Housework down by half-an-hour in just two years

Women, on average, spend 90 minutes more than men cleaning each week.
Women, on average, spend 90 minutes more than men cleaning each week.
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People are spending 32 minutes less each week on housework than just two years ago, according to new research.

The study suggests families might be letting their standards slip as people spend an average of almost 28 hours less each year cleaning their home than in 20214.

The research by consumer analysts Mintel we spend an average of four hours and seven minutes a week cleaning indoors, a fall from four hours and 39 minutes which was the average time reported in 2014.

And it is still women who bear the brunt of household chores as they spend four hours and 51 minutes cleaning every week - 90 minutes longer than the average man.

The parents of children under 16 spend an average of five hours and nine minutes cleaning per week.

Cleaning the oven (67 per cent) is the most hated household task, followed by cleaning the toilet (47 per cent) and windows (41 per cent).

While smaller households are in part contributing to the decline in time spent mopping, dusting and polishing, so too is the rising use of multi-purpose cleaners.

People opting for the ease of multi-purpose cleaners spend on average three hours 57 minutes per week cleaning their homes, compared to a laborious four hours 45 minutes per week for those who use specialised cleaning products.

Overall, two-thirds of Brits (66 per cent) prefer multi-purpose cleaners while just 25 per cent favour specialised cleaning products.

Richard Hopping, brand and household analyst at Mintel, said: “The average amount of time that Brits report spending cleaning their home each week has fallen by half an hour in recent years.

“Factors including a reduction in the size of the average household, the increasing prevalence of easy-to-use multipurpose products and ever-more time-pressed consumers are likely to be impacting the amount of time people spend cleaning.”

People in the North West boast the cleanest credentials spending, on average, five hours and 10 minutes per week cleaning. They were also the most likely to agree that maintaining a clean home is important to their own and their family’s health (76 per cent).

But those in the South West, as well as Yorkshire and Humberside, are less likely to be using as much elbow grease, spending on average three hours and 19 minutes cleaning the home.

Almost two-thirds of the people polled (62 per cent) say they clean when they have the time, compared to 32 per cent who say they schedule time to do house cleaning.

And 42 per cent admitted that when they clean, they try and take as little time as possible.

But 51 per cent say that when they clean, they try to make sure that everything is spotless.

Mr Hopping added: “The busy lives of today’s consumers often get in the way of cleaning routines, which means that the majority clean when they have time rather than pre-planning in advance.

“As a result, it is important that cleaning products are convenient to use, featuring simple designs and targeted cleaning that can be used at short notice and without too much fuss.

“Women tend to be far more likely to take sole responsibility for cleaning inside the home, suggesting there is still a gender imbalance that brands can try to redress through more realistic male-centric advertising.”