How to clean the dirtiest areas in British homes

How to clean the dirtiest areas in British homes

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For most Brits, there are areas in the house that we don’t always get round to cleaning as regularly as we might like, whether it’s the likes of underneath the sofa or behind the toilet.

So, to help the British public, we wanted to identify which areas of the home people are missing out on during their normal cleaning routine, and therefore which areas are the dirtiest. We’ve also offered helpful tips for when you next get your mop and bucket out.


The dirtiest areas in British homes

Using Hygiena’s UltraSnap Surface ATP Test and EnSURE Touch monitoring system, our results are based on the RLU (Relative Light Units) we found.

The RLU reading is based on the amount of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) collected from the sample, which is an organic compound found where bacteria thrive. The more ATP found on a swab, the more light is produced during the reaction in the EnSURE Touch monitoring system, giving us a higher RLU reading. Put simply, the higher the number, the dirtier the area! 


The top RLU rates for different areas of the home

Here is the breakdown of the dirtiest areas in the home, in order of dirtiest to cleanest:

  • Behind the sofa - 10,932 RLU
  • Under the doormat - 6,669 RLU
  • Behind the toilet - 6,032 RLU
  • Behind the TV unit - 4,101 RLU
  • Behind the bed - 3,930 RLU
  • Behind the storage cabinet – 3,248 RLU
  • Behind the bookshelf – 2,586 RLU
  • Behind the bin – 2,231 RLU
  • Under the bathmat – 1,346 RLU
  • Bathroom floor - 914 RLU
  • Hallway floor - 480 RLU
  • Living room floor - 471 RLU
  • Bedroom floor - 257 RLU
  • Kitchen floor - 61 RLU


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How often do we clean these areas in our home?

We found that the dirtiest areas are behind the sofa, under the doormat, behind the toilet, behind the TV unit, and behind the bed! Despite a quarter of people claiming they clean behind their sofa weekly (more often than behind the TV unit or behind the bed), it is the dirtiest area out of all those that were swabbed.

35% of Brits claim they clean behind their toilet at least once a week, as well as their living room floor; yet when tested, behind the toilet was 1,181% dirtier despite being cleaned the same amount of times!

And although we Brits clean it least often out of all floors in the home, the kitchen floor remains the cleanest! We also found that 14% of our survey respondents never clean their bookcases, while the living room has flooring that is most likely to be cleaned every single day. 


Our top tips for cleaning the dirtiest areas in your home

Now that we’ve identified those tough spots, let’s take a look at some of the ways we can tackle them!

  • For the 7% who never clean their bins, the easiest way to clean your bin is to spray it with a disinfectant solution and scrub it with a brush to get rid of any stubborn points. Then, if possible, leave it to dry in the sun, as the heat will help to kill any bacteria left and stop your bin from smelling.
  • If you’re cleaning laminate flooring, make sure that you are only ever using a slightly damp cloth or mop – laminate floors HATE too much water! You can find out more about that in our laminate care guide.
  • To make cleaning behind your sofa more straightforward, you’ll want to make it easier to move your sofa. This is best if you have engineered wood or laminate flooring, as you can attach felt pads that make the sofa easier to slide without worrying about marking your floors.
  • Using a brush on the end of a stick, like your typical dish brush, is a great way to reach behind the toilet and clean the wall in those hard-to-reach areas.
  • If you want to invest in new carpets but dread having to clean them daily like some of our survey respondents, opt for a natural wool carpet in a classic shade. This type of carpet has a built-in resistance to dirt, stains, and dust, which also makes them one of the best floorings for pets!


For more cleaning advice and care guides for different types of flooring, check out our Ideas Hub. Or if you’re looking for a new floor why not check out your local Tapi store to browse our gorgeous collections. 

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