Stop Washing The Dishes: THIS is What Hosts Really Want From Their House Guests

published Apr 25, 2018
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(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

Bless the houseguest who hops up after a great meal and beelines for the kitchen sink. Thank you for your service on the serving ware, but also for saving the rest of us from the awkward dance of feeling out which one of us guests was going to volunteer as tribute to the trifle dish.

Somewhere in the course of home history, “doing the dishes” became synonymous with “being a good houseguest.” But here’s some good news for those of us who dread the chore: There is one thing that ranks above dish duty in a host’s impression of their guests.

According to a study from, hosts feel more favorably towards the guest who compliments their home than one who offers to wash the dishes.

Not that dishwashing isn’t welcome. If you want to be the perfect guest, start by walking in with a bottle of wine, taking off your shoes and saying these four words: “You have a beautiful home.”

And whatever you do, don’t ask to smoke or vape inside.

(Image credit: Courtesy of

The study asked 1,000 Americans to rank 11 different guest behaviors, ranging from compliments and dish duty to asking for the wifi password, according to how much it would change their opinion of their guests.

The fact that compliments ranked above dishes is surprising to me, but you can still see through the results that hosts have a lot of feelings about being left with a load of dishes after having people over: Offering to wash was ranked as a favorable guest behavior, while leaving food on the plate marked points off the imagined guest’s score.

What really shocked me, though, was the fact that asking for the wifi password ranked as negatively as it did. I get that a guest asking for the wifi password feels like it’s outside the spirit of spending face-to-face time together. But I’d rather have somebody ask for the wifi password than rifle through my bookshelf uninvited.

How about you? Do the results reflect your sentiments as a host? What would you rank differently?

You can see more results from the study on