Italians leave Brits in the dust

Fastidious Italians have the cleanest homes in Europe, according to a new survey.

Carried out by the British research group Datamonitor, the report found that Italians cleaned their homes an average of four times a week, compared to 3.8 times in Spain, three time in Britain and only twice in Sweden and Germany.

The report also found that even the Italians, like other Europeans, are spending less time on housework as they spend more time at the workplace. In 2001, the study said, Italians did their housework, including washing and ironing, 4.2 times a week and in 2011 this is expected to drop to 3.8 times.

According to the report, less time is being spent on cleaning in Europe also because of a decline in the use of wall-to-wall carpeting in favor of hard wood or laminated floors, which are easier and quicker to clean. Although Britons clean less than Italians do, the study found they spent more for home cleaning products, some 66 pounds last year while Italians spent 41.56 pounds.

However, observers pointed out that this reflected the differences in the cost of living between the two countries. Italy was also the European country where people ironed the most, the study found, 2.9 times a week compared to 2.2 times in Britain.

The Datamonitor report was based on surveys of families in Italy, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Spain.