According to the cleaning mavens at Proctor and Gamble, Italian women spend 21 hours a week on household chores as opposed to Americans who spend just four. Italian women supposedly wash their kitchen and bathroom floors at least four times a week. American women just once. Some of our Italian relatives don’t have dishwashers, believing that hand-washing may be better. Perhaps even calming and therapeutic.
Italians still hang their laundry out to dry and iron nearly all their wash, even socks and sheets. They don’t understand our obsession with plug in “air fresheners” and don’t believe that food odors are offensive. They open their windows to let the fresh air in even if they live in the cities.
Italians also spend time sweeping the sidewalks and streets in front of their entry ways and like to use traditional cleaning supplies. In Italy the Swiffer Wet Mop was such a flop that the company took it off the market. According to Federica Rossi Gasparrini, chair of Federcasalinghe (Housewives’ Association) “No (Italian) woman will forgo a clean house, even if she works. It’s part of love for the family.”