How the World Does Laundry

No matter where you live, laundry is probably a big part of your routine. In fact, according to a new study by Nielsen, globally 67 percent of people said they do laundry at least twice per week, and another 31 percent said they do laundry every day. But despite similarities in how often people around the world clean their clothes, there are some differences in how they do their laundry (if they even do it themselves at all).

The study, which surveyed people in 61 countries about their laundry habits, broke findings down into 5 regions: Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa/Middle East, Latin America, and North America.

In the Asia-Pacific region, nearly half (45 percent) of respondents said they did laundry every day, and in that region more than anywhere else, they were more likely to hand-wash their clothes (27 percent, as compared to 5 percent in Europe, 11 percent in Africa and the Middle East, 15 percent in Latin America and 4 percent in North America).

When it comes to machine washing and drying, Europe lead the way with 87 percent of respondents. North America was also right up there at 82 percent, and at 74 percent, Latin America was not far behind.

Africa and the Middle East, on the other hand, had the lowest usage of washing machines, but at 28 percent (versus 6 percent globally otherwise) respondents there were most likely to go to a launderette or laundromat to wash their clothes. And at 14 percent—compared to less than 10 percent for the other regions—it’s also the region most likely to have someone else do their laundry.

The study also found that, within regions, there are significant differences, especially—and unsurprisingly—between developed nations and developing countries. For example, in the Asia-Pacific region, washing machine use was higher in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Korea, while hand-washing was more common in regions like Indonesia, India and the Philippines, where machine use was lower.

For more information on the global cleaning market, check out the full study from Nielsen here.

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