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I must say, I wasn’t at all surprised to hear that recent research by Birmingham’s Aston University and ‘Scrap Car Comparison’ found significantly higher levels of germs inside cars than are found on the average toilet – but not on the steering wheel, which is perhaps due to our increased use of hand sanitiser these days. At home I clean our toilet & bathroom regularly but much as I’d like to clean my car as often, it’s always at the bottom of the list – but then it’s generally pretty clean in my view, whereas with a toilet – well, you have to be careful, don’t you? What horrified me though is that every single car studied, contained faecal bacteria, with the highest levels found in the boot. How on earth does this happen? Having recently watched the true-to-life ‘Sorry we missed you’ by Ken Loach, which focused on the tough life of a zero hours delivery driver whose schedule was so tight he had to urinate in a bottle in the back of his van, I could understand traces of urine, but faecal matter? The mind boggles… There’s also likely to be faecal bacteria on the driver’s seat - a clear concern for anyone who puts their fruit and veg in the boot after a shop or enjoys a drive-thru dinner in the driver’s seat!
The gearstick, dashboard and back seat, which also saw higher levels of bacterial contamination than is found on the average toilet, harboured Pseudomonas, (a bacterium with strains that can’t easily be treated with antibiotics) and Staph Aureus, (a germ associated with coughs and sneezes which is sometimes linked to MRSA). Older cars had more bacteria than newer ones, leading me to guess that perhaps the pride we take in our new cars, soon wears off. Clearly, deep cleaning our car interiors should be higher up on our ‘to do’ lists.
Dr Jonathan Cox, a senior lecturer in microbiology at Aston University, said: “These results highlight that we should change how we think about our cars and cleanliness. Often, we will clean our cars based on whether they ‘look’ clean versus whether they actually are clean. But you would never even think about eating off your toilet seat. Upholstery should ideally be given a deep clean and in future I will always clean any used car I might purchase!” Yes, & in future, I’ll probably think twice before accepting a lift from a friend!
Finally, tomorrow’s your last opportunity to have your say on the industry’s apprenticeship consultation. Please play your part at: https://britishcleaningcouncil.org/cleaning-hygiene-operative-consultation
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17th February 2022