News Masthead


April 7, 2010 02:55 PM

Contact: Brian Sansoni, 202-662-2517 / 202-680-9327 or

Americans Making Changes in How They Clean Their Homes and Wash Their Clothes

  • Steps Towards Sustainability: SDA Survey Shows Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Habits Are Gaining a Foothold with Consumers
  • Big Jump in Number of People Reading Detergent Directions

Summary/Key Findings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 7, 2010 – Whether it’s the impact of the economy or increased environmental awareness, American consumers seem to be making some changes to their cleaning and laundry habits.

The latest National Cleaning Survey from The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA – finds that more U.S. households are laundering in cold water and switching to multi-purpose and refillable cleaning products.

Echo Research questioned 1,008 American adults (500 men and 508 women) via telephone February 25-28, 2010. Consumers were asked what changes, if any, they have made to their cleaning or laundry routines in the past year (respondents could choose more than one option):

  • Wash laundry in cold water more frequently (58%)
  • Switch to multi-purpose cleaning products (41%)
  • Use refillable cleaning products (38%)
  • Bought high efficiency or energy efficient washer or dryer (36%)
  • Do laundry less frequency (29%)
  • Make your own cleaning products (12%)

"Consumers are making conscious decisions about cleaning products and practices that support their beliefs," said Nancy Bock, SDA Vice President of Education. "They are not choosing products as they did in the past. Eco-friendly is out – and eco-easy is in."

Headed in the Right Direction

Americans seem to be reading their detergent label directions a lot more than in the past. The 2010 SDA survey shows 62 percent of respondents say they have read the directions on a package of laundry detergent, versus 38 percent who said they never have. When SDA last asked that question in 2003, 49 percent said they had not read the detergent package directions.

"Cleaning products are changing. Reading the label takes the guesswork out of dosage," said SDA’s Nancy Bock. "With newer detergent products introduced in recent years, it’s more important than ever to read the label and use the proper amount of detergent in the washer."

Visit SDA’s website for information on laundry and fabric care products at

The 2010 National 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. 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


The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA –, 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.