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2005 Spring Cleaning Survey

Offspring Cleaning: Like Mother, Like Child?

The Soap and Detergent Association’s (SDA) National Spring Cleaning Survey Reveals Generational Similarities, Differences

  • 56% Percent of Us Clean Like Mom
  • 55% Use Different Cleaning Products
  • Modern Day Products, Wider Variety Make Cleaning Easier

LINK TO SURVEY SUMMARY

WASHINGTON, DC – March 9, 2005 – More than half of Americans surveyed say they clean much like their mothers did years ago – but many of us are using different types of cleaning products than Mom did.

These are a few of the results gleaned from The Soap and Detergent Association’s (SDA) 2005 Spring Cleaning Survey, conducted for SDA by International Communications Research (ICR).

Fifty-six percent of the respondents said they clean in much the same manner as their mothers did, while 41 percent said the opposite. But 55 percent said that they use different types of cleaning products than the previous generation of house cleaners used.

When asked in what ways they most differ from Mom, respondents cited as their top answers:

  • Cleaning less frequently than their mothers did (17%)
  • More modern conveniences that make cleaning easier (13%)
  • A wider variety of cleaning products available (10%)
  • Cleaning today is easier (10%)

“Cleaning your home is a whole lot easier than it used to be,” said Nancy Bock, SDA Vice President of Education. “Because we have so many convenient cleaning products available today, we are not limited in our product choice the way our mothers were."

How have our cleaning lives become easier? Some recent innovations include:

  1. Electrostatic Mops and Mitts: These time and effort-saving devices make dusting and sweeping a breeze.
  2. A World of Wipes: Recent SDA research revealed that 66% of Americans have used a cleaning or hygiene wipe at least once.
  3. Dishwashing Devices: Dishwashing powders, liquids, tablets and stain removers have made automatic dishwashing a snap. And for those who wash dishes by hand, there are hand dish wipes, pre-treating stain fighters, automated brushes, and vitamin and protein-enhanced dish liquids.
  4. Laundry List: From new high efficiency detergents to pre-wash and in-wash stain and soil removers, Americans have more choice than ever before when it comes to the laundry bin.
  5. Surface Specialties: From wood to windows, leather to laminate, there are specialized cleaners for every room and board in the house.

Products Change, Habits Stay the Same

While the range of cleaning products continues to evolve, our cleaning habits remain similar, according to SDA’s research. For example, people claim to still do dishes and clean bathrooms in the same way, and our cleaning routines are much the same as our mothers.

“When it comes to cleaning, parents are a big influence in our behaviors. And when it comes to product selection, we have the industry to thank. The innovation and science behind the products make it easy to clean our home more effectively and efficiently,” said Bock.

More Survey Data

  • More women (62%) than men (50%) feel they clean in much the same manner as their mothers.
  • The older the respondent, the more different they feel they clean than their mothers did. The younger the respondent, the more they feel they clean the same way.
  • 6% of households claim that someone else cleans their home (as the primary difference between how they clean versus their mother).
  • 10% feel that nothing is different today from the way their mother cleaned.

www.cleaning101.com

SDA offers useful spring cleaning tips on disinfecting, laundry and fabric care, dishwashing, and proper home and workplace hygiene, at www.cleaning101.com.

SDA reminds consumers that the easiest way to get the most value out of their cleaning products is to read the product label directions. You want to make sure you’re using them effectively, properly, and most importantly, safely.


About the Survey: The 2005 National Spring Cleaning Survey was completed for The Soap and Detergent Association by International Communications Research (ICR). ICR questioned 1,027 American male and female heads of household regarding their house cleaning attitudes. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

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The Soap and Detergent Association (www.cleaning101.com), the U.S. Home of the Cleaning Products IndustrySM, is the non-profit trade association representing manufacturers of household, industrial, and institutional cleaning products; their ingredients and finished packaging; and oleochemical producers. 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.

 

Spring 2005 National Cleaning Survey Findings

The independent consumer research study was completed in December 2004, on behalf of The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), by International Communications Research (ICR). The initial survey question was asked of 1,021 American adults (509 men and 512 women). The subsequent data is based on responses given by 657 individuals who indicated they had used a wipe product. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percent, unless otherwise noted.

The following questions were asked of 1,027 American adults (515 men and 512 women). The independent consumer research study was completed in January 2005, on behalf of The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), by International Communications Research (ICR). The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

In general, would you say you use the same or different cleaning products that your mom did when you were growing up?

Results:

  • Different, in general (55%)
  • Same, in general (37%)
  • Don’t know (6%)
  • Neither (2%)

Insight:

  • Significantly more women (60%) feel they are different from their moms in this regard.
  • The older the respondent, the more different they feel they cleaned than their mothers. The younger the respondent, the more they feel they clean the same way their moms did.

In general, would you say that you clean in much the same manner as your mom did when you were growing up?

Results:

  • Yes, in much the same manner (56%)
  • No (41%)
  • Don’t know (3%)

Insight:

  • More women (62%) feel they clean in much the same manner as their mothers. Based on question 1, one might conclude that the one of the major differences is the type of cleaning product used today versus 20 years ago.

In what way would you say the way you clean today most DIFFERS with the way your mom cleaned when you were a child?

Results:

  • Cleaning habits (32 %)
  • I clean less frequently as mom did (17%)
  • Someone else cleans (6%)
  • I clean better (3%)
  • Cleaning products (17%)
  • There is a wider variety of cleaning products today (10%)
  • My brands are different (6%)
  • My cleaning products are better (1%)
  • I have more modern conveniences (13%)
  • Cleaning today is easier (10%)
  • Nothing is different (10%)
  • Don’t know (13%)


Insight:

  • In general, respondents attribute their better cleaning to better products and modern conveniences. People do feel that they do not necessarily clean as frequently or thoroughly, but it is easier for them then it was for their mothers.

In what way would you say the way you clean today is most SIMILAR to the way your mom cleaned when you were a child?

Results:

  • Cleaning habits (30%)
  • The way we do dishes, bathrooms, etc. (11%)
  • Same cleaning routine (8%)
  • Same thoroughness (8%)
  • Using the same products and brands (12%)
  • Clean about the same amount of time (12%)
  • Families have the same needs (4%)
  • Learned from mom (3%)
  • Nothing similar (12%)
  • Don’t know (21%)

Insight:

  • We learn our cleaning habits from mom. While products and brands have changed overall, we will clean on the same days of the week and for about the same amount of time – but perhaps not quite as often.