Coronavirus

How Have Cleaning and Hygiene Habits Changed During COVID-19?

With many Americans staying at home cleaning habits & personal hygiene practices have changed. Find out just how different cleanliness is during a pandemic!

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Most of the nation is under some sort of shelter-in-place or social distancing order right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At Homes.com, we’ve been working to keep our users as informed as possible on the various ways these unprecedented times have impacted our lives, homes, and habits. This includes sharing expert information on topics from how to buy and rent during the crisis, all the way to dream home amenities to make social distancing bearable. As the weeks of staying home have continued on, many are forming a different relationship with where they live –de-cluttering it, re-designing it, or deep-cleaning it, for example. 

These observations piqued our interest to take a deeper look into how sheltering-in-place is changing how people clean. We decided that it would be interesting to survey people on their cleanliness while they were stuck at home –are they cleaning their home more or less? Washing their clothes more or less? Getting dressed or staying in PJs? 

To find out, we conducted a survey of 1,013 Americans from April 10-13, 2020 asking all of this and more. Read on to discover our findings –we’ve also linked to valuable resources on how to keep your home and wardrobe clean during a quarantine.

Cleaning During COVID-19: Survey Results

graph displaying the percentage of Americans cleaning more during the pandemic

Our first finding came as a small surprise: a significant majority (59.6%) of Americans have cleaned their homes more since sheltering in place. The CDC does not necessarily recommend cleaning more often unless someone in your home is sick, but certainly the efforts of these households aren’t for naught.

graph denoting the percentage of Americans who have not disinfected properly

Conversely, we found this finding a bit concerning. More than 34% of Americans have not disinfected their homes with CDC-approved products to kill pathogens such as COVID-19. Although, as we see in the next statistic, this may be due to an issue with access to the appropriate products, rather than a lack of motivation. 

graph identifying the percentage of Americans who have not found disinfectant

This is certainly a disconcerting statistic: 40.7% of Americans have not been able to find disinfectant cleaning supplies at the store during the COVID-19 pandemic at the time of this survey. Nationwide shortages of these supplies are certainly affecting their ability to keep their spaces as clean as possible. 

graphic showing the percentage of Americans who are wiping surfaces frequently

This statistic tells us that some people are dedicated to keeping their spaces clean, whether they have access to the proper disinfectants or not. The 25.57% of people wiping down surfaces in their home 7+ per week since sheltering in place are clearly doing all they can to feel safe and keep their home tidy. 

What about bringing things into the home from the store or other places? Our results have shown some interesting behaviors around that, as well.

graphic displaying the percentage of people who do not leave items outside

Leaving your “outdoor items” at the door so as not to track germs in the house is typical for plenty of people, and a cultural activity for some. However, our survey found that 32% of households are not participating in this practice. 

While clothes and other personal items have a low risk of spreading the virus, taking this precaution could be beneficial to preventing COVID-19 from entering their home. 

graphic highlighting the percentage of Americans who clean their groceries

What about when it comes to groceries? As it turns out, nearly half of Americans (46.6%) are wiping down their groceries or letting them sit before using them as a result of this pandemic. While the FDA says this is not 100% necessary, they’re recommended for those looking to take extra precautions. It’s also recommended to leave cardboard for 24 hours without touching it, such as when receiving a package. 

graphic depicting the percentage of people who have stopped ordering packages

Speaking of packages, a mere 8.2% of Americans have stopped ordering packages since sheltering in place. This may be due to reliance on online retailers such as Amazon as many storefronts must remain closed. 

Personal Hygiene During COVID-19: Survey Results

graph of Americans who have more than 30 rolls of toilet paper

We started off this section of our questionnaire with something we’ve all been wondering about: who’s hoarding the toilet paper? As it turns out, 9.3% of Americans have more than 30 rolls of toilet paper in their possession (at least, at the time of this survey). 

graph of people who have washed their hands more during the pandemic

We’ve all heard the instructions: stay home, stay far apart, and wash your hands. Luckily, the vast majority of Americans have heeded this advice. 89.2% of Americans reported to have washed their hands more frequently since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

graph of those who have worn clothes more than once without washing

The same level of personal hygiene isn’t upheld with changing our clothes, however. Since sheltering in place, more than 63% of Americans have worn the same outfit more than  once without washing it. But hey, we’re not judging! 

graph of the percentage of Americans who have no protective facemasks

We also asked our respondents about their access to face masks. Almost a quarter of Americans (23.7%) reported that they have no protective face masks in their possession at the time of this survey. 

graph showing those who have avoided touching communal surfaces

And finally, we asked our respondents about how they’ve been interacting with high-touch communal surfaces since the pandemic began. 67.7% of Americans reported that they have more actively avoided touching things like doorknobs since COVID-19 broke out. Let’s hope that this is good news for continuing to contain the spread.

 We understand that this is a scary time. In an effort to understand and be proactive about entering a new normal, it’s important that we keep on top of our habits, listen to the experts, and  lean on each other to get through this. Looking for more insight and information relating to your home, interior decorating, and other tips? Check out our blog for advice from experts on everything home-related, during this pandemic and beyond. 

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Callah is the Content Marketing Manager for Homes.com. A self-proclaimed bookworm and lover of the outdoors, Callah spends her time dreaming up content strategies, hosting friends and family in her home, and spending time with her husband Brandon, and Lab Lola in sunny Virginia Beach.

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