A car owned by a dad of four has been found to contain shocking levels of bacteria – 23 times more than a handrail on a public bus – that’s more than 2,000 per cent.
Recent research* carried out by leading car cleaning experts, Simoniz, involved testing the driver’s seat and the dashboard control centre in a number of cars. Samples were compared to other items you would expect to be dirty and grubby, such as a toilet flush handle, a handrail on a public bus, and a communal kettle handle and TV remote.
The study revealed cars owned by parents and pet owners had high levels of bacteria found to be lingering in the driver’s seat. The seat in the car of the father of four also carried over twice as much bacteria as a TV remote and over six times that of a kettle handle in an office kitchen.
Surfaces were tested to find out how many colony-forming units (CFU) were present per square inch, to determine levels of bacterial infection and yeast found on each surface.
Public transport may carry thousands of members of the public every day, with passengers gripping the handrails or using the rail to assist with getting on and off the bus, but it seems nasty germs could be lurking much closer to home, as 80 per cent of all cars tested contained at least four times higher levels of infection than the handrail on a public bus.
The research revealed 40 per cent of cars tested contained the same levels of bacterial infection as a toilet flush handle, and 20 per cent shockingly contained double.
The experiment also tested levels of potentially toxic yeast, which can cause allergic reactions and skin, eye, throat and lung irritation, particularly for those susceptible to allergies and asthma. Interestingly, on 60 per cent of cars, these levels were found to be higher than a bus handrail.
Having a dirty car can not only be unhygienic, but it can also cause embarrassment for drivers too, as one in four respondents in previous research carried out by Simoniz* in 2018, admitted to feeling fed up by the uncleanliness of their car.
The 2018 study revealed a whopping 69 per cent of Brits would be reluctant to give a lift to a first date if they had a dirty car. Is it any wonder when 46 per cent of Brits only clean their car on the inside when it gets really dirty, and nearly a quarter (24 per cent) admit they let rubbish pile up for weeks on end.
Hygiene expert Luke Rutterford added: “The results of the experiment although pretty disturbing, are not entirely surprising, particularly when it comes to high levels of bacteria found in the car.
“Areas in the car, such as the gear stick, control centre and steering wheel are high frequency touch points, and become an area of continuous bacterial contamination. This is more so when drivers eat and drink in the car, which can allow general debris to become a breeding ground of bacteria, that is then spread around the car where germs can be left to linger for long periods of time.
“We wouldn’t expect to eat and drink at the kitchen table and not at least wipe down the table and clean away the crumbs, but we seem to have an entirely different set of standards when sat in a vehicle.
“The take home message here is to get your car clean and then keep it clean. It’s a good idea to keep a hand sanitiser in the car at all times, to ensure your hands are fresh and you’re keeping germs to a minimum.”
When asked about the biggest headache to keeping a car clean, children topped the poll, followed by pets, and 23 per cent said greasy finger marks are one of the most annoying habits from a passenger.
Louise Seddon, Brand Manager at Simoniz, said: “We were keen to understand if people truly understand how dirty their car is.
“Our experiment shows that although we can’t see the dirt and grime, our cars can actually be a breeding ground for bacteria. The fact that some cars contain higher levels of bacteria than a toilet flush handle, a handrail on a bus, a kettle handle and a TV remote is very worrying.
“A car should be our pride and joy and we’re urging Brits to really take the time to keep them clean and tidy.”
Simoniz has launched a nationwide competition to find the UK’s messiest car. To enter your car or nominate a friend with a messy car, and be in with a chance of winning a free luxury valet, plus a year’s supply of car cleaning products, please click here: https://www.holtsauto.com/simoniz/wall-of-shame/