Pat yourselves on the back, Knoxville: According to a new online survey from Alice.com, this Tennessee city cleans up — literally. The e-commerce store for household goods and cleaning supplies tallied up how much Americans all over the country spend on the powders, scrubs and sprays we use to keep our houses sparkling. At $66.95 each month — more than $2 a day — Knoxville residents spend the most, on average, per month. Find out the rest of the top five — along with the dirtiest five places in the country. Coming in slightly behind Knoxville with an average $59.79 spent per month was the Auburn-Opelika area of Alabama. Missoula, Mont., Casper, Wyo. and Springfield, Ill. round out the top five. New York City came in at 29 on the list, with an average monthly expenditure of $32.21. Despite the Big Apple’s reputation for grime, that’s better than the national average of $23.56 per month.
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What are these neatniks buying? According to Alice.com, the top five items purchased are dishwasher cleaner, toilet cleaner, mildew remover, powdered cleaner with bleach and heavy-duty sponges to tackle all that scrubbing.
While Seattle may have the reputation as the birthplace of grunge, it’s actually Pocatello, Id. that gets the distinction of being the dirtiest in this survey. Users spend an average of only $9.88 a month on cleaning supplies — less than one-sixth of what their cleaner counterparts in Knoxville spend. Danville, Va. gets the dubious distinction of second-dirtiest, followed by Rapid City, S.D., Pueblo, Colo. and Pine Bluff, Ark.
Whether you’re in a clean city or a dirty one, it seems like you might want to stay away from those fast-food play areas unless you plan to dip your kid in a vat of sanitizer afterwards: A university professor and mom in Arizona started swabbing the play areas in local fast-food restaurants, then sent the samples off to a lab for tests. The icky findings turned up staph and coliform (a bacteria commonly found in fecal matter). Publicity about her crusade against play area germs has already earned her one prominent opponent: McDonald’s recently banned her from eight outlets near her home.