Here at Space Station, we know the importance of a clean, tidy living space - but just how sanitary are our homes?
We conducted a study that revealed the cleaning habits (or lack thereof) of UK students. The study involved swabbing an all-male and all-female student accommodation to find the areas in the home with the most bacteria, fungi and yeast lurking. The swabs were compared against each other for their levels of infection, comparing bacteria, fungi and yeast in the test items.
You may not want to read this while eating your lunch - as we found that a chopping board and fridge were a staggering four times dirtier than a toilet!
The male toilet was found to be the most riddled with bacteria, with an infection level of 250 - which is the highest level of infection the swabbing kit was able to indicate. The female toilet, however, was much cleaner, with just an overall infection level of just 24.
Most shockingly, the chopping board in the female home was found to be four times dirtier than their toilet, with a level of infection of 102.5 compared to just 24 for the toilet. The male’s fridge also had an infection level of 102.5.
Having a high level of infection in food storage or preparation areas is not only unsanitary, but can also lead to health problems. Bacteria such as e.coli, salmonella and campylobacter (which is the most common bacteria which causes food poisoning in Britain, more than salmonella), can lurk on your chopping board and in your fridge and can cause problems such as vomiting diarrhoea, fever and urinary tract infections if left uncleaned.
Both bedding in the all-male and all-female house was found to have a high level of infection, with 100.4 for the male and 80 for the female bedding. There are a mixture of bacteria and fungal spores lurking in your bedding, which can lead to strep throat, skin, eye and ear infections, as well as flu-like symptoms.
View the results in depth below:
Test items in order of infection (Colony Forming Units per cm2), with 0= no infection (male and female items). Public health guidelines suggest that anything above 80 is unsatisfactory.
1. Toilet (male) – 250.4
2. Bath (female) – 200
3. Chopping board (female) – 102.5
4. Fridge (male) – 102.5
5. Bedding (male) – 100.4
6. Bedding (female) – 80
7. Desk (male) – 42.5
8. Chopping board (male) – 40.4
9. Toilet (female) – 24
10. Desk (male) – 24
11. Fridge (female) – 2.9
12. Bath (male) – 2.5
Test items in order of infection (Colony Forming Units per cm2), with 0= no infection (by gender)
|Male (CFU by cm2)||Female (CFU by cm2)|
|Toilet – 250.4||Bath – 200|
|Fridge – 102.5||Chopping board – 102.5|
|Bedding – 100.4||Bedding – 80|
|Desk – 42.5||Toilet – 24|
|Chopping board – 40.4||Desk – 24|
|Bath – 2.5||Fridge – 2.9|
|TOTAL – 562.7||TOTAL – 409.4|
If this has made you want to run home and clean your house right now, check out our cleaning tips in partnership with “Queen of Clean” Lynsey Crombie here !