1. The first ever motorised vacuum cleaner was called the ‘Puffing Billy’; invented in 1901 by Hubert Cecil Booth, it was so large it needed to be horse-drawn.
  2. A survey by Spontex shows that 59% of men say they pretend not to hear when their partner asks them for help with the housework, and 39% say they ‘try to hide’.
  3. The kitchen sponge harbours the greatest amount of household bacteria in the entire home, with an astounding 134,630 bacteria found per square inch, but blitzing Mr Sponge in the microwave for 1 minute each day will keep those germs at bay.
  4. The earliest recorded evidence of the production of soap-like materials dates back to around 2800 BC in Ancient Babylon.
  5. The average Briton will spend six years of their adult life keeping their house clean and tidy, and a quarter of the population who are slightly more clean-obsessed will spend a full decade cleaning up!
  6. The British sport of ‘Extreme Ironing’ saw its first world championships held in September 2002 in a small village near Munich, hosting competitors from 10 nations (three of which were British), and involved categories such as ‘Urban’, where competitors had to iron in/on/around a broken down car, and ‘Forest’: ironing at the top of a tree.
  7. Numbering amongst some of the weirdest things plumbers have found when cleaning drains are a piranha, a whole bedspread, a six-pack of beer, and a live badger, found by plumbers in Scotland who managed to rescue the little guy who reportedly went on to make a full recovery.
  8. In 2006 Australian men were called upon to do more housework, not by their women, but by their government, in a bid to make it easier for women to have children and so boost birth rates, to combat the problem of an ageing population.
  9. In Minnesota, USA, it is illegal to hang male and female underwear together on the same washing line.
  10. It took 400 litres of degreaser to clean the royal wedding procession route prior to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s big day last year, and 140 tonnes of waste were cleaned up by teams of over 130 street sweepers after the event; equivalent to the weight of 50 Rolls Royce.

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