The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Parents and Teens Agree: College Students Need More Know-How on How to Clean

Class of Clean Logo
  • The American Cleaning Institute Helps Parents Prep their Teens for College with the Class of Clean: A College Student’s Guide to Cleaning
  • Review All Survey Findings Here
  • Download the toolkit:

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) is kicking off its Class of Clean: Parents Weekend, urging all parents to start the conversation with their kids on the importance of cleaning before they head off to college.

According to a new survey released by ACI and conducted by Wakefield Research, parents and their teens are syncing up on at least one thing – nearly 3 in 4 college parents (74%) admit their kids are not completely prepared to clean on their own. Kids surveyed don’t disagree with parents about cleaning preparedness either. In fact, according to ACI’s 2022 survey of college students, 72% feel less than completely prepared to navigate the responsibility of cleaning on their own.

Sixty-four percent of parents surveyed this summer expressed at least some concern that their college kids don’t know how to use cleaning products effectively.

While the biggest obstacles parents cite for college kids’ cleanliness are lack of motivation (56%) and lack of time (46%), more than 1 in 4 parents (26%) worry their kids do not have the proper cleaning supplies or know-how. This lack of knowledge shows a greater need for a cleaning education.

The American Cleaning Institute’s Class of Clean: A College Student’s Guide to Cleaning offers resources to educate college students on proper cleaning, laundry and hygiene practices. As part of Class of Clean Parents Weekend, ACI is building on these resources to offer guidance to parents on how to start cleaning conversations with their children.

“Students are usually ready to hit the books as they head to college, but they’re not always fully prepped to wash their clothes and clean their rooms,” said Brian Sansoni, ACI Senior Vice President, Communications. “ACI’s Class of Clean provides easy-to-follow tips and tricks to keep college students clean and healthy in their dorms and all around campus.”

The Laundry 101 guide is the first resource parents and teens should tackle together as parents predict stinking sheets and dirty clothes will be the first mess to pile up in the dorm rooms. In fact, the 2023 ACI survey found:

  • Nearly half of parents (49%) predict their college kids will bring home laundry expecting someone else to do it for them.
  • More than a third (36%) think their kid will wear dirty clothes because they forgot to do the laundry.
  • Almost 1 in 4 (24%) suspect students will go a semester without changing their sheets!!!

The Class of Clean program is part of ACI’s larger Cleaning is Caring initiative. As the leading voice of the cleaning product industry, ACI is dedicated to communicating the connection between cleaning and health and safety and provides consumers with the tailored guidance and resources they need to keep themselves healthy and clean.

The Class of Class is online and smartphone friendly: 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.

Methodological Notes:
The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) College Parents Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 500 US parents of college undergraduates, between June 15th and June 22nd, 2023, using an email invitation and an online survey.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.