Have the Cleaning Habits of Americans Drastically Changed Since COVID-19?

As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the planet, it’s hard to think of a single aspect of our lives that hasn’t been affected. Our lives have boiled down to just the activities that we can do sitting at home. And one of those activities is cleaning. The cleaning habits of Americans, especially with an unseen, highly contagious virus on the loose, have never changed so drastically in such a short period of time. To give us a better idea of how Americans are adjusting their cleaning habits to combat the virus, Homes.com surveyed over 1,000 Americans. 

The survey asked respondents about changes in their cleaning habits during the pandemic. Predictably, 59.6% of respondents have cleaned more since the shelter in place orders started despite 40.7% of them not having access to disinfectant cleaning supplies in store. According to the CDC, wiping down high-use surfaces once or twice a day will help prevent viruses and food-borne illnesses. However, there is no reason to do more unless someone in your home has been infected or was suspected of contracting the virus. The survey revealed that people are listening to this insight since 25.57% of respondents are wiping down surfaces in their home 7+ times per week. Cleaning homes has become synonymous with safety in today’s age. 

While Americans are proactive about cleaning inside the house, the survey reveals that they aren’t as careful for items that regularly leave the house, such as shoes, purses and backpacks. 32% of respondents do not leave these “dirty” items at the door, missing out on an important precaution that could be beneficial to preventing COVID-19. 

The survey also asked about personal hygiene habits. As expected, most Americans have listened to the CDC’s advice on washing hands; 89.2% said they have washed their hands more frequently since the pandemic began. However, 63% said they wore the same outfit more than once without washing, most likely due to the WFH policies of most companies and lack of physical activity. In a more troubling finding, 23.7% said that they did not have any protective face masks. While this survey was conducted in April and many respondents could have obtained face masks afterwards, it is concerning that as states relax shelter in place standards, this essential safety tool is still not available to almost a quarter of Americans. 

No one knows how long the pandemic will last. Until life begins resembling normalcy, it is important that we take precautions to keep ourselves and our families safe and cut ourselves some slack!

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