The UK Bathroom Habits Survey: grime, good hygiene and grooming to land love

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A recent debate has set tongues wagging online and the simple question is this: How often should you shower? The new ‘normal’ has changed the rhythms of life and some deep-rooted habits so much that no one knows what normal even means anymore. No surprise then that responses to the question were a completely mixed bag. 

While the majority of squeaky clean people out there claim that they wash twice a day, celebrities such as Drew Barrymore, Aston Kutcher and Mila Kunis leave it entire weekends before putting their children in the bath!

The UK Bathroom Habits Survey draws back the (shower) curtain on the nation’s secret bathroom habits, uncovering our newly adopted grooming tips – and those that could even help win you love.

 

Top findings

  • In the top three turn-ons for both men (33%) and women (38%) is well-groomed skin and nails on hands and feet
  • One in eight people would prefer a ‘bathroom-proud’ partner to great sex
  • Almost one in five would rather their partner be bathroom-proud than a good kisser
  • For two-thirds of people, an unclean bathroom would be a relationship deal-breaker
  • The most common relationship turn-on (45% of people) is someone keeping the bathroom clean and smelling nice
  • 44% of women say that a partner who smells good or wears cologne is a turn-on

However, at the other end of the scale…

  • More than half of the UK (52%) doesn’t shower daily
  • 66% of women leave the dreaded post-shave mess in the bathroom, compared to 53% of men
  • Men fall short in the nail grooming department: just 34% of men clean up their nail cuttings, compared to 53% of women
  • One in five people urinate whilst in the shower
  • Over a third of people don’t always wash their hands after using the toilet
  • Just over half (54%) of survey respondents consistently brush their teeth twice a day

A steamy relationship starts in the bathroom

Our survey reveals the UK’s biggest relationship turn-ons, and it appears the bathroom is just as important as the bedroom. Over two-thirds of people say they would not be in a relationship with someone who has an unclean or messy bathroom — this is true for both men and women. So put down the Kama Sutra and clean up those post-shave hairs.

While it might not be the most romantic gesture, our survey showed that keeping the bathroom clean is more than twice as popular as running your partner a bubble bath. Here are the other big turn-ons:

  • Smelling good and wearing cologne or perfume (39% of respondents)
  • Well-groomed skin and nails (36%)
  • A good grooming, beauty or skincare routine (25%)

What are the biggest turn-ons for men and women?


Some couples are too comfortable with each other

The number of people planning to spend most of their working hours at home has shot up and as a result, couples now spend lots more time together. This has allowed people to lift the lid on their partner’s everyday habits – unveiling the good, the bad and the ugly…

Our survey found that four out of five people – the majority of the UK – have no problem going to the toilet in front of their partner.

Some couples even revealed (1 in 20) that they would share their partner’s toothbrush or razor!

Who scrubs up best: men or women?

Now here’s a contentious issue: do men deserve their reputation for being a bit more ‘relaxed’ about personal hygiene and household cleaning? Or is it actually women who need to clean up their acts?

We thought we’d find out once and for all whether men were getting a bad rap, and the findings weren’t pretty…


Male personal hygiene

Almost half (45%) of men admit to not washing their hands after every toilet visit, and less than half (49%) brush their teeth twice a day.

Nearly two in three don’t clean up their nails after cutting them – nearly double the number of women who’ll do the same. They could always just grab a nail clipper with a nail catcher.

Getting even dirtier now, one in four men urinate in the shower (let’s hope they clean the shower often…see below). And only two in five gents wash ‘downstairs’ daily.

How do men and women's personal hygiene habits compare?



Female personal hygiene

Unfortunately, women don’t come out of the survey smelling of roses either…

Women are more likely to leave the dreaded post-shave mess in the bathroom — 66% of women don’t clean up after themselves post-shave

A third of them don’t wash their hands after every toilet visit, which is better than the 45% of men, but still nothing to be proud of.

Women are slightly less likely to shower every day: 46% wash daily, compared to 52% of men. And only one in three women give their feet a daily dip.

They’re also a bit less shy than menfolk: 22% are comfortable going to the loo in front of their partner, compared to 16% of men.


Who gets the marigolds on most often?

So we’ve established that both men and women can be a little erm… economical with the soap. But who gets the points for giving the bathroom a scrub?

Sorry gents, the data shows that women are more likely to clean each element of a bathroom more regularly. In fact, men only scored higher than women for the response: “My partner cleans the bathroom”!


Which bathroom items get the cleaning attention they need?

Where are the most neglected corners of our bathrooms?

 

Did you know you should be cleaning your toilet brush once a week? If you actually do clean it every week, congratulations, you’re cleaner than 82% of the UK!

Other spots where germs go undisturbed include the shower head (which 71% of people neglect), the shower curtain (67%) and hand towels (53%). And more than half (58%) of us don’t listen to our dentist, failing to change our toothbrushes every three or four months.

What are the most neglected items in the bathroom? (% of people who don’t clean within recommended timeframe)

 

Dom Lees-Bell, bathroom expert at Drench.co.uk, says:

“One key area is around the bathroom tap, as it’s often the first thing people touch after they go to the toilet. If left uncleaned, e. coli and other types of harmful faecal bacteria can gather here, as well as yeast and mould.

“Another common area likely to hold bacteria is the toothbrush holder, as many people do not clean these frequently enough, and bacteria-ridden deposits can gather on the end of your toothbrush.

“Little and often is the best way to ensure cleaning your bathroom isn’t a laborious task. We recommend spending at least an hour a week cleaning your bathroom to make sure bacteria does not build up. This can be done in half an hour or 15-minute sessions to make the job easier.”

Which generation takes the cleanliness title?

Overall, millennials can lay claim to being the cleanest generation when it comes to bathrooms, with Gen Z coming last. But…millennials are the worst offenders when it comes to leaving the toilet seat up, which could have serious repercussions for their love lives.


Gen Z

They may be the youngest generation, but 60% of them are using old toothbrushes. Only half will clean the toilet regularly and a shocking 10% of them only clean the bathroom when they have a date.


Millennials

Well done, millennials, you have the most hygienic bathrooms. The majority will regularly change hand towels and body towels, and clean their bathrooms within the recommended timeframes. 

All that good work is undone, however, when they leave the toilet seat up (which more than half of them consistently do).


Gen X

The older generation really knows how to treat guests. 71% of them are frequent sink cleaners and half of them even disinfect the toilet flush handle regularly. But then it all goes wrong, because Gen Xers are the least likely to regularly change their hand towels, with only two in five doing so.


So we’ve learned that none of us are perfect, but cleaning your bathroom (and yourself) is much more attractive than you might think. Indeed, a sparkling bathroom is the biggest turn-on for almost half the country. If you want to impress, you know what to do: clean that toilet brush!