Average dirty dish sits in the sink for nearly 2 days, kitchen survey reveals

NEW YORK — Whose turn is it to do the chores? The average dirty dish lays untouched in the sink for a day and a half. The study, delving into the kitchen habits of 2,000 Americans, also finds at least half run their dishwasher three times per week.

Moreover, the survey shows that the average person has five items in their freezer that have gone unused throughout all of 2022!

One in four claim deep cleaning the stove or oven is the worst kitchen chore to endure. Two in five (43%) are likely to invest in customizable bins for their fridge to help store items. Fruits and veggies are most likely to end up in the crisper (35% and 45%, respectively) or a separate bin (30% each).

When it comes to washing dishes, 54 percent believe pots and pans should be washed by hand, followed by fine dining ware (46%), glasses (38%), and coffee mugs (37%). Yet it’s not enough to stop the 70 percent who own and use their dishwasher — and sometimes use it to its absolute limit.

Commissioned by LG and conducted by OnePoll, the study also found a universal agreement on where certain things belong in dishwashers. Respondents say plates (75%), cutlery and utensils (67%), pots and pans (55%), and fine dining ware (37%) all belong on the bottom rack.

The top rack is reserved for coffee mugs (76%), glasses (74%), travel mugs (62%), plasticware (52%), and bowls (43%).

fridge leftovers

Your personality reveals how often you do chores

However, the team found a discrepancy between those who prefer to have guests over and those who prefer to be the guests themselves, as well as disagreements along generational and personality types.

Six in 10 (58%) respondents who prefer hosting people in their homes, rather than being a guest, tackle dishes left in the sink in less than a day.

Similarly, 64 percent of respondents who identified themselves as “minimalists” — known for simple, sparse living — refuse to allow dishes to stack up in the sink for more than a day. “Maximalists” who don’t mind a bit of clutter let dishes stay in the sink for an average of two days.

Over half (56%) of hosts love to spend most of their time in the kitchen — either cleaning, cooking, or conversing with guests.

Nearly half (49%) of Gen Z believes it’s okay to leave dishes in the sink for one to four days before adding them to the dishwasher, compared to 52 percent of millennials, 66 percent of Gen X, and 72 percent of baby boomers – who all believe anything longer than a day is too long.

“When it comes to the kitchen, we know that people are passionate about their cooking and cleaning habits,” says Angela Gozenput, Director of Brand Marketing for LG Appliances, in a statement. “We’re seeing a more relaxed notion around doing dishes and an increase of people trusting their machines to not ruin even their more beloved dishes. Yet there’s still room for controversy on the ‘right’ way to do things.”

Personality also affects home decor

The survey also revealed 62 percent have their personalities reflected throughout their homes, with kitchens taking the spotlight. For example, 65 percent of “maximalists” who prefer knick-knacks especially take pride in showing their personality and style in their homes.

Those who have a penchant for being guests are more likely to be easy-going: not caring about home styles (19%) and preferring to enjoy the home beyond the heart of the kitchen (35%).

Overall, the most popular personalities for homes tend to be postmodernism (13%), full of thrifted finds (12%), or have a flair of the ever popular mid-century modern (12%).

“Being dubbed the heart of the home, it’s no wonder that people have strong opinions on topics such as how to properly load the dishwasher,” adds Gozenput. “No matter the opinion, we know that there is an appliance that fits each individual’s own unique homestyle.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 naturally representative Americans was commissioned by LG Electronics between October 11 and October 18, 2022. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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  1. The germ theory really is overrated. If you remove all the food the germs go quickly. If you want to see what germs are left, you put them in a culture, pamper them and hope they multiply. By that time the body’s defense team has wiped them out.
    Now, if you eat something that is contaminated, that’s different. It can overwhelm the body’s response. On the other hand, it’s a good idea to expose yourself to small issues, like sick co-workers, because you’re going to be exposed anyway and exposing is how your immunity system learns to respond. I’m no doctor or scientist but that philosophy had worked my whole life. My wife’s system isn’t so strong so that’s a whole different set of rules.
    I’m only saying that some exposure is a good thing.

  2. Don’t bother publishing. I’m sorry I bothered writing. Good luck with your website. I’ll likely not return.

  3. I have always washed my dishes right away. But now that I am older I let them sit for a few hours. My habits stem from my mother who also insisted we not only wash dishes after each meal but to sweep and mop the kitchen floor after dinner. We of course always wiped the table clean before sweeping. I don’t do the floors after dinner anymore.
    I have to admit it gives me a good feeling when the dishes are done, especially when I either cooked or baked up a storm , seeing all those pots and pans nice and clean.

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