UK lags behind USA, China, France in cleaning homes - but more Brits own vacuums

The UK lags behind the US, France, China and a host of international rivals when it comes to cleaning its homes, research has revealed.

A survey polling more than 12,000 people across 11 countries found just 28 percent of UK households clean their homes five to seven times per week – below the international average of 32 percent.

People living in Turkey (41 percent), Italy (38 percent), China (34 percent), France (32 percent), the US (30 percent) and South Korea (30 percent) all get their homes ship-shape more frequently than Brits.

This is despite a surge of British adults tending to housework in the previous year, rising from 24 percent in the year prior to 28 percent in 2021.

Only Japan (27 percent), Spain (25 percent), Australia (23 percent) and Germany (21 percent) clean their homes less often than UK households.

Dyson's Global Dust Study found 95 percent of the 12,309 people polled are cleaning just as much, if not more, than they did last year, as many continue to be concerned about the cleanliness of their home during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, 44 percent of people worldwide will only tend to the home when it gets dusty, compared to 33 percent in 2020.

Speaking about the findings, Monika Stuczen, research scientist in microbiology at Dyson, said: “It is a cause for concern if people only clean when they spot visible dust on the floors, as many dust particles are microscopic in size.

“In fact, by the time people spot visible dust in the home, it is highly likely that there are dust mites in your home.”

The surge in cleaning in the UK may in part be due to a rise in pet ownership, as 3.2 million households adopted a new pet in 2020.

More than half of UK homes now have a pet – but Britain remains far below the 65 percent of those in the US to have one.

UK lags behind USA, China, France in cleaning homes - but more Brits own vacuums

Furthermore, over half of UK pet owners (54 percent) do not restrict where their animals can roam – including into the bedroom, on the sofa, and all areas of their house.

This is despite two in five knowing their pets may harbour dust mites, and a third knowing about the presence of house dust mite faeces.

Despite the UK not cleaning their homes as regularly, they did come out top when it comes to the percentage of homes which use a vacuum in their homes (90 percent) – far more than China (51 percent).

The average time spent vacuuming in the UK stands at 29.6 minutes, above the average of 24.2 minutes across all 11 countries polled.

Germany (89 percent) and Australia (89 percent) also rank highly when it comes to how many people own a vacuum cleaner.

This compares to just 75 percent of Spanish and 76 percent of Americans owning a vacuum.

When it comes to getting rid of dust, Ms Stuczen said: “Despite a wet cloth remaining the most popular cleaning tool to remove dust, our research shows a vacuum with effective filtration and sealing technology is the most effective method to make sure the dust doesn’t get released back into your home.

“Using a wet cloth to clean surfaces is fine, but the sequence of cleaning tools matter.

“Dampening dust on floors – even fine dust invisible to the naked eye – could mean that you’re creating a habitat more favourable to dust mite and mould proliferation.”

The Dyson Global Dust Study 2022 is a 15-minute online survey undertaken by 12,309 respondents across 11 countries – United States, Australia, Japan, China, South Korea, France, Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Turkey.

Fieldwork was conducted between November 15-24 2021 and data has been weighted at a “global” level to be representative of different population sizes.

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