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Contact: Brian Sansoni, 202-662-2517 or

SDA Survey: Wipes Increasingly Work Their Way Around the House

  • Wipe Usage is on the Rise Countrywide – 71% Say They Use Wipes
  • 77% of Americans Who Use Wipes Keep a Container in at Least Two Household Locations; 35% Use Wipes Once Per Day or More
  • Effectiveness, Value and Durability are the Most Desired Product Qualities

Summary/Key Findings

CHICAGO – June 18, 2008 – From our kitchens and bathrooms to our laundry rooms and garages, cleaning wipes are working their way around American households.

According to The Soap and Detergent Association’s (SDA) 2008 National Cleaning Survey, conducted by Echo Research (ER), people most commonly use wipes to clean, disinfect or sanitize kitchen countertops and appliances, bathroom fixtures, their hands, face and skin, furniture, children, floors, windows and clothing.

The results were released at the 2008 World of Wipes International Conference in Chicago.

Of those who use wipes (693 of the 1,008 originally surveyed), 77 percent reported keeping a container of wipes in at least two locations throughout their house, with 17 percent claiming four or more locations.

“Cleaning wipes have become part of the American fabric, so to speak,” says Brian Sansoni, SDA Vice President of Communication. “Not only do they help keep us healthy, they do so conveniently and effectively.”

Americans Still Wild About Wipes

SDA’s research shows that 71 percent of 1,008 Americans surveyed have used a cleaning, disinfecting or antibacterial wipe, which is up from 66 percent in 2004, when SDA conducted its previous wipes survey.

Among wipe users, households with children are more likely to rely on the sanitary sheets, as are households where three or more persons reside. The likelihood of wipes use increases even more in homes with children under the age of 12.

Thirty-five percent report using wipes once per day or more, with 16 percent plucking a wipe more than twice per day.

“From purses and car consoles to countertops and suitcases, there is a wipe where and when we need it,” says Sansoni.

Not surprisingly, when asked which are their favorite uses for cleaning wipes at home, survey respondents cited disinfecting and sanitizing surfaces as number one, followed by kitchen cleaning, bathroom cleaning and wiping up after their children.
What We Love Most About Wipes

During our strolls down the cleaning product aisles, consumers choose their wipes based on cleaning effectiveness (45%), value (22%) and durability (13%). Other factors include brand name (10%) and package size (8%).

The qualities that provide the most utility for American adults include their portability (28%), ease of disposal (20%), certain wipes’ germ-killing ability (17%), multi-purpose functionality (13%) and their fast-acting nature (11%). Others (6%) appreciate the fact that there are specialty wipes for certain household jobs, from stain removal to facial cleansing.

“As our lifestyles continue to evolve, formulators will continue to develop new, innovative applications for wipes,” says Sansoni.

Sustainability Working Its Way Into Wipes

Sansoni added that sustainability-oriented features – which more consumers are looking for in cleaning products – have certainly worked their way into wipes products.

“Wipes that are flushable and biodegradable are turning up on the supermarket shelves,” Sansoni added. “Innovative research and development is the lifeblood of sustainable cleaning products, now and in the years to come.”

Use As Directed

SDA reminds consumers to read the product labels to ensure that they use wipes on the proper surfaces.

More information on the safe, proper and beneficial use of cleaning and disinfecting products is available on SDA’s website at

The SDA National Cleaning Survey was completed for The Soap and Detergent Association by Echo Research (ER). ER questioned 1,008 American adults (504 men and 504 women) via telephone in May 8-11 2008 on whether they had ever used a wipe product. Subsequent questions were asked among 693 American adults who did indicate wipes usage. 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 (, the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Product and Oleochemical Industries®, 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.



The Soap and Detergent Association
2008 National Spring Cleaning Survey Findings
America’s Use of Cleaning Wipes

The first question was asked of 1,008 American adults (504 men and 504 women) and subsequent questions were asked of 693 people who have ever used a wipe. The independent consumer research study was completed May 8-11, 2008, on behalf of The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), by Echo Research. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent. The December 2004 survey (numbers highlighted in red) was conducted by International Communications Research.

