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Empathy, and Household Cleaning Products

Posted on February 8, 2018

A new survey shows that doing cleaning chores as a kid increases the likelihood of helping others by 60%. Yes, cleaning can make you a better person.

The study, from Clorox, show that a person's level of empathy is positively associated with living in a clean home and even more so if they are responsible for some aspect of the cleaning.

Not only does a clean environment increase a person's empathy, but there is also a drastic increase in connections and willingness to help others in their communities, proving the simple act of cleaning has beneficial implications far beyond just making our homes less dirty.

For parents, it is probably not surprising to learn that the findings also indicate kids are more productive and better behaved in clean spaces.

  • 59 percent of parents say that their kids study better in a clean room, and
  • 49 percent of parents say that their kids behave better in a clean room.
  • Giving children a clean environment that allows them to thrive at school is critical, but clean impacts children far beyond their early years. Engaging kids in cleaning chores teaches them critical life skills.
  • When a person had cleaning chores as a kid, the likelihood that they will exhibit higher empathy as adults increases by 64 percent, and the likelihood that they will have higher levels of willingness to help others in the community as adults increases by 60 percent.

Measuring the Impact of Clean on Emotions

Beyond connecting us to the people and communities around us, the research findings show that simply being in a clean space impacts us in other key ways. In a clean space, the majority of people are:

  • More relaxed (80 percent),
  • Less stressed (60 percent), and
  • More productive (72 percent)

The research findings may also make you want to volunteer for more cleaning chores around the house. The more people clean, the happier they are. The likelihood someone is happier than average increases by 53 percent for every additional hour that they clean in a week.

To further understand the survey findings, Clorox used the latest biometric technology and analysis to measure the impact of clean and dirty rooms on physiological responses, and how that translates to our emotions.

The results indicated that clean spaces have a marked impact on our emotions. Specifically, in clean spaces there is a measurable increase in happiness and productivity indicators, as well as a decrease in stress indicators.

  • In the clean space, participants experienced an average 45 percent increase in liking and a 44 percent increase in attraction versus the dirty room, both of which are indicators of happiness.
  • Critical thinking, an indicator of productivity, was on average 20 percent higher in the clean room as compared to the dirty room.
  • Disgust, an indicator of stress, was 127 percent lower on average in the clean room as compared to the dirty room.

The Power of Clean in Action

Inspired by the results of this new research, Clorox is bringing people together to show how clean is the beginning in making a difference for deserving causes in their local communities.

In New York, Clorox partnered with local non-profit Thrive Collective and more than 250 volunteers from the local community to clean and transform a former school into a youth arts center earlier this month.

The freshly cleaned space will serve as Thrive Collective's new headquarters and will create new possibilities with arts and mentoring programs for at-risk youth in Harlem.