Ask The Audience: Household Chores You Hate

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

Yesterday, between blowing my nose 83,000 times and walking around like a zombie because of the Sudafed and Benadryl combo that works for my comfort, but not for my nerves, I also cleaned up 50 piles of dog poo. Okay, perhaps not 50. More like 5. Still, that’s too much dog poo to clean up in one day.

My mom always says, “If you own a dog, expect to clean up dog poo.” True. Even my one dog who is housetrained to the point where you can leave him for 12 hours (not recommended, but sometimes happens) and he won’t pee in my house, sometimes gets diarrhea and leaves piles for me.

Yesterday, it was my girl dog who had diarrhea. Yuck. Ewww. Blehhhhh. I’ll be honest, I looked at one pile in my bathroom and seriously considered leaving it until my husband got home from work. I cleaned it up, though. Good wife. I don’t mind most household chores. I’ll clean up cat vomit with a smile on my face. Just don’t make me clean up dog diarrhea.

With that completely disgusting story in mind, what are the household chores you absolutely despise?


  1. Brent Patton on July 28, 2009 at 11:03 am

    very nice article thanks for sharing

  2. Mom of three on January 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Heather and Ivy,
    I almost forgot, I gave you to an award yesterday.

    See my blog for details

    I check here several times a day hoping you have posted some really good advice I missed earlier. 😉

    Oh and instead of nasty toilet brushes. I use the throw away kind. I use one a week, more if we are sick. I can use a box for several weeks (three bathrooms). I clean the toilet, toss it in can, empty can, no more messy bathroom brush, no more cleaner to be spilled. I know they can be expensive, but I only use them once or twice a week, so I can justify the cost.

  3. Mom of three on January 20, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    I will never have another INSIDE pet once the two I have currently pass to the great beyond.

    Several years ago we were visiting my brother and sister-in-law. They house is always so peaceful and clean. They are the most laid back people I have ever met. Sister-in-law is a nurse so you know her crazy schedule. They also have two cats, several dogs, bunnies, and two children. How did she keep her house so clean and I was a full time stay at home mom, cleaning 4-6 hours a day!?!

    Well as I looked around admiring her home with no dust bunnies, no litter box smell, I realized it. She doesn’t have animals in her home. They all have homes outside her home. Soon after that, our two cats decided my entire house was their litter box. Trips to the vet didn’t find any reason, so one fine April day, I moved them and their litter boxes to a screened in porch. Since then one kitty died of old age. The other has actually gotten healthier. Seems she was stressed in the house and has relaxed once we moved her outside.

    The dog comes in at night and when it’s cold, but he’s outside during the day while we are at work.

    Since then, I have started cleaning my house on Mondays. Takes about 2 hours. I could dust once a month if I needed to. My laundry has gone down by 50% or more because nothing has cat hair on it anymore.

    I love my animals and they get good care and food and love, but I will never have another one in the house.

    And my mild depression has gone away. So I would say the chore I hate most is cleaning up after animals. Not just poo as ours were good litter box users until right at the end, but hair, things they chew up, pull out, knock over.

    Second would be mopping, but with the kitties outside I don’t do that as often either. 😉

  4. Carolyn on January 20, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    I’ll gladly pick up your dog’s poo if you mop my kitchen floor!

  5. Badbadivy on January 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Reading stories about dog poo, cat puke and hairballs makes me wonder why anyone ever owns a pet. The rewards cannot be worth it.

    Oh, but they are. They really, really are.

  6. Amanda on January 19, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    @Kendra. Make them sit or make them clean it themselves.

    @Tracy. Cleaning the oven??? Why? I bake constantly and never clean it. If stuff spills I just let it burn off and occasionally vacuum out the ash.

    Reading stories about dog poo, cat puke and hairballs makes me wonder why anyone ever owns a pet. The rewards cannot be worth it.

  7. Keter on January 17, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    @ Rebekka – I soak the toilet brush overnight in a small bucket of mild bleach solution. For safety, put the bucket into the tub or utility sink. If your brush is getting too gooey for this to work, perhaps you need a different type of brush.

    @ Kendra – The age at which boys learn to aim correctly is approximately the same age that you hand them a cleaning rag and make them clean up their own mess. Having Daddy show them again how to aim as a followup also helps. Chores + embarrassment = quick learning curve.

    @ chicken – Clean up as much of the puke as you can with a paper towel, being careful not to scrub it in. Apply a coat of Lysol spray, then spray on a good foaming carpet cleaner. Don’t let it dry: let it sit a few minutes and then, use a rag to carefully blot it up. If any color is left, apply hydrogen peroxide, let set until color is gone (no more than 10 minutes), and this time scrub with a clean rag. Blot mostly dry. Sprinkle with white vinegar and again blot dry. If any stickiness remains, final rinse with club soda or distilled water and another clean rag. Drop a towel on the floor and walk on it to remove as much moisture as possible. Now the quick way: pick up as much as you can with paper towels and use a handheld carpet spot cleaner. They are so worth it if you have kids or pets. ;o)

    @ Tracy – Try this: remove the racks, warm the oven slightly, then turn off the heat. Spray the oven with white vinegar and then dust on baking soda – it will foam up. Close the door and let sit for 20-30 minutes. When you come back, you should be able to wipe the oven mostly clean. Soapy water and a copper scrubber or green fiber scrub pad should remove any stubborn spots. Really stubborn burned on grease spots? Try GooGone on a Magic Eraser.

    @ JP – I never hung up any of my kids’ clothes, just folded them onto shelves. One of the best lessons I learned as a young (19) mom was being too perfect was going to drive me and the kids batty and would benefit no one. Do yourself a favor and do some simple, quick folding. Whatever works that will stack neatly. When your kids are old enough to put away their own clothes, it’s a lot easier to get them to fold and stack than to hang because folding requires fewer steps. Two in one blow!

