American Cleaning Institute - For Better Living

2007 Spring Cleaning Survey

Is Your Home Guest-Ready or Guest-Grimy?

The Soap and Detergent Association’s (SDA) Spring Cleaning Survey Reveals
Misperceptions About Whose House is Really Ready for Company

Key Findings:

  • 72% have felt that someone else’s home was unusually dirty
  • 38% have been embarrassed by their own unclean home in front of guests
  • 65% of Americans routinely engage in spring cleaning
  • When it comes to spring cleaning, consumers rate the following as priority areas:               
    ? Kitchen (37%), Living Room (19%), Bedrooms (14%)
  • 23% say kitchen cleaning is their most rewarding task; cleaning the garage is least rewarding

Summary/Key Findings

WASHINGTON, DC – March 20, 2007 – My neighbor’s home is dirtier than mine.  That’s one takeaway from The Soap and Detergent Association’s (SDA) 2007 Spring Cleaning Survey.

Among 1,014 adults surveyed by International Communications Research (ICR) for SDA, 72% say they have visited someone’s home and felt it was “unusually dirty or unclean.”  Conversely, less than 40% of the same respondents admitted that they have been embarrassed by their own unclean homes when unexpected guests have dropped by.

“Cleanliness is often in the eyes of the beholder,” said Brian Sansoni, SDA Vice President of Communication.  “We get so used to our surroundings that we ‘don’t see’ the dust bunnies in the corners, streaks on the glass and stains on the walls.  It seems to be much easier to spot those at the homes of our families and friends.” 

Coming Clean with Advice

SDA’s Cleaning Survey also discovered that 71% of respondents would use advice that helps makes it easier for them to keep a home that is ready for guests all year long.  SDA offers the following tips, adapted from our online “Cleaning The House: Room by Room Tour,” which can be found at   Before cleaning, make sure you read the product label directions carefully so it’s used safely, properly and effectively.


  • Simply ask your family not to drop everything in the front hall the moment they walk in the door.  
  • Strategically place a rug or door mat to catch dirt and other particles tracked in from the outside.
  • Stock your cleaning closet with items that will help touch up this area, such as an electrostatic dry mop, glass cleaner, general purpose cleaner and dust wipes.


  • To clean areas such as countertops, sprays or wipes are easy to use.  For tough stains, use a cleaning pad embedded with a stain-busting multi-purpose cleaner.  To clean larger areas such as floors or walls, powders or liquids mixed in a pail of water are more efficient.   Following the product directions carefully.
  • Keep a container of wipes on the counter for use in a pinch.

Living Room:

  • Clean your wood furniture on a regular basis by using a clean cloth with furniture polish on it or use furniture wipes – specifically designed for wood surfaces.  For a quick dust-up, use an electrostatic dust mitt or sheet.
  • Wood floors should be cared for according to the type of wood they are made of. Some simply require a light vacuuming, while others may need additional care, using a specially-formulated wood floor cleaning product.  Carpets should be vacuumed frequently to remove dirt and grit particles which are ground in with every footstep and weaken carpet fibers.  To help remove tough stains, spray a carpet stain product as quickly as you can after a spill.  And try a fabric refresher to tackle lingering odors.


  • Using an in-tank continuous cleaner will maintain the freshness of the bowl every day.  Or try toilet cleaners with specially-designed disposable pads packed with cleaning power. 
  • Use a daily shower cleaner to keep shower and tub surfaces free of soap scum, mildew stains and hard water deposits.  For stubborn stains or soap film buildup, spray a bathroom cleaner to thoroughly penetrate the soil, then rub or scour.

Spring Cleaning Priorities and Rewards – 2/3 Still Spring Clean

Over the years, the percentage of Americans who routinely engage in spring cleaning has stayed the same, about 65%.  According to this year’s study, priority rooms include the kitchen (37%), living room (19%) and bedrooms (14%), which is consistent with how Americans ranked these rooms in the same survey conducted five years ago.  Other priorities include bathrooms (12%) and the family room (8%).

