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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brian Sansoni, 202-662-2517 or bsansoni@cleaning101.com

Upswing in Spring Cleaning

  • SDA Survey Says 3/4 of Americans Engage in Spring Cleaning, Up from 2/3 in Past Years
  • 86% of Women, 68% of Men Say They Take Part in Annual Cleaning Ritual
  • Cleaning Behind Furniture, Washing Windows Top Task Lists
  • Respondents Say They’d Give Up $100, Dining Out for a Month to Hire Someone Else to Spring Clean

Summary/Key Findings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 3, 2008 – Maybe we’ve been putting off cleaning a little too long.

Seventy-seven percent of Americans say they regularly engage in spring cleaning, according to The Soap and Detergent Association’s (SDA) 2008 Spring Cleaning Survey, conducted by International Communications Research (ICR). That number is up considerably from SDA’s 2002 and 2007 surveys, when 65 percent said they regularly spring clean.

Gender-wise, 86 percent of women say they spring clean, compared to 68 percent of the guys. Clearly, more people are seeing the value of a good, seasonal cleaning of house and home.

Move the Couch, Dear

And what tasks are Americans including in their spring cleaning to-do lists?

Among those surveyed who spring clean, cleaning behind the furniture (84%), washing windows (80%), cleaning appliances (76%) and floors (76%), and washing bedclothes/linens (75%) topped the list of spring cleaning chores.

“When it comes to cleaning, consumers want to save time. Spring cleaning does not have to be a monumental chore, as long as you plan ahead,” said Nancy Bock, SDA Vice President of Education. “Pick the right cleaning products for the right job. Take it one room, one cleaning task at a time. You’ll finish up faster if you tackle each spring cleaning project separately.”

Spring Cleaning: Saving Time, Helping the Community

Americans apparently see a lot of value in spring cleaning.

More than eight out of ten of those who spring clean agree (46% strongly agree, 36% somewhat agree) with the statement that a good spring cleaning helps them save time throughout the year. Ninety-three percent acknowledge that a good spring cleaning makes keeping a clean home throughout the year an easier job. And 96 percent say that good spring cleaning includes discarding or donating items they don’t need.

“Consumers are seeking ways to contribute to society now more than ever,” added SDA’s Bock. “Spring cleaning is a perfect time to donate excess items in your home to someone in need.”

Cleaning Products: Consumers Are Looking for Quality

Effectiveness is the most important quality consumers look for in their cleaning products, according to 75 percent of SDA survey respondents (in a multiple choice question). Other important characteristics include multi-purpose products (54%), cost (52%), convenience (49%), scent or fragrance (46%), and time saving attributes (45%).

Take My Chore, Please

If consumers could hire someone to take care of one spring cleaning chore, it would be washing the windows, according to 47 percent of respondents. Cleaning the bathroom (23%) was a distant second, followed by cleaning the kitchen (12%), dusting (8%) and mopping (7%).

Here’s A Hundred Bucks – Take Care of My Spring Cleaning

What would you be most willing to give up in order to be able to hire someone to do your spring cleaning? Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed said, “one hundred dollars.” One-quarter said they’d give up dining out for month, 19 percent would take a pass on concert tickets, and nine percent would forego a weekend trip.

“Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to spring clean,” said SDA’s Nancy Bock. “Consumers have more choices of effective products and more information at their fingertips than they ever have before. Just make sure you read the product safety and usage information, use the product as directed, and store it properly and securely.”

More information on the safe, proper and beneficial use of cleaning and disinfecting products is available on SDA’s website at www.cleaning101.com.
 

The 2008 Spring Cleaning Survey was completed for The Soap and Detergent Association by International Communications Research (ICR). ICR questioned 1,013 American adults (507 men and 506 women) via telephone in January/February 2008. When asked if they spring clean, 77% of the 1,013 said yes. That question has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent. The remaining survey questions were asked only to the 777 individuals who spring clean (352 men and 425 women). Those questions have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.52 percent

# # #

The Soap and Detergent Association (www.cleaning101.com), the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Product and Oleochemical Industries®, is the non-profit trade association representing manufacturers of household, industrial, and institutional cleaning products, their ingredients and finished packaging; oleochemical producers; and chemical distributors to the cleaning product industry. SDA members produce more than 90 percent of the cleaning products marketed in the U.S. The SDA is located at 1500 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005.


 

The Soap and Detergent Association
2008 National Spring Cleaning Survey Findings

This independent consumer research study was completed in January/February 2008, on behalf of The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), by International Communications Research (ICR).

Do you regularly engage in spring cleaning?
This survey question was asked of 1,013 American adults (507 men and 506 women) and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

Results:

  • Yes (77%)
  • No (23%)

Insights:

  • The number of spring cleaners is up. In polls taken in 2002 and 2007, 65% of Americans reported regularly engaging in spring cleaning. In 2008, three-quarters say they regularly spring clean.
  • More women spring clean (86%) then men (68%).

The following survey questions were asked only to 777 individuals who spring clean, 352 men and 425 women of the original 1,013. The questions have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.52 percent.

Which of the following are included in your spring cleaning?

Results:

  • Cleaning behind furniture (84%)
  • Washing windows (80%)
  • Cleaning appliances (76%)
  • Scrubbing floors (76%)
  • Washing bedclothes/linens (75%)
  • Cleaning fabrics/upholstered surfaces (66%)
  • Washing curtains (63%)
  • Cleaning the garage (53%)
  • Cleaning the basement (42%)

Insights:

  • Priorities are approximately the same for men and women.
  • Appliances, floors and bed linens are more important for women; as are the garages and basements for men.

Which of the following qualities are important in choosing spring cleaning products?

Results:

  • Effectiveness (75%)
  • Multi-purpose (54%)
  • Cost (52%)
  • Convenience (49%)
  • Scent/fragrance (46%)
  • Time-saving (45%)
  • Brand (39%)
  • Sustainability benefits (38%)

Insights:

  • People desire effective, multi-purpose products to get their spring cleaning accomplished.

For each of the following, please indicate if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree:

  • 93% agree, and 63% strongly agree, that a good spring cleaning makes keeping a clean home throughout the year an easier job.
  • 82% agree, with 46% strongly agreeing, that a good spring cleaning helps them save time throughout the year.
  • 96% agree, and 76% strongly agree, that a good spring cleaning includes discarding or donating items they don’t need.
  • 93% agree, with 61% strongly agreeing that, spring cleaning makes it easier to determine the condition of their belongings.

If you could hire someone to do one of the following spring cleaning chores, what would it be?

Results:
 

  • Washing windows (47%)
  • Cleaning the bathrooms (23%)
  • Cleaning the kitchen (12%)
  • Dusting (8%)
  • Mopping (7%)

Insights:

  • More women would have someone wash windows or clean the kitchen, while men would rather avoid bathroom duty.

Which of the following would you be most willing to give up in order to be able to hire someone to do your spring cleaning?

Results:

  • One hundred dollars (29%)
  • Dining out for a month (26%)
  • Concert tickets (19%)
  • A weekend trip (9%)

Insights:
 

  • One quarter would give up dining out for a month in order to hire someone to handle their spring cleaning for them.