The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Unite for Hand Hygiene on Global Handwashing Day

Global Handwashing Day
  • Global Handwashing Day Oct. 15
  • 93% of Americans Found Handwashing is Important in Preventing the Spread of Illness at Home, American Cleaning Institute Survey Finds
  • Checkout ACI’s Global Handwashing Day Resources at

Each year on October 15, Global Handwashing Day highlights the importance of handwashing with soap and water, especially during key times throughout the day.

The theme for this year is: Unite for Hand Hygiene. In recognizing the importance of hand hygiene for health, we do seem to be united. In a survey earlier this year, the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) found that 93% of respondents found handwashing important in preventing the spread of illness at home.

“Over the past two years, we have had stark reminders about the importance, impact and necessity of essential hand hygiene practices,” said Melissa Hockstad, ACI President & CEO. “Washing your hands with soap and water remains one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of infectious disease. Having a hand sanitizer handy is a great ‘go-to’ if you’re not near soap and water.”

“Stopping the spread of disease starts with each of us, in our homes, schools, communities and workplaces”.

As a reminder, follow these five steps every time you wash your hands:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Additionally, it’s important to take note of the following key times to wash your hands:

  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After handling garbage
  • After directly handling dirty laundry

For more information about Global Handwashing Day and ways to integrate proper handwashing as a long-lasting habit, visit

Want to get involved? Find more resources on the Global Handwashing Day website and CDC’s Global Handwashing Day webpage.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between February 16 – February 17, 2022 on behalf of the American Cleaning Institute. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii, was interviewed online in English. A subset of the questions were answered by survey respondents who report that they, or someone in their household, engage in spring cleaning (92% of the 1,005 survey respondents; the other 8% answered “I never spring clean”). The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for all respondents.

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.