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TV Remote

Worst Offender

Your TV remote is a breeding ground for bacteria as they are often dropped on the floor, stuffed between your sofa cushions and coughed and sneezed on.

These issues, coupled with everyone in your household handling your remote, only lead to bacteria growth.

To prevent these germs from growing and spreading, wipe your remote with a dry cloth that has been sprayed with an anti-bacterial spray. Do this at least once a day ideally and keep the remote on a clean surface.

Lynsey Crombie, from Channel 4’s Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, recommends vacuuming at least once a day and mopping your floors every few days. However, only 37% of Brits do this.

Your living room floor can pick up dirt and dust from your pet’s muddy paws or from walking around your home with your shoes on.

The soles of shoes are one of the dirtiest places and they will bring in all types of bacteria from the outside world – sometimes resulting in nasty infections and cases of diarrhoea. Using a steam mop can help kill any bacteria brought into your home.

We often add unwanted mail and odds and ends to our cupboards and sideboards, so you should aim to declutter and clean them once a month to keep your surfaces clean and clutter-free.

Most of these items aren’t wanted or even needed, so plan in some time every month for a good declutter. Set yourself a 10-minute decluttering challenge and you will be so surprised at what you can achieve!

Eating on your sofa really isn’t ideal as food particles, sticky finger marks and spilt drinks can all occur easily – as parents with young children know all too well.

All of those spills can add up to an unhealthy space – and one we all spend a lot of time in.

Vacuum your sofa regularly as a preventative measure and invest in a good upholstery cleaner or leather cleaner.  Take off cushion covers and wash these as often as you can, as well as puffing up your cushions with a light steam.

Worst Offender

Kitchen cloths and sponges are by far, one of the worst offenders in your kitchen.

They are the number one source of kitchen germs, as we use them daily to wipe up spillages and mess and as a result, they could be covered in E. coli, Salmonella and other bacteria.

There are a few ways to clean your sponge or dish cloth. One method is to soak them in a mixture of bleach and boiling water which can also help eliminate food stains.

Another effective, and quick, method is to put them in a bowl of water and put it in the microwave for a few minutes, or put them in your dishwasher. Ensure you replace your cloths and sponges as often as you can.

You should aim to clean your oven monthly, to help keep dried-on food and bacteria at bay. Take the shelves out and leave them to soak to help loosen the dried-on food and grease.

Use a specialised oven cleaner to clean the inside of your oven, making sure to take extra care around any of the heating elements. Take out the filters from your extraction hood, and leave these to soak in a mixture of washing up liquid and water. These are often coated in grease from when you’re cooking. If you allow them to continue to circulate around your kitchen and home, this won’t be too pleasant.

Only 42% of the nation clean their fridge once a month, with 18% picking up their rubber gloves and using anti-bacterial spray once a year!

Our fridges look after our food, and food that has been cross-contaminated or is housed in an unclean area can make us ill.

Cleaning out the fridge weekly and checking the expiry dates on food that is in your fridge is very important. E. coli and Listeria are two of the most significant types of bacteria found in the fridge, and the salad drawer is where these bacteria will multiply the most.

Use a food storage container to help keep food safe and organise particular foods for certain shelves. A weekly wipe over is all it takes to keep on top of your fridge. Once a month, schedule some time in for a deep clean and pay attention to the rubber seals as these can attract the most bacteria.

Small, closed off spaces such as microwaves, are a great playground for germs, especially if you have splashed food.  If you’ve used your microwave to defrost meat, bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella could splatter around your microwave.

Once you have used your microwave, leave the door open to help eliminate any smells and spray liberally with a good multipurpose cleaner to eliminate the risk of contamination.

Every so often, put half of a lemon into a bowl of water and put the microwave on full power for five minutes. This will loosen the grease and dried food, leaving the microwave smelling fresh and clean – and make your cleaning efforts easier.

Worst Offender

Your mattress is one of the dirtiest items in your bedroom, as it is full of bed bugs, dead skin and hair.

Inside your mattress could be the Gram-Negative rod bacteria, which can cause infections such as pneumonia.

When changing your bedding, make sure to vacuum your mattress and spray with an anti-bacterial dry spray, which will help keep the bed bugs away.

It is recommended that you replace your mattress every seven years, but you should change it as soon as you feel it is starting to wear out or is causing you sleep problems.

Cleaning our curtains is never usually a priority task for most people. A build-up of dust and other debris from open windows, is usually hard to spot, but movement from a person touching them, or blowing in the wind from open windows can result in the dust and debris settling around your home. Our curtains can often get dirty from dust and debris from open windows.

Most curtains come with a dry clean only label, but this can be time consuming and expensive, so a weekly vacuum and steam will keep your curtains clean.

When drawing your curtains, always ensure you have clean hands so germs are not transferred.

Fresh air circulating around the house is good for you, but with fresh air comes debris from outside. Insects, leaves and dirt can easily come into your home and sit on the windowsill bringing in allergy triggers and causing hay fever and asthma problems.

