Clean up or break up: Brits wash their hands off their partners due to lack of cleanliness

Relationships across the nation are coming to an end. This is due many claiming their partner is not clean enough, new research reveals.

The report from Ideal Home Show in partnership with NatWest, analyses attitudes towards cleaning at home. Furthermore, it shows how important hygiene is when finding a partner.

One in ten (10%) people admit they’ve broken up with a partner due to their lack of cleanliness. The findings show this is the second most important thing people look for in a potential partner.

Most important qualities in a potential/current partnerPercentage
1.Their humour61%
2.Their cleaning habits59%
3.Their grooming upkeep39%
4.Their family/friends26%
5.Their looks25%
6.Their financial situation15%
7.Their job13%

With over a third (36%) of houseproud Brits cleaning their homes every single day, it’s no surprise the nation is spending almost an entire week (6 days and 7hrs) cleaning every year. Some are so obsessed with keeping their home life clean that they go behind their partner’s back and hire a secret cleaner (6%).

Whilst most of the nation prefer to clean their own homes, those who hire a cleaner do so because they are too busy with work (49%) and almost a quarter (24%) simply do not like cleaning or admit to being too lazy to do it themselves (15%).

On the other hand, one in ten (10%) worry their family and friends will think they’re lazy if they hire a cleaner and even a small 2% say they clean because their partners think it’s attractive.

Discussing the research, Giles Perry, Event Director at Media 10, the organisers of The Ideal Home Show, in partnership with NatWest said: “Prior to the pandemic, cleaning was already becoming ever more important to homemakers in the UK. You only have to search #cleaning on Instagram to see over six million posts on the subject.

“We wanted to find out just how much importance Brits place on cleanliness in the home and family life and it’s clear to see from our research cleaning is a top priority – both in terms of happy home making and, interestingly, in relationships too.

“Demand for cleaning products at the Ideal Home Show, in partnership with NatWest is at an all-time high and we have lots of inspiration on cleaning tips and hacks available throughout the event.”

The Ideal Home Show, in partnership with NatWest, the world’s longest running exhibition, will return to Olympia London from Friday 11th to Sunday 27th March 2022. A host of experts and celebrities will be hosting Q&As on stage throughout the 17 days at the show. For more information and tickets, please visit

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