News-Releases Index | Dow Chemical Company
New Global Study from Dow Reveals Consumer Perceptions and Habits around Textile Odor Removal and Prevention (9/27/18)
Dow Microbial Control, a global business unit of DowDuPont Specialty Products Division, has unveiled
new consumer research into odor control perceptions and habits across three global markets: China
(including Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing), the United States and Japan. International research firm
Anerca examined the concept of odor control in the three countries, surveying everything from which
odors people worry most about and consumers appetite for advancements in built-in odor prevention
For the majority of consumers – 61% – removing smells or odors is their most important laundry goal.
Further, a very significant majority (82%) of people attribute these odors to “body chemistry, body oils,
body odor or sweat.” The most disliked smells, including body odor or mustiness/mildew, emerge as
almost universally problematic – both were identified by over 90% of consumers across all countries as
a problem in their households. However, despite the attention on these issues, the majority of global
consumers do not consider their current odor solutions to be very effective.
“Once odor buildup occurs in a fabric, it’s nearly impossible to remove,” said Karel Williams, global
marketing and business development director, Microbial Control. “Our research showed that removing
smells or odors is one of the key primary laundry goals around the world, when in reality it is much
more effective to stop these odors before they have a chance to latch onto our fabrics.”
The leader in odor prevention is INTELLIFRESHTM built-in odor protection, which allows customers –
manufacturers of everything from towels, sheets and apparel to carpets, uniforms and activewear – to
get ahead of odors by preventing odor-causing bacteria from forming on fabric surfaces. The
protection, which is enabled by Dow Microbial Control’s SilvadurTM technology, begins by absorbing
odors that may already be on the fabric and then attacking the bacteria to reduce continued odor
formation or buildup. This value-added protection helps fabrics stay clean and fresh smelling longer,
meaning they may not need to be washed as frequently, which saves water and energy – a benefit for
you, your textiles and the environment.
Anerca’s research showed an opportunity for manufacturers to educate consumers about the need for
odor prevention at the source. The study found “very/extremely” high levels of interest in built-in
protection against odors and an overwhelming willingness to pay a premium for pre-treated clothing,
footwear and home fabrics. According to the research, 75% of consumers would pay more for clothing
or footwear treated with INTELLIFRESHTM odor protection, and 79% would pay more for pre-treated
New Global Study from Dow Reveals Consumer Perceptions and Habits around Textile Odor Removal
and Prevention home fabrics. They would be willing to spend 27% more for clothing and 22% more for
home fabrics that are treated.
Another significant area of the research centered on water temperatures in residential laundry.
Consumers do laundry frequently (on average 17 times per month across the three countries), but they
tend to avoid using hot water on a regular basis. Over 4 in ten typically wash clothes and home fabrics
in cold water, about 30% in warm water and only 5-10% in hot water. Despite these numbers,
consumers do believe that hot water is best for removing odors.
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