Formica Corp. Research Finds COVID-19 Has Affected Cleaning Preferences

Cleanability remains top of mind as homeowners continue to navigate the pandemic, and Formica Corp. is releasing new research that details how much COVID-19 has affected cleaning preferences. The survey found that while 71 percent of homeowners are deep-cleaning their countertops once a week or more, most still don’t feel confident their surfaces are actually clean after doing so.

“The pandemic has made us more aware than ever of the importance of cleaning the surfaces we touch frequently,” says Gerri Chmiel, residential design lead at Formica Corp. “This has brought up questions about the right way to sanitize surfaces and leaves homeowners concerned if they’re really getting rid of germs and protecting their families. Fortunately, Formica Corp. offers many affordable, nonporous and easy-to-clean surfaces that can handle the rigors of everyday life, including frequent cleaning.”

Drawn to disinfect, yet craving certainty

  • A majority (57 percent) of homeowners clean their surfaces more frequently than they did before the pandemic, but this is especially prevalent among those under 40, with 81 percent deep-cleaning their countertops (i.e., with more than just soap and water) once a week or more.  
  • Parents in particular are deep-cleaning more frequently, with 41 percent of parents deep-cleaning their countertops once a day or more, compared to 22 percent of child-free homeowners. 
  • Despite more time spent disinfecting, more than two-thirds (67 percent) of homeowners still aren’t sure their countertops are germ-free after they clean them.

o   For parents, this number increases to 76 percent. For homeowners under 40, it increases to 78 percent.

On the rise: laminate and nonporous surfaces

  • Ninety-three percent of designers recommend laminate more often than they did previously, citing ease of care and durability as key reasons.
  • Nearly all homeowners (97 percent) agree it would be useful to have a nonporous surface in their home because these surfaces are inherently resistant to water, other liquids and bacteria.

o   Similarly, 99 percent of designers say they are now more likely to recommend nonporous materials to their clients than they were prior to the pandemic.

Formica surfaces, including residential products such as Formica Laminate, 180fx Laminate and Everform Solid Surface, are known for their durability and ease of maintenance. For effective everyday cleaning, only a nonabrasive cotton cloth and mild liquid detergent or household cleaner is needed. After cleaning the soiled area with a circular motion, rinse with clean water using a clean cotton cloth and dry the surface. Be careful to avoid flooding the laminate near the seams as this can cause the substrate to swell. View more detailed and special cleaning instructions.

This study was conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Formica Corporation among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adult homeowners and 250 U.S. interior designers, both residential and commercial, between March 22 and March 30, 2021. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 6.2 percentage points for interior designers and 3.1 percentage points for homeowners from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. 

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