A recent OnePoll survey commissioned by antibacterial cleaner manufacturer Microban 24 indicates that 20% of homeowners would be willing to part with half of their annual income for a bathroom that cleans and sanitises itself indefinitely.
The findings shed light on the lengths people are willing to go to avoid the tedious task of cleaning their bathrooms.
The Sacrifices: More Than Money
The survey of 2,000 adults exposed the various sacrifices respondents would make to bid farewell to toilet scrubbing forever.
The most astonishing statistic was that 1 in 5 respondents were ready to sacrifice 50% of their annual salary for a self-cleaning bathroom.
The study took place in the United States, where the average annual salary nationwide is $59,428 in 2024. This means participants are willing to give up an average of almost $30,000 for a forever sanitised bathroom and no more toilet scrubbing.
However, this statistic seems very hard to believe given that 65% of working Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Most people wouldn’t be afford to eat or pay their mortgage or rent if they lost half of their salary, so we’re a bit sceptical!
For survey participants who didn’t want to sacrifice their salaries, around a quarter were willing to give up one of their everyday luxuries for a squeaky clean bathroom.
A reported 25% would forgo dining out or ordering takeout, while a huge 24% would stop drinking coffee. Astonishingly, 18% would be willing to never taste again for an ever-clean bathroom.
Other Things People Would Give Up for a Spotless Bathroom
The OnePoll study asked respondents about various other things they would be willing to give up for an ever-clean bathroom. Below is a complete list of results from the poll:
- 25% would never dine out or order takeaway again.
- 24% would sacrifice their daily coffee.
- 24% would give up their favourite food for a month.
- 23% would abandon their favourite TV show or series.
- 23% would give away their favourite outfit.
- 22% were willing to part with a year’s worth of internet access.
- 22% would never use 2-ply toilet paper again.
- 20% would sacrifice half their annual salary.
- 20% would give up their sense of taste.
- 19% would sacrifice electricity in their homes.
- 18% were willing to part with their bed.
- 17% would shave their hair and go bald forever.
The Battle with Bathroom Cleaning
The OnePoll study went on to question why so many are willing to sacrifice so much for a clean bathroom all year round.
Time is unlikely to be the issue. In an article for the Washington Post, Stephanie Cummings – chief executive of a rental home management company – explains an hour-long cleaning session should be enough time for deep cleaning your entire bathroom.
In fact, the main problem for survey participants came down not to time but to effort. According to the poll, 34% of participants find the bathroom the most challenging room in the house to clean.
This sentiment aligns with the admission by the average person of having at least two bathroom “blind spots.” People are overwhelmed by the prospect of cleaning the bathroom—so they don’t.
It has been suggested that this could be down to annoying bathroom habits. According to the survey, the most common pet peeves include leaving toothpaste or makeup stains on the mirror or sink (30%), forgetting to flush the toilet (29%), and accidentally leaving a mess around the toilet (29%).
The Stress of a Dirty Bathroom
The survey also explores the emotional impact of a messy bathroom on individuals. We all know that the state of our homes is a reflection of ourselves. It follows that nearly 40% admitted they would be embarrassed if guests used their bathroom when it was not in pristine condition.
More shocking is that 2 in 5 participants believe that guests witnessing their home in disarray is as stressful as a day at work.
However, despite these concerns, 60% of respondents claimed that they only sanitise their homes when expecting guests. This suggests that only 40% regularly cleaned their bathrooms, while everyone else only prioritised cleaning when entertaining.
Microban 24 scientist Maria Striemer stresses that this needs to change. “It’s important to keep surfaces sanitised both before and after having guests over,” Striemer said in a statement. This ensures your home remains clean and germ-free—whether you have visitors or not.
Seasonal Cleaning Trends
The OnePoll study delved into seasonal cleaning habits, revealing that during cold, cough, and flu seasons (October to February), people become more proactive in sanitising their homes. A notable 59% reported more regular cleaning during this period than the rest of the year.
According to Stiemer’s statement, “cold, cough, and flue season [is] when homes are most susceptible to bacteria,” so this extra cleaning is necessary. However, Stiemer also stressed the importance of proper cleaning practices and using the right bathroom cleaning products.
“To prevent the spread of bacteria throughout your home, make sure you sanitise all high-touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, bathroom sinks, and countertops,” Striemer says. “While many disinfectants kill 99.9% of bacteria, it’s important to choose options that do this and continue working throughout the day to provide long-lasting protection for surfaces in your home.”
Bathroom Cleaning Made Simple
A self-cleaning bathroom might be out of reach, but you can explore the market for smart bathroom products designed to resist bacteria and grime buildup. From self-cleaning toilets to anti-bacterial shower curtains, these innovations can significantly reduce the frequency of manual cleaning.
However, while the OnePoll survey sheds light on the desire for a self-cleaning bathroom, reality often demands a more hands-on approach. Fear not—maintaining a spotless sanctuary doesn’t have to be an arduous task.
Here are some simple tips to make bathroom cleaning a breeze from our cleaning experts:
- Daily quick wipes: Embrace the habit of quick daily wipes. Keep disposable or reusable cleaning wipes under the sink for swift and easy surface clean-ups.
- Multi-purpose cleaners: Invest in essential cleaners that can tackle various surfaces. A single, efficient, multi-purpose cleaner can simplify your cleaning routine.
- Regular maintenance: Break down the cleaning tasks into bitesize pieces. Regularly wipe surfaces, clean mirrors, and address common “blind spots” to prevent grime accumulation.
- Declutter and organise: Organised spaces are far easier to clean. Declutter your bathroom and consider storage solutions to keep toiletries and essentials neatly arranged.
- Ventilation matters: Ensure proper ventilation to prevent mould and mildew. Use exhaust fans or open windows during and after showers to maintain a dry environment.
- Establish a routine: Consistency is key, and a well-established cleaning routine can transform cleaning from a daunting task into a manageable part of your regular activities.
Remember, while the dream of a self-cleaning bathroom might still be on the horizon, incorporating these simple tips can make the process more manageable, ensuring your bathroom remains a hygienic haven—without sacrificing half your salary.
Hannah is a freelance content writer with a passion for cleaning. She worked her way around Australia by cleaning hostels in exchange for free accommodation and used her cleaning skills to bag her a job as a chalet host for a luxury ski company in France.