – was probably around 100-years-old
Examining the bedroom, Hayley said: ‘Cornelia, when was the bedding last washed?’
Cornelia replied: ‘Never.’
Hayley continued: ‘It’s never been washed? What about the mattress? Do you clean the mattresses?’
Dan added: ‘How old is the mattress?’
Cornelia said: ‘It could be 100 years old, or something. You know, this is how people used to live years ago – and I still live like that.’
Her desire to live like people did 100 years ago extended beyond her mattress, something which would prove tricky for Hayley and Dann.
Cornelia said they were only allowed to use water and a sponge to clean the house – no modern cleaning products.
When Hayley warned that this would not kill the bacteria, Cornelia responded: ‘The bacteria can live here, I couldn’t care less.’
In a 2020 YouTube video reflecting on the episode, Hayley admitted that this restriction worried her.
The programme’s hosts Hayley and Dann (pictured) appeared aghast at Cornelia’s revelations regarding her lack of cleaning
She said: ‘That was the first hurdle for me, and instantly I was like, “this is going to go downhill very, very quickly.
‘Because I was thinking in my mind things like, “how am I gonna get these toilets clean? What am I gonna use to clean the sink drains and put down the drains and stuff?”.’
However, the cleaning work was completed using water with a small amount of washing up liquid.
While Cornelia appeared reasonably happy with the cleaning job, she admitted she had no intention of using the now pristine bath.
She continues to live in Plas Teg, which is a private family home and not open to the public. Updates on the house, which is undergoing structural repairs, can be found on Instagram.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk