In addition to wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing, millions of Americans have implemented more stringent cleaning routines at home and outside of it because of the coronavirus pandemic.
These practices are here to stay, according to new findings from the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), which is based in Washington, D.C. Its survey revealed that 85% of Americans are very or somewhat likely to maintain their current cleaning habits after the pandemic.
The organization, which represents manufacturing and distribution companies in the U.S. cleaning product industry, assessed respondents’ future cleaning behaviors and their reasons why. Here are their findings.
No surprise, but consumers are using more cleaning supplies than before the pandemic
Since pandemic-related restrictions began last March, more Americans have reported an increased usage of personal and on-the-go cleaning supplies. For example, 72% of respondents said they’re using more hand sanitizer now than before the pandemic, compared with:
- 60% who cited hand soap
- 55% who cited disinfectant wipes
- 42% who cited spray disinfectant
- 35% who cited multipurpose cleaner
- 27% who cited toilet or bathroom cleaner
- 22% who cited bleach
More than 1 in 10 (11%) cited none of these products.
And just because U.S. air travel is picking up again doesn’t mean people are dropping their guard when they’re on vacation. In fact, a previous ValuePenguin survey showed that travelers continue to adhere to safety-minded practices while staying at hotels or vacation rentals, including:
- Wiping down surfaces (38%)
- Opening windows (30%)
- Bringing their own linens (17%)
As a result, household spending on cleaning supplies spiked last year, with an NCSolutions survey showing a 923% increase in hand sanitizer spending between late March and late August.
Pandemic-era safety practices to continue in the future
As COVID-19 cases drop and people get vaccinated, many will maintain pandemic-era cleaning and safety practices regardless, including:
- Washing hands with soap and water frequently (76%)
- Using hand sanitizer frequently (57%)
- Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces (50%)
- Wearing a mask (39%)
- Staying socially distanced (37%)
The most common reasons that respondents had for keeping up these routines included:
- For my health and wellness (73%)
- For the health and wellness of others (62%)
- Because it’s part of my everyday routine (40%)
- Lack of comfortability in close quarters with others (20%)
A survey from tax, audit and advisory firm KPMG shows that companies will also follow suit in keeping up pandemic-era safety practices.
In addition to the implementation of social distancing guidelines, employees can expect daily COVID-19 symptom checks, enhanced sanitization procedures and access to personal protection equipment in the workplace.
Methodology: Ipsos (in conjunction with ACI) conducted an online poll of 1,005 American adults ages 18 and older on Feb. 16-17, 2021.