I spent the early days of the pandemic deep into TikTok, but eventually, alarmed by the amount of time I was spending on an app dominated by 13-year-olds, I deleted it. The problem is that I have no impulse control and also no intention of deleting Instagram, so I immediately got sucked into Reels—an also-ran feature full of videos that originally appeared on TikTok, my millennial mom contemporaries complaining about the death of skinny jeans, and also, uh, vaccines. (Plus ACOTAR fan videos.) But lately, I have discovered something absolutely magnificent: rug cleaning videos. I am obsessed with Reels of rug cleaning, which I find profoundly satisfying.
Just watch this man in rubber boots creating a series of perfect parallel lines on this grey rug as he scrapes filthy water away.
I now have distinct preferences regarding these videos. Wall-to-wall carpet does nothing for me; I don’t care about nasty car interiors. Simple at-home cleaning leaves me cold. Nor does the rug need to be absolutely filthy. What really hits the spot for me, personally, are the professional rug-cleaning videos, in which a rug is laid over some sort of specially designed floor with built-in drainage and systematically worked over with some sort of long-handled brush. Woosh, woosh, woosh, there goes the dirt!
Look at how satisfying! Yes, I understand that this is just ASMR, and I am the last person on earth to discover its appeal; there is in fact an entire Instagram account named “rugasmr” with 45,000 followers. But it’s new to me and I am absolutely delighted.
I now routinely find myself staring intently at the rug in my living room, fantasizing about rolling it up, cramming it into my car, and subjecting it to this kind of thorough deep cleaning. There is something, specifically, about the idea of removing a rug from its typical place, a place of spot-cleaning and never-quite-sufficient vacuuming, for a true, thorough, bone-deep soaking. I imagine it transforming my entire home. Indeed, my entire life! I look forward to exploring new avenues for this obsession, including pressure-washing and pool-cleaning videos.