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Self-cleaning homes vs manual cleaning

Do you ever wish you could simply snap your fingers like Mary Poppins and the housework would be done?

According to research carried out by Mintel.com, ‘The average time spent by Britons cleaning their homes is approximately 4 hours 40 minutes a week. When examining the differences in time spent by men cleaning their homes to women; the survey revealed that men were more likely to spend just 3 hours 53 minutes, whilst women spent an average of 5 hours 25 minutes.’ It may not sound like much, but put over the course of a year and the average Briton spends 14560 minutes, which equates to 243 hours or 10 days a year. That’s 10 extra days to spend either with your kids; completing those jobs you’ve been meaning to get round to; catching up on the recorded episodes you missed or simply making time for some ‘me’ time. That would be if your home could hypothetically clean itself – but can it?


(photo credit – shutterstock/ sim lev)

You may have viewed on films such as Harry Potter, dishes magically scrub themselves. Similarly, television episodes such as ‘The Simpsons: You Only Move Twice’, have seen homes that have the ability to independently complete the house chores and cleaning tasks themselves. The occupants, having been freed from such responsibilities are able to go about their daily lives. Most viewers believe this to only be a comic device used by scriptwriters for fantastic scenarios. However, the reality is, technological advances have helped to drastically reduce the time and labour needed to complete cleaning tasks. For example; although well-known, dishwashers fall directly into this category.


Vacuum Skirting boards

Although this gadget requires some manual labour, it is still a great time saver. If you have young and somewhat messy children, this product is for you! Parents of young tots will be familiar with the habitual process of sweeping the assortment of breakfast and lunch materials that surround the base of their child’s highchair several times a day. According to BedroomsPlus, ‘the product is capable of removing the dirt swept into the vacuum in approximately 3 seconds.’ The product is beneficial to those with back or knee problems as ‘you do not need to bend to operate it, owing to the kick switch that turns the vacuum on or off.’ A handy device for most households!


Self-cleaning toilet


(photo credit – shutterstock/ Thanaphat Somwangsakul)
A new gadget created by Japanese inventors includes that of the new intelligent toilet. The deccanchronicle.com reported on a new self-cleaning device has the ability to ‘scan, wash and dry the user; which removes the need for toilet paper.’ Amongst the other new technological features, the toilet will ‘open on approach and close after use.’


Self-cleaning fish tank

Pet owners always want to keep their animals in the optimum health. Those who care for fish will recognise the need to keep tanks clean due to the formation of algae and other such grimy substances that forms in the tank over time.
ippinka.com commented that ‘Avo’s natural filter takes harmful ammonia from fish waste and turns it into nitrate, which fertilizes the environment’s plants and keeps the water clean. The fish tank also has an innovative moving bed filter, which makes it difficult for typical aquarium gunk to build up. In fact, the water never needs changing and creates its own sustainable ecosystem.’


Roomba is an intelligent vacuuming device that has the ability to charge itself by automatically returning to its docking station when the battery runs low. It can clean multiple rooms and runs for two hours. You can also program the vacuum to commence on a scheduled time. The intelligent technology reads whether a surface requires greater suction or not.

(photo credit – shutterstock/ Korn Vitthayanukarun)

Self-cleaning bath spa

This spa bath has all the bath bubbly luxury you could desire, with one extra intelligent feature; a self-cleaning system. If you are tired of doing acrobatics to scrub the inside of the bath, you needn’t worry, this bath will clean itself for you, meaning all you need to do is to relax and enjoy.


Self-cleaning clothes


Researchers from Harvard University have recently created, through the use of nanotechnology, material garments which repel dirt and grime. Their article (2014) noted that, ‘the cotton and polyester fabrics have been modified to exhibit traditional antifouling SLIPS (Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces) behaviour’ meaning despite being pelted with ‘tomato juice, eggs, wine and other substances’, the garment remained clean.


A Reality Check…

Although the aforementioned items are all in existence; the average homeowner is likely to hit a road-block when trying to obtain them. The self-cleaning toilet for example, is only available in the United Kingdom from 2017. The dirt-repelling clothes are not mass-produced and are still very much in their developmental stages. Conversely, the iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaners are readily available online or in certain stores. If your initial thought was ‘I bet they’re overly expensive’, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. You can pick one of these handy gadgets up for around £249.98, which is cheaper than some new upright vacuum cleaners.
Since technology is rarely perfect, and due to safety reasons; homeowners should still supervise these appliances when they are functioning. Furthermore, despite the inclusion of intelligent technology, some areas are still better


So, if your spouse or your children clean with about as much enthusiasm as they would have a freezing cold shower on a winter’s day, it may be the case that having someone clean your home. Provided with the specialist, modern equipment, cleaning services still have the edge in terms of reaching those hard-to-get-to areas and offering that deep clean, than that of self-sufficient technology.


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