While few of us will actually enjoy it, housework is a necessary evil. In fact, it has been suggested that keeping a clean home has a wealth of psychological benefits, while observing good standards of home hygiene can help reduce the impact of allergies and even infection.
A study earlier this year by over-50s group Saga found that housewives in the 1950s burned off nearly twice the number of calories in housework as women do today. And while we may be missing a trick in terms of ‘free’ exercise, many of us no doubt welcome the timesaving properties of today’s state-of-the-art automated gadgets.
So, if you want to free yourself up around the home, what are some of the more interesting features and devices which will help take care of those jobs you hate?
Whether you’re rustling up a snack or preparing a full-blown meal, the last thing you want is to temper your enjoyment of food with the slog of cleaning afterwards. The good news is that you can keep appliances such as toasters and kettles looking brand new thanks to anti-fingerprint coating. Or how about a Kenwood BM450 bread maker? It features jam and cake settings – meaning you’ll be glad of the wipe-clean controls when you’ve finished getting sticky-fingered.
Robot vacuum cleaners
The age of robotics has yet to spawn a Blade Runner-style replicant – or even a bumbling golden C3PO-alike – but it has offered something more practical; a robotic vacuum cleaner. Being able to keep your floors clean without straying from the sofa must be close to some people’s dream, and the i-Robot Roomba 581 vacuum cleaner makes good on this, cleaning up to four rooms on one charge.
All you have to do is press the button: this clever devise recognises and reacts to carpets and hard floors, and can extract itself from tassle tangles. The smart little fellow can also be programmed to get on with its job within seven preset cleaning times and even returns to its home base when it’s done.
Perhaps the one job in the home which typifies the term ‘elbow grease’ more than any other is cleaning the oven. With its hard-baked stains and burnt fragments from a once-delicious roast – not to mention the potent chemicals you need to do the job – tackling the oven is a serious job.
Luckily, some state-of-the-art electric ovens, such as this John Lewis multi-function electric single oven, actually clean themselves, boasting Pyrolytic cleaning systems that deal with the oven’s greasy interior. Just push the button and a special 500-degree Centigrade feature will reduce any lingering stains to ash, allowing you to sweep the dirt away.