With many of us working ever-increasing hours and often agreeing to one too many things in our social calendar, a lack of time seems to be taking its toll on the nation’s homes. ‘The Panasonic Domestic Report 2014’ reveals that over three quarters of Brits take real pride in the cleanliness of their homes, with 71% admitting they’d be embarrassed to have visitors if the house wasn’t up to scratch.

However, over half say they’d like to devote more time to keeping the house spick and span with tasks such as cleaning, laundry, ironing and vacuuming, but struggle to find enough hours in the day.

Luckily, TV’s resident cleaning expert, Aggie MacKenzie, is on hand with her top tips on saving time and effort on housework.

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Get by with a little help from your friends

46% of us said we enjoy cleaning when other people help, so get your partner or housemates to pick up the vacuum and get involved! Asking everyone to pitch in and do their bit not only saves time as there’s more than one of you, but also boosts your motivation with a bit of good old British team spirit (and will stop any resentment you might be harbouring!).

Let your washing machine do the work for you

Washing machine technology available these days can save huge amounts of time and effort on your laundry. If the interior of your existing machine has become a bit smelly (caused by too many low-temperature washes), try running it empty on a hot-wash programme with a cup of clear vinegar. This will also deal with soap scum and limescale, and stop mildew piling up inside. When you come to replace your machine, try a model with a steam function – the release of powerful steam particles in the washing cycle reduces wrinkles and removes folds and tangles, making ironing a breeze.

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 09.33.16Combine household duties with a workout

Did you know that vacuuming for 30 minutes burns around 90 calories, the equivalent of those two Jaffa Cakes you had when you got in from work? Many of us find it tricky making time for exercise, so why not skip the gym (as if you needed an excuse!) and opt for a free workout at home, keeping your house spick and span at the same time. Put on your favourite music, set your stopwatch for an hour, and race yourself to a sparkling finish!

Make sure your iron is in top working order

Using an iron that’s past its best can double the amount of time you take to do the job…not to mention make you want to tear your hair out! To remove any excess limescale on an older iron (which will block the steam holes), heat your iron, then unplug and leave to cool a little. Fill the reservoir with a solution of 50:50 clear vinegar and water, leave for an hour or so, then empty and rinse out a few times with clean water. If you’re thinking of buying a new model, a self-cleaning iron will keep the appliance easy to maintain, and is fantastic at helping you get the job done in a jiffy.

For more information on time-saving home appliances, visit www.panasonic.co.uk