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. My takeaways from this survey:

    1) I love that Cottonelle surveyed 1000 Americans on toilet paper orientation. Like what was the context? Actual product innovation research? A brand promotion? Did the survey participants receive free toilet paper? I am so curious now!

    2) Australia wins the prize for best vocabulary. Shittickets – this is pure gold. Can I steal this? I love you, Aussies!

    1. Shittickets is the best!

      I bet if Cottonelle had put an ad online somewhere that had a link to fill out this survey, they would very quickly have gotten way more than 1000 responses. People are passionate about their toilet paper preferences! 😁

      1. This is something I am actually not passionate about. I didn’t take your survey (I was traveling and forgot), but I would have been one of the don’t notice responses, lol.

        My other noteworthy responses would have been:
        “Someone else in my household loads the dishwasher”,
        “I only wear socks to sleep when camping. I once had sexy-ish times with a partner who was wearing socks. It wasn’t that weird but he was also extremely hot so I was forgiving of a lot of weird”,
        “sleep attire depends on context – I’m not sleeping naked at my parents’ house, but if it’s hot AF or after sexy time, I am not that committed to putting on PJs” and
        “I love chocolate, but life is too short for floor-crap chocolate – just throw it out and buy more chocolate”

        1. Allowances can definitely be made for hotness.

          I would definitely not sleep naked at my parents’ house either. I don’t think I sleepwalk anymore, but I’m sure a naked sleeping night at my parents’ house would be the perfect storm that would prompt a resumption of the sleepwalking.

          i guess my chocolate standards are low. Or maybe the pain in the ass of going out to get more chocolate outweighs the desire for non-floor-crap chocolate.

          1. Sleepwalking potential should definitely weigh in to ones bedtime attire decisions.

            Your low chocolate expectations make me sad. Because I can’t send you actual non-floor-crap chocolate, please accept this chocolate emojis 🍫

  2. Paintbrushfaerie

    Brilliant! I laughed pretty much all the way through this. Made my day. Thank you. FYI most of mine were in the blue too. 😁

  3. Naw, I’m so far behind I didn’t even get to participate, sorry Ashley. I did enjoy looking at the results though – it has made me concerned for those 8.3% who hand their loo roll under instead of over. I LOVE that Aussie’s call loo roll shittickets, that’s brilliant! 😂

    I don’t get why you’d put cutlery in the dishwasher with the end sticking up. That’s just an accident waiting to happen. And it’s less hygienic. Covid has really made me itchy with germs. That said, the next one, eating off the floor, is now a huge no-no. I don’t even want to use a pen that’s dropped on the floor anymore without Antibacterial cleaning it. Before Covid, I’d totally pick off the cat hair and eat chocolate if I dropped it on the floor.

    I like that you differentiate animals licking their arses or eating their poop when the poop is gross, versus cleaner little pellet poop.

    I’ve only ever slept in nakey with a partner in the past because they kept saying they wanted to sleep naked (of course they do). A couple of guys actually liked doing it. I don’t like it, at all. Never, ever again would I go naked to bed (unless Alexander Skarsgard was in said bed, then the clothes would be off immediately).


    1. If it was Alexander Skarsgard, I’d probably be tearing off my clothes at first sight. Sufficient hotness can definitely beat out my general anti-nakendness.

      I really do think there’s a difference in poop grossness. I have no problem with picking up guinea guinea pig poop with my bare hands, but I wouldn’t do the same with dog poop.

      I initially got germ-itchy when Covid first broke out, but at this point I’ve almost forgotten that it still exists.

  4. I thought this was a great deal of fun and it was informative as well. Do keep these little surveys coming! It’s a great break from the monotony of another dull day. Seriously. I enjoyed participating!

  5. You put cutlery in the dishwasher handles down because the eating part is the part that needs the most washing. Knives down if they’re sharp (safety), but otherwise, dirty end up. It’s in the manual 😁
    As to the toilet paper, I’m in the don’t care camp and that’s what I voted. If I picked a preference it would be under, patent notwithstanding, but honestly, it’s toilet paper. Just don’t use Kirkland. Plumbers say it’s doesn’t break down well in the sewer systems.
    I love these polls. The results are fun. Absolutely do more 😊

    1. Does the eating part actually get any more washed if it’s pointing up? And even if it does, could it really outweigh the negative impact of grubby paws reaching down to grab the handle?

      I’m a Purex toilet paper devotee. Cheaping out on TP gives a substandard bathroom experience.

      1. I should introduce you to my dad. TP has become his passion since his prolongued hospital stays and experience with one-ply 😂

        I think it depends how much cutlery is in each little section.

  6. Now I know why I couldn’t do the survey – even tho I answered all the questions I saw there was no “Submit/Enter” button to click.Now I see that there were more questions than showed up when your blog was viewed on my iPad. I swear iPads are useless pieces of junk.

  7. This was so fun Ashley. And your comments to the results were hilarious…”This is important enough that it gets its own Wikipedia page, yet you are indifferent?”🤣

  8. My husband is the kind of animal that doesn’t care about the toilet paper. What’s worse is that he KNOWS that there is supposed to be a correct way, but he never remembers which way it is. So every single time he changes it, he ends up putting it the wrong way. And he can just never remember that that’s the wrong way. 🤦🏻‍♀️

  9. What a fun survey! I enjoyed taking it and I mostly like the results – except the first one because I’m an under person. I can’t believe only 8.3% were. Oh geez, I just have to get over it! Thanks for the Monday fun, Ashley!

  10. Awesome results 😂 I’m curious to know how fur babies might conduct the sniff test… I suppose a smart enough dog might communicate disapproval, but a cat would happily send their food person out in stinky garb.

  11. Emptying the dishwasher is its own chore, and since we’re “handles down except for knives” people, we…wait for it…wash our hands before emptying the dishwasher. Tada! 🙇🏼‍♀️

    We do poke ourselves on the occasional fork, but our spoons in particular don’t get clean (peanut butter eaters who use spoons smh 🤦‍♀️) unless they are handles down.

    While we have major OCD, we don’t care about the toilet paper orientation. What we do care about is how many squares we use: 3 at a minimum 4 at a maximum) folded into 1 larger-than-standard square. That is VERY important 😂

    We remember what chocolate tastes like. We like it with peanut butter on it (served via a knife, duh). Alas, we get sick from sugar and even sugar free chocolate and are lactose intolerant. We’d eat it off the floor, though

    1. I’m a frequent peanut butter with a spoon eater, and handles up works fine as long as I don’t nest spoons one inside the other.

      I remember back when COVID started and there was a toilet paper shortage I decreased my square usage to 2 for #1 because I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to get replacement TP.

      I would have to completely change my diet around if I were lactose intolerang (except, of course, for the peanut butter on a spoon).


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