Kitchen Tap or Toilet Handle – which is Dirtier?

Another fascinating and revealing research, this one carried out by the Hygiene Council of Great Britain. It reveals the kitchen tap is dirtier than the toilet handle. Who would have thought this would be the case. It seems the cloths used to wiped down kitchen surfaces are the contributing culprit!  The Hygiene Council says it finds the findings alarming – I am sure you will defintely agree that it is so.

Revealed: Why your tap has more germs than your toilet handle

By Sean Poulter
Last updated at 8:31 AM on 16th June 2009 from ‘MailOnline’

The kitchen tap is dirtier and carries more harmful bugs than the toilet handle in millions of homes, research has found.

And 80 per cent of the cloths used to wipe down kitchen surfaces were found to contain a dangerous mix of bacteria.

Swab tests by the Hygiene Council found one third of kitchen taps carried unsatisfactory levels of bacteria compared to 15 per cent of toilet handles.

Enlarge A kitchen tap Dirty: Scientists say more germs are lurking on kitchen taps
Enlarge A toilet handle Clean: A toilet handle – which scientists say is less germ-ridden than a kitchen tap

Fourteen per cent of the taps had relatively high rates of the potentially deadly E.coli bug, compared to six per cent of the handles.

Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause illnesses including pneumonia if it enters the body, was found on eight per cent of the taps and more than a fifth had high levels of pseudomonas, making the cloths smell pungent.

Most of the bugs are carried on toilet users’ hands if they fail to wash them properly and then are spread through contact.

Similarly, food poisoning bugs such as campylobacter or salmonella from chicken can be spread around the kitchen with the cloths.

Other bacterial hot spots include babies’ high chairs, chopping boards, TV remote controls and telephones.

Surprisingly, the study found the toilet door handle was spotless in 75 per cent of homes, making it the cleanest of the locations tested.

The Hygiene Council said the findings were alarming, particularly as the swine flu pandemic is being spread by sneezes and a failure to wash hands and surfaces effectively.

John Oxford, chairman of the Hygiene Council, said: ‘The importance of targeted disinfection of key hygiene hotspots in the home is paramount.

‘Practising good hygiene is something we can all do to break the chain of infection and protect ourselves and our families.’

The research, supported by Dettol, gathered information from 20 homes in the UK, Australia, Germany, India, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the U.S..

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2 thoughts on “Kitchen Tap or Toilet Handle – which is Dirtier?

  1. I love that type of ‘independent’ researches. The sole purpose of comparing how many bacteria there is on your tap or chopping board is to scaremonger people into buying more cleaning products.

    Not surprisingly,’Hygiene Council’ is being funded by Reckitt Benckiser and the research was funded by Dettol which is one of their brands. They make money by selling cleaning products, so guess how reliable that kind of report is.

    There is more and more evidence to the fact that by freaking out about bacteria and cleanliness we are harming our immune system, so we are basically on a way to clean ourselves to death.

    What you said may have some element of truth but keeping clean does reduce our medical bills also and that helps. I do agree the sampling is rather small.

  2. Sure, I am not saying we should endorse bad hygiene, the fact that so many people do not wash their hands after visiting toilet is a disgrace, but as you notice this research does not focus on the problem which is that some people have very bad hygiene habits, it tries to scare people with harmful bacteria that is all over their home. Then they will offer you cleaning products that ‘kill 99,99% of bacteria’ to comfort you in your anxieties.
    It’s all just my personal opinions, of course.

    Point taken. Thanks.

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