How Gross Are You? – Survey Results

person filling out a survey
Image by Andreas Breitling from Pixabay

Here are the results of last week’s survey that I’m sure you’ve been waiting for with bated breath. It was an assortment of questions about quirks, and I was curious if other people are as gross as I am. It was a popular survey, with 49 people answering – thanks to all of you! So, without further ado, here are the results!

Toilet paper orientation

How do you like to hang your toilet paper rolls?

Toilet paper question pie chart: 64.6% over, 25% doesn't matter, 8.3% under
  • Blue: Over
  • Yellow: Doesn’t really matter
  • Red: Under
  • Green: Sideways 😉

According to the Wikipedia page on toilet paper orientation, “In various surveys, around 70% of people prefer the over position,” so we’re in the same ballpark.

What I wonder is how it can not matter to some people. How do you not care? This is important enough that it gets its own Wikipedia page, yet you are indifferent?

And as for the under people, I just don’t understand you. That’s simply wrong. When it’s over, it’s right there waiting for you, almost as though it’s being served to you on a silver platter. It seems so much more hygienic and civilized. So yes, people, I’m judging you!

If someone put the toilet paper roll on the wrong way, or if you did accidentally, will you change it?

Fix the toilet paper roll pie chart: 54.2% yes, obviously, 29.2% no, because I wouldn't care, 10.4% no, but I'd want to
  • Blue: Yes, obviously!
  • Yellow: No, because I wouldn’t care
  • Red: No, but I’d want to.
  • Other responses:
    • Yes – my husband cares
    • At home – yes, elsewhere – no
    • This one’s in direct quotes because it’s gold: “I might, if the hangle (the “angle of the hang”) was resulting in the “shittickets” (Aussie for toilet paper) getting jammed between the wall and the dispenser”

Wikipedia says “In a survey of 1,000 Americans, Cottonelle found that “overs” are more likely than “unders” to notice a roll’s direction (74 percent), to be annoyed when the direction is “incorrect” (24 percent), and to have flipped the direction at a friend’s home (27 percent).” In our survey, the unders would either change it or want to change it. If I lived with an under person who was changing the toilet roll to go the wrong way, I’m fairly certain it would end in physical blows and that person being kicked out of the house.


When you’re putting cutlery in the dishwasher (or if you were to, if you had one), do you put it in handles up or handles down?

Cutlery in the dishwasher pie chart: 44.9% handles up, 32.7% handles down, 10.2% doesn't really matter
  • Blue: Handles up
  • Red: Handles down
  • Yellow: Doesn’t really matter
  • Other responses: several colours represent knives handles up and other utensils handles down

I’m a handles up girl, and it seems like the only sensible way to go. Here’s why. I’m holding individual utensils by the handle when I put them in, and I’m grabbing them by the handle when taking them out, so why on earth would I orient them in the opposite direction? In my mind, it’s like turning clothes inside out to put them away and then turning them right side out to wear them. It just makes no sense. My mother is normally a fairly sensible person, but she does the handles down thing, and I just don’t understand. I’m definitely judging you—not as much as I’m judging the toilet paper under people, but still, you’re just wrong.

I also don’t get the knives up, other utensils down thing. I mean, I get the knives handles up, because that’s reasonable, but why are you mixing your cutlery orientations? Cars drive on the left side of the road or on the right, not both, so why would you mix up your cutlery?

Eating off the floor

If you drop a piece of yummy chocolate on your kitchen floor, will you eat it?

Eat chocolate off the floor pie chart: 38.8% yes, no hesitation, 36.7% yes, if it follows 5-second rule, 14.3$ no, that's gros
  • Blue: Yes, with no hesitation unless the floor is particularly dirty
  • Red: Yes, if it follows the 5-second rule
  • Yellow: No, that’s gross
  • There are a couple of sad souls who don’t eat chocolate
  • Someone doesn’t have a very clean floor, so no
  • “If the floor is dirty I’d just rinse the chocolate, maybe use a fingernail to remove a cat hair if I need to” – substitute guinea pig hair or hay, and this could totally be me

I have no problem admitting that I’m gross, and clearly I’m not the only one. I figure a few germs aren’t going to hurt me. If I drop raw meat or something particularly icky on the floor, I will clean it and not eat chocolate that’s fallen pre-cleaning. Otherwise, there’s hay and guinea pig hair everywhere on the floor throughout my home, and that’s not hurting anything.

I like how the 5-second rule offers a veneer of social acceptability. The germs and animal hair don’t have a timer that makes them wait five seconds before jumping on your chocolate. Just embrace the gross – it feels good! Clearly the yellows disagree with me on that, although really, you people are wasting good chocolate. As for the non-chocolate people, I feel great sympathy for you, because you’re missing out.

Kissing furbabies

If you have furbabies, do you kiss them on the mouth?

