- 100% of the floors swabbed tested positive for Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P.aeruginosa) bacteria.
- Sponges have the highest concentration of pathogens, with traces of Escherichia coli (E.coli), P.aeruginosa and Faecal Steptococcci (FS)
- 55% of Brits make guests take off their shoes before they walk into their homes.
- Only 69% of people clean their dining table once a week.
It’s fair to say that some of us have become more aware of the germs and bacteria that we are exposed to thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. But where are bacteria lurking the most? A recent study by Currys PC World, in collaboration with expert microbiologist Dr Jonathan Hughes uncovered where germs are most likely to hide in our homes.
The most forgotten areas when cleaning
- Shelves and cabinets revealed as the least clean areas of the house with only 49% of people claiming to clean them once a week.
- Kitchen counters and sinks are the most cleaned areas with 88% of respondents confess cleaning them at least once a week.
|Area||% of people cleaning once a week|
|Shelves and cabinets||49%|
The germiest places in our home
The study involved swabbing several areas of the homes of people from different demographics to find out where germs are most commonly found. Here are the results:
- Sponges have the highest concentration of pathogens, with traces of Escherichia coli (E.coli), P.aeruginosa and Faecal Steptococcci (FS).
- 100% of floors tested positive for P.aeruginosa and 10% tested positive for FS.
- P. aeruginosa can cause disease in plants, animals and humans. It can infect any part of your body, symptoms can depend on where the infection is but may include redness of skin and wounds.
How do Brit’s fare with household etiquette?
The study included a survey to find out how the British public feels about cleanliness. It turns out Brits are very houseproud, with at least 28% completely enforcing a ban on wearing shoes in the house.
- A total of 55% of Brits encourage people to take their shoes off before they walk into their homes.
- Parents are sticklers when it comes to shoes in the house, with nearly 60% of them asking for guests to remove shoes.
- Gen Z are the most house proud, with 75% stating they make their guests take their shoes off.
- 87% of Brits stated they would eat food off the floor or have already done.
- 56% of respondents think it’s acceptable to eat food that’s been dropped on their own floor.
- 17% would eat it if they dropped it at someone else’s house.
- Bacteria is least likely to transfer from carpeted floors than less porous surfaces like tile and laminate.
How often should we be cleaning our floors?
Here’s how often Brits are currently cleaning their floors and expert advice on how often we should actually be cleaning them.
- 87% of Brits clean their kitchen floor every day. While a respective 80% and 79% clean the lounge and bathroom daily.
- Brits clean their carpet more than any other floor type, with 15% of respondents stating they vacuum every day.
Dr Jonathan Hughes, Microbiologist, says:
“Bacteria such as P.aeruginosa and faecal streptococci end up on the floors of our homes mainly from the soles of our shoes and paws of our pets. P.aeruginosa is a bacterium commonly found in soil and water, so it is easy to transfer via footfall.”
“Once the food comes into contact with the floor, bacteria start to transfer instantly. The rate at which they are transferred depends on the nature of the food and the nature of the floor surface. If the food is wet or sticky, it’s easier for bacteria to get onto it, using the fluid as a medium to travel through.”
“Ideally, you should clean your floors once a week to ensure good hygiene and keep bacterial populations under control. In the event something happens that is likely to contaminate the floor, such as dropping raw foods or if a pet has an accident, then you should clean and disinfect the area immediately.”
“I think that Covid-19 has definitely had an impact on our cleaning habits. Before the pandemic, we were, in general, far less concerned and aware of the microscopic and submicroscopic components in our environment. Often the worst thing people have had to be concerned with, with regards to hygiene in the home, has been food poisoning.”
E.coli is found in the intestines of livestock and can be passed into humans through meat and eggs. It can cause serious food poisoning and symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting and urinary tract infections.
FS is found in the intestines of humans and animals. Both are strong indicators of faecal matter contamination. Symptoms can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and nausea.