Americans adjusting laundry methods to save energy

In ever-increasing numbers, American consumers are deciding that it’s important to be clean and green. A recent survey from the Soap and Detergent Association shows that Americans are taking numerous steps to make their laundry habits more environmentally friendly.

The National Cleaning Survey reveals that more U.S. households are laundering in cold water and switching to multi-purpose cleaning products. Echo Research questioned 1,000 American adults, including 500 men and 500 women, asking what changes, if any, they have made to their cleaning routines in the past year.

According to the survey:

  • 58 percent are washing laundry in cold water more frequently.
  • 41 percent have switched to multi-purpose cleaning products.
  • 38 percent use refillable cleaning products.
  • 36 percent bought high-efficiency or energy-efficient washers or dryers.
  • 29 percent do laundry less frequently.


  • 12 percent make their own cleaning products.

“Consumers are making conscious decisions about cleaning products and practices that support their beliefs,” says Nancy Bock, SDA Vice President of Education. “They are not choosing products as they did in the past.”

Additionally, 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, vs. 38 percent who say they never have read the package. When SDA last asked that question in 2003, 49 percent said they had not read the detergent directions.

“Cleaning products are changing. Reading the label takes the guesswork out of dosage,” says 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:


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