The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

COVID-19 and Cleaning: New ACI Survey Finds More Than One-Third of Americans Still Not Following Proper Hand Hygiene Practices

hand washing
  • American Cleaning Institute Unveils New Video Highlighting Common Sense Hygiene, Cleaning Practices to Combat Coronavirus
  • Americans Say They’re Using Soaps, Sanitizers, Wipes More Since Coronavirus Spread

A new poll conducted on behalf of the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) finds that despite widespread adoption of increased cleaning and disinfecting practices in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, just over half (58%) of Americans are mindful of washing their hands for at least 20 seconds, and one in 10 have not made any changes to their hand hygiene practices.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos for ACI (, asked respondents what changes, if any, they have made to their hand hygiene practices since learning about the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey was conducted to pinpoint current gaps in consumer cleaning for disease prevention and respond with effective guidance.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they washed their hands with soap and water more frequently, while 46 percent were using hand sanitizers more often.

“In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, it’s an important time to re-emphasize proper handwashing habits, including washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds,” said Melissa Hockstad, ACI President & CEO.

“ACI has created a new video that highlights proper hand hygiene and cleaning practices we can use to combat the spread of the coronavirus.”

The video is posted on ACI Coronavirus and Cleaning webpage,

Soap, Sanitizer, Wipes Top List of Products Americans Are Using More

When asked what hygiene or cleaning products they have used more of since learning about the novel coronavirus, Americans said:

  • Hand soap – 69%
  • Hand sanitizer – 59%
  • Multi-purpose disinfectant wipes – 44%
  • Multi-purpose spray disinfectant – 36%
  • Paper towels – 35%
  • Toilet or bathroom cleaner – 23%
  • Bleach – 9%
  • None of these products – 12%

“It’s important for all of us to purchase these products as needed and use them properly and safely,” said Hockstad. “Soap, sanitizer and cleaning product manufacturers and their chemical and packaging suppliers are working tirelessly to get these products to market and to the institutions where there is the most critical need.”

The results described are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between March 18-19, 2020. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, both waves of the poll have a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 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.

Contact ACI Communications