Your Biggest Cleaning Pet Peeve, Based on Your Zodiac Sign

published Apr 3, 2023
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Credit: Photos: Sidney Bensimon; Prop Styling: Anna Surbatovich and Shutterstock; Design: Apartment Therapy

Even though cleaning is a necessary part of maintaining an organized household, it can be a time-sucking snooze — and if you’re cohabitating with other people, it can also become a source of conflict. Yes, I’m alluding to cleaning pet peeves. Virtually all of us have at least one. Over time, these relatively minor frustrations can create tension between partners or housemates, and if you’re already feeling stressed, they can balloon into full-blown arguments. 

Afraid to broach the cleaning pet peeve conversation? You should initiate it anyway — but in the meantime, their zodiac sign might offer some helpful insight into how to do so productively. 

Read on to learn more about each sign’s biggest cleaning pet peeve below, and see if it reflects any tension that may form in your home’s cleaning routines. And who knows: You might feel compelled to share these findings as a way to break the ice. After all, the best way to alleviate the occurrence of a pet peeve is letting loved ones know what they are. 

Aries: A Pile of Dirty Dishes

Aries are ruled by action-oriented Mars. When something needs to get done, you do it, and as an expressive fire sign, you have no problem voicing your concerns when others don’t follow suit. This leads me to your number-one cleaning pet peeve: dirty dishes. You clean best in short spurts, so a days-old stack of unwashed dishes will leave you annoyed and unmotivated to help out.

Taurus: A Botched Load of Laundry

Taureans are ruled by Venus, the planet of beauty and adornment, and as a tactile Earth sign, you’re particular about how your clothes look and feel. Needless to say, your cleaning pet peeve is a botched load of laundry. Your zodiac sign is normally slow to anger, but if somebody shrinks your favorite vintage T-shirt or launders your hand-wash-only cashmere sweater, they will incur your wrath.

Gemini: When Items Are Left in Random Places

Geminis get a bad rap for being flighty. That might be true in some cases, but it’s more likely that your mutable nature makes you adept at transitioning from one task to another. This means you usually take your stuff — whether that’s the book you’re reading or coffee you’re drinking — along with you when you switch gears. So if your housemates tend to leave random items scattered in different rooms without reason, you’ll surely start to see red.

Credit: Kitchn

Cancer: Food That’s Stored Improperly

Cancers are ruled by the moon, which represents our bodies and how we nourish ourselves. For you, cooking and consuming food is a way of life. As a self-starting cardinal sign, you’ve likely taken the initiative to organize your household’s pantry and stock up on kitchen essentials. That’s precisely why you find improperly stored food so annoying. You’ve provided Tupperware containers and Ziploc bags, so why can’t your housemates just use them correctly?

Leo: A Dirty Mirror

As a passionate fire sign ruled by the sun, which governs our egos and public life, Leos care about appearances. It’s not a matter of vanity so much as confidence: When you look like the best version of yourself, you feel that way, too. And to assess your appearance before you hit the town, you need a clean mirror. Nothing will set you off sooner than dusty glass covered in fingertips.

Virgo: Any Filthy Pet-Related Things

Virgos have an affinity for pets, and as a practical Earth sign ruled by detail-oriented Mercury, you pay close attention to the needs of your furry friends. For you, a dirty litter box, dog house, food bowls, or pet beds are an absolute no-no. It’s gross, yes, but it’s also an example of irresponsible pet ownership — and as a sign known for your stellar work ethic, you’d rather be caught dead than shirking responsibility.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Libra: A Messy Common Space

As a chatty air sign ruled by Venus, the planet of beauty and relationships, Libras love to entertain guests. Nothing will squash your mellow vibes sooner than bringing a friend home, only to find a common area in total disarray. Although this might not bother some people, you care about aesthetics. You chose those throw pillows for a reason, so you want them to be fluffed up and artfully displayed, not strewn across the floor.

Scorpio: Unfolded Laundry

As a fixed sign ruled by Mars, the planet of action and drive, Scorpios have the stamina to see tasks through to completion. It’s exactly why you loathe half-finished chores. Case-in-point? Unfolded laundry. You can’t fathom why someone would wash and dry their clothes if they couldn’t commit to folding them and putting them away in a timely manner.

Sagittarius: An Unpacked Suitcase

It’s no secret that Sags love to travel. (Thank your ruling planet, Jupiter, which governs expansive experiences of all kinds.) As a fire sign, you find packing for trips easy and exciting, and your mutable nature makes you equally adept at transitioning back into home mode once you’ve returned. You almost always have enough energy to unpack right away, so it seriously grinds your gears when a partner or housemate waits days to do the same.

Credit: Photo: Sidney Bensimon; Prop Styling: Anna Surbatovich

Capricorn: Poorly Washed Dishes

With conscientious Saturn as your ruling planet, Capricorns care deeply about doing things well. This holds true whether you’re giving a presentation at work or cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. For you, poorly washed dishes are even more annoying than unwashed dishes. You struggle to understand how your partner could botch such a simple task — or worse, lack the self-awareness to realize they did a mediocre job. 

Aquarius: An Unequal Division of Chores

Saturn-ruled Aquarians crave structure just like Capricorns, but as a group-oriented air sign, you’re also concerned about fairness in interpersonal dynamics. Nothing will set you off sooner than an unequal division of chores. As the humanitarian of the zodiac, gender-biased chore splits get you especially riled up.

Pisces: An Unmade Bed

Everyone needs sleep, but for Pisces, an energetically sensitive water sign who sometimes struggles with boundaries, rest is imperative. You view your bedroom as a sanctuary for relaxing and dreaming, so most of the time, your bed is situated accordingly. Needless to say, your cleaning pet peeve is an unmade bed. Anything that gets between you and your shut-eye simply won’t fly.