Laundry use down and dishwashing up in lockdown, research reveals

Brits are doing laundry less and dishwashing more during the lockdown according to research from appliance giant Haier Europe.


The company studied the behaviour of its European consumers through its smart appliances and saw that, during lockdown, the UK has changed its laundry and dish-washing behaviours.


Between March 24 and April 19, the weekly average number of laundry loads performed by Britons dropped to 8.3; down 6% from the previous four weeks.


Dishwasher usage grew to a weekly average of 6.2 cycles, up 21% versus the previous four weeks and up 25% versus the same period in 2019.


Traditionally the frequency of washing machine usage in the UK tends to be higher than in other countries – eight to nine loads per week versus six to seven across Europe – and there has been a significant transformation in the time of day the washing is done, too. 


During lockdown, laundry loads have been largely concentrated in the mornings, whereas up until March 23, 2020, when the lockdown was announced, the UK registered two equivalent peaks in the mornings and evenings.


While weekly washing machine usage has remained unaffected, with over 33% running at the weekend, during the lockdown this has shifted from Sundays to Saturdays.


When it comes to dishwashers, the UK still prefers to ‘do the dishes’ at night and the 21% increase in usage is being attributed to more people being at home.


The results are based on usage data from more than 70,000 Hoover and Candy-branded home appliances, transmitted by connected home appliances across Europe.


Andrea Contri, head of the Internet of Things ecosystem division of Haier Europe, the parent company of the Hoover Candy Group, said: “In this pandemic time, we are all experiencing sudden changes in our daily habits: it is essential to understand which behaviours are specific to this unusual period and which ones are more likely to persist over time.


“Thanks to the aggregated data that we receive from our connected appliances, we are able to monitor changes in their usage patterns, in order to design products and functionalities closer to evolving consumer needs.


“By examining and analysing this data, we can derive useful insights, for example imagining dishwashers equipped for more frequent use and detergent auto-reordering, or focusing on energy management optimisation to allow more frequent use during peak time slots.”


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