A daily wipe with a wet cloth will soon eliminate any nasties – and may even rid you of an allergy trigger.

34% of Brits change their bedding once a fortnight, but our expert, Lynsey Crombie from Channel 4’s Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, recommends changing them a few times a week. This is something only 11% of the nation do!

Beds are full of bed bugs and we can’t see them or feel them so we don’t know they are there.

Washing your sheets regularly will help keep these at bay but it won’t get rid of them altogether.

Bedding should ideally be changed a few times a week and every day if you’re ill, but this may not always possible if you have a busy lifestyle.

Worst Offender

Most people will assume the dirtiest item in your bathroom is your toilet - your toothbrush may actually be the worst offender.

Toothbrushes are left in the open air for all bathroom germs to hop onto, while also being consistently wet and often stored in a holder that seldom gets a proper clean. All of this combines to create a ripe environment for bacteria.

Try to keep your toothbrushes as far away from your toilet as possible. Always flush the toilet when the seat is down, which will eliminate the risk of germs landing on your toothbrush.

Make a point to change your toothbrush once a month, as any germs going into your mouth could make you ill.

44% of UK people clean their toilet once a week, compared to 23% who clean it daily, as recommended by our expert, Lynsey Crombie from Channel 4’s Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners.

Bathrooms and toilets harbour many germs, and bacteria can spread rapidly in wet areas. A bathroom is full of dead skin, human hairs and bodily fluids, so it’s important to keep it clean.

Toilet germs can travel as far as six feet so can land on your floor, ceiling, sink area and your toothbrush. Toilet seats can contain faeces particles, E. coli and Salmonella and these can make you ill.

These germs can survive for up to two hours! You should wipe down your toilet daily with a clean cloth and give it a deep clean at least once a week.

Warm, dark and wet, plugholes are the perfect breeding ground for dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli. Because they can be neglected when cleaning, your bathroom plugholes can actually harbour more germs than your toilet.

Splash-back from unclean plugholes can contaminate your sink and bath, so it’s important to keep your plugholes clean to stop infection.

Mix some white wine vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice and pour this down weekly for a deep clean.

A swift clean should follow every time you use your bath or shower to prevent bacteria growth. It doesn’t take very long to quickly spray the area with a multipurpose cleaner and wipe over, but getting in to the habit can help keep your bathroom free from nasties.

Once a week, do a much more thorough clean and pay attention to the taps, bath sides and get into any rims where mould and mildew can build up.

About

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Alongside the expected places that can conceal bacteria such as bathrooms or kitchens, there are some surprising hives of germs dotted around our household - when you find out where, you’ll want to break out the bleach and rubber gloves.

Home Clean Home looks at the hidden dangers of bacteria and the areas in our homes that harbour the most germs.

Focusing on the four main living spaces of; living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom, Home Clean Home highlights the common areas which collect the most germs, as well as highlighting the single object that unexpectedly contains the most bacteria in all four rooms.

The star of Channel 4’s Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, and self -confessed ‘Queen of Clean’, Lynsey Crombie provides useful cleaning tips to tackle the neglected areas where bacteria is found lurking in our homes. As a cleaning expert, she has used her knowledge to encourage and motivate people who rarely pick up feather duster.

So, how clean is your home? Bleach and rubber gloves at the ready...

Brought to you byGood Move

Bacteria disclaimer

The bacteria information is not medical advice. Please speak to your doctor about prevention or treatment of illness or disease.

Sources

TFL Panel, surveyed 1,227 UK adults on their cleaning habits

Lynsey 'Queen of Clean' Crombie

Lynsey 'Queen of Clean' Crombie is a cleaning expert who regularly stars on Channel 4's 'Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners', where she helps clean some of Britain’s dirtiest homes. She is a regular guest presenter who demonstrates products on a shopping channel in the UK.

Lynsey has a real passion for cleaning and organising and has tested many areas over the years for cleanliness, germs and bacteria. She has very successful blog, where she often reviews top cleaning products and tools, and aims to encourage and motivate people to clean more and keep their homes tidy.

Regional

Cleanest cities
Dirtiest cities

TFL Panel, surveyed UK adults on their cleaning habits

Belfast

Belfast is crowned the cleanest city in the UK thanks to its love of bleach and antibacterial cleaner. According to our study, 50% of Belfast admit to cleaning their house more than once a week!

Our expert, Lynsey Crombie from Channel 4’s Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, recommends that you change your bed sheets a few times a week. While only 10% of people in Belfast do this, half of Ireland’s capital change their bedding once a week.

Cleaning the toilet is never an enjoyable task, but just under a third (27%) of the city’s residents clean their toilet every day, as recommended by Lynsey.

Sheffield has taken the crown as the cleanest city in Yorkshire, and have come an impressive second in the UK overall. This is not surprising to see, as just under half of the city’s residents (41%) clean their house on a regular basis.

