Window cleaning revealed as most hated household chore

03 December 2010
Self-cleaning glass could save 12 million hours a year cleaning windows

It’s a rather gloomy outlook, but window cleaning is one of the most hated household chores. Yet as a nation we still spend up to 11.9 million hours a year trying to make our glass sparkle.

According to a new nationwide survey for Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass, cleaning windows and conservatories was deemed the second-most time consuming household task (28%) behind only the ironing (30%). Because of this, nearly two-thirds of home-owning adults claimed they cleaned their windows far less frequently than they completed other essential household chores. Giving a rather grubby insight into the nation’s cleaning habits, it’s estimated that 2.9 million homeowners only clean their windows once a year or less, and a staggering 974,000 have never picked up a chamois leather or a squeegee in their lives.

A third of respondents put the lack of window-cleaning enthusiasm down to the difficulty of the task involved. A further 12% claimed they didn’t have enough time and 11% cited boredom as the reason for their infrequent window cleaning – hardly surprising considering 52% said it took them between one and five hours to complete the job.

North-South Divide

Supposedly, the North-South divide is closing. But when it comes to cleaning windows this could not be further from the truth.

A smeary 63% of southerners claimed window cleaning to be the chore they did the least, compared with just over half (54%) in the North. In fact, nearly a fifth (18%) of Southerners admitted to cleaning their windows just once a year or less, compared with a 12% national average and an impressively low 9% in the North. 

Too Good To Be True?

When asked what inventions would make housework less laborious, self-cleaning glass was the second most-wanted domestic invention together with an automatic shirt ironer and behind only an automated vacuum cleaner. However, unlike many time and labour-saving domestic inventions, Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass is readily available from window suppliers and has been proven to work.

The secret of Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass is a virtually invisible, dual-action ultra-thin coating that uses the weather to make the glass clean itself.

It does this in two ways:

First, it is photocatalytic: UV rays from the sun, abundant on even the cloudiest of days, cause the glass to react chemically with dirt and organic deposits, breaking them down and loosening them from the surface of the glass.

Also, it is hydrophilic: this means it attracts rainwater, which then slides down and off the surface of the glass without forming into separate droplets. This ensures that loosened particles of dust and dirt are easily washed off during normal rainy weather without leaving smears or rain marks.

As the photocatalytic activity is continuous, even stubborn deposits, such as bird droppings or tree resin, will eventually be broken down and slide off the glass.

Pilkington Activ™ is available nationwide through all good window and conservatory suppliers.