One third would rather do someone else's dishes than confront someone messy

December 17, 2015, 6:04 PM GMT+0

Most Americans would confront someone who leaves their dirty dishes out, but nearly a third would just do their dishes for them

Any shared kitchen is liable to become a battleground between the clean and the dirty. The sight of a dirty cereal bowl that is hours (or even days) old sitting in the sink is liable to drive some insane and leave others distinctly underwhelmed. Despite most people knowing that leaving dirty dishes out isn't a considerate thing to do in a shared kitchen, confronting the offenders is often a more daunting proposition than simply pretending that the problem doesn't exist.

Research from YouGov shows that most Americans (52%) are firmly in the confrontational camp. Most Americans in almost every demograhic group would just tell a messy person to clean up their own dirty dishes. Only 2% would take the opportunity to start leaving their dishes uncleaned too, while 10% would not clean the dirty dishes of the messy person but also wouldn't confront them about it. A surprisingly large number of Americans (29%) would just clean the other person's dishes. Over-65s (34%) and women (32%) are the most likely to say that they would clean the other person's dishes. Under-30s (17%) are the most likely to say that they would just leave the dishes unwashed and the messy person uncorrected.

Personal standards of cleanliness in the kitchen differ noticeably according to age. Unsurprisingly younger people are the least likely to say that they clean their dishes right away, while older Americans are the most likely to say that they clean up immediately.

Asked whether they could happily live with people who are either much cleaner or much dirtier than they are, only 27% say that they could live with someone with much lower standard than them but 75% could happily live with someone who has much higher standards than them.

Full poll results can be found here and topline results and margin of error here.