For Valentine's Day, SDA Advises Couples to Spread Love, Not Germs; Women and Men Reveal Their Heartfelt Attitudes on Hygiene and Cleanliness

WASHINGTON -- According to research conducted on behalf of The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), nearly half (46 percent) of Americans are more concerned about personal hygiene and cleanliness than in years past. So, as Valentine's Day falls in the heart of cold and flu season, the SDA provides advice for the millions of Americans who plan to hold hands, kiss their sweetheart or spend time at home.

"Valentine's Day is the perfect time to remind ourselves how to prevent germs from spreading from person to person," said SDA vice president of communication Brian Sansoni. "As we set the scene for romance, the words 'get fresh' take on a whole new meaning."

According to SDA research, 45 percent of Americans are washing their hands more than in years past to better maintain their personal cleanliness. That's good news for holiday hand-holders, because hand washing is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as one of the most important means of preventing germs from spreading. SDA reminds Americans of the proper way to wash up.

1. Wet hands and apply liquid, bar or powder soap.

2. Rub hands together vigorously, and scrub all surfaces.

3. Continue for 20 seconds.

4. Rinse well under running water.

5. Dry hands using a paper towel or air dryer.

6. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.

If soap and water are not available, consider wipes or gel formulas to clean your hands.

"Spread love, not germs," said Sansoni, "and you'll live happier, healthier lives together."

The Soap and Detergent Association is the non-profit trade association representing over 100 manufacturers of household, industrial, and institutional cleaning products; their ingredients; and finished packaging.

The research was conducted by International Communications Research in Media, Pennsylvania. One thousand women and men were surveyed, with a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

Source: Soap and Detergent Association