How do we clean in 2021

If lockdown has had any single benefit to our lives, it’s that it has made us far more conscious about cleanliness and hygiene. It’s hard to believe that it was not two years ago when someone may have gone from the supermarket to the bus to the home – all without the thought of sanitising their hands or wearing a mask.

The rush for cleaning products caused empty shelves across the country, meaning most of us were forced to pick up our newly crowned ‘essentials’ online. This meant we were searching more and more for new cleaning products and tips and advice on how to keep ourselves and our family safe from the outside world.


Disinfection specialists Dettol have just released data on how our cleaning routines have changed since COVID-19. To do this, they’ve used Google Keyword Planner to look at what people have been searching for during the pandemic. You can read the article in full here, but we’ve pulled out our top findings for you:

Our Cleaning Habits Have Changed

  • Searches for ‘How to disinfect’ are through the roof – increasing 430% between March and May 2020.
  • Cleaning laptops came to the forefront of our priorities, with a 457% increase in searches around the topic.
  • We’ve clearly become more conscious about sanitising inside our homes as the data shows a 556% increase in people searching for ‘How to disinfect door handles’.
  • Some people were clearly quite comfortable at home during the pandemic, as ‘How to clean your hot tub filter’ saw a 200% increase in searches. Aren’t we jealous?

We’re Learning How to Clean Properly

  • ‘How to clean’ has seen a 26% rise in searches across the UK – it looks like some people didn’t even know where to start!
  • Learning how to clean your TV would never have been a pre-pandemic priority. Post pandemic, there’s been a 98% increase for searches around the subject.

Is Deep Cleaning Overrated?

According to Dr Ackerley, the hygiene doctor who consulted on the Dettol project, it’s the little things that are the most important.

For instance:

  • Wash your hands when you come indoors.
  • Wipe down frequently-touched surfaces, like door handles and toilet flushes
  • Keep food preparation areas disinfected
  • Take off your shoes when you go inside, and leave them at the door.

Leave a ‘deep clean’ for those big occasions, such as when you have friends over, and concentrate on the little things day-to-day.

So what did we lose interest in?

  • There was a 75% reduction in looking at ‘How to reduce mould on walls’. It’s hard to pinpoint an exact reason as to why this might be, but it could be down to the fact many hands-on landlords, who once managed properties directly, weren’t able to visit their flats/houses during the height of the pandemic.
  • Turns out there are hard stats to back up the idea that we didn’t care as much about how we looked during lockdown. There was a 55% decrease for ‘How to fix iron burns on clothing’ and an 18% decrease in people looking to get wax stains out their clothing.

Now with the world returning to a form of normality, we can look forward to having our loved ones over once again in the safest possible manner. Check out the Dettol guide for more great info, and cross your fingers that 2021 only gets better from here on out.

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