Most and least rewarding tasks also remained constant.  Atop the list of most rewarding tasks are cleaning the kitchen (23%), doing the laundry (14%), cleaning the garage or basement (12%, primarily men), cleaning the bathroom (12%), sweeping/mopping the floors (8%), washing the windows (7%) and doing the dishes (6%).

SDA offers useful spring cleaning tips on surface cleaning, disinfecting, laundry and fabric care, dishwashing, and proper home and workplace hygiene, at   A guide to safe and effective use of household cleaning products, Clean and Safe in the 21st Century, can be found online at

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About SDA
The Soap and Detergent Association (, the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products IndustrySM, is the non-profit trade association representing manufacturers of household, industrial, and institutional cleaning products, their ingredients and finished packaging; oleochemical producers; and chemical distributors to the cleaning product industry. 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.

About the Survey
The 2007 Spring Cleaning Survey was completed for The Soap and Detergent Association by International Communications Research (ICR).  ICR questioned 1,014 American male and female heads of household in March 2007 regarding their house cleaning attitudes. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

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Spring 2007 National Cleaning Survey Findings

The following questions were asked of 1,014 American adults (511 men and 503 women).  The independent consumer research study was completed in March 2007, 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.

Do you regularly engage in spring cleaning?

  1. Yes (65%)
  2. No  (35%)

Demographic Insight:

  1. More women (71%) than men (58%) regularly engage in spring cleaning.

If you had advice that would make it easy for you to help keep your home cleaner all year long, would you use it?


  1. Yes (71%)
  2. No (23%)
  3. Don’t Know (6%)

Demographic Insight:

    1. More women (76%) than men (65%) would use cleaning advice; however, the “yes” response rate for both genders was extremely high.

Have you ever been embarrassed because you felt your house wasn’t clean enough for unplanned guests?


    1. Yes (38%)
    2. No (61%)
    3. Don’t Know/Refused (1%)

Demographic Insights:

  1. More women (46%) than men (31%) agreed that they have been embarrassed because their home wasn’t clean enough.  

Have you ever been to someone else’s home and felt that it was unusually dirty or unclean?


  1. Yes (72%)
  2. No (27%)
  3. Don’t Know/Refused (1%)

When it comes to spring cleaning, which room do you consider your top priority?


  1. Kitchen                                                 37%
  2. Living Room                                         19%
  3. Bedroom (master, children’s)                 14%
  4. Bathrooms                                            12%
  5. Family Room                                         8%
  6. Entire house                                           2%
  7. Basement                                              1%
  8. Garage                                                  1%
  9. Other/Don’t Know                                6%

Demographic Insight:

  1. Women (44%) overwhelmingly believe that cleaning the kitchen is the top priority, whereas men are split between the kitchen and living room (28% and 25%, respectively) as the top priority.

Which of the following cleaning tasks is MOST rewarding to you?


  1. Cleaning the kitchen                               23%
  2. Laundry                                                 14%
  3. Cleaning the garage or basement            12%
  4. Cleaning the bathroom                           12%
  5. Sweeping/mopping floors                       8%
  6. Washing the windows                             7%
  7. Washing/drying the dishes                       6%
  8. Dusting furniture                                     3%
  9. None of the Above/Don’t Know            15%

Demographic Insight:

  1. Men find that cleaning the garage or basement is the most rewarding task (22%), while women believe cleaning the kitchen is the most rewarding (27%).

Which of the following cleaning tasks is LEAST rewarding to you?


  1. Cleaning the garage or basement            20%
  2. Cleaning the bathroom                           18%
  3. Washing the windows                            15%
  4. Laundry                                                 12%
  5. Dusting furniture                                     10%
  6. Washing/drying the dishes                       8%
  7. Sweeping/mopping floors                        5%
  8. Cleaning the kitchen                                4%
  9. None of the Above/Don’t Know             8%      

Demographic Insight:

  • For women, cleaning the garage/basement is tops in the least rewarding category (24%); for the guys, it ranks second for least rewarding (16%).  Ranking first for the guys: cleaning the bathroom (18%).


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