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Laundry Habits - UK - November 2011

“Laundry patterns are gradually changing, with more men under the age of 55 sharing the responsibilities and consumers responding to the manufacturer push to run more wash loads on lower temperatures and shorter cycles to save energy. A strong desire for clothes that always smell fresh also suggests a need for more quick washes for freshening up items of clothing.”

– Richard Caines, Senior Household Care Analyst

Some questions answered in the report include:

  • How frequently do people do the laundry and who are the best targets?
  • Who is taking on the main responsibility for laundry tasks in UK homes?
  • How much do consumers wash items of clothing to freshen them up?
  • Are any changes being seen in how people are washing their clothes?
  • What opportunities exist for making clothes drying and ironing easier?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • Market factors
              • Ownership of washing machines virtually universal
                • Figure 1: Ownership of laundry appliances and irons, 2011
              • Consumers less prepared to pay more to be green
                • Strong desire for making clothes last and freshness
                  • More households the biggest driver of growth
                    • Figure 2: UK households, by size, 2006-16
                  • Growth in child population
                    • Working patterns influence laundry habits
                      • Frequency of doing the laundry
                        • Two or three wash loads a week most common
                          • Figure 3: Frequency of doing laundry tasks at home, September/October 2011
                        • Household size and having children the biggest influences
                          • Figure 4: Loading and putting on the washing machine four or more times a week, by household size, September/October 2011
                        • Laundry responsibilities in the home
                          • Younger men more involved with the laundry
                            • Figure 5: Men taking main or shared responsibility for laundry tasks, by age, September/October 2011
                          • Deciding on when to wash items
                            • Large proportion of clothes being washed not visibly dirty
                              • Figure 6: Agreement with statements on the timing of washing particular items, September/October 2011
                            • Clothes washing patterns
                              • Separating light and dark colours the norm
                                • Figure 7: Clothes washing patterns – wash loads and wash cycles, September/October 2011
                                • Figure 8: Clothes washing patterns – wash temperatures, instructions and usage of laundry products, September/October 2011
                              • Clothes drying patterns
                                • Strong preference for drying laundry outside
                                  • Figure 9: Clothes drying patterns, September/October 2011
                                • Ironing patterns and attitudes
                                  • Most people just iron items that need ironing
                                    • Figure 10: Ironing patterns and attitudes, September/October 2011
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues in the Market

                                      • How frequently do people do the laundry and who are the best targets?
                                        • Who is taking on the main responsibility for laundry tasks in UK homes?
                                          • How much do consumers wash items of clothing to freshen them up?
                                            • Are any changes being seen in how people are washing their clothes?
                                              • What opportunities exist for making clothes drying and ironing easier?
                                              • Future Opportunities

                                                  • Trend: Factory Fear
                                                    • Trend: Attention Economy
                                                    • Internal Market Environment

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Ownership of washing machines virtually universal
                                                          • Figure 11: Trends in ownership of laundry appliances and irons, 2007-11
                                                        • Big dip in numbers prepared to pay more to be green
                                                          • Figure 12: Trends in agreement with statements on the environment and recycling, 2007-11
                                                        • Saving energy a higher priority than saving water
                                                          • Figure 13: Frequency of cutting down on the use of gas/electricity and water at home, 2011
                                                        • Strong desire for fresh-smelling clothes that last
                                                          • Figure 14: Trends in attitudes towards clothing, 2007-11
                                                      • Broader Market Environment

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Growing number of households means more washes
                                                            • Figure 15: UK households, by size, 2006-16
                                                          • An ageing population, but more children
                                                            • Figure 16: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2006-16
                                                          • Working patterns influence laundry behaviour
                                                            • Figure 17: Trends in working status, by gender, 2006-11
                                                        • Frequency of Doing the Laundry

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Four in ten homes do at least four wash loads a week
                                                              • Figure 18: Frequency of doing laundry tasks at home, September/October 2011
                                                              • Figure 19: Loading and putting on the washing machine four or more times a week, by household size, September/October 2011
                                                            • Tumble dryers used less often than washing machines
                                                              • Figure 20: Loading and unloading the tumble dryer four or more times a week, by presence of children, September/October 2011
                                                            • A third of homes do the ironing once a week
                                                              • Figure 21: Frequency of doing the ironing, by age, September/October 2011
                                                          • Laundry Responsibilities in the Home

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Women still taking the main responsibility for the laundry
                                                                • Figure 22: Responsibility for doing various laundry tasks in the home, by gender, September/October 2011
                                                              • Men over 55 significantly less involved with the laundry
                                                                • Figure 23: Men taking main or shared responsibility for laundry tasks, by age, September/October 2011
                                                              • Few men with wives or partners take main responsibility
                                                                • Figure 24: Level of responsibility taken for laundry tasks by men who are married or living with a partner, September/October 2011
                                                                • Figure 25: Level of responsibility taken for laundry tasks by women who are married or living with a partner, September/October 2011
                                                            • Deciding on When to Wash Items

