A survey in the United Kingdom has found people are more aware of cleanliness because of the coronavirus pandemic, but there is still room for improvement.

Harrison Wipes wanted to understand to what extent attitudes toward cleaning have changed in the UK public and what the situation will look like post-COVID. In May, the firm surveyed 359 people in the UK online in association with Toluna.

Whether it’s wearing face masks or washing hands more regularly, the general public is now far more alert to cleanliness than they’ve ever been, according to Harrison Wipes. The firm said one element of COVID procedures that looks set to stay is people’s awareness of cleaning practices and how the way they clean matters.

A total of 82 percent of respondents were more aware of how they clean since the pandemic began.

For most people, the general attitude toward cleaning has changed during the past 12 months with increased funding for advertisements, warnings, and more visible discussion of the topic.

The majority of respondents were thinking about why cleaning is important for them not just as a hygiene habit, but as a proactive measure against risk. They understand that not all products act in the same way or achieve the same effect; so having the right solution for the job is more vital than cleaning for cleaning’s sake.

Good cleaning awareness
Overall, 91 percent of people are more aware of cleaning measures in public spaces such as hand sanitizer stations or staff wiping down surfaces with disinfectant.

In total, 75 percent of respondents said they would feel more comfortable and confident that COVID-19 prevention measures were being enforced if they could see visible evidence of cleaning happening.

The survey found that 73 percent of those who work outside their homes have taken on additional cleaning responsibilities in the workplace. More than half have been entrusted with cleaning and sanitizing their own workspace, a quarter have been tasked with sanitizing a shared workspace and 17 percent have been asked to sanitize an area where the general public may be.

One in five new cleaning operatives had received little or no guidance from employers on how to clean effectively. This indicates businesses are still not doing enough to protect those who fall under their duty of care.

Stephen Harrison, managing director at Harrison Wipes, said: “With the results from our survey it’s clear although people are more aware of issues of cleanliness, the actual practice of cleaning and having the knowledge of which products best suit their situation is still not where it needs to be. We aim to be the link between that awareness and knowledge.”

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