Home Health & Wellness Thousands of Bacteria May Be Lurking in These Corners of Your “Clean” Home, Study Finds

Thousands of Bacteria May Be Lurking in These Corners of Your “Clean” Home, Study Finds

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Spring has officially sprung, and many Brits will take this chance to give their homes a good spring clean. But, even after we’ve scoured every inch of our homes, it’s hard to know just how clean they really are.

With this in mind, the home insurance team at Compare the Market conducted an experiment to discover how much bacteria is hiding in certain parts of our homes. 

The experiment involved swabbing areas and items around the house that are usually included in regular cleaning duties, such as TV remotes, light switches, and shower screens, to see how dirty they really are – even after they’ve been cleaned. 

Bathrooms are a bacteria hotspot, with bathroom vents home to nearly 2,000 groups of bacteria on average

The experiment reveals that bathrooms are the dirtiest spot in our homes, with bathroom vents and shower screens hosting the highest amount of bacteria out of all areas swabbed. 

The average number of groups of bacteria living inside bathroom vents was 1,991, while shower screens ranked as the second most neglected area with an average of 1,921 groups of bacteria living there. The maximum number of bacteria groups found on a single swab in these locations also reached a staggering level of at least 11,500. 

The inside of a washing machine follows in third, playing host to around 1,281 groups of bacteria on average.  Some of the swabs found zero bacteria present, proving that a clean, bacteria-free environment is possible to achieve.

TV remotes and microwaves are among the cleanest areas, but they are still home to over 300 groups of bacteria 

Light switches are home to the least amount of bacteria, with an average of just 79 groups living in this location. 

TV remotes and microwaves followed as the second and third cleanest spots, but both still hosted more than 300 bacterial groups each on average, and the maximum number found in a microwave was at least 3,000.

Anna McEntee, from the home insurance team at Compare the Market, shares her top tips for a successful spring clean: “While sticking to a regular cleaning routine can help you keep on top of essential tasks and ensure that your home remains in good condition, now is the perfect time for your annual deep clean. Spring cleaning is a great way to reset, and get your house feeling fresh after a long winter. 

“It might feel a little overwhelming at first, but dividing your cleaning up by room will help make the project more manageable. Make a checklist of everything that needs doing, and tackle each room one by one. Think about tasks that might get overlooked during your regular cleans, for example, washing windows, deep-cleaning carpets, dusting light fixtures, and decluttering cabinets and pantries. You’ll also want to make sure you’re using proper cleaning equipment and solutions, so you don’t cause any damage to yourself or any materials in your home. 

“No matter how on top of your cleaning you are, sometimes accidents do happen. It’s worth considering opting for accidental damage insurance coverage as part of your home insurance policy, as it covers all sorts of mishaps, such as spilling red wine on the sofa. Some groups of accidental damage will fall under building insurance, while others will come under contents insurance, so it’s always important to check what your provider covers you for.”

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