Cleaning does more than just remove dirt and dust from surfaces. It also makes your home an all-around more pleasant place to live while boosting the health and safety of the living spaces where you and your family spend the most time. It can even play a role in mental health: 90% of Americans say they feel more relaxed when their home is clean, according to a 2022 poll from the floor care product manufacturer Bona.
Over the past couple of years, the benefits of keeping a tidy home have become even more pronounced as many of us ramped up cleaning efforts in response to COVID-19. "During the pandemic, cleaning became an important part of everyday life and cleaning routines were established to be quick, effective, and efficient," says Leah Bradley, senior brand manager at Bona. "Many of these routines have remained, so while the frequency might be less, the mindfulness of how cleaning takes place has continued."
As our daily schedules and priorities shift, our cleaning methods should, too. If you're looking to refresh your routine, these are the top cleaning trends experts predict will be sprucing up homes in 2022.
1. Reusable and Refillable Cleaning Products
Reducing waste has become a priority in many households, and cleaning products are starting to adapt. Mary Gagliardi, Clorox's in-house scientist and cleaning expert, notes an increase in packaging that uses less plastic and allows consumers to reuse certain components. Think glass bottles and other containers you can use for several refills instead of tossing when the solution runs out. To further reduce waste, opt for washable mop heads instead of single-use ones and trade disposable cleaning wipes and paper towels for reusable microfiber cloths.
2. Pet-Friendly Cleaners
The pandemic pet boom is also a driving factor in today's cleaning trends. "With pet ownership growing rapidly both in the U.S. and around the globe, people are prioritizing products that can effectively remove pet hair and the outdoor dust and dirt pets can bring into the home," says Özüm Muharrem-Patel, senior test technician at Dyson. You can now find more vacuums with attachments designed to pick up pet hair and filtration systems that can capture pollen and other particles that pets might track inside. Additionally, as the need for pet-safe solutions increases, many brands now offer all-purpose cleaners, disinfectants, floor care products, and other cleaners specially designed for use around furry friends.
3. Eco-Conscious Ingredients
People are increasingly stocking their cleaning kits with formulas that are safer for their homes and healthier for the planet, Bradley says. According to the Bona study, more than half of Americans say they've switched to more environmentally friendly cleaning products in the past year. Expect to see a shift toward plant-derived ingredients, biodegradable and water-based solutions, and cleaners that are free from potentially harmful ingredients like ammonia and formaldehyde.
4. Quick Cleaning Solutions
As activities outside the home ramp back up, people need cleaning products that work for their busy schedules. "Consumers want quick, all-in-one tools that make cleaning easy and more efficient," Bradley says. Innovative tools like robot vacuums and mops, for example, are popular solutions that take the effort out of keeping floors clean.
For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, cordless vacuums are a convenient, grab-and-go solution that's also on the rise. "We often find that after switching to a cordless vacuum cleaner, people may clean more often but for shorter periods of time," Muharrem-Patel says. "The freedom of cutting the cord makes the activity of vacuuming feel less like a timely chore and more like a simple solution for keeping homes clean at all times."
5. Increased Knowledge Around Cleaning
With the pandemic came a better understanding of how cleaning products work and a greater focus on how the products we're using might impact the health of our homes. "We saw an increase in the understanding that a disinfection claim for a product is something that is regulated by the EPA, so more consumers were looking for EPA-registered products and no longer assuming that cleaning automatically includes sanitizing or disinfecting," Gagliardi says. Equipped with deeper knowledge about cleaning, shoppers are reading labels more carefully and making informed choices about the products that best suit their needs and meet their standards for safety and effectiveness.