Paul Durkin

10 Shocking Things Your Toilet Seat is Cleaner Than

Published: 04 October 2013 | By Paul Durkin.

Are toilet seats really that dirty?Think your toilet seat is the dirtiest thing in your house?

Think again.

According to Dr Chuck Gerba, there are about 50 bacteria per square inch of a toilet seat: one of the cleanest surfaces you’ll find in the home.

What you are about to read WILL shock you so let's delve straight in. Your toilet seat is cleaner than...

1. Your Barbeque - Twice as dirty.

In a recent study by Tommy Walsh, and BBC hygiene expert Dr Lisa Ackerley, barbeques are the dirtiest place in the garden.

They found the average toilet seat harboured 759,950 microbes per 100cm², yet the average barbeque harboured a massive 1.7 million microbes per 100cm²...enjoy your next BBQ!

2. Your Fridge Handle - 4 times dirtier.

With the average toilet seat having 1,600 bacteria per cm², the fridge handle is over 4 times dirtier at 7,474 per cm².

3. Your Games Controller - 5 times dirtier.

A study by Domestos and Unicef found the average computer games controller held 7,863 germs per 100cm²: 5 times more than what you would find on your toilet seat.

4. Your Smartphone - 7 times dirtier.

Your smartphone could be dirtier than your toilet seat

A recent study by Which? found toilet seats had 20 units of Staphylococcus Aureus: A bacteria which can cause food poisoning. However, that's nothing in comparison to one grubby smartphone which held 140 units!

Think your safer on the iPad? With one found to be harbouring 600 units, think again!

Sadly this isn’t an isolated case, as The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found 1 in 6 mobiles in Britain are contaminated with faecal matter.

5. Your Car Steering Wheel - 9 times dirtier.

Researchers at The Queen Mary University in London found 700 different kinds of bacteria existed per square inch of a steering wheel.

Want to know what’s more disturbing? They found 42% of motorists regularly ate in their car: Tasty!

6. Your Sofa Arm - 12 times dirtier.

Sitting comfortably on your sofa? Well enjoy resting your arm on that sofa; you'd be better off resting it on a toilet seat.

7. Your Chopping Board - 200 times dirtier.

Probably most disgusting of all, Dr Gerba found the average chopping board had 200 times more faecal bacteria than the average toilet seat!

8. Your Office Desk - 400 times dirtier.

In a study conducted by Dr. Gerba, office desks were found to have 20,000 germs per square inch: 400 times dirtier than the average toilet seat.

What’s most astounding, he found the area where you rest your hand had 10million bacteria.

9. Your Garden Trampoline - 400 times dirtier.

So, your kids are outside on the trampoline and the only risk facing them is falling off? Think again!

With garden trampolines harbouring an astonishing 640,000 germs per cm², I'm sure there is something far worse facing them.

10. Your Kitchen Sponge - 200,000 times dirtier.A Kitchen Sponge: The dirtiest thing in your house

Dr. Gerba found an astonishing 10million bacteria per square inch existed on a kitchen sponge, making it 200,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat.

With a whopping 1 million bacteria per square inch, your dishcloth is no better at 20,000 times dirtier - I'm not sure how you’re going to get around this one.

So what have we learned?

  • The object we consistently press against our face, our smartphone, has more germs than our toilet seat. &
  • We’d probably be better off chopping our veg on the toilet seat.

Further Reading:

1 in 6 UK cell phones is contaminated with fecal matter. CNN.

Computer game controllers ‘five times dirtier than a toilet seat’. The Metro.

How clean is your car? The Daily Mail.

Is the toilet seat really the dirtiest place in the home? BBC News.

Smartphones and tablets harbour more germs than toilet seats. The Telegraph.