Feel good cleaning

Posted by Charlotte Salter, on March 28, 2012.

More than a third of women have admitted that they secretly like cleaning, a study has revealed.

Those surveyed said the smell of a clean home and the knowledge that anyone could drop by without causing them embarrassment gave them a sense of pleasure and achievement – even though most said they still made their partner share the housework.

The survey was commissioned by disinfectant-maker Zoflora, and found that spending a couple of hours blitzing your home can be satisfying and therapeutic.

Dr Jane McCartney, Chartered Psychologist and consultant to Zoflora said: “There is the therapeutic routine or sense of control in creating a home environment but also perhaps, that homes also make a personal statement – cleanliness and choice of fragrance adding to their overall sense of personal pride satisfaction. 

Not only is it just unpleasant to be near a bad smell, this also stems from our basic evolutionary development too.  In the past unpleasant smells would signify a danger to survival, in as much as they indicate contamination, illness or even death.”

McCartney adds: “Taking on tasks that you have a realistic chance of completing can provide immediate positive feedback; the undertaking and completion of the task will allow you to have a sense of control.

“The sense of achievement is an important factor in a person’s well-being and cleaning is an area where this achievement can live beyond the actual task itself.  For instance if you’ve spent time cleaning and tidying a room, by revisiting that room in the next few hours or days you will also revisit the sense of positive achievement associated with it.”

Hoovering, tidying up and wiping surfaces clean were the top three household chores; while cleaning the oven, the toilet and doing the ironing were the ones they were most likely to hate.


1 . Hoovering

2. Tidying

3. Wiping surfaces clean

4. Putting the washing on

5. Hanging things on the line

6. Changing the sheets

7. Dusting

8. Washing up

9. Ironing

10. Mopping the floors


1. Cleaning the oven

2. Cleaning the toilet

3. Cleaning the shower

4. Cleaning the bath

5. Defrosting the freezer

6. Cleaning the fridge

7. Sweeping the floors

8. Washing up

9 .Taking the rubbish out

10. Hoovering the stairs

Contact the UKCPI on ukcpi@ukcpi.org or call 07843 199397.