What’s the dirtiest surface in your home?
The toilet? Your bathroom sink? The kitchen counter?
It’s actually none of these.
When it comes to harbouring germs, what we tend to think of as being the “dirtiest” surfaces in our home aren’t even close to being the worst offenders.
Your toilet seat is home to around 1,600 germs / 100cm2.
Does that sound like a lot? It’s not. In fact, it’s nothing compared to your toothbrush holder. Few people wash this regularly (or at all); as a result it harbours 200x as many germs as your toilet seat (yes – 200 times as many germs) at 330,000 germs / 100cm2.
And that’s not all you need to worry about.
Carry a handbag? It’s three times dirtier than your average office toilet seat. Wash your sheets regularly? We hope so. After just two weeks your pillows have 34,767 times more bacteria than your toilet seat (sleep tight!)
You can add your toilet brush handle, bath mat, bathroom tap, hand towel and the walls around your toilet to that list. They are all as dirty as – or dirtier – than your toilet seat.
And don’t think you’re safe once you leave the bathroom.
Can you guess what your kitchen counters, door knobs, dog’s dinner bowl, and even the soles of your shoes are cleaner than..?
Your mobile phone.
Few people clean them often but we handle them all the time and take them everywhere we go (or pretty much). If you don’t want a side of faecal matter with your meals (a study found it on one in six smartphones) keep your phone out the bathroom, off the dinner table and perhaps most importantly of all – clean it regularly.
That said, even your phone can’t take the trophy for the dirtiest surface in your home. That accolade goes to…
Your kitchen sponge.
The average kitchen sponge has more than 19 billion bacteria living on it. That might not be so scary if we were talking about the inside of your toilet but remember – that sponge is used to clean other things.
Stick it in your dishwasher or failing that, just get a new one. Often.
To find out where else in your home germs are hiding, use the sliders below.