Everyone has a particular cleaning chore (or two...or three) that they can't stand. Generally, cleaning your home doesn't top anyone's list of fun activities, but some chores are more bearable and, dare we say enjoyable, in comparison to others. Mopping may always trump the idea of scrubbing last night's dinner off the pan in your mind, or perhaps you prefer to spend too much time dusting to avoid scouring the tub—either way, your most-hated chore is a highly personal thing but one that anyone can commiserate over.
While you might feel alone in your hate for folding laundry or avoidance of the dishes, you're certainly not the only one—even professional cleaners have chores that they dislike. Of all the chores out there that need to get done, these are the select few professional cleaners and cleaning experts hate the most. But thanks to their expertise and superb cleaning knowledge, they even have a few tips for getting through them quicker and more easily.
Meet the Expert
- Kimberly Gonzales is a professional cleaner and founder of PÜR Evergreen, a line of natural cleaning products.
- Isabella Agrida is a professional cleaner with MaidForYou.
- Sara San Angelo is a professional house cleaner and writes a cleaning blog, Confessions of a Cleaning Lady.
General Bathroom Cleaning
Bathroom chores are to be expected when it comes to listing out anyone's least favorite tasks. From scrubbing toilets to removing mirror smudges, there are countless chores in this room that oftentimes feel grimier than other spots around the home. "I really hate doing bathrooms," says Kimberly Gonzales, professional cleaner and founder of PÜR Evergreen. "I think most people do—hair all over, soap scum, shower glass doors are the trouble places."
Her trick for speeding things up—especially in places you severely dislike—is working from right to left, then top to bottom. She begins with everything up above, dusting light fixtures, fans, and vents, then moves onto rugs. "After that, I put everything away," she says. "Start on the item that is to the right of you cleaning that first. Then move to the next item to the right. Keeps you focused and helps you get done quicker."
Cleaning Shower Drains
When it comes to specific tasks, the bathroom remains a hotspot for chore hatred. For it to be a hub of relaxation, it needs to be clean, clog- and clutter-free, but it takes a good amount of maintenance, which isn't something everyone stays on top of. "Like most people, I really dislike cleaning shower drains," says Isabella Agrida, MaidForYou's longest serving cleaner. "Not only are they difficult to clean, but this particular area of the home also suffers from neglect."
"Because our clients are using soap and shampoo it's an area of the bathroom (like the back of the toilet) that is never cleaned during the client's DIY home maintenance routine," explains Agrida. "Every time I have to clean a shower drain I find years, and years' worth of hair mixed with old shampoo, stagnant water, and bodily fluids, and for that reason, it is by far my most disliked area to clean in a home."
It can't be avoided, especially to prevent further plumbing problems down the road, but Agrida says that "gloves and personal protective gear do make it somewhat better." That being said, it's still her "biggest hate when cleaning."
Dishwashing also falls into the realm of highly despised chores. There are numerous reasons why it's unpleasant and easy to put off. Crusted-on food, slimy textures, dirty sinks—the list goes on. Agrida of MaidForYou has this on her list of least-favorites, too. "I also hate washing dishes, especially if they've been left in a dry sink for an extended period of time," she explains. "Not only can they be extremely difficult and time-consuming to clean, but I also have to wait until they're clean before I can then clean the sink. If there's a lot of built-up grime, then dishes need to be soaked which is why it's one of my biggest pet hates when cleaning."
Dishwashers can only go so far—some items have to be handwashed and a full dishwasher load might not clear up a full sink. "To save time we usually create a mixture of dish soap and boiling hot water, and let it soak for 10 minutes while we do other work inside our client's home. This is probably the only feasible method for cleaning lots of dishes quickly."
Cleaning the Floors
Any task that's tedious but takes up an immense amount of time makes it an easy contender for a most-hated chore. That's the case when it comes to cleaning floors, which somehow never fail to get dirty pretty soon after they're scrubbed down. This certainly earns it the title of "most hated" chore for Sara San Angelo, professional house cleaner and the face behind Confessions of a Cleaning Lady.
"Whether it be sweeping, vacuuming, or mopping, it is the chore that usually takes the longest," San Angelo says. "But it is also the thing that makes your house look the cleanest fast." It may feel like a catch-22—this painfully dull chore is the key to a cleaner space—but there are ways to make it go faster and lessen the number of times you have to do a full deep clean.
"I tell my clients if you are in a pinch and have unannounced guests coming over in 15 minutes, pick up everything off the floors and your house will instantly look clean," she says, noting she prefers Swiffer's dry mops to remove grime like dust and dirt and keep under-furniture areas spotless. Another helpful hack? She suggests staying on top of any spills as soon as they happen. In doing so, so notes that "you won't have to clean the floors as often."