New Survey Reveals America’s Biggest Cleanliness Problems (And Where Expert Help Is Needed)
ISSA, the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, today announced its partnership with renowned comedian, actor, host and known germaphobe Howie Mandel in launching the Rethink What Clean Means campaign. Together they are working to educate America on the critical importance of cleaning and help businesses raise their level of cleanliness.
“If there’s one thing everyone knows about me, it’s that I’m a neat freak,” Howie Mandel said. “However, what clean means to one person, may mean something totally different to another. Knowing that we have experts, like ISSA, setting the standard for cleanliness gives me peace of mind when I am in a hotel, in a restaurant or in large halls.
To help raise awareness of the importance of cleanliness, Mandel stars in a unique online video series, “Howie Clean It,” taking viewers on a journey to uncover the grime hidden in seemingly clean spaces. With the help of an ISSA professional, Mandel will inspire viewers to learn more about what clean means, share what they’ve learned on social media, and search for the Rethink Clean badge to find companies that are committed to cleanliness.
New Survey Findings Reveal America’s View on Cleanliness
A new YouGov survey1commissioned by the ISSA, offers a comprehensive look at American sentiment toward cleaning and the impact of cleanliness itself on businesses across the country:
- Americans Are Concerned About Clean Businesses and Germs. About three in five respondents (57%) are more concerned about the cleanliness of a business they frequent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and more than half (56%) have given more thought to the cleanliness of a business/public space in the past two years than ever before.
- On the edge of a post-pandemic world, we still pay close attention to cleanliness.
Nearly three in five (59%) are more aware of clean surfaces when out in public, and more than half (51%) say they would be more likely to patronize a business if it provided proof that their facility has been properly disinfected. .
- Americans want to know companies are clean (and will let people know if they’re not).
The majority of respondents (82%) would do or say something if a business was not cleaned to their standards.
- More than half (54%) would no longer visit this business.
- One in three (33%) would complain to friends/family.
- Almost one in three Americans (29%) would talk to a manager.
Rethinking what clean means in 2022
While the ISSA survey results show we value cleanliness, most Americans still need help understanding what’s clean and what’s not. The cleanliness of a business or public space is determined by many factors, but odor is NOT one of them. However, three in four think (42%) or aren’t sure (34%) that if a business looks/smells clean, it’s clean. Americans are also unaware of cleaning certifications and what they mean – more than half (52%) have not heard of cleaning certifications.
This campaign, the first of its kind, sends a wake-up call not only to raise consumer expectations and inform them that a higher standard is possible, but also to help companies improve their results with the products/services of cleaning.
“Now more than ever, we’re hyper-focused on hygiene, germs and cleanliness. But when we’re in public spaces, we often have to expect those spaces to be cleaned to the highest standards,” John said. Barrett, Executive Director of ISSA “As the global cleaning industry association, we want everyone to know that no one has to compromise on cleanliness. There are standards, courses and even certifications to ensure that cleaning crews, facility managers and others are equipped with the best cleaning procedures and protocols to provide peace of mind to the public.This new normal is a chance for individuals and businesses to embrace a cleaner world than we ever imagined.
For more information on how to rethink cleaning or to view the “Howie Clean It” series, visit www.rethinkclean.org.
1 Research Methodology: All figures, unless otherwise stated, sourced from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 2,504 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between June 23-27, 2022. The survey was conducted online. Figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (ages 18+).