NSF Scrub Club

August 31, 2005

Greta Houlahan
NSF International
Phone: +1.734.913.5723

NSF Scrub Club for Kids Reaches 80 Million
Innovative Family Website Gains Wide Coverage to Promote Handwashing

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Scrub Club® — an animated, interactive and fun website ( that teaches children the proper way to wash their hands — has reached an audience of more than 80 million in only twelve months since the program's launch, according to NSF International, the not-for-profit organization that developed the site.  

The Scrub Club® website was designed as a fun and educational tool that parents and teachers can use to teach kids the six steps of proper handwashing. Proper handwashing is one of the most effective things that we can do to keep from getting sick and spreading illness.

Each of the Scrub Club "soaperheroes" represents one of the six steps in the handwashing process: "Hot Shot" and "Chill" combine to make the warm water essential for proper handwashing; "Squeaks" turns into various forms of soap; "Taki" becomes a clock that counts down the required 20 seconds for proper handwashing; "Scruff" reminds kids to clean around their nails; "Tank" turns into a sink to rinse away the germs;  and "P.T." transforms into paper towels.

The Scrub Club, originally launched in September 2004 in conjunction with National Clean Hands Week and National Food Safety Education Month, continues to raise awareness about the benefits of handwashing. The Washington Times featured the Scrub Club in a column that gave the website an "A" grade as a trusted source for families. This latest story builds on substantial media exposure on the Scrub Club website, which has been featured by major media such as Good Morning America, The Associated Press, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Scholastic, NEA Today, Knight Ridder newspapers and a range of TV stations nationwide. The total media to date has generated 80 million gross impressions. 
"In just twelve months, the Scrub Club website has exceeded our media expectations by helping NSF reach out to educators, families and kids to teach them the importance of washing hands the right way," said William Fisher, NSF chief marketing officer. "We are now moving into the second phase of the program to identify innovative partnership opportunities, such as licensing of the Scrub Club characters, to help us reach out to even more families with fun and educational public health messages."
With the back-to-school season kicking off, the Scrub Club® soaperheroes will spring into action to encourage kids to wash their hands in an interactive game, featuring the evil villain "Influenza Enzo," that teaches children how the flu is spread and how to prevent it. Additionally, Scrub Club® visitors can access free downloadable materials, such as a Scrub Club® membership card, a wanted poster of "Influenza Enzo" (for causing sniffles, sneezes and headaches), a Scrub Club® sticker sheet and clean hands activities that are fun learning tools. 

This webisode complements an earlier webisode, "The Good, the BAC, and the Ugly," that finds the Scrub Club® kids battling the loathsome, but loveable character BAC (from the Partnership for Food Safety Education's Fight BAC! food safety public education campaign), and one of his partners in "grime" Sal Monella in a wild-west themed adventure.

In addition to the "Webisode," the site features the "Scrub Club® Theme Song" and "Handwashing Song" sung by Phil Solem, singer for The Rembrandts (known for the Friends' theme song "I'll Be There For You"). Interactive games, activities for kids to download, educational materials for teachers, program information for parents and tips and activities for the home not only enhance the educational value of the site but also make it fun for kids to return to the site time and time again.

The message is reaching children, according to a recent quote in The New York Times from Jillian Eisenberg, a 10-year-old in Manhattan: "I wash my hands a lot more than I used to," said Jillian, who has learned that "if you don't wash your hands one time, that could lead to the flu or any other virus." Like what? "Salmonella, I guess."

For additional information about the Scrub Club and the benefits of proper handwashing, please visit

About NSF International: NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water, air and consumer goods ( Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, Ltd., organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education.

Scrub Club® and Scrub Club characters are copyright 2007 NSF International.
"BAC" character copyright 2006 The Partnership for Food Safety Education.

Please distribute Scrub Club® materials freely in classrooms, publications, etc.,
provided that credit is given to NSF International.