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2002 Spring Cleaning Survey

Two-Thirds of Americans Plan on Spring Cleaning;
Top Reason: "It Just Needs To Be Done"

Soap and Detergent Association Reports That Cleaning Kitchen, Living Rooms Top The Priority List

Washington, DC – Nearly two-thirds of Americans engage in the ritual of spring cleaning, with the kitchen and living rooms at the top of the to-do list, according to a new survey released by The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA,

The study, conducted by International Communications Research, revealed other intriguing dirt-free demographics:

  • Overall, the rooms that receive top spring cleaning priority are the kitchen, the living room, the master bedroom and the bathrooms
  • Women ages 35-54 and men 18-24 and 55-64 are most likely to spring clean,
  • The kitchen and bathroom are the most rewarding rooms for women to clean,
  • The garage and basement are the most rewarding rooms for men to clean, but the least rewarding for women, and
  • The No. 1 reason listed for spring cleaning, "It just needs to be done."

"SDA's latest National Cleaning Survey shows that the ritual of spring cleaning is often 'event cleaning,' when people decide that there is one room or one project that needs their attention, and they just can't put it off any more," said Brian Sansoni, SDA's Vice President of Communication and Education.

"Fortunately, today's specialized, convenient cleaning products make it easier and faster to get rid of a winter's worth of dust and dirt, and the triggers that cause allergies and asthma."

Product Trends and Developments

Where House Cleaning Meets Aromatherapy. Fresh, sophisticated and exotic are terms used to describe the fragrances of today's cleaning products. Complementing traditional scents such as lemon and pine, new scents appeal to a new generation of homeowners' sense of smell with the bouquets of fresh herbs, fruits and flowers.

Antibacterial Benefits. Designed to kill harmful germs and bacteria throughout the house, consumers will find a wider variety of antibacterial cleaning products on their grocery and drug store shelves. These germ-fighting formulations are found in many home care products, including window, upholstery and countertop cleaners, in addition to commonly used hand soaps.

"Since the very first antibacterial bar soap was introduced in 1948, and the first branded disinfectant product was produced and distributed back in 1889, this product category has been a major contributor to improved health over the years," noted Sansoni. "These products continue to be a part of America's good hygiene."

Wiping the Estate Clean. People who value convenience are making "wipes" one of the top trends of today. Wipes for glass, furniture, floors and even leather upholstery are popping up on supermarket shelves. Great for dirt-conscious consumers, these disposable towelettes can be thrown away with the germs. Single-use dust mitts, dry cloths that fit over one's hand, also are an innovation gaining lots of consumer applause.

Clean Sweep. All-in-one mops are making a splash for their convenience and ease-of-use. These electro-static mops use cloths or sheets to clean dusty floors of all types.

Some of the newest products on the market are all-in-one battery operated floor cleaning appliances, with cleaning pads and ready-to-use cleaning solutions that work with the touch of a button. How it works: The clean solution dissolves the soil, and the pad absorbs the dirty solution, so as not to spread it around on the floor.

"Each of these advancements is enhancing Americans' desire and ability to effectively clean their entire homes," said Sansoni. "Spring cleaning has never been easier, and the image and practice of cleaning house have been taken to a higher level."

The Right Product for the Job

Because no single product can provide optimum performance on all surfaces and soils, it is important to select the right product for the job. The Soap and Detergent Association recommends consumers read product labels, which provide answers to questions, including directions for use. Other labeling facts include storage, environmental, safety and disposal information.

Using the correct cleaning tool also makes cleaning faster and easier. There are a variety of options to choose from, so consumers can find the products that work best for them.

Too Busy to Clean?

Twenty-two percent of women and eleven percent of men claimed they are too busy to spring clean. The SDA has suggestions for those people who are always on the go.

  • First, schedule time to clean on your agenda in advance, just as you would any business or personal appointment.
  • Prioritize the list of jobs and cleaning supplies needed to complete them.
  • Save time by making the best use of regular grocery and drug store visits and purchasing everything necessary to fill the supply closet at once.