Many Brits would rather throw out an appliance than clean it (yes, really)

More than two fifths of us admit we've scrapped microwaves when they're too unsavoury to use anymore

Cleaning a microwave door
(Image credit: Getty)

Grubby Britons are so lax when it comes to cleaning their microwaves that some would rather throw theirs out than give it a good scrub.

In a new survey for window furnishings company Thomas Sanderson, an incredible 39 per cent of people asked admitted that they’d had to get rid of appliances they considered too filthy to use. Most often scrapped was the microwave, followed by the toaster and kettle.

It is no surprise that dirt builds up in the quick cooker – those questioned revealed that, on average, they only cleaned it once every two months.

However, that’s positively sanitary compared to the fridge, which only got its interior washed once a year.

That’s actually less than the cooker – despite the unpleasantness of the task, this is tackled about three times a year.

pouring cleaning fluid on to a sponge scourer

‘I was waiting for someone else to do it’  is a common excuse for not cleaning appliances

(Image credit: Getty)

The most common excuse for not cracking out the cleaning fluid and equipment was that ‘the appliances don’t look dirty’, with nearly 60 per cent revealing they relied on an eye inspection to wriggle out of these chores.

Nearly half said ‘I was waiting for someone else to do it’, while 38 per cent claimed they just didn’t have enough time to clean thoroughly.

Syndey Smith, marketing manager for Thomas Sanderson, comments, ‘The age-old adage of "if it looks clean it is clean" is obviously a mantra that many live by, but household appliances still need to be cleaned, even if they don’t look dirty.

‘The fact that the average microwave is used for two months between each clean doesn’t make for savoury reading, so it’s no wonder 64 per cent said they had received a negative comment about their house from visitors!’

Alison Jones
Assistant Editor

Alison is Assistant Editor on Real Homes magazine. She previously worked on national newspapers, in later years as a film critic and has also written on property, fashion and lifestyle. Having recently purchased a Victorian property in severe need of some updating, much of her time is spent solving the usual issues renovators encounter.