As the final decorations resurface and Brits are adding the last bits of tinsel to their Christmas trees, houses across the UK are being spruced up for the festive season as millions prepare to take part in the great Christmas clean-up.

Indeed, so key is this period in terms of cleaning, that according to new research from Mintel, Christmas is officially the most important seasonal cleaning trigger. Almost four in ten (37%) Brits say they or someone else in their household gives the home an extra thorough, top-to-bottom or deep clean in preparation for Christmas, making this a more important seasonal trigger than spring cleaning (32%).

And while women (45%) are far more likely than men (30%) to deep clean in preparation for Christmas, regionally, those in the North West (45%) and Yorkshire and Humberside (40%) are most likely to take part in the big seasonal clean-up. By contrast, those in the East Midlands (29%) are least concerned about a festive deep clean.

Richard Caines, Senior Household Care Analyst at Mintel, said:

“Preparations for Christmas often involve deep cleaning of the home as the moving of furniture to incorporate the Christmas tree usually reveals some areas that have not seen the light of day in terms of dusting or vacuuming since the start of the year and therefore need immediate action. In addition, entertaining guests or having them to stay overnight, which is likely to happen more over Christmas, is a big cleaning motivator for Brits. Leaving a positive impression on guests is important as people tend to feel their home is a reflection of themselves and do not want their friends or family to see it in a mess.

In terms of preparing the home for the arrival of guests there are a range of cleaning jobs that are considered a priority by house proud Brits. Top among these are cleaning the toilet – 76% of people will prioritise this activity, followed by vacuuming the floors (70%), cleaning the bathroom (70%), cleaning the kitchen (66%) and tidying away clutter (66%).

Further to this,

half (51%) of UK consumers who entertain at home agree they spend more time than usual cleaning their home if they are expecting guests

and 48% say that it is important for them that their home smells fresh when guests visit. In addition, a third (32%) say they wouldn’t like to be caught out by unexpected visitors seeing their home in a mess and 34% agree that it is important to them that their home leaves a positive impression on others.

“Making the home smell fresh is one of the most important elements of preparing the home for guests, and so the development of more premium fragrances in a whole host of household care products, including toilet cleaners and fresheners, scented candles and fabric conditioners or fresheners, can help to enhance the ambience of the home and improve the guest experience.” Richard added.

In terms of products homeowners might specially buy as they prepare for overnight guests – the most popular products are air fresheners for the bathroom and toilet (37%), toilet fresheners (35%), a box of tissues for the guest bathroom (25%), and a scented candle for the living room (22%). But it doesn’t stop there, even in household paper, there is room to add value to the market, with 16% considering buying more luxury toilet paper if they are expecting overnight guests, in line with December traditionally seeing a spike in value sales.

“While pressure on retail space at this time of year will make it difficult for major in-store cleaning campaigns in December, limited edition and seasonal products, including winter fragrances, can help maximise entertainment-related sales, while January offers another promotional opportunity for the market when the decorations come down.” concludes Richard.

Finally, Mintel’s research has shown that those who do a clean-up for Christmas are also more likely to do so after the festivities. Whilst one in four (26%) Brits say they give their home an extra-thorough, top-to-bottom or deep clean after the festive decorations have come down, this rises to over two in five (42%) of those who do a deep-clean for Christmas.

Press review copies of the report and interviews with Senior Household Care Analyst, Richard Caines, are available on request from the press office.

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