Have you ever used any type of cleaning, disinfectant or antibacterial wipe?


  • Yes (71%) up 5% from 2004 (66%)
  • No (28%) down 6% from 2004 (34%)


  • Overall, the number of people have who have used/are using wipes is growing and still has room to grow.
  • All ages, except those 65+, are highly likely to have used wipes. The highest usage group is 25-34 year olds at 79%.
  • Households with children are more likely to use wipes as well. Households with 3 or more persons are 76% likely to have used a wipe; 77% if the children are under 12 years of age.

Which of the following is your favorite characteristic about cleaning wipes? (asked of the 693 people who have ever used a wipe)


  • They can be carried and used anywhere (28%) - down 2% from 2004
  • Dirt and/or grime can easily be disposed of (20%) - down 6% from 2004
  • Certain wipes will kill germs (17%) - up 4% from 2004
  • Certain wipes can be used for many tasks (13%) - up 3% from 2004
  • They can be pulled quickly to get a spill or stain fast (11%) - down 1% from 2004
  • There are specific wipes for specific tasks, such as glass, surfaces, microwaves, etc. (6%) - no change


  • Speed and convenience have grown in importance, even if slightly. Multitasking wipes are valued.

For which of the following do you use wipes at home? (asked of the 693 people who have ever used a wipe)


  • Disinfecting or sanitizing surfaces (80%) - was 81%
  • Cleaning countertops and appliances (75%) - was 76%
  • Cleaning bathroom fixtures (65%) - was 68%
  • Cleaning hands, face or skin (55%) - was 55%
  • Dusting or cleaning furniture (42%) was 44%
  • Cleaning children (34%) n/a
  • Cleaning floors (31%) - was 34%
  • Cleaning cars (29%) - was 35%
  • Cleaning windows (28%) - was 29%
  • Removing clothing stains (9%) - was 12%
  • Dishwashing (8%) - was 7%


  • The top five answers have not changed since 2004.

Which of the following is your favorite use for wipes at home? (asked of the 693 people who have ever used a wipe)


  • Disinfecting or sanitizing surfaces (25%)
  • Cleaning countertops and appliances (24%)
  • Cleaning bathroom fixtures (14%)
  • Cleaning children (10%)
  • Cleaning hands, face or skin (9%)
  • Dusting or cleaning furniture (4%)
  • Cleaning floors (3%)
  • Cleaning cars (3%)
  • Cleaning windows (2%)
  • Removing clothing stains (1%)
  • Dishwashing (1%)


  • Cleaning hands, face or skin was the only significant “favorite” decrease, according to our survey.

How frequently do you use any type of wipe at home? Would you say…(asked of the 693 people who have ever used a wipe)


  • Once per day or more (35%), less than once per day (63%)
  • Once a week (16%) down from 24%
  • Twice a week (14%) down 6% from 20%
  • Once per day (13%) down from 18%
  • More than twice per day (16%) down from 18%


  • Overall, it appears that more people are using wipes, but less frequently.

Which one of the following is the most important when considering your selection of cleaning wipe? (asked of the 693 people who have ever used a wipe)


  • Cleaning effectiveness (45%) from 41%
  • Good value (22%) from 23%
  • Durability (13%) from 10%
  • Brand name (10%) from 15%
  • Package size (8%) from 4%


  • Effectiveness has grown in importance, as has durability and package size.

Are you loyal to a particular brand of cleaning wipe, or do you purchase different brands? (asked of the 693 people who have ever used a wipe)


  • Brand loyal (28%), mostly women (34%); men (20%)
  • Not brand loyal (69%)

In how many locations do you keep a container of wipes? (asked of the 693 people who have ever used a wipe)


  • Two (35%)
  • Three (25%)
  • One (22%)
  • Four or more (17%)


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