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March 17, 2010 02:58 PM

Survey: Removing Clutter Is Top Reason for Spring Cleaning

  • 60% Still Regularly Engage in Spring Cleaning, Survey Says
  • Survey Shows How Long We Devote to Spring Cleaning
  • Tips to Tackle the ABCs of Spring Cleaning: Allergens, Bacteria, Clutter

Summary/Key Findings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 17, 2010 – After a long winter, consumers are ready to tackle the clutter.

Sixty-percent of Americans surveyed for The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA – www.cleaninginstitute.org) say they regularly engage in spring cleaning. Echo Research questioned 1,008 American adults (500 men and 508 women) via telephone on February 25-28, 2010.

Among that group, removing clutter, thoroughly cleaning the house, and eliminating asthma and allergy triggers are the top three reasons for engaging in ritual of spring cleaning.

"Tackling allergens, bacteria and clutter are the ‘ABCs’ of spring cleaning," said Nancy Bock, SDA Vice President of Education. "Take the time to map out your cleaning tasks. Put a reminder on your smartphone. Having a schedule can help you clean more effectively and efficiently."

Check Your Spring Cleaning Calendar

How long does it take spring cleaners to finish the job? Of the 595 Americans surveyed who said they plan to spring clean, 65 percent will get it done within a week. Thirteen percent say it will only take them a day. At the other end of the spectrum, 11 percent say it’ll take them a month or more to get things cleaned up.

"Whether it takes you a day or a week, have fun while you clean," said SDA’s Nancy Bock. "Plug in your earbuds and enjoy the music while you go about cleaning your home."

ABCs of Clean

However long it takes you, SDA has a few suggestions for addressing the ABCs of spring cleaning.

A is for Asthma and Allergy Triggers

During this challenging winter, many of us were snowed in with our pets, whose dander is one of the most common triggers of asthma and allergies. Compound that with a few months of everyday dust and the tiniest unwelcome guests who seek shelter in our homes during cold weather, and it’s time to do away with the "A."

Have an allergen control plan. Clean one room at a time, starting with where an asthma or allergy sufferer sleeps. Wash their bedding and curtains. Dust surfaces and vacuum the carpet clean the window sills and frames. Wet mop the floors.

SDA has extensive online information on removing asthma and allergy triggers at www.cleaninginstitute.org/health/allergies/.

B is for Bacteria

From the front door knob to kitchen counters, the telephone and remote control, SDA recommends giving every surface in your home the thorough cleaning it needs with the goal of reducing the likelihood that bacteria stick around for spring.

Prevent mold and mildew from accumulating in the bathroom by using a daily shower cleaner. Use a disinfectant or products specially designed to remove mold and mildew.

If you’re in the kitchen, give the surfaces a good cleaning and disinfecting. Make sure you allow enough time for the germ kill, per the product label instructions.

C is for Clutter

Sort it out: take everything out of the closet and dresser, out from under the bed and off the shelves and furniture. Put stuff in separate piles. Separate out what you don’t need anymore and donate it if you can.

Keep similar items together so that children know where to find things. Put items inside drawers, closets, covered boxes or plastic containers so dust can’t collect on them.

While the furniture surface is clear, use an electrostatic dust sheet or furniture polish or wipes to take care of a winter’s worth of dust.

Visit SDA’s website for more household cleaning tips at www.cleaninginstitute.org.


The 2010 National Spring Cleaning Survey was completed for The Soap and Detergent Association by Echo Research, Inc. Echo questioned 1,008 American adults (500 men and 508 women) via telephone on February 25-28, 2010 on whether or not they plan to spring clean. Among those who said yes, Echo asked several questions to 595 American adults (261 men and 334 women). The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent. A summary of the survey results will be available on SDA’s website at www.cleaninginstitute.org/newsroom.

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The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA – www.cleaninginstitute.org), the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry®, represents the $30 billion U.S. cleaning products market. SDA members include the formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and oleochemical producers. SDA and its members are dedicated to improving health and the quality of life through sustainable cleaning products and practices.