Latinas Stereotyped as "Cleaners" by Clorox Press Release

Clorox released a press release this week explaining the findings of a study by Garcia Research (commissioned and paid for by Clorox) that finds that, for Latinas, “cleaning is a rite of passage, taught by mothers and grandmothers and meant to influence present-day routines and brand choices.” Huh?

The study goes on to claim:

  • 93 percent of Latinas helped their mothers clean as a child with sweeping, mopping and washing dishes, while a third helped their grandmothers.
  • More than half of Latinas prefer certain elements of old-fashioned cleaning, such as washing dishes by hand instead of dishwasher (83 percent), mopping the floors with a regular mop or by hand (73 percent). Most preferred this old fashioned approach because it's what they are used to and plus it was "a better clean."
  • While the cleaning routines have been passed on, most Latinas do not aspire to have their home be like anyone else's with nearly half believing that their home is as clean as that of their parents and two in ten believing it is cleaner.
  • Latinas are definitely influenced by the brands their moms and grandmothers used when they were growing up with nearly two-thirds reporting that they use some of the brands as their mother/grandmother and that approximately three-fourths say they are at least somewhat more likely to buy a brand if their mother or grandmother used it.
  • Music is an integral part of the cleaning routine with Spanish pop being the favorite playlist among 53 percent.  Four in ten Latinas listen to the same type of music as they clean as their mothers.


Excuse me?

According to Clorox, “In the Hispanic community, a clean home is a happy home, but during the holidays, it is critical for the home to be reluciente – or sparkling clean! In addition, 43 percent of Latinas report their significant others as helping with household cleaning – a surprising find, considering the long-standing myth that cleaning is a role predominantly performed by women.”

WHAT? While we certainly appreciate Clorox spending so much time and money on trying to engage our community, and for debunking the myth that only women clean the house in a Latino family, they did it at the expense of passing on another stereotype—that all Latinas are born with a mop in their hands.

We don’t even have to say how disappointing it is to see a well-respected company like Clorox disseminate such a disappointing press release. Instead we will let the editors of do it for us:

“Who at the cleaning conglomerate thought this was a good idea? Was nobody worried about playing into stereotypes about Latina women as maids and cleaning ladies? Did nobody think that trying to position Clorox products as part of some kind of Latina matrilineal tradition was kind of cynical and insulting?”

We couldn't have said it better ourselves.