By Robert Firth
A vacuum cleaner-obsessed schoolboy has become the world’s biggest FLOOR CARE influencer – shooting to fame for the hoover reviews he shares online.
Matthew Lock, 15, from Maghull, Merseyside, owns more than 200 vacuum cleaners and already has his own hoover repair business.
The teenager’s passion for floor care began after he got a toy Henry Hoover for his second birthday and developed when he began helping his nan with the housework aged four.
Now, Matthew has mopped up the competition sharing floor care tips, reviews and myth-busting videos with thousands of online followers after he realised many of his customers lacked basic cleaning skills.
The year 11 pupil, who juggles managing his business with his school studies, said: “I’ve become the world’s biggest floor care influencer.
“I share floor care tricks, tips and hacks. And I also bust myths.
“I do proper lab-style tests. I weigh what is being put down on the floor and what’s being picked up by the vacuums.
“The floor care tips on social media are all about educating people.
“I used to get lots of people coming to me for vacuum repairs, but it turned out that their vacuum was fine – they just had the wrong type of vacuum cleaner for their circumstances.
“There were people with massive houses and four dogs buying a cordless vacuum, which totally wasn’t up to the job.”
Matthew, who aspires to being the next James Dyson, first discovered he had a knack for fixing vacuums aged 10 when he fixed a friend’s grandma’s broken Henry which she was about to throw out.
Aged 13, he began turning a profit fixing up old machines and selling them – even to his secondary school teachers – while carrying out repairs on just about every range of cleaner on the market.
A favourite with his friends’ parents, the teen will often hoover when he’s invited over for tea so he can diagnose and fix any issues with the machines.
He estimates his collection – which he keeps in a workshop at the bottom of the garden and which contains two incredibly rare Henry Hoovers – is worth £15,000.
Matthew has already acquired 16,000 followers on his floor care Instagram page, @TheVacMat, and even persuaded consumer information website Which? to take down a review comparing two vacuums after proving it was incorrect.
Matthew remains secretive about how much cash his repair business makes, describing it as ‘pocket money,’ and says he is making a growing amount of money from his influencing.
But keen to find a balance between his floor care business and studies, he is currently only dealing with existing customers while he prepares for his important GCSE exams.
The only child, who lives at home with engineer dad Richard, 53 and teaching assistant mum Christine,52, claims even leading online cleaning sensations have a few things to learn from him.
Matthew said: “Some people say you don’t have to vacuum stairs and to just use a squeegee and fabric conditioner instead, but that’s wrong.
“You’re increasing the flammability of the carpet by 200 per cent by using the fabric conditioner and you’re taking extra coating off the carpet.
“In my test, the squeegee got dog hair off a carpet but couldn’t remove sand.
“A good vacuum can extend the life of a carpet by a number of years.”
Matthew insists he has never had help from his family, originally teaching himself how to fix vacuums using YouTube tutorials.
He said his biggest fans online are new homeowners who are getting to grips with caring for their own homes for the first time.
He speaks to at least 20 people a day on social media, troubleshooting followers’ floor care problems, and when he leaves school wants to use his inside knowledge of what consumers want to design his own vacuum with James Dyson himself.
He said: “I would like to work with a big company, developing a vacuum.
“I want to go to the James Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology after I finish school.
“I’ve got lots of ideas about what people want in a vacuum.
“People want vacuums to be powerful and environmentally friendly and they want them to last.
“They are really upset when they have spent £400 on a vacuum and it costs hundreds of pounds to repair it.”