New study finds loads of Americans really hate doing the dishes

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A new study from Finish and OnePoll found a lot of people really hate doing the dishes, but it might not be for the reasons you think. (Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash)

The average American household will see 217 arguments a year — about the dishes, according to new research.

The study asked 2,000 Americans who own dishwashers about the dishwashing habits that make them tick, and found households see an average of 18 dish-based arguments a month.

The most common argument was about who should empty the dishwasher, followed by disagreements over leaving dishes in the sink to soak.

Who should load the dishwasher, pre-rinsing dishes before loading up the washer and even the dreaded habit of leaving dishes in the sink were all common causes of arguments, too.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Finish, the results found six in 10 respondents said they get stressed out when doing the dishes.

Some of these frustrations and arguments, though, may be connected to environmental concerns.

Seven in 10 respondents said reducing their daily water use is a priority for them.

And even though 76% said they make conscious decisions to positively impact the environment, over half worry these steps won’t be enough.

The survey also found 75% of those polled said they pre-rinse their dishes, but many respondents admitted this is causing more harm than good.

Seventy-two percent of respondents were in agreement that pre-rinsing dishes before loading the dishwasher is a waste of water.

According to the results, the average survey respondent believes 9.72 gallons of water go down the drain each time they take part in this habit.

“Consumers might not be aware of how much water they waste when pre-rinsing their dishes, but the numbers are staggering,” said David Romero, Global Category Director for Finish at RB. “Up to 20 gallons of water goes down the drain for each load of dishes that a person pre-rinses.”

Four in 10 of those who admitted to pre-rinsing said they picked up the habit from their parents and this habit does seem to be generational.

Eighty-nine percent of Gen X and 84% of baby boomer respondents reported they pre-rinse, compared to 68% of Gen Z and 73% of millennials.

In fact, Gen Z respondents were the most likely to believe that pre-rinsing dishes is a waste of water — at 87%.

Seven in 10 millennials surveyed also agreed with this sentiment.

Boomers seem to be stuck in their ways, though, with 57% feeling neutral or disagreeing with this belief altogether.

“Many states and regions of the U.S. are currently facing water crises, and it will take a collective effort to help reverse this trend,” said David Romero, Global Category Director for Finish at RB. “Skipping the rinse is an easy way to conserve water, and if we work together, we can make a big difference and save more than 150 billion gallons of water annually.”

Total dish-based arguments a month = 18.07 x 12 = 216.84/year

TOP DISH-BASED ARGUMENTS EACH MONTH IN AMERICAN HOUSEHOLDS
Who should empty the dishwasher 4
Leaving dishes to soak in the sink 4
Who should load the dishwasher 4
Pre-rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher 4
Leaving dishes in the sink when the dishwasher is empty 3

GENERATIONS MOST LIKELY TO PRE-RINSE
Gen X 89%
Boomers 84%
Millennials 73%
Gen Z 68%

GENERATIONS MOST LIKELY TO FEEL PRE-RINSING IS WASTEFUL
Gen Z 87%
Gen X 72%
Millennials 70%
Boomers 43%

>> Download the video and infographic for this research story <<
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