Brits spend more money on cleaning homes and clothes than the US or any other country in Europe, with the gap set to widen further in the next few years as the comparative cost of living accelerates.

The average adult consumer in the UK spent £66.27 on household and laundry products in 2006, according to research by Datamonitor, with that figure set to rise almost 10% to £72.64 by 2011.

Brits are spending 38% more than American consumers, who fork out £40.96 a year.

The research also highlighted that men were now doing a greater share of house cleaning in most countries, although women remained the principal cleaners.