While many television commercials for household cleaning products would have you believe that women are the only ones who pick up a mop or a broom in the household, new research from Mintel highlights that this is simply not the case—in fact, the amount of men cleaning is on the rise. The percentage of men who say they do most of the household cleaning has risen from 17% in 2006 to 31% in 2011.

This increase is in line with Mintel Inspire’s Men Shopping Badly trend. “The next generation of men are coming of age in an era when gender roles are less rigidly defined and men are set to become only more domestic,” notes Alexandra Smith, managing editor, Mintel Inspire. “The assumption of men relying upon partners to shop—or even having partners in the first place—is in need of revision. Brands that have long assumed their target audience to be women may need to take a second look at who’s pushing the grocery cart.”

Additionally, 55% of men who do household cleaning say cleaning the house give them a sense of accomplishment (compared to 62% of women) and 26% describe it as a thankless chore. Regardless of sex, most household cleaners would be interested in speeding up the process, as almost half (42%) would be willing to pay extra for any product that makes cleaning faster.

“Retailers either haven’t tried, or haven’t figured out how to communicate with men—who like to clean as much as women do,” says David Lockwood, senior analyst at Mintel. “Of course, they aren’t as likely to clean, but the percentage of men who really enjoy cleaning is just as high as it is for women. These facts reveal that men remain an underexploited household cleaning target and the barriers to men’s increased involvement in household cleaning are not great.”

[Source:  Research conducted by Mintel Inspire.  23 June 2011.  Web.  27 June 2011.]