Brits’ Poor Bathroom Hygiene Puts Households at Risk of Serious Illness

Brits’ Poor Bathroom Hygiene Puts Households at Risk of Serious Illness

Nearly a third (32%) of the British public clean their shower area less than once a week

Research released today has revealed the extent to which Brits are putting themselves at risk of serious illness due to poor bathroom hygiene.

A study* found that 32% of the British public clean their bathroom less than once a week, allowing dangerous bacteria to congregate in areas of the bathroom we might least expect, exposing people to health problems including stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Despite what many might think, experiments run by Mira Showers in partnership with Marco Mendoza Villa, a PhD Researcher from Bristol University’s Science Department, has revealed that shower trays and bathroom sinks are putting us most at risk, meanwhile the toilet is one of the cleaner areas. Of all the areas tested, the toilet seat was the only area of the bathroom that did not contain E. coli.

The most bacteria infested areas of the bathroom, after areas had been left for a little over a week without cleaning**:

  1. Shower Tray (72% infected)
  2. Basin (71% infected)
  3. Tap (43% infected)
  4. Shower Head (32% infected)
  5. Toilet Seat (29% infected)
  6. Bathroom Floor (23% infected)
  7. Shower Enclosure (16% infected)
  8. Bathroom Door Handle (<1% infected)

In total, there were 11 different types of bacteria detected, from the relatively harmless Micrococcus and Enterobacter aerogenes to the potentially more harmful E. coli and Salmonella.

Marco Mendoza Villa, PhD, said: “It’s easy to think that harmful bacteria will only develop in and around the toilet but our experiments have clearly revealed a wide array of bacteria on all bathroom surfaces. These include E. coli, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Enterobacter aerogenes, Enterococcus, Klebsielle pneumoniae, Streptobacillus, Campylobacter, Fungi (yeast) and Micrococcus, many of which can easily lead to nasty illnesses including stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting.”

Bathroom

Traditional Small Galena

Roland Boal, Lead Designer at Mira Showers, said: “It can be easy to forget to clean the bathroom regularly, but if this is something you fall victim to there are bathroom products on the market that can help.

“Our unique BioCote® antibacterial technology, for example, incorporates anti-microbial silver ion technology directly into all Mira Shower tray products. It reduces bacteria and mould growth by up to 99.9% and protects the surface for the lifetime of the product, complementing cleaning products to provide additional protection 24 hours a day.”

Marco Mendoza Villa’s Recommendations for Beating the Bacteria:

 A recent report* found that multipurpose cleaning fluids are the most commonly used hard surface cleaners by the British public (used by 75% of the population). But are they really the most effective for tackling dirty bathrooms? Marco Mendoza Villa provides his scientifically-backed recommendations for beating the bacteria in your bathroom:

  • Some cream cleaners may in fact exacerbate the spreading of bacteria rather than killing them off. They either distribute the bacteria further, or the cleaning product quickly becomes too diluted to work effectively if used on a wet surface like the shower tray.
  • Bleach is the most effective cleaning product as it continuously showed a drastic reduction in areas affected by bacteria and fungi.
  • If bleach is not something you are looking to use in your bathroom, use anti-bacterial sprays. Used properly, they are just as effective as bleach when it comes to reducing bacteria infected areas.
  • Consider cleaning your bathroom at least once a week to keep bacteria build-up down.
Bathroom

Bathroom Door Handle – Before Wipes

Bathroom

Bathroom Door Handle – After Wipes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To find out more about the tests conducted by Mira Showers and to see close-up images of the bacteria under the microscope, visit Bathroom Bacteria Under the Microscope.

*Mintel Toilet and Hard Surface Care UK report, March 2018

**Each bathroom surface was swabbed in two different areas before cleaning. These figures show the average prevalence of bacteria across these areas before cleaning products were applied.

About the Experiment

Swabs were taken from various surfaces in a typical family bathroom. Areas of each surface were then cleaned using two different cleaning solutions from a range of six (includes bleach, cream cleaner, wipes, anti-bacterial spray, multi-surface spray, shower cleaner), before swabs were taken again. Both sets of swabs were analysed in a laboratory to find out which bacteria were present, and at what levels, to determine just how effective each cleaning solution was.

Facemasks, gloves and lab coats were worn throughout the whole experiment. For analysing and measuring, lab surfaces were cleaned with ethanol to avoid contamination.

During the bacteria growth process, a control petri dish containing no bacteria was placed in the same conditions as the samples. The control petri dish showed no signs of growth, meaning there was no contamination during the 24hr bacteria growth phase.