Brits' obsession with cleaning doesn't go deep enough, survey reveals

Under the sofa, air vents, lighting fixtures and TV remotes among the many household fixtures and fittings Britons rarely or never consider cleaning

Cleaning white wallpaper while wearing rubber gloves
(Image credit: I Want Wallpaper)

The popularity of Mrs Hinch and Marie Kondo suggests that we clean and tidy more than ever, for the therapeutic pleasures of scrubbing and folding as much for the health benefits of a clean and clutter-free home. But are there areas of our homes we habitually neglect that could do with some cleaning, too? After all, it's not just the kitchen floors and counters that get dirty over time...

A new survey of 1,748 British home owners/renters to identify the parts of the home they ‘rarely’ (once every three to six months) or ‘never’ consider cleaning makes for fascinating, if somewhat disturbing, reading. The survey, by, showed that 77 per cent of us almost never clean our lighting fixtures, while 75 per cent don't bother scrubbing the grouting in their tiles bathrooms. A whopping 82 per cent never clean their air vents, and 71 per cent never think of giving their remote controls a wipe (hello, germs). Over 40 per cent rarely bother to vacuum behind or underneath furniture, too. 

All these figures point to a prevailing understanding of cleaning as something primarily done in order to make the home look appealing – rather than making it hygienic and healthy. Did you know, though, that there are typically more germs on your light switches, TV remote, computer keyboard or cutting board than on the typical loo seat? Makes you think, right?

End of Tenancy Cleaning Service chart of cleaning jobs Brits never do

(Image credit: End of Tenancy Cleaning Service)

Ivan Ivanov, the Managing Director of End of Tenancy Cleaning London comments, 'We all know cleaning is an integral part of the home owning and renting experience. Yet, it seems to daunt many of us. Particularly, due to the time and effort required. Many of us end up putting it off or are occupied by a ton of other responsibilities. This research carefully highlights the aspects of the home that Brits either rarely or never clean. Whilst some may come as no shock, others are highly surprising – given how frequently they are used every day. Brits certainly need to take a more proactive approach towards cleaning all sections of the house rather than just the essentials.'

Inspired to do some proper cleaning in your home? Visit our dedicated cleaning hub page.

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.