Kissing furbabies pie chart: 41.7% no, that's gross, 25% yes, but not if they've just licked their bum, 14.6% of course
  • Yellow: No, that’s gross (several other responses were variations on this, along the lines of eewww, germs!)
  • Red: Yes, but not if they’ve just been licking their bum/eating poop/etc.
  • Blue: Of course
  • Green (both shades): No, my furbabies don’t want to kiss me – one because the furbaby was a rescue and freaks out easily, and perhaps Robin and his snakes fell into this group

I’m actually a bit surprised that there’s not more furbaby-kissing going on. I can see why it would be gross to non-furbaby-parents, but for those with furry little friends, how can you resist?

Guinea pigs eat their own poop, but they have such cute little kissable snouts that I like to shower them with kisses. They poop in non-messy, non-stinky pellets anyway, so that doesn’t bother me. More kisses!!!

The sniff test

Do you ever use the sniff test to decide if an item of clothing is wearable or needs to go in the laundry?

sniff test pie chart: 79.6% yes, 14.3% no
  • Blue: Yes
  • Red: No
  • A couple of people rely on others to do the sniffing – don’t forget that furbabies can do a great job of this!

I think the sniff test is a good way to be environmentally friendly (and save some work doing laundry). Getting a furbaby to sniff is brilliant, although my guinea pigs wouldn’t take any interest in that.

What people wear to bed

This one’s for the ladies. Apparently some women wear bras to sleep. Do you?

Do you wear bra to sleep pie chart: 40.4% no, why would anyone do that, 25..5%% no, my bra comes off as soon as I get home, 12.8% yes, with underwire
  • Green: No – why would anyone do that?
  • Purple: My bra comes off as soon as I get home. I’m sure as fuck not putting it back on to go to bed.
  • Blue: Yes – with underwire
  • Yellow: Not a real bra, but a bralette – and someone else wears a jog bra (a term I actually hadn’t heard before – I would say sports bra)
  • Red: Yes – no underwire
  • Other responses:
    • An unable-to-transition trans guy made the brilliant decision to ditch bras entirely even when he thought he was cis
    • Yes, but just during PMS
    • A male respondent said most women want to give the girls a chance to breathe

I only recently discovered that this was even a thing; it had certainly never crossed my mind as a thing to do. I’m mostly in the no, why would anyone do that camp. I’ll wear a bralette or sports bra if I’m sleeping in clothes and that’s what I had on during the day. Back when I used to care enough to actually wear underwire bras, those puppies came off as soon as I got home, and that was one of the happiest moments of my day. I’m baffled by the wearing of underwire to bed. I find it uncomfortable to even try to nap in an underwire bra, especially if you’re lying on your side and it’s poking you and getting scrunched and pushed at weird angles by your arms… I just don’t get it.

I love that someone without boobs decided to chime in and answer this question.

Do you wear socks to bed?

wear socks to bed pie chart: 71.4% nope, 8.2% yes, full stop
  • Yellow: Nope
  • Blue: Yes, full stop
  • Other responses:
    • Yes, but I do/would take them off for sexy business
    • Several people said yes, when it’s cold
    • Someone started to recently because of dry skin (This is one of my reasons too, as my feet are dry as the Sahara desert without socks)
    • Someone wonders who on earth wears socks to bed unless perhaps it’s -50 (the answer to that would be me 😉)

I’m a yes, full stop, and I’m glad I’m not the only one, although I’m very much in the minority! I always have cold feet and dry skin, so having socks on is so much more comfortable unless it’s ridiculously hot. And sure, socks during sexy time aren’t attractive, but neither is cold feet. With someone new, I’d probably take off the socks, but otherwise, they’re staying on.

More bedtime… What do you wear to sleep?

what do you wear to sleep pie chart: 34.7% comfy regular clothes, 32.7% actual pyjamas, 10.2% my birthday suit
  • Red: Comfy regular clothes
  • Blue: Actual pyjamas
  • Green: My birthday suit
  • Yellow: Underwear only
  • Other responses:
    • a combination of the above
    • it depends on temperature or what they feel like – one person goes between extremes of birthday suit and full clothing including hoodie with hood up where the quilt doesn’t reach (I do that too when it’s really cold)

I mostly sleep in actual pyjamas if I’m changing into something different to wear to bed, or if I’m in a depression-induced not-caring zone, I just wear the same comfy clothes as I wore during the day. I’m not a naked sleeper. It’s been a good long while since this was even an issue, but even if there was sexy time right before sleepy time, I’d be putting PJs on for sleepy time.

