The shocking, gross, lazy cleaning habits of American women


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BHG_CoverBe honest: You hate cleaning, don’t you? Yes, you do. And if you’re one of those strange anomalies who absolutely can’t wait to slap on some rubber gloves and go to town, we’d like to study you please.

Well, Better Homes and Gardens set out to find out just what you hate about cleaning in its “Cleaning Personality” survey, which was taken by 3,323 female respondents.

Here are the demographics of the participants:

  • Average age: 48.8
  • Have children: 43%


We scoured through the findings and found the most surprising, the grossest and the laziest — plus the most and least hated chores and what the respondents would be willing to give up if they never had to clean again.


Most surprising findings

  • 22% of respondents change their sheets monthly, and 1% perform the task annually
  • 2% vacuum only when expecting company
  • 5% mop daily
  • 1% clean exterior windows weekly
  • 17% never wipe down their cell phones
  • 30% never clean their washing machines
  • 10% wash their mattress covers weekly
  • 11% clean the toilet daily
  • 1% clean the shower annually
  • 4% mop the floors daily
  • 1% clean the fridge daily
  • 2% clean the microwave annually
  • 3% clean appliance exteriors annually and 3% when expecting company


House_LazyCleaningGrossest findings

  • 1% of respondents clean the toilet only when expecting company
  • 2% don’t clean their pet dishes
  • 1% change the kitchen sponge only once a year
  • 43% grabbed a piece of clothing out of the dirty pile to wear again
  • 20% have witnessed the grout/caulking in their homes turn orange from mold


Laziest findings

  • 25% have thrown out dishes/small appliances because there was too much gunk caked on and didn’t want to clean it
  • 15% sent something to the cleaners to avoid ironing
  • 1% got new carpet to avoid getting out the steam cleaner


Top 5 most hated chores

  1. 43% clean behind/under large appliances
  2. 32% scrub grout
  3. 32% dust/clean window blinds
  4. 30% clean exterior windows
  5. 27% clean the showers/bathtubs


Least hated chores

  • Less than 1% change sponge/dish rag
  • Less than 1% change bathroom towels
  • Less than 1% wipe down cell phone
  • 1% clean dishwasher
  • 1% clean appliance exteriors


What they’re willing to give up to never have to clean again

  • 12% Shoe/purse budget
  • 11% Mani/pedi/massage
  • 10% Chocolate (or other guilty-pleasure food)
  • 9% Netflix/Apple TV/Hulu+/TiVo/DVR
  • 7% Going out to eat
  • 7% Sleeping in
  • 2% Mobile device/phone/tablet


Tell us below: What chores do you hate most? Least? And if you’re brave enough to admit it, what surface of your home do you often skip?