News Masthead



2005 Wipes Survey

Survey Reveals Why People Are Wild About Wipes 

  • SDA Survey Shows 2/3 of Americans Have Used a Wipe Product
  • Among Wipe Users, Disinfecting, Cleaning Surfaces, Personal Hygiene Are Favorite Uses
  • Favorite Wipe Characteristics: Can Be Carried Anywhere, Easy to Get Rid of Dirt/Germs


WASHINGTON, D.C., January 18, 2005 – Cleaning countertops, disinfecting surfaces, and personal hygiene are among consumers’ favorite uses for wipe products, according to The Soap and Detergent Association’s (SDA) latest National Cleaning Survey.

SDA ( unveiled the survey results at the 2005 VISION Consumer Products Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, sponsored by INDA – the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry.

When asked if they’ve ever used any type of cleaning, disinfectant, or antibacterial wipe, 66 percent of those surveyed said yes.

“Among those consumers who’ve used wipes, 80 percent say they use a wipe at least once a week,” said Brian Sansoni, SDA Vice President of Communication. “More than one-third (36%) use a wipe at home at least once a day.”

What do they like most about wipes?

“An equal amount (26%) like wipes’ portability and how easily you can dispose of dirt or germs,” added Sansoni. “People with on-the-go lifestyles benefit from the ‘take anywhere’ characteristics of wipes. And they love the built-in elbow grease that gets the job done.”

Where the wipes are

Among those who use wipes, SDA asked what was their favorite use for wipes in the home.

The top choices: cleaning countertops/appliances and disinfecting/sanitizing surfaces – 23% each. Rounding out the top five: cleaning hands/face/skin – 17%; cleaning bathroom fixtures – 11%; and dusting/cleaning furniture – 6%.

“With a wide variety of wipe products on the market, manufacturers are continuing to meet consumers’ demand for products that make all kinds of cleaning tasks easier and faster. From killing germs on surfaces, to dusting and polishing furniture, to dishwashing, wipes make everyday cleaning a breeze,” said Sansoni.

Effectiveness Motivates Buying Behavior

The most common factor among wipe users in selecting a cleaning wipe is, not surprisingly, cleaning effectiveness (41%). Shoppers also reported good value (23%) and the brand name (15%) as important factors in choosing a cleaning product. Durability (10%) and package size (4%) were also cited.

More data from the survey is available online at

Safe Cleaning

When it comes to safe and effective cleaning, SDA reminds consumers to read all product label directions carefully. “Take a moment to check the label," says Sansoni. “It’s an easy way to make sure you’re using the product safely, properly and effectively.”

SDA has scores of useful cleaning tips on household cleaning and disinfecting, laundry and fabric care, dishwashing, and proper home and workplace hygiene at its website: Links to SDA members:

Cleaning Wipes 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.

Have you ever used any type of cleaning, disinfectant or antibacterial wipes? (margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%)


  • Yes (66%)
  • No (34%)
  • More women (72%) than men (60%) have ever used a wipe.
  • Younger generations (ages 18-44) are more likely to have used a wipe than older generations (45 and older)


  • While a significant percentage of the population has used wipes, wipe usage still has room to grow in terms of popularity of use among all age groups, household income levels and regions of the country.

Which of the following is your favorite characteristic about cleaning wipes? (asked of those who had reported ever having used a wipe)


  • They can be carried and used anywhere (26%) *the top answer of men (25%)
  • Dirt/germs can be easily disposed of (26%) *the top answer of women (30%)
  • Certain wipes kill germs (13%)
  • They can be pulled quickly to get a stain fast (12%)
  • Certain wipes can be used for many tasks (10%)


  • People with on-the-go lifestyles, including children, benefit from the “take anywhere” characteristics of wipes. There are many applications outside the home, as well as inside.

For which of the following do you use wipes at home? (asked of those who had reported ever having used a wipe)


  • Disinfecting/sanitizing surfaces (81%)
  • Cleaning countertops and appliances (76%)
  • Cleaning bathroom fixtures (68%)
  • Cleaning hands/face/skin (55%)
  • Dusting/cleaning furniture (44%)
  • Cleaning cars (35%)
  • Cleaning floors (34%)
  • Cleaning windows (29%)
  • Removing clothing stains (12%)
  • Dishwashing (7%)


  • Women and men who use wipes have similar cleaning habits, using wipes for basically the same tasks.

Which of the following is your FAVORITE use for wipes at home? (asked of those who had reported ever having used a wipe)


  • Cleaning countertops/appliances (23%)
  • Disinfecting/sanitizing surfaces (23%)
  • Cleaning face/hands/skin (17%)
  • Cleaning bathroom fixtures (11%)
  • Dusting/cleaning furniture (6%)

How frequently do you use any type of wipe at home? (asked of those who had reported ever having used a wipe)


  • Once a week (24%)
  • Twice a week (20%)
  • Once per day (18%)
  • More than twice per day (18%)
  • Once a month (10%)


  • Women and younger consumers are more likely to use wipes more frequently on a weekly/daily basis.

What is the most important factor you consider when selecting a cleaning wipe? (asked of those who had reported ever having used a wipe)


  • Cleaning effectiveness (41%)
  • Good value (23%)
  • Brand name (15%)
  • Durability (10%)
  • Package size (4%)


  • While more women appreciate cleaning effectiveness and durability, more men are attracted to a product’s value. Brand name was equally distributed among the genders.

Are you loyal to a particular brand of cleaning wipes, or do you purchase different brands and types of wipes? (asked of those who had reported ever having used a wipe)


  • Brand loyal (28%)
  • Not brand loyal (70%)
  • More women (31%) are brand loyal than men (24%)


  • The innovative wipes marketplace, including types of and uses for wipes – even product packaging – may impact a consumer’s product choice.