Why bathrooms might be the dirtiest room in the house

While you might expect a bathroom to be the cleanest room in the house, we may be leaving them dirtier than before we went in.

Research has found we spend six months of our lives using the bathroom, and a further four-and-a-half months cleaning it. 

But according to the survey by bathroom and shower experts Showerstoyou.co.uk, only a quarter (25 per cent) of those surveyed replace their toothbrush the recommended every three months, and 12 per cent stated using the same toothbrush for a year. 

A toothbrush can host up to 10 million bacteria, including e-coli and Staphylococci, and some research has even found fecal germs on the toothbrush from when we flush the toilet.

Toothbrush holders are the third most germ-ridden household item, as discovered by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), behind dish sponges and kitchen sinks. Of those tested, 27 per cent had coliforms, 64 per cent had mould and 14 per cent had Staphylococcus. 

Of those surveyed, just 15 per cent reported cleaning their toothbrush holder regularly and 32 per cent admitted to never cleaning it at all.

Only 22 per cent of those surveyed clean their shower head regularly and 48 per cent have never cleaned it at all, while the survey found that almost half (48 per cent) wash their bath mat the recommended once a week. Furthermore, 32 per cent stated only washing their bath mat once a month.

More than half of those surveyed (56 per cent) are not cleaning their bathroom and bathroom items as much as they should – instead cleaning it when it ‘seems dirty’ or less than once a week.

Showerstoyou.co.uk director, Martin Smith said: “We have seen some awful bathrooms in our line of work. Mould on the walls, floors and shower curtain, as well as on shower heads which have never been properly cleaned. I believe people underestimate how much cleaning your bathroom requires. They just do the toilet, floor, bath tub and sink but forget all the other bits and pieces which collect dirt and where bacteria can thrive. A bit of bacteria is unavoidable and unharmful, but when you have visible mould, it can harm you, especially if you have a lower immunity, asthma and allergies.”

Items Frequency How to clean item
Toothbrush daily Clean in HOT water thoroughly daily and replace every 3 months. Keep at least 2m from the toilet, if possible.
Toothbrush holder Every 3 days. Rinse with hot water and use a small brush to clean inside the slots.
Bath mat Dependent on material/ frequency of use etc. but generally weekly. Machine wash at a warm/ hot temperature, dependent on material.
Shower head weekly Mix boiling water with white vinegar and scrub thoroughly.
Towels every 3-5 uses Machine wash on a hot setting.
Taps weekly Scrub with a toothbrush and hot water, particularly the underneath and wipe off water with a cloth.