Organize & Clean

Do You Clean for Guests? You’re in the Minority, According to This Study

published Oct 28, 2017
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(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

You know that mad-dash feeling you get when you find out a guest is coming over last-minute and you don’t have time to clean (you know, the one where you run around hiding things in closets and wiping down everything you pass by at warp speed)? Or when you have plenty of time to plan and get ready, do you spend way too much energy trying to get things exactly right for your guests? Yeah, me too—on both fronts. But as it turns out, not everyone is on the same page.

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According to a recent report from Kärcher, “the global leader in cleaning technology”, while Americans spend about 3 hours and 20 minutes cleaning their homes on average, they are less inclined to clean for guests than you might think, and that inclination varies depending on who their guests actually are.

As it turns out, Americans are most likely to clean—and spend more time cleaning—for their friends (34 percent said so). Parents, on the other hand, get less special treatment at only 24 percent.

Perhaps most surprising is how few people actually care about cleaning for dates. Only 9 percent of respondents said they’d clean their home before a date arrived.

Personally, I find this interesting because it’s basically the opposite for me—while I always clean for guests, my roommates and I often joke that our apartment is at its cleanest when one of us starts dating someone. Seriously, though—if you have a tough time staying organized, a brand new relationship might just be the key.

And maybe it’s because my mom doesn’t visit often (I’m usually the one heading back to Connecticut to see her) but I’m definitely going to clean more thoroughly for her than I would for friends who I’m comfortable with and who tend to be over pretty frequently. I wouldn’t want my mom or a new romantic partner to see my apartment if it hadn’t been tidied, for example, but my best friends have stopped by on occasion to a messy apartment.

Along with these surprising guest-related results, there are some interesting stats about generational differences you can read in the full report below.

So, who are you most likely to clean for? Let us know in the comments!