The way we clean our homes has changed over the years. Previously, our ancestors would conduct a big clean of the home once a year, commonly referred to as ‘spring clean’, and although there are some people who continue to carry out this tradition — 85% of Brits think that it could soon become a thing of the past due to the changes in our lifestyle.
To investigate further, Oldrids & Downton, a retailer of conservatory furniture, look to see how much time Brits are spending when cleaning their home, as well as what rooms in the home are most dirty and discuss social pressures that arise living in a digital society.
Homeowners are feeling more pressure than ever before to ensure that their home is orderly at all times. 51% of Brits say that they stress about the cleanliness of their homes — with one in four saying they fear being judged by their family and friends. This has led to spring-cleaning becoming a dying trend, with 77% of people preferring to do a deep household clean every season, instead.
However, research suggests that the average British homeowner spends four hours and seven minutes cleaning their homes on a weekly basis. But further research suggests that there are two types of cleaners — those who use multipurpose cleaning products and those who use specialized items for every aspect of their home.
In Britain, 66% of people use multipurpose products when cleaning and spend an average of three hours and 57 minutes, which has resulted in less time being spent cleaning the home (32 minutes less). Those who used specialized solutions account for 25% of people and spend four hours 45 minutes each week.
Although depending on house size and homeowner lifestyle, different chores can take different times. It has been estimated that washing up and cleaning the kitchen takes one hour 38 minutes a week. A further one hour is spent cleaning the bathroom, another hour is spent ironing, and hoovering takes around one hour and seven minutes.
But cleaning doesn’t just stop indoors — the outdoors also count, whether this is maintaining your grass or washing your car. Although 68% of people said that they spent more time cleaning their interior, 78% said that they often push back on keeping on top of their garden if the weather “looks bad”.
However, 42% said that they try and spend as little time as possible when it comes to doing home chores which were overtaken by the 51% who said that, when they clean, they want to make sure that everything is spotless!
Taking the Cleanliest Crown is people in the North West, who seem to clean their homes for five hours and ten minutes per week. People from this region believe that spending a longer time cleaning the home is vital to ensure a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle for themselves and their family.
The people that might need to spend a little more time cleaning their homes live in the South West, as well as Yorkshire and the Humberside, and spend on average three hours and 19 minutes.
Although, 62% of people said that they only clean when they have time, which could have an impact on this result due to busy life schedules. 32% said that they, in fact, create their own schedules for a set time allowance to complete any home maintenance tasks.
The dirtiest places in your home
Believe it or not, the dirtiest room in your home is probably the kitchen — even though it’s probably the room that you clean the most. It’s germ-ridden, and dish sponges are the worst for collecting salmonella, E. Coil and faecal matter. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) found that areas where food was stored or had been prepared encountered more bacteria and faecal contamination compared to any other room. Cutting boards, coffee makers, refrigerators, kitchen sinks, and worktops were also heavily affected.
Knobs and switches were other features in the home that were badly impacted by bacterial presence. However, bathroom doorknobs aren’t the worst. Bathroom light switches, refrigerator handles, cooker knobs and microwave handles are all likely to rank higher, according to the NSF.
A bathroom makes the perfect place for germ growth, due to the hot moisture from running showers. The most notorious locations for dirt are the shower/bath itself, drains, taps, floor (worse near the toilet), bath towels and even toothbrushes.
If you have a home office, expect it to be home to lots of germs — especially if the equipment is shared with more than one person, whether this is keyboards or phones. Keyboards are known for growing mould which will later have an impact on your personal hygiene, so it’s important to clean regularly.
Not only is there an added pressure from those close to us, but from social media platforms, too. We’ve become a self-obsessed generation that will only post the happy aspects of our lives which does not incorporate the full story. We aim to post pictures that are aesthetically pleasing, and a messy home would go against that.
The popular #interiordesign hashtag has over 42 million photograph posts on Instagram, which evidently shows that there is a common pressure for people to have a prestigious and showroom-like home, which is sometimes just unrealistic when you’re also trying to achieve a happy work-life balance which has led 5% of people to employ a cleaner. A further 49% said that, if they could afford it, they would do the same.
According to research, 47% of us clean regularly anyway. However, 84% of us said that we would put more effort in if we were expecting a visitor which poses the question: are we happy to live a more chaotic life if we aren’t on show to other people?