Our most disliked household chores revealed

cleaning stove top

Alice Piper

Posted May 31, 2022

Whether it’s cleaning the oven, unclogging the gutters or changing the smoke alarm battery, Victorians certainly have chores and tasks they like to avoid around the home, but one expert warns the cost of not doing some of them could far outweigh the dislike.

Victorians are not keeping up to date with important home maintenance tasks such as changing smoke alarm batteries and cleaning out the gutters, while cleaning the oven is the most disliked household chore, new survey data has revealed.  

A survey of 124 RACV Members uncovered that 48 per cent of respondents don’t regularly check if their smoke alarms are in working order, while 38 per cent only cleaned their gutters when they’re clogged, with 29 per cent saying they never clean their gutters.  

RACV Head of Home Trades and Services Kieran Davies says the survey findings are concerning but not unexpected: “It’s not really a surprise that some of the most important home maintenance jobs such as testing smoke alarms and cleaning the gutters are also the most neglected. It really is a case of out of sight, out of mind.” 

'Cleaning the oven' the most disliked household chore 

The oven might be the key kitchen appliance to a lunchtime classic like sausage rolls, or baked sweet treats such as banana bread or fluffy scones, but for many the cleaning required in the aftermath is despised.

Twenty-three per cent of survey respondents said cleaning the oven was the least favourite chore around the home, followed closely by cleaning the bathroom (21 per cent) and doing the laundry/ironing (12 per cent).

When it comes to chores that spark joy around the home, 28 per cent of survey respondents find enjoyment in dusting, sweeping and vacuuming, while 23 per cent said doing laundry and ironing wasn’t so bad. 

Dishes is another household chore that was enjoyed, with 15 per cent of survey respondents saying they don’t mind it, while 8 per cent said there was no household chore that was enjoyable. 


how often do you clean your gutters infographic

Cleaning the oven is the least favourite household chore.

Why you shouldn’t neglect your gutters and smoke alarms

Regardless of whether gutter cleaning is a job you enjoy, avoid, or do because you must, Davies explains it’s a home maintenance task that’s key to the integrity and safety of your home. 

“When it rains, your gutters get the water off your roof and down into the storm water system. If they’re blocked or damaged this water can end up inside your roof or home and damage everything from paint and plaster to electrical wiring and even your foundations,” he says.

Davies says the same can be said for testing the smoke alarm, because knowing when to change either the batteries or the entire unit can be the difference in saving lives should something unexpected happen.   

“When you’re sleeping, the smell of smoke will not wake you up so having a working smoke alarm is vital to ensure the safety of everyone in your home." 

Setting a routine for household chores and maintenance tasks  

Ensuring your household chores are up-to-date, and more bearable, is a matter of knowing a few little home secrets

Take cleaning the gutters: the start of autumn is ideal timing to complete this task before winter (and the accompanying rain and wind) sets in. However, if your property has a lot of trees with falling leaves and foliage near the roof, you may need to clean your gutters more often. 

“Twice a year is probably ideal,” says Davies. “It should ensure your roof is free from issues like blocked drains that have the potential to cause major damage.”

Ensuring gutter cleaning is up to scratch can not only prevent gutter damage but can also reduce health risks from stagnant water and dampness, as well as prevent costly repairs to your home. 

Smoke alarm checks need to be more frequent: “Ideally you should test your smoke alarm monthly, and once a year you should give it a good dust and change the battery,” says Davies. 

“A good trick to remember is to set a habit around testing on the first day of the month and change the battery at the end of daylight savings - even better put a reminder in the calendar.”

“When you change the battery, you should also check the age, if it’s over 10 years old it’s time to replace it,” he adds. 

chores people enjoy

Dusting, sweeping and vacuuming is the household chore that delivers the most enjoyment.

When to call in a professional

When it comes to needing a helping hand, 44 per cent of survey respondents said they would call in a professional to change a lock, 36 per cent for cleaning the gutters, 35 percent for a leaky tap, 34 per cent for changing the filter in an air conditioner, and 28 per cent for unblocking the toilet. 

According to Davies, there are a few things to consider before calling in professional tradespeople. 

“When deciding if you need a professional to help with maintenance, you should ask yourself a few questions,” he says.  

“If the job requires specialist equipment, training or a licence, is dangerous, or you think may be beyond your skill or physical ability, you should get a professional.”

Davies is also a fan of outsourcing what you don’t enjoy, too.

“There’s also nothing wrong with paying someone to do a job you dislike and give yourself more time to spend on something you enjoy,” he says.  


When would you call a professional tradie infograpgic

Survey respondents are most keen for a helping hand with changing a lock in the home.

RACV Trades can help get your home in order.
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