All of the Most Important Advice From the 2020 Discover Cleaning: Inside & Out Summit

Tiffany Blackstone
·4 min read
Photo credit: Mariana Tuma
Photo credit: Mariana Tuma

From Good Housekeeping

In the last several months, we have all come to appreciate that cleaning is an essential part of caring for our family’s health, not just another chore. More than perhaps ever before, consumers wonder before purchasing a cleaning product: Are the ingredients safe? Will this work effectively? Who can I trust to give me accurate information about its contents and usage?

On October 14, Good Housekeeping hosted our first-ever cleaning summit, in partnership with the American Cleaning Institute, to address those questions and a host of other concerns. In addition to exploring how COVID-19 has changed the way we clean our homes, experts gave detailed advice on the proper and most effective ways to clean and addressed what the industry is doing to increase the safety of and transparency around product ingredients.

Take in the whole summit below, or keep scrolling for highlights and replays of individual panels.

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The State Of Cleaning

"Almost 40% are getting help from a spouse or a partner." Carolyn Forte, who shared results from a Good Housekeeping survey of more than four thousand readers

Good Housekeeping and the American Cleaning Institute have 230 combined years of experience providing vital cleaning information and advice! Leaders from both teams opened the day with interesting facts and a bit of history about their commitment to helping consumers clean better; and insights from exclusive surveys conducted to gauge how COVID-19 has impacted how people clean.

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Generation to Generation

"We could see natural products being used for those day-to-day ad hoc spot-cleaning needs, but when it comes time to have to kill germs — such as flu season or those deep-cleaning needs — we'll see them revert to more traditional formulas." —Rebecca Cullen on how product use may change post-pandemic

It turns out Baby Boomers and Gen Z aren't so dissimilar... when it comes to their pandemic-motivated preference for purchasing cleaning products online, anyway. During this engaging presentation of the latest research on consumer cleaning and shopping behavior, Cullen shared comparisons between the generations and genders, as well as a host of brands and services that are already meeting our safety needs and wants.

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The Science of Cleaning

"Turns out the toilet is not the highest risk area at all. The high-risk areas are firstly our hands, paramount, and then secondly the hand-contact surfaces that we touch." —Dr. Liz Scott on where pathogenic microbes are likely to be transmitted in the home

Still-bare shelves are evidence that we're buying and using cleaning products more than ever — but how many of those sprays and wipes are being used correctly? In this session, panelists explain the science of how cleaning products work and give detailed instructions on using them to get the best germ-killing results.

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Find Out What's Inside

"Every three years they actually look at what's in the products, they look at new technologies that are out there and they give you symbols—a green circle, a yellow triangle and a red... I don't know what the red one is, but you don't want to be in the red." —Alison Gutterman on working with the Environmental Protection Agency's Safer Choice program

Ever looked at the ingredient label on the back of something you were spritzing around your home and wondered What are these chemicals and how do I know if they're safe? This panel, which delves into the resources and tools available for people to learn more about what's in the cleaning products you buy, including industry and brand initiatives to increase ingredient transparency, tells you how to find out.

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Making Sense of Fragrance

"People are hesitant to clean their hands with something that doesn't really smell good. Has anybody besides me had that experience with a hand sanitizer lately when it didn't smell so great? People will use a product for the appropriate amount of time when it smells pleasant." —Cynthia Reichard on the health benefit of fragrance in cleaning products

Fragrance isn't just included in cleaning products because people enjoy when their homes smell like a field of alpine flowers. Scent has proven physiological, psychological — and even financial! — benefits, our experts revealed. For those with asthma and allergies who may need to avoid fragrance, they shared advice for healthier living.

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Let's Get Cleaning Online

"A lot of people never learned how to properly clean, myself included. When I was growing up it was like, 'Clean your room!' But it was never like, 'And here's how to do it.'"—Melissa Maker on what inspires the kind of advice she shares online

No one would blame you for assuming that a "cleanfluencer" loves nothing more than keeping their home spotless. Not Melissa Maker, host of the Youtube channel "Clean My Space." She's the first to say that she's always hated cleaning and didn't really know how to clean well. She built her cleaning service and Youtube channel into successes by targeting people that relate.

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