How Clean Are Britain’s Bathrooms?
From north to south, east to west, we’ve surveyed over 2000 people across the UK to gather statistics on the state of the nation’s bathrooms. Bathrooms are one of the most used rooms in a house: staging morning showers, kids’ baths, pre-night out preening sessions, and general private moments, maybe because they’re usually one of the only rooms in the house with a lock.
Whether you’re a daily cleaner, a weekly cleaner, or a hardly-ever cleaner, the bathroom is a place that harbours germs and bacteria. Staying on top of the dirt can be difficult. There’s the toilet to clean, the sink to wipe down, the shower screen to maintain, surfaces to polish, and the floor to mop. No wonder it can be a struggle.
Did you know:
Germs and bacteria from an open toilet can spread as far as 6ft around the room when the toilet is flushed
You should leave antibacterial cleaners to sit for 30-60 seconds before wiping away
The bathroom sink can harbour more bacteria than a toilet bowl
The family bathroom should be a sanctuary, but not for bacteria. We wanted to get an idea of how clean the nation’s bathrooms are, so we surveyed 2,015 respondents about their bathroom cleaning habits and the results highlighted some interesting statistics.
UK bathroom cleaning statistics
The national statistics show that, overall, we rate our bathrooms as clean. 80% of people say their bathroom is ‘clean’ or ‘very clean’, while only 5% rate their bathroom as ‘unclean’ or ‘very unclean’. The remaining 15% of respondents thought their bathroom was neither clean nor unclean. On average, people in the UK clean their bathrooms 2.5 times a week.
Despite what some landlords seem to think, renters tend to be cleaner than homeowners (spending 48 minutes a week cleaning the bathroom vs 44 minutes) – perhaps spurred on to clean by the need to have their deposit money back. But unsurprisingly, it is 16-24 year olds that have the worst bathrooms, with 10% admitting that they’re dirty, whilst people in the 55+ age bracket were cleanest as 86% described their bathroom as clean.
This is how many times each of these pieces of bathroom furniture are cleaned, on average, a week, according to our respondents:
|Bathroom Feature||Times Cleaned Per Week|
|Shower or bathtub||2.51|
|Towels (including face cloths)||2.5|
|Toilet roll holder||1.78|
|Bathroom door handles||1.73|
The division of cleaning labour
Women take the initiative to clean more than men (2.81 times weekly vs 2.29 times). The gender difference doesn’t end there. In fact, of those men who selected ‘I don’t clean my bathroom’, 38.5% of them said it was because a female family member cleans it for them.
However, men tend to spend more time on the bathroom, taking an average of 47 minutes to ensure that everything is spick and span.
But no matter how the chores are divided in your house, the real thing that matters is that they get done.
Time spent cleaning
So, how much time do we spend cleaning, exactly? On average, UK bathrooms are cleaned for around 45 minutes a week, taking longer to clean than the bedroom (at 43 minutes), and shorter to clean than the kitchen (at 55 minutes).
Men tend to take their time over cleaning the bathroom, spending 3 minutes longer than women (47 minutes vs 44). But again, it’s 16-24 year olds that take the longest time, due to inexperience, diligence or both. After spending over an hour cleaning (66 minutes), 31% of this age group say that their main reason for picking up a mop is for the joy of cleaning itself.
The reign of the ‘cleanfluencer’
These days, influencers are everywhere. These social media users are halfway between being celebrities and marketers, and they exist in every niche online including the cleaning space. ‘Cleanfluencer’ is the term given to cleaning focused influencers, and they’re having their moment. The authentic, relatable, and often useful content that cleanfluencers create has seen their engagement rocket in recent years.
In our survey, 7.84% of respondents said that they have been influenced by cleanfluencers to clean their bathroom – a statistic that even 5 years ago wouldn’t have existed. Perhaps unsurprisingly, millennials (25-34 year olds) were the most influenced by cleanfluencers, with 13% of people drawing inspiration from these online figures. The cities influenced the most by cleanfluencers were Edinburgh, London, and Manchester.
One cleanfluencer, Harriet Knock of @making_ahouse_ahome, says that her insights mirror our findings: “I’m mostly followed by 25-34 year olds and the majority of my followers are women, with a lot of followers in London, Manchester and Dublin.”
She also offered us a small bit of her bathroom cleaning philosophy:
“At bare minimum, the bathroom should be cleaned once a week, with different cloths and products that are suitable for the task. Cleaning products are essential in a bathroom to keep it hygienic and remember that using the same cloth across the whole bathroom is a cross-contamination.”
Top tips for bathroom cleanliness from Harriet @making_ahouse_ahome:
Do a deep bathroom clean once a week, and start by removing all items from the bathroom so you can adequately clean all the surfaces
Remember to clean the accessories and fixtures in the bathroom too – like the bin, toothbrush holders and bathmats
Pay attention to the base of the toilet and the floor around it. You’d be surprised how many people miss this
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