Cleaning guru, Lynsey Crombie, recommends that you clean and declutter your fridge on a weekly basis. The residents of Sheffield abide by this rule, with 23% of Sheffielders wiping their fridge down every week.

When it’s the time to don the pinny and rubber gloves, nearly 40% of people from Sheffield said their partner does the cleaning around their home, with over double (89%) admitting to doing the cleaning themselves.

It seems cleaning is never far from Geordie's minds, with 77% of residents cleaning their homes at least once a week.

It’s recommended that we should clean microwaves after every use to help eliminate the build-up of dried on food and bacteria. While this task may be a little time consuming, just under a third of Geordies take up the task once a week. No grimy microwaves in sight!

Keeping floors clean and dust free can help reduce the risk of contamination from bacteria brought in from outside. Just under half of the city’s residents vacuum their floors more than once a week as recommended by our cleaning guru - Lynsey Crombie.

Brummies have taken the fourth place in the top five cleanest cities, and it’s not surprising to see. With 74% of the residents cleaning their home at least once a week, Birmingham is one of the cleanest cities.

Cleaning your toilet and bathroom is a task that should be completed on a daily basis, our cleaning guru, Lynsey Crombie advises. An impressive 23% of the city’s inhabitants stick with a daily cleaning routine and a further 22% clean their bathroom three times a week.

Changing your bedsheets is a chore, but it does help keep the bed bugs at bay. While Lynsey recommends this should be done a few times a week, just under half of the city change their bedsheets once a week or more.

The capital of Wales has come in at an impressive fifth place, with a whopping 76% of the city’s residents cleaning their house at least once a week to keep on top of dirt and grime.

The Welsh enjoy keeping on top of the cleanliness of their kitchen appliances, with over half (53%) of those surveyed admitting to cleaning their oven and microwave at least once a week. A further third of Cardiffians clean their fridges at least twice a week.

Mopping and vacuuming your floors should be done on a daily basis, according to Lynsey Crombie, our cleaning specialist. An impressive 78% of residents in Cardiff complete these tasks more than once a week at least!

Southampton has taken the crown for the dirtiest city, with just under half of residents (43%) admitting that they consider a cleaning routine to only consist of hoovering, wiping surfaces and cleaning the bathroom.

Changing your bed sheets should ideally be done a few times a week to help reduce the build-up of bed bugs lurking in your bed, yet over half (52%) of the city’s inhabitants put on a fresh set of bedding every two weeks or longer.

Cleaning the inside of your cupboard should be done monthly, which can help eliminate the build-up of bacteria and spilt foods. Yet over half (59%) of residents only empty the contents and wipe them down, a staggering once a year.

The city of Nottingham is revealed to be the second dirtiest city, as a fifth of its residents only clean their home every two weeks or less. Our cleaning guru, Lynsey Crombie, recommends cleaning your abode every few days, if not on a daily basis, so it seems Nottingham’s residents need to pick up the feather duster more often.

The build-up of dried on food can create unpleasant smells from your microwave, so Lynsey recommends wiping it down after every use, especially if there is spilt food. Despite this advice, a quarter of residents admit to doing it once a year.

Mopping and vacuuming your floor should be a daily task, however 27% of the city’s inhabitants only pick up the mop bucket or vacuum cleaner once a fortnight or less.

Glasgow has been revealed to be the third dirtiest city in the UK, with an astounding 60% of Glaswegians admitting to only changing their bed sheets every two weeks or less.

When it comes to a cleaning routine, nearly half of the city’s inhabitants (46%) only regarding a routine to comprise of vacuuming, wiping surfaces and cleaning the bathroom.

Lynsey Crombie, our cleaning specialist, recommends cleaning the inside of our microwaves after every use, to help reduce the build-up of dried on food and unpleasant smells. Despite this advice, 42% say they only clean the kitchen appliance once a month, with a shocking 23% only cleaning it once a year.

It’s not good news for Scotland, as Edinburgh closely follows Glasgow as the fourth dirtiest city. The results are not surprising, as 63% of residents admit to it taking them two weeks or longer to change their bedding.

When it comes to donning the rubber gloves and pinny, a third of the city’s inhabitants admit to cleaning their homes twice a week or less, a task which our cleaning professional, Lynsey Crombie, says should be done daily.

Cleaning your fridge on a regular basis can help eliminate odours and bacteria contamination from raw meat, yet an astounding 79% of people in Edinburgh admit to cleaning it once a month or less.

Taking the crown for the dirtiest Yorkshire city, the residents of Leeds admit to rarely cleaning their homes, with a staggering fifth of locals admitting to only picking up their rubber gloves and cleaning their homes once a month or less!

Our cleaning specialist, Lynsey Crombie, recommends cleaning your toilet daily to help eliminate the spread of bacteria. However, 64% of the city’s residents only pick up a toilet brush once a week or less.

Maintaining a clean fridge can help reduce the risk of cross-contamination from raw meat juices or spilt food, however a quarter of people who reside in Leeds only wipe down the kitchen appliance once a year or admit to rarely cleaning it.