New research examines public attitudes towards disinfecting surfaces at home.

From sofas and beds to rugs and curtains, homes are filled with a lot of soft surfaces, but what most people might not know is the volume of bacteria that can linger on them. A study found that while many people believe that a hard-surfaced toothbrush holder is the item with the most germs in the home, it’s actually a soft-surfaced dishcloth/sponge. Despite this, according to new consumer research commissioned by Dettol almost half (44%) of the respondents rarely or never use a bacteria-killing disinfectant spray on soft surfaces.

The research, which examines consumers’ attitudes towards disinfecting household surfaces and cleaning habits, was carried out to drive awareness of Dettol All-In-One Disinfectant Spray, which kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, and is suitable for use on hard and soft surfaces.

A softened approach to disinfecting the home

While it’s a known fact that bacteria and viruses can linger on soft surfaces, when consumers polled for the Dettol research were asked what household surfaces they use a bacteria-killing disinfectant spray on most regularly, soft surfaces such as cushions (77%), pillows (76%) and bed sheets/duvet covers (75%) ranked lowest. Of those polled, 37% (371 people) live with a child under 10 years old and 35% admit to rarely disinfecting a soft surface after their child has sat or played on it.

Health and hygiene

Earlier research conducted by Dettol during the COVID-19 virus pandemic revealed 70% were disinfecting their homes more often, but since restrictions have lifted, 34% are no longer doing so as frequently. The majority (94%) of people, however, believe that practising good hygiene has an impact on illness prevention, and keeping the home disinfected from bacteria and viruses is an important aspect of best-practice hygiene habits. An overwhelming 88% of people trust Dettol products to effectively kill bacteria and viruses.

Spray and away

At surface level, the Dettol research reveals that many of the public understand the benefits of frequently disinfecting the home, but when it comes to different surface types, hard surfaces are prioritised over soft by most. Perhaps it’s unsurprising then, that 21% don’t believe that bacteria and viruses can linger on soft surfaces and 39% are unaware that there is a Dettol household cleaning product that can disinfect them. Not only does Dettol All-In-One Disinfectant Spray effectively kill bacteria and viruses on soft surfaces, but it also works just as efficiently on hard ones, too.

Charl Malan, Head of Marketing at Reckitt said: ‘Recently conducted Dettol research shows that while there is concern amongst many of the public about bacteria and viruses lingering on soft surfaces, lots of people typically neglect disinfecting these areas. In fact, 29% of the respondents didn’t know how. At Reckitt, we are proud to be experts in germ kill and have created an all-in-one solution for killing 99.9% bacteria and viruses whilst also leaving a lovely fragrance too!’

Dettol’s All-in-One Disinfectant Spray range comes in three fragrances, Crisp Linen, Lemon Breeze and Orchard Blossom. The range is available to purchase now in all major retailers nationwide. For more information on Dettol’s All-in-One Disinfectant Spray range, visit



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