The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

ACI Report: Cleaning Products Industry Has $59 Billion Direct Impact on U.S. Economy


Washington, D.C. – October 1, 2018 – The cleaning products industry has a direct impact on the U.S. economy totaling $59.1 billion, supporting 64,000 jobs and including $8.3 billion of labor compensation, according to a new report released by the American Cleaning Institute (ACI).

The report, prepared for ACI by the Manufacturing Institute’s Center for Manufacturing Research in partnership with Inforum, examines economic data from 2016, the most recent year where full data is available.

Approximately 53 percent of total cleaning product sales are from purchases by other industries. The data also show that the total economic impact of the cleaning products industry – including upstream suppliers and downstream distributors – is $192 billion in output and encompasses 756,000 jobs.

"The cleaning product supply chain brings about multiple benefits to everyday life: enhanced health, quality of life, sustainable operations and strong economic impacts," said Melissa Hockstad, ACI President and CEO. "From the immense amount of research and development that leads to innovative products and chemistries, ACI members are responsible for the manufacture and distribution of a wide variety of products that improve the health and quality of life of their customers. The extensive range of items produced are used safely and effectively by millions of households and institutions on a daily basis."

The report, "An Economic Analysis of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry," also details several important economic trends and developments impacting the cleaning products industry, including:

  • Employment – Low unemployment and rising wages bolster purchasing power, making it easier for households to purchase a wide variety of cleaning products.
  • General Economic Health – Strong economic performance helps both consumers and businesses. A recession or economic slowdown would result in reduced revenues for manufacturers.
  • Regulation and policy – Government regulations can have important consequences on how a product is made, marketed, and sold. Onerous regulations and standards can make small producers uncompetitive, as compliance often implies large fixed costs.
  • Innovation – Breakthroughs in science and production methods could produce valuable new products that benefit both consumers and businesses.

Other highlights from the report:

ACI-related trade volumes have expanded substantially since the late 1990s. Exports swelled from $4.7 billion in 1998 to $12.5 billion in 2014. The U.S. cleaning product industry is somewhat unique in that there has been a trade surplus every year between 1998 and 2016. This margin grew to a peak of $2.7 billion in both 2013 and 2014. In 2016 the trade surplus was $1.8 billion.

Like most manufacturing industries, the cleaning product industry experienced rapid labor productivity growth. This has led to a general decline in employment over the period studied, from a high of 85.5 thousand jobs in 1998 to a low of 60.6 thousand in 2009. ACI-related employment has trended upwards since 2009, reaching 66.3 thousand in 2015 and finishing off 2016 at 64.8 thousand jobs.

The full report is available for download on ACI’s website



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.


About this Report: This report presents a current snapshot and summary of the recent economic evolution of the domestic cleaning products industry. The analysis provides information on the size, scope, and growth of the industry as a whole, along with its contributions to the U.S. economy. Inforum relies on a variety of data sources to build its models and produce impact studies. The three most important agencies are the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Industry data on output, employment, value added, and other variables are organized according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).