Plus how to do them the right way.
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No one likes doing chores. Growing up, my mom made us spend every Saturday morning dusting, scrubbing, vacuuming, and organizing. And while I'm sure it taught me responsibility and hard work, it also gave me a deep-seated resentment of chores that has lasted my entire 28 years.
And most other adults feel the same (surprise, surprise). However, we still have to do them—according to a new survey, the average person spends about 690 hours a year on household chores. Here are the five chores that Americans say they hate doing the most, plus our expert advice on how to make them a little more bearable.
I always thought washing dishes was the worst. But now the survey has confirmed it really is the worst, coming in as the number one most hated chore in the U.S. And according to our major home appliance and design editor, Cindy Bailen, you're probably doing it wrong.
She recommends saving time after a meal by washing prep dishes and utensils before you eat and always letting dirty dishes soak in hot, soapy water for at least 15 minutes before you start to wash. Another tip? Add a splash of vodka to dishwater if you're dealing with particularly greasy pots and pans.
Doing laundry is one of those things that isn't hard but it's just tedious. (And a total time suck of precious weekend hours.) To wash your clothes the right way, Cindy says that yes, you should definitely sort your laundry first and make sure you pretreat any stains. Make sure you're using the right detergent (like high-efficiency, if necessary) and the right cycle, too (if you aren't sure, always use cold water).
Clogged drains. Dirty toilet seats. Crusted-on toothpaste in the sink. It's not surprising that cleaning the bathroom is no one's favorite task (stray hairs give me the heebie-jeebies). If you have a tile floor or shower, Cindy has a favorite hack for tackling grimy grout: Mix powdered oxygen bleach and water together, then let it sit on the grout for at least 15 minutes before rinsing off.
If only there was an easy solution to the struggle that is vacuuming your entire house by hand... Oh right, there is: robot vacuums. Sure, they can be a little pricey but the convenience and time saved is more than worth it. After testing some of the most popular ones out there, our experts dubbed the iRobot Roomba i7+ the best robot vacuum of 2019 based on its features and performance.
The grocery store at 11 a.m. on a Saturday morning is my personal hell (so many lines! so many screaming children!). For anyone else who hates grocery shopping—and then cooking said groceries—our kitchen and cooking writer, Valerie Li, recommends always planning your meals for the week before you head to the store. Then, spend Sunday meal prepping so you have food for the next few days all ready to go. She loves these glass Prep Naturals containers for storing everything in the fridge.
Another solution? "If someone’s really not interested in cooking, then meal subscription boxes might be a good choice," Valerie says. "Our favorite, the Home Chef, really helps aspiring home cooks learn the basic cooking skills and be adventurous with their foods."