Report: Most Americans Not Disinfecting Properly Despite Coronavirus Outbreak

March 27, 2020

A new survey from the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) found that four in ten people surveyed are not following proper disinfection procedures to protect themselves from the COVID-19 outbreak.

A majority (8 in 10) of 1,005 American adults surveyed report they are confident in the ability of cleaning products to protect against coronavirus. However, many of these respondents are not using cleaning products correctly.

Among survey respondents, 26% said they spray surfaces with disinfectant then immediately wipe them down, while16% make a quick pass over surfaces with a disinfectant wipe. Both methods are not adequate to eliminate harmful pathogens including the coronavirus.

The 26% of respondents who wipe down surfaces with wipes and keep the surfaces wet for as long as recommended on the label are disinfecting correctly, along with the 16% who spray surfaces with disinfectant and let the areas air dry instead of wiping them down.

According to the ACI, steps to proper disinfection include:

  • Preclean any surfaces prior to disinfecting.
  • Use disinfecting sprays or wipes as directed.
  • After disinfecting, let the surface air dry making sure it stays wet for as long as recommended on the product label. 
  • If disinfecting food contact surfaces or toys, rinse with water after they air dry.

For more information on cleaning and disinfecting for the coronavirus, visit