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Most shirts get one wear before being washed
                                                                  • Figure 26: Timing of washing particular items, September/October 2011
                                                                  • Figure 27: Agreement with statements on the timing of washing particular items, September/October 2011
                                                                • Strong demand for freshening up clothes
                                                                  • Towels get washed more often than bedding
                                                                      • Figure 28: Those agreeing most with statements on the timing of washing particular items, by demographic characteristics, September/October 2011
                                                                  • Clothes Washing Patterns

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Keeping pale colours and whites separate from dark colours
                                                                        • Figure 29: Clothes washing patterns, September/October 2011
                                                                      • Majority of people stick with the same wash cycle
                                                                        • Move towards more washing on low temperatures
                                                                          • Separate conditioners preferred to two-in-one products
                                                                            • Little attention given to washing instructions
                                                                              • Figure 30: Those agreeing most with statements on clothes washing patterns, by demographic characteristics, September/October 2011
                                                                          • Clothes Drying Patterns

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Outdoor drying preferred for fresh-smelling washing
                                                                                • Figure 31: Clothes drying patterns, September/October 2011
                                                                              • Indoor drying a poor substitute
                                                                                • Reluctance to use tumble dryers
                                                                                  • Figure 32: Those agreeing most with statements on clothes drying patterns, by demographic characteristics, September/October 2011
                                                                              • Ironing Patterns and Attitudes

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Ironing driven by need to remove creases
                                                                                    • Figure 33: Ironing patterns and attitudes, September/October 2011
                                                                                  • Opportunity to encourage more sales of ironing waters
                                                                                    • Satisfaction in getting one of worst household chores done
                                                                                        • Figure 34: Those agreeing most with statements on ironing, by demographic characteristics, September/October 2011
                                                                                    • Target Groups

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                          • Figure 35: Target groups for laundry products, September/October 2011
                                                                                        • Energy Efficient (29%)
                                                                                          • Demographic characteristics
                                                                                            • Laundry patterns and other characteristics
                                                                                              • Conventional Machine Washers (31%)
                                                                                                • Demographic characteristics
                                                                                                  • Laundry patterns and other characteristics
                                                                                                    • Mixed Loaders (24%)
                                                                                                      • Demographic characteristics
                                                                                                        • Laundry patterns and other characteristics
                                                                                                          • Not Fully Loaded (16%)
                                                                                                            • Demographic characteristics
                                                                                                              • Laundry patterns and other characteristics
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Ownership of laundry appliances and irons, by demographics, 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Agreement with statements on the environment and recycling, by demographics, 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Attitudes towards clothing, by demographics, 2011
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Frequency of Doing the Laundry

                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Frequency of loading and putting on the washing machine at home, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Frequency of loading and unloading the tumble dryer at home, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Frequency of doing the ironing at home, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Laundry Responsibilities in the Home

                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Responsibility for loading and putting on the washing machine, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Responsibility for hanging the washing to dry inside or outside, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Responsibility for loading and unloading the tumble dryer, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Responsibility for doing the ironing, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Responsibility for loading and putting on the washing machine, men, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Responsibility for hanging the washing to dry inside or outside – men, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Responsibility for loading and unloading the tumble dryer – men, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Responsibility for doing the ironing – men, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Responsibility for loading and putting on the washing machine – women, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Responsibility for hanging the washing to dry inside or outside – women, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Responsibility for loading and unloading the tumble dryer – women, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Responsibility for doing the ironing – women, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Deciding on When to Wash Items

                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: Agreement with the statements ‘I only wear shirts or tops once before putting them in the wash’ and ‘I only wear trousers or skirts once before putting them in the wash’, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Agreement with the statements ‘I only put shirts or tops in the wash when they are visibly dirty’ and ‘I only put trousers or skirts in the wash when they are visibly dirty’, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Agreement with the statements ‘I put on clean underwear/socks every day’ and ‘I put items of clothing in the wash that are not visibly dirty but need freshening up’, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: Agreement with the statements ‘The bedding gets washed at least once a week’ and ‘The towels get washed at least once a week’, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Clothes Washing Patterns

                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Most popular attitudes towards washing clothes, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Next most popular attitudes towards washing clothes, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Other attitudes towards washing clothes, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Clothes Drying Patterns

                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Most popular attitudes towards drying clothes, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Next most popular attitudes towards drying clothes, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Other attitudes towards drying clothes, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Ironing Patterns and Attitudes

                                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Most popular attitudes towards ironing, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Next most popular attitudes towards ironing, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                              • Appendix – Target Groups

                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Attitudes towards washing clothes, by target groups, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Target groups, by demographics, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 68: Frequency of doing laundry tasks at home, by target groups, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 69: Timing of washing particular items, by target groups, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 70: Attitudes towards drying clothes, by target groups, September/October 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Attitudes towards ironing, by target groups, September/October 2011

                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                              • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                              • Procter & Gamble UK & Ireland
                                                                                                              • Unilever Plc

                                                                                                              Laundry Habits - UK - November 2011

                                                                                                              £1,750.00 (Excl.Tax)