cleaning habits

Will heightened cleaning habits remain post-COVID-19?

Survey data suggests strengthened cleaning habits will remain front and centre for a large majority of people post-pandemic.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021

As we reach the anniversary of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in North America, a prominent question is whether the enhanced cleaning habits that have developed over the last 12 months will remain once the pandemic is over.

According to an American Cleaning Institute (ACI) survey, the answer is yes.

Data collected by the survey suggests cleaning practices are still front and centre for a large majority of Americans.

A national online consumer survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of ACI shows that 85 percent of respondents are very or somewhat likely to maintain the same level of cleaning practices initially adopted in March 2020 when the pandemic has passed.

Proper cleaning and disinfecting practices like increased sanitization and accordance to disinfectant dwell times are proven to help protect against the spread of germs and viruses, according to the ACI.

As schools and communities across North America begin to reopen, and while new variants of the virus continue to spread, experts maintain the cleaning and hygiene habits adopted at the onset of the pandemic will continue to play a crucial role in helping prevent the spread of illness.

Results from ACI’s national survey shed light on how and why Americans plan to continue their cleaning and disinfecting behaviours.

Key findings include:

  • Cleaning Products Usage Continues: Americans reported an increase in the use of key adopted cleaning, disinfecting and hygiene habits since March 2020: hand sanitizer (72 per cent now vs. 59 per cent pre-COVID-19), disinfectant wipes (55 per cent vs. 44 per cent) and spray disinfectant (42 per cent vs. 36 per cent).
  • Heightened Hand Hygiene: More than 75 per cent of respondents plan to continue to wash their hands frequently with soap and water and 57 per cent report plans to continue using hand sanitizer frequently in the future.
  • The Reason to Clean: 73 per cent say that protecting their own health and wellness is a reason to continue their COVID-19 cleaning habits, and 62 per cent cite protecting the health and wellness of others as a motviation.

RELATED: COVID-19 is bringing common sense back to cleaning

“The survey results and trends highlighted are encouraging for broader adoption and potential long-term behavioural changes in Americans’ cleaning habits for their health,” said Melissa Hockstad, ACI President & CEO. “While we continue to fight against the spread of COVID-19, Americans must stay vigilant to help protect themselves and the places where they live and work. That’s why smart, targeted hygiene and cleaning practices are so important in our homes and communities every single day.”

From small business owners and school faculty to general consumers, ACI has a variety of resources available on effective cleaning, disinfecting and hygiene protocols. For more information, visit

These are the findings from an Ipsos poll conducted February 16-17, 2021 on behalf of the American Cleaning Institute. For the survey, a sample of 1,005 adults ages 18 and over from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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