The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Tough on Grime: 2020 National Cleaning Survey Reveals Why Americans Rally Around Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning Survey Graphic
Data: Spring Cleaning Concerns, Priorities and Reasons Why People Don’t Spring Clean; Plus ACI’s Five-Step Plan for Easy Spring Cleaning

2020 ACI National Cleaning Survey Topline Springtime Results:

  • 78% of Households Spring Clean Every Year, Prioritizing Bedrooms, Closets, Kitchens & Family Rooms
  • 78% of Adults Agree that on a Typical Day, They'd Like Their Homes to be Cleaner
  • Dirtiest Spots: Windows, Floors, Toilets, Shelves
  • Summary of Key Stats Available Here

According to the American Cleaning Institute’s (ACI) annual National Cleaning Survey, 78 percent of Americans will roll up their sleeves to spring clean their homes. The same percentage of adults is not satisfied with their homes’ cleanliness throughout the year.

While spring cleaners’ top priorities are bedrooms (25%), closets (23%), kitchens (22%) and family rooms (18%), those who never spring clean say it’s because their homes don’t look dirty, they would rather be doing other things, they don’t have enough time or they don’t know how to spring clean.

The annual survey, conducted by Wakefield Research for ACI, also unearthed that the top concerns of homeowners when it comes to cleaning are mold (31%), dirt (22%), odors (22%), stains (15%) and dust (12%). And what are the overall dirtiest spots in our homes? Homeowners picked windows (65%), floors (64%), toilets (48%) and shelves (41%) (respondents ranked three items).

“Just because it’s called spring cleaning doesn’t mean it has to take all season to finish,” said Brian Sansoni, ACI Senior Vice President of Communications. “With a variety of cleaning products and some time-saving techniques, in just a few hours, you can tackle some of your most troubled areas and be well on your way to a cleaner, healthier home.”

How to Spring Clean in Five Simple Steps:

For homes large and small, this five-step method will help you get your home ready for the rest of the year’s activities and festivities. 

What You'll Need: Surface cleaners formulated for windows, floors, countertops, bathrooms and furniture; remember, there are cleaning products available that are designed to effectively tackle multiple surfaces. Also on your list should be dust cloths, including those handy electrostatic dust sheets; sponges; a broom, mop or vacuum; trash bags; and a donation box. The proper products can make cleaning the house faster and easier, and survey data showed that when choosing spring cleaning products, adults are most likely to focus on effectiveness (31%), multi-purpose (19%) and cost (14%).

  1. Tidy – Start by putting away stray items that have been left out on tables, sofas, dressers and countertops to clear off the surfaces you will need to clean. Grab a box and label it “donations” for things you are ready to give to those in need.
  2. Dust – Starting from high to low, use a dusting tool or cloth to wipe dust from ceiling fans, pictures, artwork, shelves, books, knick-knacks and tables. Rather than spray the dust remover directly on the items, spritz the cleaner onto the paper towel or cleaning cloth to keep the dust from dispersing. Shake out throw rugs and other larger items that collect dust outside.
  3. Launder – Wash blankets, bed linens, towels and everything else that can go in the washer-dryer. Once mattresses are stripped, read their labels for recommended cleaning methods. In fact, read the care labels on anything questionable and dry clean (or vacuum) what can’t go in the wash, such as curtains and comforters. Vacuum your upholstered furniture.  
  4. Wipe – Again, starting from the top down, use surface-appropriate cleaners on your windows/sills, furniture, bathroom fixtures, kitchen counters, cabinets, appliances, lamps, doors/doorknobs and other surfaces in your home. Spot clean walls to remove scuffs and stains. In the kitchen, consider cleaning, wiping and organizing the inside of the fridge, pantry, spice cabinet and under the sink.
  5. Sweep – Saving the floors for last, sweep, vacuum and mop your floors depending on the types of surfaces you have. Don’t forget to check any floor vents for dirt and dust. And, get behind furniture and under sofas where dust bunnies collect. 

“Spring cleaning not only makes living spaces healthier and happier, it rids our home of sources of mold, mildew, odors, dirt, stains and dust – the biggest concerns we have about our homes,” said Sansoni. “Make spring cleaning a family activity for those who are old enough to help. It will be that much faster and a lot more fun. And, as always, make sure you read product labels to ensure you are using your cleaners safely, properly and effectively.”

To view more of the ACI Cleaning Survey results, click here.

Find additional cleaning statistics and tips on ACI’s website and blog.

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The ACI Cleaning Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults, ages 18+, between February 10 and February 18, 2020, using an email invitation and an online survey. 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 3.1 percentage points for the sample.

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.

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