On a side note, I’m not a naked person in general, which very much comes from my upbringing. My mom is not a naked person at all, and it was very, very rare for me to see her without clothes on when I was a kid. My dad, on the other hand, wandered around in his underwear on a regular basis and never bothered to close the bathroom door when he was peeing, and it totally grossed me out. ((shudder))

Picking at scabs

Do you pick at scabs?

pick at scabs pie chart: 44.9% sometimes, 26.5% no, 18.4% oh, absolutely
  • Red: Sometimes – one person specified that they don’t eat them (Clearly there are different strata of grossness, right? And eating scabs/boogers/etc. certainly kicks it up a notch.)
  • Yellow: No
  • Blue (both shades): Oh absolutely, doesn’t everyone?
  • Green: Come on now, is this question really necessary? (Just be glad I didn’t ask about nose picking)

I actually get great delight out of picking at scabs. Yes, I’m gross—we established that already. If there is a scab on my body somewhere, I will pick at it. My boy guinea pig Peanut sometimes has scabs from his brother Butternut nipping at him (Butternut is a meanie, but Peanut loves him anyway), and I even pick at Peanut’s scabs. In his case, I’ll only pick off ones that are just about off on their own, whereas when it comes to myself, I’m more likely to delay healing by premature picking. Some people bite their nails, I pick at scabs – it is what it is, and I’m obviously not the only one.


You’re not supposed to stick Q-tips in your ears, but do you do it anyway?

Q-tips in your ears pie chart: 59.2% hell yeah 16.3% occasionally, 14.3% no, because I don't feel the need to
  • Blue: Hell yeah
  • Red: Occasionally
  • Yellow: No, because I don’t feel the need to
  • Green: No, because I care that you’re not supposed to do it
  • Other responses:
    • A couple of people actually had good reasons not to – one lost their hearing in one ear, and another had the tip get stuck in their ear and had to get someone else to remove it with tweezers – yikes!
    • I thought Q-tip was like bandaid and it was a universally understood brand name = generic thing name, but apparently not. Someone asked if it was the same as an ear bud, and what with the name ear bud, isn’t that kind of the point? I’d never heard them called ear buds before, but I’m pretty sure we’re talking about the same thing.

I know ears are supposed to be self-cleaning, but it just feels so good to shove a Q-tip in there! And perhaps I’m going a bit overboard on the grossness, but I get significant satisfaction when a big bit of wax comes out on the Q-tip – it’s like verification that I’m doing the needful, to borrow an Indian quirk of English language usage. That being said, if the tip ever came off in my ear or if I ended up with hearing issues, that would be pretty strong motivation to stop.

Thanks so much to everyone who joined in. This was fun!

Did any of the results surprise you?

49 thoughts on “How Gross Are You? – Survey Results”

  1. I hate how the tines of the forks drop down through the silverware basket. So those puppies are going handles down. And since I can’t mix handle orientation, all of them go down.

    Also the silverware caddy in the drawer is arranged vertically so when I grab them by the handles (just under the bowl or tines) they are in the correct direction to put into the drawer caddy.

    Why yes, I do have subclinical OCD. Why do you ask?

    1. Lol

      After I saw your comment I had to go look in my dishwasher, and whoever designed that particular basket had their thinking cap on, as it’s spaced such that fork tines don’t drop down. 😉

  2. Thanks for the detailed results! It sure was a fun survey and I’m glad I’m not the only gross person here 😂 sorry folks, the numbers just confirmed… 😊 Looking forward to your next survey!

  3. I never make it in time for your surveys, so I’ll answer here:
    1. We don’t have toilet paper rolls. We have tissues but for toilets, so we place the box on top of the toilet back and just take one or two (they’re quite large). There are toilet paper rolls in Lebanon but I’m just more comfortable using tissue paper.
    2. We don’t have a dishwasher, but we have something to put clean dishes into air dry. I put knife handles up and spoons and fork handle down.
    3. I will only eat off my floor if I had recently cleaned it. In Islam, when something food drops on the floor, you’re supposed to blow on it, say Bismillah, and eat it right away. However, if there is a hair in it and it’s a cucumber, for example, I would rinse and eat. If it’s something that will melt like chocolate, I would throw it away.
    4. I don’t have fur babies but if I did, eww. I wouldn’t kiss because of germs. And I’m shocked that guinea pigs eat their poop 💩
    5. I sniff my clothes before putting them in the laundry. My husband makes me sniff his clothes too. He refuses to sniff them. I do the same for my son’s clothes but he secretly puts his clothes in the wash even if they don’t smell because he is a “wear something once then throw it in the wash” kind of person.
    6. No
    7. No
    8. Actual pajamas
    9. Yes, I pick at my scabs
    10. No q tips, but I really want to.
    (I combined the toilet paper roll questions into one)

    1. Thanks for answering! That’s interesting that Islam gives guidance for what to do when food drops on the floor.

      Guinea pigs are like rabbits – they eat their poop because they’re able to get extra nutrients from it. And their poop is a lot less yucky and messy than other animal poop.

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