Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pocatello the dirtiest?

I heard on the Today Show this morning that Pocatello had been rated "the dirtiest city in America." Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda were yukking it up, reporting the name as "Pocatello, Indiana" (which ought to tell you a lot).

Though I've lived in Idaho Falls for nearly 30 years, I'm partial enough to Pocatello to have taken umbrage at this. Turns out the rating comes for a site called, and the numbers were based on the amount of money spent on cleaning products such as Tide, Lysol, Cascade, etc.

Knoxville, Tenn., came in first with a grand total of $66.95. Pocatello came in last with a measly $9.88.

It doesn't take an M.B.A. to spot the hole in this. The only numbers registering in such a survey are the brand name products being scanned at the supermarket, with the information going straight to the national database that keeps track of every Slim Jim and roll of toilet paper you buy.

But Pocatello, dirty? This is the home of Don Aslett, who has made a fortune selling cleaning products and telling people how to keep their homes clean. I tried to reach Aslett on Thursday but couldn't (no surprise), but I managed to speak to Jared Sampson, a customer service rep at Don Aslett's Cleaning Center.

"That's absolutely ridiculous," he said. Upon reflection, we both decided the number might have been skewed for any number of reasons.  "Everyone I know around here does not buy name brand cleaning products," he said.