The dirtiest place in your bathroom...is not where you think

If you think that your toilet is the dirtiest place in your bathroom, think again, says new research

Bathroom radiator, Rointe
(Image credit: Rointe)

Do you know where the dirtiest place in your bathroom is? We guarantee you it's not where you think. It's not the toilet, and it's not even the bathroom sink. While bathroom sanitaryware is known for attracting germs for obvious reasons, we also clean those areas well and often. But there is one area of the bathroom we often neglect, with new research showing it may pose much more of a risk of germs than the usual suspects. 

So, next time you're thinking about how to clean a bathroom to perfection, don't neglect this one area. 

The dirtiest area in your bathroom is not where you think

According to the study*, the dirtiest area of your bathroom is actually your bathroom heater or radiator. This includes heated towelling rails – which, as it turns out, nobody cleans nearly enough. 

The experiment involved swabbing five common bathroom items and testing them for germs. It turned out that in over half of cases (over 60 percent) the bathroom heater was significantly dirtier than the toilet, and only around 30 percent of bathroom heaters were truly clean.

Bathroom rail tested for germs

(Image credit: Rointe)

What are the potential implications of a dirty bathroom heater? In the worst cases, a dirty radiator used for hanging towels could lead to bacterial infection and illness. But even in milder cases, towels that come into regular contact with uncleaned towelling rails can cause skin rashes and flareups of eczema or skin allergies. 

Antoaneta Tsocheva, Founder of domestic cleaning firms, FastKlean commented: 'On top of the usual suspects like dust, grime, mould and mildew you also need to think about germs and bacteria – the bathroom itself is a damp environment and so are the towels you hang on your radiator or rail. It’s the ideal environment for microorganisms and bacteria - things you definitely don’t want near your face.'

The surest way to keep your radiator or towelling rail hygienic is by cleaning it once a week. You can use the best bathroom cleaner or just baking soda and a cloth. Whichever method you use is fine – it's the regular cleaning that makes the difference. 

Antoaneta concludes: 'Bathroom radiators and towel rails should be cleaned at least three times per month. Ideally, you would add your entire bathroom to your weekly cleaning routine. This will allow you to keep the germs at bay and make your cleaning sessions shorter on average.'  

* Study conducted by electric heating specialists Rointe 

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.

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