ACI Survey: 85% of Americans to Keep Up Cleaning Practices After COVID

April 1, 2021
  • Consumers Maintain Higher Use of Hand Sanitizers, Disinfectants One Year Later
  • Survey Provides Insights on Potential Shifts in Cleaning Behaviors for the Future

A year after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, cleaning practices are still front-and-center for a strong majority of Americans, according to survey data released by the American Cleaning Institute (ACI). (Photo: Business Wire)

A year after the start of the coronavirus pandemic, cleaning practices are still front-and-center for a strong majority of Americans, according to survey data released by the American Cleaning Institute (ACI).

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

Proper cleaning and disinfecting practices are proven to help protect against the spread of germs and viruses, according to ACI. In today’s current climate, as schools and communities across the country begin to reopen and new variants of the virus continue to spread, 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 behaviors. Key findings include:

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

“The survey results and trends highlighted are encouraging for broader adoption and potential long-term behavioral 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 businesses 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

The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI) is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $60 billion U.S. cleaning product supply chain. ACI members include the manufacturers and formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and chemical distributors. ACI serves the growth and innovation of the U.S. cleaning products industry by advancing the health and quality of life of people and protecting our planet. ACI achieves this through a continuous commitment to sound science and being a credible voice for the cleaning products industry.

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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