House proud Britons spend the equivalent of 10 whole days a year – 237 hours – cleaning their homes.
Inspired by the rise in popularity of cleaning influencers, a study of 2,000 adults found those who clean spend just over four hours a week vacuuming, polishing and wiping down surfaces around the house.
A further hour and 42 minutes a month is taken up with changing bed sheets, cleaning the carpets and cleaning the oven.
Almost one third enjoy cleaning because it makes them feel less stressed and 41 per cent like to clean to take their mind off other things.
More than half even admitted to cleaning things which don’t need sprucing up, just to alleviate stress or anxiety.
Vacuuming emerged as the most relaxing cleaning task, followed by wiping down kitchen surfaces, and doing the laundry.
A spokesman for floorcare experts Vax, who commissioned the survey, said: “It may seem like it’s only a few minutes here and there, but we really do spend a large amount of time cleaning.
“That’s why we spend hours testing our products and continuously developing them, so when the time comes for you to turn to vacuuming or cleaning your carpets, we’ve got you covered.
“The findings from our survey highlight just how many adults enjoy cleaning, seeing it as a great way to relax and destress.
“We’re firm believers in a cleaner home contributing to a clearer mind and are working with experts to demonstrate the benefits a cleaning routine and tidy home have on your mental health.”
Those polled were found to be so house proud they’ve gone to ‘significant’ lengths to hide imperfections in their homes, with a third admitting to covering carpet stains with furniture.
Although 90 per cent clean spillages and unsightly marks as soon as they happen.
More than half of adults keep on top of things by doing regular ‘basic’ cleans – with more than one fifth following up with a deep clean at least once a month.
This leaves 70 per cent feeling satisfied, while 35 per cent feel happy and 28 per cent feel relaxed. Almost four in 10 also said having a clean home instantly makes them feel less stressed, while 37 per cent agree a tidy house equals a tidy mind .
For 19 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, they enjoy it so much, they often find themselves losing track of time when they are cleaning as they get in the zone.
Positive psychology expert and author of ‘The Little Book of Happiness’, Miriam Akhtar, said: “Cleaning the home can be viewed as a chore but it does have some unexpected benefits for your mental wellbeing.
“Engaging the brain in a repetitive activity such as vacuuming has a calming effect, which helps you deal with stress by giving you a mental break so that you can regroup.
“Cleaning is also a surprising way of getting into a ‘flow state’, when you’re fully absorbed in what you’re doing and time seems to fly by.
“It’s the hugely satisfying state of being ‘in the zone’. You tend to get into flow more easily when it’s clear what needs to be done and you get immediate feedback, such as seeing the spots and stains on the carpet disappear.
“The physical activity of cleaning also releases endorphins and the end result of a cleaner home helps ease stress, reduces anxiety, lifts the mood, and then makes it easier to concentrate.”
It also emerged half of adults listen to music while cleaning to make it as fun as possible, while 15 per cent will dance as they do it.
But 26 per cent of adults reckon they have cleaned more often than usual over the last two years due to the pandemic.
One quarter also claimed that cleaning benefits their mental health and wellbeing, with 27 per cent becoming more aware of the perks of cleaning thanks to social media influencers.
Decluttering expert Rachel Burditt, also known as @thedeclutterdarling, said: “By reducing, organizing and tidying your possessions in the home, you should become less distracted by your surroundings and more focused on enjoying the moment.
“When order is restored, it makes relaxing in both your body and mind, a much easier scenario.
“The actual process of cleaning and getting rid of the clutter can be an enjoyable and soothing process for many.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.