While an Englishman’s home is his castle, across Britain when it comes to cleaning, it seems that consumers might be letting their standards slip. Indeed, new research from Mintel reveals that Brits are spending 32 minutes less on cleaning the home each week in comparison to 2014, which amounts to a sparkling saving of almost 28 hours a year.

Today’s Brits responsible for cleaning the home 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.

While smaller households are in part contributing to the decline in time spent mopping, dusting and polishing, so too is the rising use of multipurpose cleaners. Brits opting for the ease of multipurpose cleaners spend on average three hours 57 minutes per week cleaning their homes, compared to those who use specialised cleaning products who spend a laborious four hours 45 minutes per week. Overall, two thirds (66%) of Brits prefer multipurpose cleaners while one quarter (25%) favour specialised cleaning products.

Brits spend an average of four hours and seven minutes a week cleaning indoors

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.”

When it comes to who is top of the mops, it’s the North West who boast the highest cleaning credentials. On average, consumers in the North West spend five hours and 10 minutes per week cleaning, with consumers in this region among the most likely to agree that maintaining a clean home is important to their own and their family’s health (76%). On the other hand, those in the South West of the country, as well as Yorkshire and Humberside, are less likely to be using as much elbow grease, with consumers in these regions spending on average three hours and 19 minutes cleaning the home.

For today’s time-pressed consumer, it seems busy lives are getting in the way of cleaning routines. Over three in five (62%) consumers say they clean when they have the time, compared to just 32% who say they schedule time to do house cleaning. What’s more, a significant minority have a rather slapdash approach to their household chores. Over two in five (42%) say that when they clean, they try and take as little time as possible, in comparison to 51% who say that when they clean, they try to make sure that everything is spotless.

“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.” Richard adds.

But while the average Brit is spending fewer hours donning a pinny and rubber gloves, Mintel research reveals that British women are still bearing the brunt of household chores as they spend four hours and 51 minutes cleaning every week. Indeed, each week British women spend an average of an hour and a half longer cleaning than their male counterparts who spend three hours and 24 minutes cleaning the home. But it is not just women who are hard at work around the house: Britain’s parents are knee deep in dusters and detergents, with today’s mums and dads* spending an average of five hours and nine minutes cleaning per week.

“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.” Richard adds.

Finally, Mintel research indicates that cleaning the oven is the least enjoyable household task for those with responsibility for cleaning, as 67% rank it among their top three dislikes along with cleaning the toilet (47%) and windows (41%). Among the chores most tolerated by Brits are cleaning the worktop (just 7% of Brits dislike this task), mopping and sweeping the floors (14% say this is the least enjoyed cleaning task) and vacuuming (disliked by 17% of Brits).

*Parents of under 16s.

Press review copies of Mintel’s Cleaning in and Around the Home UK 2016 report and interviews with Brand and Household Analyst Richard Hopping are available on request from the press office.

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