Written by Victoria Purcell

Household chores: how often do Brits clean their homes?

Household chores are, well, a chore, frankly. But how often do people clean their houses? Do women clean more than men? Which room gets the most attention? And what’s the nation’s ‘favourite’ chore? A new survey reveals all…

It’s hardly surprising that we’re all a little more cleaning conscious these days – thanks to Covid-19. But a recent survey suggests that, as a nation, we’re more into our household chores than you might think.

On average, Brits clean their kitchens every 2.69 days, making it the most frequently cleaned room in UK homes. The next most frequently cleaned room is the living room, with Brits giving theirs a once over every 4.16 days. Third up is bathrooms, which we clean every 4.26 days.

All this and more was revealed in a Gtech survey of 2,000 UK homeowners and renters aged 25-60 years, conducted in June 2021.

Cleaning the bathroom is not the nation's favourite chore!

Cleaning the bathroom, unsurprisingly, is not the nation’s favourite chore! Photo: Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Who does the cleaning?

Disappointingly, the survey also found that women are the most frequent cleaners, with 50% of women cleaning everyday, versus 34% of men.

There’s also a gender split when it comes to favourite household chores, with 16% of men saying they would chose washing up out of all the household jobs that need doing. For women, 23% said doing the laundry was their favourite cleaning task.

Regardless of gender, almost a quarter (23%) of the nation look forward to vacuuming the most out of all their domestic chores, followed by clothes washing (19%) and changing bedding (15%).

Household chores that Brits most look forward to:

  1. Vacuuming (23%)
  2. Clothes washing (19%)
  3. Changing bedding (15%)
  4. Washing up (13%)
  5. Wiping down surfaces (13%)
  6. Tidying bedroom (11%)
  7. Mopping floors (10%)
Cleaning a mirror with a feather duster is a quick and easy household chore

A quick once over with a feather duster is not too taxing. Photo: Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

The psychology of cleaning

As for motivation to clean, women were more likely to choose the chores that brought them the most satisfaction (63%), while 23% of men reported they preferred jobs that caused the least disruption to the rest of the family.

A deeper dive into the psychology behind cleaning found that 53% of the women surveyed clean because they don’t want to be judged by houseguests, friends and family, compared to just 39% of men (the fear of judgement across genders came in at 47%).

This suggests that women are motivated to clean not by hygienic concerns – primarily – but by social pressures. Feeling house proud does come into it, though, with 50% of respondents offering that as their primary reason for cleaning.

Friends and family visits are most likely to get the nation cleaning, but surprisingly, nearly half (48%) of those surveyed would clean up before a handyman arrived.

Why do Brits clean up before guests arrive?

  1. I like to be proud of my house 50%
  2. It is polite 47%
  3. Because I wouldn’t want guests to judge me 47%
  4. I think that it is expected 37%
  5. I would have cleaned regardless of whether people were coming over 33%
  6. To compete with them 11%
  7. Other reasons 2%
Cleaning the toilet wearing yellow rubber gloves

Many people clean the bathroom before visitors out of fear of judgement rather than hygiene concerns. Photo: Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

‘Having a clean and tidy home has always been a badge of honour and has long been associated with social standing in Britain. It is the reason that social media is awash with #houseproud tags (125k tags on Instagram, 95.3k views on TikTok),’ said a Gtech spokesperson.

‘Beyond the basic practicalities of keeping bacteria at bay, we now know that cleaning is a pragmatic undertaking. As our survey has found, being proud of your house, being perceived as polite, and staving off judgement are just some of the top reasons we are a nation of frequent cleaners today.’

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