    One last observation on guys who can’t aim…particularly the adults…warning, this will be graphic, but not “dirty.” Without going into detail about how I found out, I determined that when at least some males sit, they are automatically aimed for the gap between the toilet seat and the rim. So if they pee sitting, the liquid goes down the front of the toilet, and looks like they have “missed.” If this is where most of the mess is, and all of your guys swear they are aiming, this is probably what’s happening. The tricky part will be explaining to them that they must use their hand to direct things downward when sitting…oh, that is not a fun conversation. :o/

  8. Erin on January 17, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Okay, animal output is gross and we’ve been dealing with a feline who is pooping indiscriminately and I hate it, but regular chores? I hate cleaning the floors…I don’t know why…I just avoid it like crazy. Isn’t that weird?

  9. Judith on January 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Dog poo, cat pee, and cat hair balls! Yech! Been there, done that! Thankfully, those are only occasional, albeit disgusting, things to tackle.
    But the worst routine chore for me has got to be cleaning out the fridge — I do it (usuallY) every week , but when I let it go longer (like not at all between Thanksgiving and Christmas!) it’s awful! I hate being surprised by fuzzy thngs in little containers, and wiping the dissolved half-a-cucumber out of the veggie drawer. Yuck!
    Next-to-worst? Folding clean laundry. All those tshirts! It would be enough to make me willing to hang everything … if I had the closet space!

  10. Liz on January 16, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    I absolutely hate to sweep, which is unfortunate because I have hardwood floors. It’s especially nasty between the hair-tumbleweeds and the scattered cat litter. Yuck. I also hate to dust, but since I usually just don’t I can’t complain.

  11. Paula in NH on January 16, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    My least favorite chore is cleaning out the fridge. I had just finished it and taking photos when I read your post. You can see my post here:

  12. CanadianCarrie on January 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    All of the above!
    And ummm, we are supposed to be cleaning our toilet brushes?? I’m kinda glad my mama never taught me that! Yuck!
    Boys NEVER learn how to aim, Ever, I have 4 brothers, a dad, a husband and a newly potty trained son. They can all shoot a puck into a net from 40 feet, but getting the pee IN the toilet from 10 inches? Yeah right. That’s one of my hates, plus tidying up before vacuuming and gathering clothes for laundry.

  13. JP on January 16, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Laundry! I just hate how tedious it is. I can gather it, sort it, wash it, dry it, all no problem. I can sometimes even be bothered to fold it right after it comes out of the dryer. But I HATE to put it away. I have a 5 month old, and there is nothing worse than trying to hang up 17,000 little outfits on tiny little hangers!

  14. jag on January 16, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    The only thing worse than dog puke is cat hairballs. Ugh. I’ll do dog poo anyday, but warm nasty cat hairballs? Grosser than gross. That, combined with cat urine (our now-outdoor cat was famous for marking on anything made of fabric, including furniture, rugs, Christmas tree skirts, and tablecloths), is the reason I will never, ever, ever have an indoor cat again. Just about anything else I’m ok with. Just not puke. Grody.

  15. Tracy on January 16, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    My gross out job is cleaning the oven. Yup I said it…cleaning the oven! I have dogs and Ive cleaned my fair share of nasties from them but nothing compares to the oven. I hate the smell of the cleaner and having to wipe it out then rinse it off. Sounds dumb, but hey….you asked!

  16. chicken on January 16, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Almost-related to dog poo(I am so sorry!), do you have any tips to get cat puke stains out of carpet? They only puke on the carpets!

  17. Kathie on January 16, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Kendra, I don’t know how old your boy(s) are but I have heard of teaching them to “aim” by putting cheerios in the pot. I only have girls so didn’t have that problem and I don’t know how the cheerios work but I would think it is worth a try.

    Not sure I have a chore that I hate…I’d rather not have to fold and put away laundry.

  18. gracie on January 16, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    um general tiding up!!!

    i’m ok with hoovering, cleaning the bathroom, doing dishes…. but the tiding up that has to come first drives me nuts!!!!!!!!

    i have figured out what makes the dog have accidents in the house almost always of the diarrhea type, raw hide chews and similar ‘dog chews’ so i just don’t give them to the dog — we won’t go into how long it took me to figure that out! – lol

  19. Angela on January 16, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Mine would be the bathroom, anything to do in there I do not like, so yes I have soap scum…

    Knock on wood… My dog will carry you to the back door before she will pee in the house, she is very particular about where she goes to the bathroom. Now if only she shed in one spot:)

  20. Kendra on January 16, 2009 at 11:55 am

    I’m seriously rolling over here…I just read your post RIGHT after…you guessed it…cleaning up dog poo…which of course was hidden and my 17 month old stepped in it….YUCK.

    I think cat urine is the worst though….UGH…not so nice stories of my daughters cat before she was fixed….

    I think I’m with Rebekka on this one….the toilet brush is a pretty nasty chore…then again I hate anything to do with cleaning the kids toilet…I want to know what age boys figure out how to aim correctly?

  21. Suzanne on January 16, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Thank you for reminding me why I don’t have pets 🙂

  22. Rebekka on January 16, 2009 at 11:10 am

    It depends on how you weight the hatefulness of it: something obnoxious that has to be done often – the dishes. I load and unload the dishwasher (and do almost all other chores as well as about 75% of food preparation) but I make my husband do all the handwashing.

    If it’s something putrefyingly disgusting that only needs to be done periodically, then it is hands down cleaning the toilet brush. If there’s a good way to clean a toilet brush that is not totally nasty (and I’m a nurse, so dealing with other people’s bodily fluids is MY JOB), then I am waiting to hear it.

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