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Making a clean sweep of the bathroom

Men are losing their fear of their mothers-in-law and care more about what a potential partner thinks of them, a new survey has discovered.

Around 30% of men tidy and scrub the bathroom to impress a future girlfriend but only 11% roll the red carpet out when faced with an impending visit by their mother-in-law. Tellingly, just 13% of women aren't that fussed what a new boyfriend thinks of their bathroom - and are nearly twice as likely to tidy up for friends.

When it comes to embarrassing products and features to hide away from visitors, items relating to female personal hygiene top the list of shame.

A total of 57% of Brits stow away personal female preparations from visitors' prying eyes and over a third of men carry out a clean sweep on their partner's behalf before guests arrive. Relationship expert Jenni Trent Hughes says: "It's interesting to see that mothers-in-law no longer have the same fear factor that they used to".

In former decades when you married you tended to become part of your new spouse's family which meant that their mother became your mother as well. Now a woman's role in society in particular has changed and we are much more independent and in charge of our own lives.

"Another interesting development in society is what we now refer to as 'framilies' which is an extended and diverse group of friends which we surround ourselves with, often in place of our real families.

"Because of this you will often find that impressing our friends can take precedence over impressing our families".

The survey of 2,000 adults by Mira Showers also uncovered some of the more unusual items found in the nation's bathrooms. A pyramid of used toilet rolls, motorcycle handlebars used as a wall hanging, a sack of potatoes, as well as live snakes, dead frogs and a prosthetic thumb were just a few of the oddities spotted by the survey participants. But what Brits really want to see in a desirable modern bathroom is minimal clutter while women feel at home with co-ordinated towels and bathmats.

Trent Hughes continues: "For many women the bathroom is an Aladdin's cave of secrets. Everything from makeup, lotions, potions, to even more personal products - our secrets are there.

"We need them to hand but we certainly don't want them on display for all to see! And while Modern Man may now be persuaded to pick up feminine items for us at the chemist they still don't want them in full view for all their mates to see.

"The fact that women want to see so co-ordinated towels and bathmats is a natural reflection of a world where we want our undergarments to match and our eyeshadow to co-ordinate with our nail varnish. Most women thrive on order. We want things to be neat, tidy and visually coordinated.

"One school of thought is that we are that way because we tend to have many more things to keep track and the more co-ordinated and ordered things are, the easier it is for us to maintain control.

"The research also highlighted that 18-24 year olds are far more concerned with brands with many hiding own-label bath and shower products before visitors came round and a further 25% going as far as buying in luxury brands to impress their guests.

Mira Showers' Roger Crabb adds: "The bathroom is most definitely one of the most important rooms in the house. It is one that, when decorated and fitted stylishly, can add thousands of pounds on the property of your house, so at Mira we weren't surprised to find out that nearly half of Brits make a split judgement on someone based on their bathroom décor and cleanliness.

"It doesn't seem too hard to impress judgemental Brits either, as long as there are no live snakes or hair in the plughole then homeowners should be ok!"



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