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Wednesday 9 February 2022

The House Isn't Clean - Please Don't Visit!

 The Results of the 2022 Is This Mutton Survey: Dishing the Dirt 

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in bright pink and purple

The results are in!  A big thanks to those of you who completed the 2022 Is This Mutton survey, Dishing the Dirt, on cleaning habits.

Top-line results 

  • 53% are embarrassed if their house/apartment isn't tidy when guests arrive unexpectedly;
  • 92% clean and tidy before visitors are due; 
  • Our ovens are filthy - 76% don't clean it until it looks terrible;
  • More than 80% agree their mothers did more cleaning;
  • Women are still handling the brunt of cleaning. Just 14% of respondents said their spouse or partner did more than 50%;
  • Men and women share sorting tech challenges almost equally.

How much cleaning do we do a week?

82% of you spend less than 10 hours a week cleaning. This was not very different to the findings of the 2018 ACI National Cleaning Study in America.  

How we divide the labour 

The majority of respondents - over 70% - was aged over 51, and it seems traditional patterns of male / female behaviour persist with cleaning. 95% of you is living with a partner or spouse, and 11% say that their spouse does no cleaning at all.  Younger respondents all said they shared the duties 50 / 50. 

Not surprisingly, men are the ones who deal with the refuse (67%). Less surprisingly, women are nearly matching men when it comes to dealing with the tech issues around the house: the TV, PC and WiFi. A stereotype smashed! 49% of women handle it compared to 51% of men.

Getting the professionals in 

17% have a cleaner, while nearly 10% said they don't believe a cleaner would do a good enough job. 6% would be too embarrassed to have one.

When it comes to ironing. 7.9% outsource it to a professional ironing company. 43% do the ironing once a week while 20% never do any ironing. 28% just do a few essentials.

Who does the cooking?

43% of women say cooking is their job alone. 27% share the task with their partner. Nearly 12% said it was their partner's job. And just under 13% said their partner cooks once in a blue moon.

Everyone likes gardening

It seems that gardening, or tending the yard, is popular among all. Just under 40% shared the gardening with their partner, 22% of spouses did it all, and 21% of you said you did the gardening.

Children don't do very much

12.9% of you with children at home give them chores to do, but only 4% said the children did them. 10% said they would need to be reminded. 

The most hated chore  (drum rolll)

Nobody seems to like cleaning the oven/stove. 72% said they only clean it when it looks terrible. Nearly 8% call in a professional oven cleaning company. 3% clean it once a week, and 13% once a month.

The second most hated chore is ironing, and in third place was cleaning the toilet. 

Did our mothers clean more?

Just 20% believe they do more cleaning than their mothers did. 
The days of "spring cleaning" seem to be over.  Just 32% of us do this. 

Making Greener Choices

Over 60% of you said you were making more environmentally friendly choices with cleaning products, while 12% haven't thought about it. 27% said they haven't made any changes.

Those who had made the switch were mostly using ecologically friendly cleaning solutions such as floor cleaners, followed by washing detergent and then washing up liquid.

Covid didn't have much impact

33% said they were doing far more in the lockdowns than their spouse/partner to keep the home clean,  buy food and do the cooking. Just under 80% said Covid has had no long-term impact on how they clean.

So there you have it! 

Wearing pink and purple over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton

Chez Mutton, we have quite traditional roles but it works for us. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and prefer to do the cleaning myself, although Mr M will ocasionally run the vacuum cleaner round and clean the conservatory windows.  He takes the rubbish out, sorts the IT issues, sorts new suppliers for broadband and so on, and cleans the cars. I do most of the gardening but supervise him with a hedge trimmer.  I do all the food shopping, mostly online, and to me there's nothing worse than dragging a husband round a supermarket. Or any shop. 

I probably spend an hour and a half on cleaning and food prep each day. At 6am, when I get up, I empty the dishwasher and clean the kitchen surfaces. I open most of the windows for an hour or two  (a post Covid habit) and empty all the bins.  After my walk I usually pick up a few groceries if needed. I make the lunch and dinner and tidy up afterwards. I also do at least one load of washing a day and hang it out (or use a clothes horse indoors). 

On Fridays I fit in "Fresh N Up Friday" around my work, and try to change the beds, vacuum upstairs, and dust and polish everywhere.  Over the weekend I'll clean the kitchen floor and bathroom, and polish bedroom furniture and tidy and clean my office.

I use an ironing company for the bedding and any of J's shirts:  I love properly ironed sheets but don't like doing it myself. I'd never use a cleaner - I would be embarrassed having them in their house when I was there. Sometimes we use a professional carpet cleaner. 

I clean the fridge on an ongoing basis, and leave the oven until it looks terrible. I swear by Lakeland's oven liners, which you can wash. 

Covid's impact on me means I clean all the door knobs before visitors come, keep hand sanitizer by the door, and use a lot of disinfectant. 

Gardening is round the corner 

Once the weather gets better, I try to squeeze in as much gardening as I can. The first job is moving any perennials, hosing down the decking, cleaning the exterior of pots, and choosing what I'm going to sow or buy (a very pleasurable session poring over catalogues!). Plus cleaning the shed and my tools.

In all honesty I don't do as much cleaning as my mother used to, but she was a full-time mother until I was 12, and then she had a part-time job. She used to have a blitz of spring cleaning when she would clean skirting (base) boards, and behind beds and radiators, as well as washing all the curtains and blankets (as long as it wasn't the month of May), and cleaning all the cupboards and lining drawers. She also used to use something called Cardinal, a red polish, on the door step. 

I always feel there isn't enough time in the day for some of these tasks - the deep cleaning - and I regret not being able to do it. I'm sure when I'm retired there will be a lot more deep cleaning!

How about you?  What's your routine, and how much does your spouse help or hinder? Any surprises in the results? Do let me know in the comments.

Today's outfits:  this month's colour challenge in the Kettlewell Colour Club on FB is sunrises. I'm wearing a hot pink sweatshirt, mulberry merino infinity, both from Kettlewell, and purple trousers from Robell. 

I'm back tomorrow - 10 February - joining Leslie and Marsha for 10 on the 10th, about Lurve. Do join me then. 

Sharing this post with: On Mondays We Link Up at Glass of Glam, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Thursday Moda at Elegance and Mommyhood, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile  at StylesplashTFF at Doused in Pink, Lizzie in Lace Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireRena at Fine WhateverFabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey Brunette #TheWednesdayLinkUp at Claire JustineFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style, Traffic Jam Weekend aLife as a Leo Wife Weekday Wear Link-Up at Away from the Blue Sunday Showcase with Chez Mireille and Elegance and Mommyhood  (first Sunday of the month), Stylish Monday (first Monday of the month) with Ask Suzanne Bell, Talent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday. 

Last Week's Favourites

Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First by Michelle of My Bijou Life. Michelle talks about something we probably all recognise: the nagging voice in our head telling us what we should be doing.

10 Ways to Wear a Brooch by Grace from Graceful Rags

Is This Mutton Favourite

A Few Months Later: Status on Blog Link-Ups by Rena of Fine Whatever. Rena has done some analysis to see if it's true that link-ups like this one are less popular, and she's uncovered a mine of interesting facts and figures.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. Great survey and so interesting to read I’m not alone with my habits! 😂 thanks for sharing and hosting the link up Gail x

  2. Ha ha, had to laugh about your cleaning habits. I'm a Virgo, very very tidy.

    1. I'm a Scorpio, not sure we are supposed to be tidy, it's probably a control thing with us!


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