Survey reveals the nation’s ‘dirty little secrets’

We’re a nation bursting with grimy habits, according to a new survey by cleaning products supplier Method.

Research conducted by OnePoll for Method, based on responses from 1,000 18-40 year olds across the UK, reveals some surprisingly unsavoury practices among us.

When it comes to eating routines, the study discovered that almost one in six (15%) Brits are happy to eat food off the floor, and admit to using the ‘five second rule’ (the theory is that if food dropped on the floor is picked up quickly enough ie within five seconds, it’s safe to eat).

Meanwhile, 14% never wash their hands before eating. The younger generation of Brits might do well to follow their older counterparts’ lead though, as those aged 35-40 are more likely than those aged 18-24 to always wash their hands before eating (35% of 35-40 year olds do versus 25% of 18-24 year olds who don’t).

As for housekeeping tasks, a quarter of respondents said their cleaners were more important to them than their doctors, dentists and hairdressers – demonstrating how heavily Brits rely on paying other people to do their chores. A fifth said their wardrobe is more important than the state of their home, which may explain why 13% clean their bathrooms less than once every six months, while 16% wash bed sheets just as infrequently.

The research also revealed that one in five wear dirty clothes taken from the laundry basket and over a third use smelly socks and other dirty laundry to dust their homes. Some have come up with inventive ways to stay clean however, with one non-conformist admitting to putting his jeans and t-shirt in the dishwasher when his washing machine was broken. One girl even confessed to buying new clothes to avoid having to iron.

While the study exposes Brits as far from squeaky clean, encouragingly it seems that we do like to have fun when we can’t avoid chores, with music motivating 25% of us to clean. We also maintain a certain element of pride in the state of our homes: 26% said they tidy up when they have guests coming over.
So what has turned us into a nation of lazybones when it comes to cleaning? According to a massive 90% it’s down to lack of time, with over a third attributing this to spending too many hours at work.

Method UK marketing manager Clare Burke commented: “We know that cleaning can sometimes be a boring and time-consuming task – and as ‘the people against dirty pioneers’, we love to see that people are having fun when getting the task done, by using music as a motivation and even cleaning in the nude!
“As modern life becomes increasingly hectic, it’s not surprising that we’re continually inventing clever shortcuts to save time and get away with doing as little as possible. Employing a cleaner is a great solution to those working long hours and our research proves how important they are to people today.”


Britain’s top ten most surprising ‘dirty little secrets’:

1. Running out of clean underwear and going commando

2. Using a hairdryer to dust

3. Noticing a lipstick on a ‘clean’ wine glass + wiping it off with a finger

4. Leaving the bed sheets on for more than six months before washing them

5. Following the ‘five second rule’ and eating food that has fallen on the floor

6. Eating from the same plate at dinner that was used at lunchtime

7. Never washing hands before eating

8. Hiding mess away in cupboards rather than cleaning up

9. Buying new clothes to avoid doing the ironing

10. Cleaning the house in the nude

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