Shifting Trends and Challenges in the Professional Cleaning Industry

Shifting Trends and Challenges in the Professional Cleaning Industry

The professional cleaning industry has faced significant ebbs and flows over the past 4–5 years. Before 2020, facility cleaning primarily focused on appearance with less emphasis on health and safety. However, during the pandemic, the focus shifted toward more frequent cleaning, disinfection, and hand hygiene to ensure the safety of building occupants. Today, as the industry contends with new challenges, several divergent trends are emerging, with some driving increased sales while others resulting in decreased demand for professional cleaning products.

Through our latest surveys with end-use decision-makers, we have identified three key trends shaping the future of professional cleaning.

  1. Work-From-Home Culture and Staff Shortages Driving Changes in Product Demand

With fewer occupants in office buildings each day, the demand for cleaning services has diminished. Also, a trend that emerged during the pandemic but continues due to severe staff shortages is the discontinuation of daily guestroom cleaning in many hotels unless specifically requested by guests. Consequently, cleaning frequency has also been reduced between stays in most hotels. As a result, the overall consumption of cleaning products among hotels and office buildings is lower presently compared to the peak of the pandemic but remains higher than pre-COVID levels. Recent sales increases in the industry are primarily driven by price hikes rather than increased consumption or usage.

  1. Surface Disinfection and Hand Hygiene Solutions to Drive Future Growth

Surface cleaning and disinfection will remain integral parts of maintaining clean buildings and keeping staff safe and healthy. Moreover, general awareness of good hand hygiene will lead to sustained increases for the use of hand soaps and hand sanitizer. With reduced staff to perform various cleaning tasks, cleaning teams need quick, simple tools that are effective. Therefore, innovations such as multipurpose products, quick-and-easy tools such as wipes, products designed for enhancing efficacy such as continuously active disinfectants, and IoT-driven technologies such as smart dispensers are emerging to address these evolving needs.

  1. High Demand for Sustainable Cleaning Solutions, but Demand Varying by Sector

Growing demand for plant-based or botanical active ingredients—such as citric acid, lavender, soy, and thymol—reflects a broader trend among end users seeking gentler, more natural alternatives for their cleaning needs. Innovations in eco-friendly wipes made from bamboo and cotton substrates, coupled with advancements in biodegradability, are also on the rise. However, the demand for environment-friendly products varies by sector, with strong interest from hospitality, healthcare, education, and foodservice industries, whereas office buildings, industrial facilities, and manufacturing plants somewhat lag.

This blog features an excerpt from an in-depth article originally published in UL Prospector. For the full article, click HERE, or connect with an industry expert to gain deeper insights and stay updated on the latest trends and developments in the professional cleaning industry

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